The curriculum is three (3) years in duration. At the end of your third year, you will graduate with a Doctorate of Physical Therapy (DPT). The Rangos School of Health Sciences will review your application based on the following guidelines:

  • Undergraduate degree from a four-year, degree-granting institution
  • A GPA of 3.0 or higher on a 4.0 scale
  • GRE score of 303 or higher. GRE scores must be from last 5 years.
  • Pre-requisites Course work with a GPA of 3.0 or higher with no less than a "C" grade in all prerequisite courses which includes: Two courses with labs in Biology, Chemistry, and Physics; Three (3) credits in Introduction to Biostatistics/Statistics; Three (3) credits or more in Psychology. A two course sequence (six [6] credits) in Anatomy & Physiology with labs. All prerequisite courses must be taken at a four year, degree granting institution.
  • Documentation of 100 hours of volunteer, paid or shadowing hours with a licensed PT. Volunteering/shadowing must be evenly divided between at least two different areas of physical therapy practice
  • Three professional references (references will not be accepted from a family member, friend, or PTA)

If offered admission, the following will also be required:

  • CPR certification (adult, infant, and child)
  • Verification of all Pre-Clinical Health Requirements
  • Physical Exam
  • Verification of Health Insurance

Admission to the professional program as a graduate student is limited. Typically, we have between five and fifteen seats available for this pathway to admission. Consequently, for you to compete well for one of these seats you should probably have higher than the minimum criteria mentioned above. In particular, students who are competitive for these seats will have:

  • GPA at 3.5 or higher
  • GPA for prerequisite courses of 3.5 or higher
  • GRE at 308 or higher. GRE scores must be from last 5 years.

Although space is limited for this admission pathway, we very much value our graduate students as an integral part of the class and strongly encourage qualified applicants to apply.

To apply for graduate admission, please go to Physical Therapy Centralized Application Service.

You must also complete a short, free Duquesne University supplemental application to be considered.

International Students

Effective 2022, the FSBPT will require international applicants that don't qualify for an exemption (see below) to have taken the TOEFL within 2 years of registering for the NPTE. Our requirements for applicants is the same. IELTS, DuoLingo or any other tests are not accepted.

Minimum Scores:
Reading - 22
Listening - 21
Writing - 22
Speaking - 24

EXEMPTIONS - FSBPT has adopted the same exemptions to its requirement that USCIS uses for healthcare workers applying for visas. This means that individuals who graduate from a college, university or professional training school located in Australia, Canada (except Quebec), Ireland, New Zealand, the United Kingdom or the United States do not need to provide additional proof of English language proficiency.

If your undergraduate and/or graduate degrees are from an institution located outside of the United States, you must use a transcript credential evaluation service to obtain a course-by-course report. The official reports must be sent directly to Duquesne University from the organization you order through and will qualify as official transcripts. Please review our Transcript Credential Evaluation Directions.

Frequently Asked Questions

Admission to the professional program as a graduate student is limited. For fall 2021 we anticipate having approximately 10 seats available.
Application should be made through the Physical Therapy Centralized Application Service (PTCAS) at
PTCAS is the centralized application service that allows you to use a single Web-based application and one set of materials to apply to multiple physical therapist (PT) education programs.
GRE scores should be submitted to PTCAS. To submit your scores to Duquesne University the departmental code for physical therapy is 7603.
Jeffrey Ptak
Director of Enrollment Management
Phone: (412) 396-5653
File your letters of reference with PTCAS as instructed by the service.
Admission to the professional phase of the physical therapy program will occur on a rolling basis. Notification of acceptance will begin in the late Fall. Applications may be submitted through the Physical Therapy Centralized Application Service (PTCAS) which typically begins receiving application in July. Applications will be accepted through March 1 for the class that begins the following fall.
Waitlist decisions are made on a rolling basis. If an accepted applicant notifies the department that she/he will not be attending, a student on waitlist will be offered the seat. Students who are on the waitlist will be contacted at the latest by August 1st.
The post graduate employment rate for graduates is 100% within 6 months following graduation. Many of our students have employment contracts prior to graduation.
Starting salaries for physical therapists can vary considerably, based on many factors such as location, type of facility, experience level, and degree. A recent salary survey by APTA reported a median starting salary of $64,000 for therapist with 0-3 years experience and median salary of $85,000 for experienced physical therapists.
All of our faculty teaching basic science courses are experienced clinicians in addition to being basic science researchers.

