Duquesne’s Physical Therapy program offers a personal, hands-on, practical, and passionate
approach to learning. Students have the unique opportunity to learn from a decorated
and renowned faculty who are world leaders in their respective fields.
The learning spaces have been re-imagined with state-of the art equipment and thoughtful
design that is highlighted by our brand new anatomy lab and our Physical Therapy Skills
lab. Student learning extends beyond the traditional classroom with opportunity for
clinical placements at facilities that are respected as the top in the country and
in the world. This includes study abroad experiences during the professional phase
of our program in Rome and Dublin that offer a global perspective on physical therapy
Throughout the curriculum students learn to apply principles of basic and clinical
sciences into the art of becoming a caring, compassionate, and skilled physical therapists
who are are prepared to succeed and prosper as Doctors of Physical Therapy.
Duquesne University Physical Therapy program applies a cutting-edge curriculum, hands-on
clinical training, and renowned faculty to shape future physical therapists for excellence
There are several pathways for admission to the professional curriculum. To be considered
for admission, all students not only must meet the respective admissions criteria
but also the performance and technical standards for the Rangos School of Health Sciences.
Upon completion of the program, students graduate with a Doctorate in Physical Therapy
degree (DPT) and are eligible to sit for the licensing exam.
Our Curriculum is 6 years for students admitted as freshmen, with no application to
the professional phase required. **Beginning with the Graduating Class of 2028, our
Curriculum is 5.5 years for students admitted as freshman.
Freshmen Admission Health Science/Doctor of Physical Therapy Curriculum
Freshmen accepted to the Physical Therapy Programs are invited to initiate a plan
of study in pursuit of an undergraduate degree in Health Science.* The Health Science
Degree provides foundational training in the areas of kinesiology, exercise physiology,
exercise prescription, nutrition, and wellness that are necessary to becoming an outstanding
Physical Therapist. The Health Science curriculum exposes Doctor of Physical Therapy
students to Interdisciplinary Education of various Health-Related fields including
Public Health, Healthcare Administration, Global Health, Assistive Technology, and
Healthcare Ethics in preparation to meet contemporary national and international healthcare
needs and demands. Students complete fundamental science coursework in Biology, Chemistry,
Physics, Anatomy & Physiology, Psychology, and Statistics with flexibility to shape
their general education requirements within the (Bridges Common Learning Experience).
Students who have attained pre-requisite benchmarks (including an overall and pre-requisite
GPA of 3.0) may begin their studies in the Professional Phase of the Doctor of Physical
Therapy Program at the conclusion of their 3rd year of study. During the 4th year
of study students engage in courses that advance knowledge of Human Anatomy, Kinesiology,
and Physiology. These courses conclude the requirements for completion of the Bachelor
of Science in Health Science Degree and mark the beginning of their Professional Phase
studies specific to the Doctor of Physical Therapy Program. After achieving a rigorous
plan of study in the clinical sciences of Physical Therapy, students receive the respected
and distinguishable Doctorate of Physical Therapy Degree.
*An individualized undergraduate plan of study in another discipline (such as Biology
or Psychology) may be substituted for the Health Science Curriculum with Department
Learn more about Undergraduate Admission
Prospective undergraduate transfer students should have graduated from an approved
A GPA of 3.0 or higher on a 4.0 scale
Achieved an SAT score (Math + Verbal) of 1170 or better (if taken in 2016 or later);
1100 or better (if taken prior to 2016) or a composite ACT of 24 or better.
Documentation of forty (40) of shadowing, volunteer, or paid experience in physical
Completion of 100 hours of shadowing, volunteer or paid experience in two different
physical therapy setting is required prior to admission into the professional phase.
Pre-requisite Course Work with GPA of 3.0 or higher with no less than "C" grade in
all pre-requisite course by the end of year three (3) which includes: two (2) courses
with labs in biology, chemistry, and physics as well as one course in anatomy with
lab and one course in physiology with lab. Alternatively, a two course sequence in
anatomy & physiology is acceptable (these course must be equivalent to those taken
by science majors and must be taken at a four-year degree-granting institution); three
(3) credits in introductions to biostatistics/statistics; three credits (3) or more
Applicants who have not completed four years of high school must submit a High School
Equivalency Diploma issued by their state department of education
The curriculum for transfer students will vary depending on previous coursework completed.
