College of Education, Nursing and Health Professions

Doctor of Physical Therapy

Post-Baccalaureate Entry Into the DPT Program

About the Program | Degree Requirements | Student Outcomes | Clinical Education | Admission | Cost | Prerequisites | FAQs | Additional Information | Accreditation

The Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) is an entry-level professional physical therapy program designed for individuals with a bachelor’s degree who have satisfied all the prerequisite course requirements and wish to become qualified for licensure as physical therapists. Students have the opportunity to acquire theoretical knowledge and clinical skills used in contemporary physical therapy practice, participate in integrated clinical experiences throughout the curriculum, and develop a commitment to research, clinical reasoning, and critical thinking.

Quick Facts

Undergraduate Program

  • We also offer a combined BS/DPT program. Learn more

About the Program

lab instructor with students

The Doctor of Physical Therapy program is a three-year, full-time 12-month program. It includes content and process-based courses, starting with a core of foundational science courses, clinical content/lab courses, and applied clinical integration courses. Emphasis is placed on clinical decision making, research design, and functional outcomes.

Our faculty are expert clinicians with doctoral degrees who are committed to advancing the profession of physical therapy and mentoring those who will become the new professionals of tomorrow. Our faculty-to-student ratio is 1:12, and this smaller class size allows the faculty to devote more attention to students and to get to know you and your educational needs.

Students have opportunities to participate in professional conferences and doctoral research projects. Our program offers clinical education opportunities locally, regionally, nationally, and internationally.

The mission of the University of Hartford DPT program is to educate graduates who are autonomous movement system experts able to practice within interdisciplinary, diverse and dynamic health systems. Our graduates are collaborative practitioners integrating best evidence for optimal health outcomes within a diverse society. Graduates are reflective leaders who value life-long learning for professional development.

Physical Therapy at UHart

  • 12:1 student-faculty ratio
  • 32 weeks of full-time clinical experience beginning the summer after year 1
  • 6-8 faculty-led doctoral student research projects
  • 100% employment within 12 months of graduation
  • 97.7% two-year average ultimate pass rate on the national physical therapy licensing exam (2020, 2019)
  • Learn in our state-of-the art physical therapy facilities in the Hursey Center opening Fall 2021

Degree Requirements

The Doctor of Physical Therapy degree is a 105 credit program. A sample of courses is listed below.

For more information, and to see a complete list of degree requirements, visit the Course Catalog.

First Year

Clinical Gross Anatomy
Physical Therapy Examination and Intervention Skills
Diagnosis/Intervention in Acute Care
Integrated Clinical Experience

Second Year

Diagnosis and Intervention: Musculoskeletal Dysfunction
Pharmacology for the Physical Therapist
Diagnosis/Intervention: Neurological Dysfunction
Gerontology and Geriatric Physical Therapy

Third Year

Assistive Technology/Disability Studies
Advanced Sports Medicine Seminar
The Business of Healthcare
Diagnostic Imaging
Clinical Education

Our new home - The Hursey Center

The Francis X. and Nancy Hursey Center for Advanced Engineering and Health Professions opened in Fall 2021 and provides beautiful new physical therapy lab and classroom spaces. Take a look!

The Hursey Center provides more than 2,800 square feet of combined classroom/lab space for physical therapy students. The room can be divided in two for smaller lectures or lab sessions.

Classrooms are equipped with video recording equipment and all lab sessions are recorded. Students can access these recordings to review and reinforce concepts learned in class.

Physical therapy labs are equipped with motorized plinth tables, traction tables, and thermal, electrical and electromagnetic treatment modalities.

Facilities in the Hursey Center include 2,600 square feet of neuro labs that can accommodate adult and pediatric patient models. The space is designed for collaboration with students in physical therapy, occupational therapy, and other health professions.

Labs are fully equipped with an array of free weights, mats, gym balls, parallel bars, wheelchairs and assistive devices to practice skills.

The south lobby of the Hursey Center provides a light-filled space for study or conversation.

Common areas of the Hursey Center offer plenty of space for study and collaboration.

Student Outcomes

Goals for the DPT Program and Student Outcomes

Major Goal #1: Graduates will provide entry-level physical therapy services in a safe, legal, ethical, and professional manner.