Neuroscience Dr. David Somers, Physical Therapy Adjunct Professor
Anatomy Dr. Benjamin R. Kivlan, Physical Therapy Assistant Professor
Anatomy Dr. Anne Burrows, Physical Therapy Professor
Physiology Dr. Matthew Kostek, Physical Therapy Associate Professor
Knowledge of anatomy is essential to the physical therapist. There are three ways anatomy is taught in physical therapy programs: full cadaver dissection – dissecting all regions of a cadaver; prosections studying previously dissected regions of a cadaver; or computer model - learning anatomy in virtual form on the computer screen. While there are some benefits to each, Duquesne utilizes primarily full cadaver dissection. This gives students an understanding of the nature of human tissues and an excellent three dimensional perspective of the human body. The instructor also makes use of computer models and refers students to various websites to use as resources, and when appropriate, uses prosections to further illustrate a point. Our anatomy class spans two full semesters. The instructor teaches students respect for the individuals who donated their bodies to further the education of health care professionals. At the end of each course, the remains of the individuals are cremated followed by a memorial service. The remains are then returned to the appropriate caretaker.
Christopher R. Carcia, PhD, PT, SCS, OCS Associate Professor and Program Chair; Orthopedic & Sports Clinical Specialist
Diane Borello-France, PhD, PT Associate Professor
Anne Burrows,PhD, DPT Professor
Kenneth Havrilla, PT, DPT, MS Assistant Professor, Assistant Chair & Director of Clinical Education
Benjamin R. Kivlan, PhD, PT, SCS, OCS, CSCS Assistant Professor and Orthopedic & Sports Clinical Specialist; Strength & Conditioning Specialist
Matthew Kostek, Ph.D., FACSM Associate Professor
Gregory Marchetti, PhD., PT, CPE Associate Professor and Certified Professional Ergonomist
Mary Marchetti, PhD, PT, GCS Assistant Professor and Geriatric Clinical Specialist
RobRoy Martin, PhD, PT CSCS Professor and Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist
Martha Somers, DPT, PT Assistant Professor
Regina Harbourne, PhD, PT, PCS Assistant Professor and Pediatric Certified Specialist

All of the faculty teaching clinical and basic science courses are or were practicing clinicians. This enables us to bring clinical examples to class to illustrate educational points. The faculty have a strong working knowledge of the clinical environments for which they are preparing the students. The combined experience of our faculty includes practice in acute care, intensive care, outpatient care, inpatient rehabilitation, home health, skilled nursing facilities, hospitals, and management. Several members of the faculty continue to work clinically on a part-time basis which helps them to improve their clinical skills and knowledge.

At Duquesne University, we are fully staffed and have a full complement of faculty. Our faculty members have an open door policy and are available to students outside of class during the work week. The non-faculty staff is equally dedicated to providing our students with excellent educational experiences and works diligently to support the work of our faculty and students.

A minimum GPA of 3.0 must be maintained every semester after entering the professional phase of the program. If the semester GPA falls below 3.0 the student is placed on academic probation. Failure to obtain a 3.0 GPA in any subsequent semester will result in dismissal from the program. Consistent with our mission, extenuating circumstances are considered in cases of academic dismissal. Each student has a professional advisor from the physical therapy faculty and an academic advisor in the Dean's office for support and guidance. Additional support is available to students through various offices on campus.

The DPT includes 4 clinical education experiences, for a total of 40 weeks.

  • Clinical Education I 12 weeks Year 2 of Professional Phase
  • Clinical Education II 8 weeks Year 2 of Professional Phase
  • Clinical Education III 8 weeks Year 3 of Professional Phase
  • Clinical Education IV 12 weeks Year 3 of Professional Phase

Students are placed at sites according to a multitude of factors including their learning needs, professional goals, geographical preferences, site availability, and program needs. Focusing on the student’s education, the clinical education faculty are dedicated to assuring that students have a well-rounded, complete, and learning-focused clinical education experience.

To ensure that applicants to the program understand the nature of physical therapy, prospective students are required to have participated in at least 100 hours of shadowing, volunteering, or employment under the direct supervision of a licensed physical therapist. These experiences must be with at least two different physical therapy patient populations prior to admission. For example, an applicant may spend 50 hours working with clients in an outpatient orthopedic setting and another 50 hours working with clients in an acute care setting or in a skilled nursing facility, cardiopulmonary rehabilitation clinic, etc. It is not necessary that these patient populations be seen at different clinics or hospitals if one shadowing/volunteering site delivers care to multiple kinds of patients.
Graduate tuition for the Physical Therapy program for 2017-2018 is $1,351.00 per credit; including fees. Additional expenses for books, housing and clinical education are variable.
The Duquesne University faculty are dedicated to educating competent and compassionate Doctors of Physical Therapy. We are committed to the highest quality education both in the academic and clinical settings. Our class sizes are small (35-40) and courses are taught by the 12 full-time faculty members supplemented by a large cadre of adjunct professors. You will be educated by faculty who are licensed physical therapists; have advanced degrees in the sciences, education, and rehabilitation; are clinical researchers; and have dedicated their professional careers to the education of students in physical therapy. Our student-faculty ratio allows us to provide quality education while maintaining close professional yet personal contact with students. Our graduates are well-respected clinicians with an excellent local and national reputation.