The curriculum for transfer students will vary depending on previous coursework completed.
Our best approximation is the Freshmen Admission Curriculum.
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  credits) in Anatomy
& Physiology with labs. All prerequisite courses must be taken at a four year, degree
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
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 for graduate admission, please go to Physical Therapy Centralized Application
Our Vision To be recognized as the premier educator of entry level physical therapists
who are outstanding clinicians guided by evidence based practice that exemplify our
core values of compassion, ethics and professionalism.
The basic science portion of our curriculum serves as the scientific undergirding
of our educational program. These basic science courses provide our students with
a strong foundation for clinical practice. The clinical practice component of the
curriculum prepares our students to be generalist practitioners who have exceptional
problem-solving and critical thinking skills necessary for autonomous practice. The
research aspect of the program prepares students to be evidence-based practitioners.
The curriculum includes courses on research principles and application, followed by
clinical courses that emphasize evidence-based practice. Our students are prepared
to be consumers of research, obtaining and critically evaluating pertinent literature
and applying contemporary evidence to patient/client management. The scholarship of
the faculty both advances the profession of physical therapy and supports the educational
preparation of our students. Professionalism is an important component of our program
and the practice of physical therapy. The curriculum includes courses that prepare
students in psychological, social, cultural, and communication issues relevant to
health care. Our students learn and practice principles of professional behavior in
the academic setting and refine these behaviors during clinical education experiences.
To educate competent physical therapists who are grounded in the basic and clinical
sciences, able to critically evaluate and apply the best scientific evidence, and
possess the adaptability and interpersonal skills necessary for autonomous practice.
To educate ethical physical therapists who are compassionate, culturally competent,
and socially responsible reflective practitioners. To educate professional physical
therapists who are critical thinkers, life-long learners, healthcare educators, decision
makers capable of patient/client management, critical consumers of pertinent literature,
and leaders in the profession. To foster an academic community of faculty who are
committed to clinical excellence, innovative and sound teaching, scholarship, professional
development, and service to the community and profession.
Physical Therapy Curriculum
The faculty of the Department of Physical Therapy at Duquesne University are dedicated
to creating a learning environment that fosters the development of entry-level clinicians
with outstanding knowledge, clinical skills, compassion and professionalism. We believe
this is best achieved through a hierarchal curriculum that begins with a rich foundation
of basic sciences, progresses to broad-based education in the clinical sciences and
integrates a variety of clinical experiences throughout. Interwoven in this progression
are curricular threads that develop graduates who care deeply for the patients they
serve and wish to improve themselves and the profession for the betterment of people
in need of physical therapy.
Students admitted as freshmen receive an undergraduate education in the Spiritan tradition
of Duquesne University. The professional curriculum is intricately designed to produce
excellent, physical therapists. Specific clinical content areas include:
Health Care Management
Prevention /Wellness /Health Promotion
Interpersonal skills and patient interaction
These clinical content areas are built upon a foundation of broad basic sciences.
There is a full year of cadaver dissection Anatomy. We believe that to understand
the anatomical underpinnings of clinical practice, you must be able to see, feel and
manipulate the tendons and muscles you will one day treat. Physiology, Medical Science,
Kinesiology and Neuroscience are also part of the basic science curriculum.
Actively Engaged Faculty
Our faculty members are clinicians and basic scientists uniquely prepared for their
role in the curriculum. Basic science courses are taught by clinicians who possess
doctoral degrees in the scientific disciplines they teach. Clinical courses are taught
by expert clinicians who possess doctoral degrees and continue to practice with patients.
Courses focused on patient interaction and education, administration, the psychosocial
aspects of practice and differential diagnosis are all taught by physical therapists
that have doctoral degrees and/or rich past experience relevant to the topics they
teach. Clinical experiences are arranged by two seasoned academic coordinators of
clinical education with strong ties and deep knowledge of the clinical community.