  • Students will successfully graduate from the program.
  • Graduates will successfully pass the National Physical Therapy Licensure Exam.

Major Goal #2: Graduates will serve clients and the public in a diverse world.

  • Graduates will obtain desired employment in physical therapy within 1 year of graduation. (Based on alumni survey responses as reported on the Annual Accreditation Report)

Major Goal #3: Graduates engage in the process of scientific inquiry for evidence-based practice.

  • DPT students will participate in group research projects and present their work annually.

Note: CAPTE has updated the calculation for graduation rate. The data below reflect the 2018 CAPTE update (percent of students originally enrolled at the start of the program who graduate on time).

Graduation Year Graduation Rate
2020 93%
2019 97.8%
2018 95.2%

Two Year Average Graduation Rate

Graduation Year Graduation Rate
2019/2020 95.4%
2018/2019 96.5%
2017/2018 92.1%

Two-Year Average Ultimate Pass Rate (from FSBPT website)

Graduation Year Pass Rate
2020, 2019 97.7%
2019, 2018 98.9%
2018, 2017 98.6%

Ultimate Pass Rate by Graduation Year

Graduation Year Pass Rate Student Pass Rate
2020 97.5% 39 of 40 students passed
2019 97.8% 44 of 45 students passed
2018 100% 37 of 37 students passed

First Time Pass Rate by Graduation Year

Graduation Year Pass Rate Student Pass Rate
2021 88.2% 30 of 34 students passed
2020 90.0% 36 of 40 students passed
2019 82.1% 37 of 45 students passed

Based on alumni survey responses as reported on the Annual Accreditation Report

Graduation Year Employment Rate
2020 100%
2019 100%
2018 100%

Two year average employment rate

Graduation Year Employment Rate
2019/2020 100%
2018/2019 100%
2017/2018 100%

Recent graduates of the University of Hartford DPT program are employed at many locations around the country, including:

  • Access Rehab Centers, CT
  • Bay State Physical Therapy, MA
  • Baylor Hospital, Fort Worth, TX
  • Hartford Healthcare Rehabilitation Network, CT
  • Hartford Hospital, CT
  • Fox Rehabilitation, Northeast
  • Gaylord Specialty Healthcare, CT
  • Gentiva Home Care, NC
  • Hartford Hospital, CT
  • Hebrew HealthCare, CT
  • Johns Hopkins Rehabilitation Network, MD
  • Kessler Institute for Rehabilitation, NJ
  • Litchfield Hills Orthopedics, CT
  • Madigan Army Medical, WA
  • Manchester Manor/Peoplefirst Rehab Services, CT Mount Sinai Rehab, CT
  • Preferred Therapy Solutions, CT Premier Physical Therapy, NY
  • Physical Therapy and Sports Medicine Centers, CT
  • Saint Francis Hospital and Medical Center, CT
  • Select Physical Therapy,CT
  • Total Function Physical Therapy, CO
  • United States Army
  • Yale-New Haven Hospital, CT

Research projects presented in the last two years:

Clinical Education

for placement only

Clinical education provides students with the opportunity to apply patient care skills from the classroom into current clinical environments. We strive to develop professionalism and mastery throughout the curriculum and clinical experiences.

There are a total of 32 weeks of full-time clinical experiences and additional part-time clinical experiences throughout the Doctor of Physical Therapy program. During these experiences students progress towards entry-level practice, integrating foundational skills and didactic content into clinical practice.

Schedule of Clinical Education

Years 1–2
  • Integrated Clinical Experience I: Part time, Fall term, Year 1
  • Integrated Clinical Experience II: Part time, Spring term, Year 1
  • Clinical Education I: 10 weeks, Full time, Summer, after Year 1
  • Integrated Clinical Experience III: Part time, Spring term, Year 2
Year 3, after completion of all didactic coursework
  • Clinical Education II: 10 weeks, Full time, Fall term, Year 3
  • Clinical Education III: 12 weeks, Full time, Spring term, Year 3

Clinical education experiences are coordinated by two faculty members who also serve as Directors of Clinical Education. It is essential that communication for any clinical education experience be coordinated by the Director of Clinical Education. Therefore students and family members are not permitted to contact current or potential clinical sites.

We look forward to working with our future students to ensure that their clinical education coursework is a diverse and enriching experience.

