Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT)

For more information: (626) 815-5020

The Doctor of Physical Therapy program is a 3-year (including summers), entry-level professional program emphasizing the scientific basis of human structure and human movement, the spiritual basis of human worth, and the integration of these foundational elements into a comprehensive and problem-solving, evidence- and consensus-based approach to artful evaluation and skillful treatment. 

Mission Statement

The Doctor of Physical Therapy program prepares graduates to practice as competent generalist physical therapists who have a solid foundation for postprofessional specialization. These graduates are guided by Christian principles and ethical values. They are critical thinkers and lifelong learners, supporting the global community and the physical therapy profession by functioning as service-oriented practitioners. They promote excellence in patient care, are guided by a belief in human worth and dignity, and are dedicated to the optimization of human health and function.

Program Learning Outcomes

Students who complete this program are able to:

PLO 1: Deliver physical therapy as competent generalists in a variety of community settings to patients of diverse ages, genders, and cultural backgrounds.

PLO 2: Pursue lifelong learning through professional growth and specialization.

PLO 3: Incorporate knowledge of the Christian worldview into their understanding of current ethical, legal, and social issues in professional physical therapy practice.

PLO 4: Engage with faculty in clinical research to encourage critical thinking and evidence-based practice.

PLO 5: Provide for the medical and spiritual needs of the community as service-oriented practitioners who value human worth and seek to advance total patient care and the optimization of health and function.

Admission Requirements

University graduate and program admission requirements must be met before an application is complete (see Admission to the University):

  1. The applicant must have an officially posted bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited college or university by the time he or she matriculates to APU.
  2. Prerequisite courses must be similar in value to courses offered by an accredited four-year college or university. Grades of C or better are required. Science courses must have laboratories. No prerequisite work may be taken on a pass/no pass basis. Hybrid online science courses that combine online lectures and in-person labs may be acceptable. Courses can be taken at any regionally accredited college or university. All science prerequisite coursework more than seven years old is not accepted.
  3. A cumulative baccalaureate or master’s degree GPA of at least 3.0.
  4. A cumulative science GPA of at least 3.0 (a science GPA below 3.0 will not be considered for admission).

Prerequisite Courses

The following prerequisites must be completed by the end of the fall term before entry:

BIOLOGY: Four courses
Human Anatomy with lab (required)
Human Physiology with lab (required)
Cell Biology or General Biology with lab (required)
Biology—any additional course (lab not required)
CHEMISTRY: One year with lab
General Chemistry or Organic Chemistry
PHYSICS: One year with lab (must include electro, hydro, and magnetic physics)
EXERCISE PHYSIOLOGY: One course
STATISTICS: One course
PSYCHOLOGY: Two courses
General Psychology (required)
Any other Psychology course
HUMANITIES AND ARTS: Three courses
English Composition (required)
English Literature
History/Political Science/Sociology
Music/Art Appreciation
Philosophy/Ethics
Speech/Communication
ADDITIONAL COURSES
(recommended but not required):
Athletic Training
Exercise Science
Kinesiology/Biomechanics
Nutrition
Writing Course

Other Admission Criteria

  • The Department of Physical Therapy participates in the Physical Therapist Centralized Application Service (PTCAS). To apply to the APU DPT program, visit the PTCAS website and follow all instructions. Early applications are encouraged. Final deadline is October 1.
  • The DPT program reviews applications on a rolling basis, and acceptances are processed year-round. To ensure consideration for the January start date, completed applications should be submitted early in the admissions cycle. 
  • International students have a separate application procedure. Contact the International Center at +1-626-812-3055 or international@apu.edu.
  • Submit to PTCAS all supporting documents, including:
    • Official transcripts from all institutions leading to and awarding the applicant’s baccalaureate degree and all postbaccalaureate study. Mail transcripts to APU’s Graduate and Professional Center only if admitted into the program. (To be considered official, a transcript must be sent directly from the Office of the Registrar of the school attended to the Graduate and Professional Center: Admissions at Azusa Pacific University. Students’ sealed copies will not be considered official.)
    • Three recommendation forms from persons well-suited to evaluate qualifications for graduate study and/or physical therapy: one must be from a registered/licensed physical therapist, and two from faculty members familiar with academic work in areas closely related to the proposed field of study or responsible persons well-informed about relevant work completed by the student.
    • 100 hours of clinical experience in a physical therapy setting.
    • GRE taken within the last five years; submit self-reported GRE scores with PTCAS application and follow up with official scores. Use APU Institution Code 4596 and Department Code 0619.
    • Essay

Students admitted into the DPT program will be required to provide a $1,200 nonrefundable enrollment deposit to reserve a seat. Deposit is due within 10 days of receipt of the acceptance letter. This will be applied to the first term’s tuition fee.

If applicable, any additional materials should be submitted to:

Graduate and Professional Center: Admissions
Azusa Pacific University
PO Box 7000
Azusa, CA 91702-7000

Located at:
Azusa Pacific University
568 E. Foothill Blvd.
Azusa, CA 91702
(626) 815-4570
Fax: (626) 815-4571
gpadmissions@apu.edu
apu.edu/gpc

International applicants should send additional forms to:

International Center
Azusa Pacific University
PO Box 7000
Azusa, CA 91702-7000 USA
+1-626-812-3055
Fax: +1-626-815-3801
international@apu.edu
apu.edu/international

In addition to meeting the admission requirements, those students whose first language is not English must meet the required English proficiency standard as demonstrated by passing the following minimum international iBT (internet-based TOEFL) scores:

Reading: 25 Speaking: 25
Writing: 25 Listening: 25

All international students must complete international student applications, which must be approved through APU’s Office of International Enrollment Services.

Course Requirements

Graduation requirements include maintaining a minimum 3.0 grade-point average (GPA) in term, major, program, and cumulative GPA. The calculation is based upon courses taken in fall, spring, and summer semesters. See Grading and Academic Probation and Dismissal in the Academic Policies and Procedures section of this catalog.

Year 1
Spring
PT 502Professional Relationships2
PT 506Seminar I2
PT 701Human Anatomy8
PT 702Clinical Skills I6
Summer
PT 558Research Methods in Physical Therapy3
PT 711Wellness3
PT 724PT Clinical Skills II3
PT 726PT Clinical Skills III1
Fall
PT 703Clinical Neuroscience6
PT 752PTDDT II - Cardiopulmonary4
PT 705Physical Therapy Differential Diagnosis and Treatment I (Orthopedics IA and IB)8
PT 754PTDDT IV3
Year 2
Spring
PT 704PTDDT III Neurorehabilitation8
PT 748PTDDT IC - Orthopedics III4
PT 750Comprehensive Exams1
PT 760PTDDT VIII - Pediatrics4
PT 762Seminar II2
PT 781Integrated Clinical Education2
PT 798Special Topics I2
Summer
PT 572Pharmacology3
PT 771Clinical Experience I10
Fall
PT 773Clinical Experience II10
PT 778Diagnostic Imaging3
Year 3
Spring
PT 742Prosthetics and Orthotics2
PT 744Professional Ethics, Advocacy, and Spiritual Care2
PT 758Special Populations3
PT 764PTDDT VII - Complex Patients: Current Concepts in Chronic Pain2
PT 774Capstone I3
PT 776Capstone II3
PT 790Physical Diagnosis Screening5
Summer
PT 775Clinical Experience III10
Fall
PT 768Administration3
PT 779Special Topics II2
PT 783Integrated Community Service2
Total Units135

NOTE: Curriculum is for students beginning the DPT program in January 2019 and is subject to change.