At Duquesne, we do not send our faculty into the laboratory and relegate teaching
to graduate students.
Extensive Clinical Experience
Duquesne's DPT program requires three clinical education experiences in a variety
Outpatient physical therapy
Home health care
One of these rotations will be outside of the Pittsburgh area to provide a more diverse
learning experience. These extensive "hands-on" experiences prepare you to deliver
physical therapy services across the scope of practice as well as connect you to potential
The Doctor of Physical Therapy Program at Duquesne University is accredited by the
Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE), 3030 Potomac Ave.,
Suite 100, Alexandria, Virginia 22305-3085; telephone: (703) 706-3245; email: firstname.lastname@example.org;
If needing to contact Duquesne University's Physical Therapy Department directly,
please call (412) 396-5541 or email: kivlanbFREEDUQUESNE.
CAPTE has a mechanism to consider formal complaints about physical therapy education
programs (PT or PTA) that allege a program is not in compliance with one or more of
CAPTE's Evaluative Criteria (for complaints about events occurring before December
31, 2015) or the Standards and Required Elements (for complaints addressing events
occurring January 1, 2016 and thereafter) or has violated any of CAPTE's expectations
related to academic integrity. CAPTE will consider two types of complaints: those
that involve situations subject to formal institution/program due process policies
and procedures and those that involve situations not subject to formal due process
procedures. In order for CAPTE to consider a formal complaint, several conditions
must be met.
The complaint must be specifically linked to the relevant Evaluative Criteria (or
Standards and Elements, as appropriate) (PT or PTA) or to the integrity statements.
The complainant must have exhausted all remedies available through the institution,
if appropriate. The complaint must be submitted in writing, using the format prescribed by CAPTE,
and must be signed by the complainant.
The event(s) being complained about must have occurred at least in part within three
(3) years of the date the complaint is filed.
To obtain the materials necessary for submitting a complaint, contact the APTA Accreditation
Department at (703) 706-3245 or email@example.com.
The Physical Therapy Department encourages those with a legitimate relationship to
the program (e.g. prospective and enrolled students, clinical education sites, employers
of graduates, the general public), to express their concerns to, or file a written
complaint against, the Department. The Department takes all program-related complaints
seriously and will act upon any complaints in an expedient, consistent manner without
retaliating against the complainant(s).
This policy exists to address complaints about the program not overtly addressed by
existing procedures described in the Undergraduate or Graduate Handbooks, the Faculty
Handbook, The Administrative Policies (including #30 & #31), the RSHS Academic Student
Handbook, the Doctor of Physical Therapy Program Student Handbook or the Clinical
Education Manual. Where an existing University, RSHS or departmental policy (or procedure)
conflicts with a provision of this policy, the University, RSHS or departmental policy
Clinical Education I: The first of three rotations, this 12-week rotation takes place
at the end of the student's 5th semester (2nd year of graduate program). During this
rotation, students may be placed in an acute care setting or outpatient setting.
This is the student's opportunity to begin using the skills learned in class!
Clinical Education II
Clinical Education II: This 15-week rotation occurs at the beginning of the student's
6th year (final year of the program). An option for rehabilitation, advanced orthopedics,
and neurologic settings are offered as available rotations during this rotation.
Clinical Education III
Clinical Education III: This is the third and final rotation, and includes the option
for study abroad during 4 of the 12-week rotation period (the remaining 8 weeks will
be assigned to clinical settings within the U.S.), Students typically explore specialty
practice settings during their final rotation.
Clinical Education Abroad
Sixth-year students are offered an integrated clinical education experience in our
Dublin, Ireland and/or Rome, Italy campus. Both sites offer unique history lessons:
Dublin trips include UPMC centers in Limerick and Waterford; the Rome campus includes
a lesson in Physical Therapy in Ancient Rome as well as trips to Florence and Tuscany.
Both campuses provide learning and skills to become Certified in advanced manual therapy
techniques using instruments called Astym.