Our student placements include both local and national clinical site locations. Some of our current clinical experiences include:

  • Apple Rehab
  • Connecticut Children’s Medical Center
  • Hartford Hospital
  • Hartford HealthCare Rehabilitation Network affiliates
  • Gaylord Specialty Healthcare/Hospital
  • Lake Charles Memorial Hospital
  • Saint Francis Hospital
  • Mount Sinai Rehabilitation Hospital
  • Select Physical Therapy
  • Shriners Hospitals for Children

Dawn Roller, PT, DPT
Director of Clinical Education

Kelly Pogemiller, PT, DPT
Director of Clinical Education

Catherine Certo, PT, ScD, FAPTA, FAACVPR
Department Chair & Program Director


dpt students in lab

The online application and all required accompanying materials must be submitted no later than December 1 to begin study in June of the following year. The materials listed below must be submitted with your completed application by the deadline.

Applicants for the Doctor of Physical Therapy program at the University of Hartford may apply either through the Physical Therapist Centralized Application Service, known as PTCAS (to apply through PTCAS, visit, OR through the University’s Graduate Admissions office here.

  1. Three letters of recommendation, including one from a course instructor or academic advisor, one from a supervisor in a professional or other work capacity, and one from another individual in either capacity.
  2. Official results of the GRE (Graduate Record Exam) forwarded to the University of Hartford if applying through PTCAS using code: 4856; If applying through UHart directly using school code 3436. Visit
  3. Accepted students generally have cumulative GPA of 3.2 or better; GRE scores of 300 combined (verbal/quantitative).
  4. TOEFL or IELTS (For students who are not native speakers of the English language): Average TOEFL scores for students range from a minimum of 80 (Internet Based Total) and 550 (Paper Based Total). IELTS minimum score for graduate studies is 6.5. Please contact the graduate admissions office with questions.
  5. Documentation of physical therapy observation hours (10 hours required, 25 hours recommended)
  6. Official transcripts for all collegiate level coursework
  7. Non-refundable application fee of $50. Those applying via PTCAS should pay the PTCAS processing fee; there is no additional charge.

All materials must be submitted to:

Center for Graduate and Adult Academic Services
University of Hartford
200 Bloomfield Avenue
West Hartford, CT 06117-1599

Transfer Credit Policy: Transfer credits from other programs or institutions are not accepted toward the Doctor of Physical Therapy program requirements.


The following prerequisite courses must have been completed at the college level. That includes university, four-year college, or community college courses. It does not include preparatory courses.

Required Courses:

  • Biology: (8 credits) two courses with laboratory
  • Human Anatomy: (4 credits) one course with laboratory
  • Human Physiology: (4 credits) one course with laboratory. Note: When anatomy and physiology are taken as a combined course, two semesters (i.e. 8 credits) are necessary to meet the requirements
  • Chemistry: (8 credits) general chemistry, two-course sequence with laboratory
  • Physics: (8 credits) two-course sequence with laboratory
  • Statistics: (3 credits) course to include descriptive statistics, correlation, and introduction to inferential statistics
  • Psychology: (3 credits) one course, general

Recommended Courses:

  • Pre-Calculus or Trigonometry: (3 credits)
  • Exercise Physiology: (3–4 credits) one course

Applicants may have 2 prerequisite courses in progress when you apply.

Applicants must also demonstrate 10 hours of observation in a physical therapy setting.


The figures below provide prospective students with an estimate of costs associated with the DPT program based on current tuition rates and fees for the 2021 term (July 1, 2021 through June 30, 2022).* This estimate does not include living expenses.

Year 1 costs

Cost Fee
Summer tuition - 9 credits at $626 per credit $5,634.00
Summer course lab fees $200.00
Fall/Spring Tuition Flat Rate at $13,392 per semester $26,784.00
Course Lab Fees Fall and Spring $150.00
Integrated Clinical Fees $500 per semester $1,000.00
Fees and estimated book costs $3,845.00
Total estimated costs – year 1 $37,614.00

Year 2 costs

Cost Fee
Summer Clinical DPT 630 $1,700.00
Fall/Spring Tuition Flat Rate at $13,392 per semester $26,784.00
Course Lab Fees Fall and Spring $400.00
Integrated Clinical Experience Spring $500.00
Fees and estimated book costs $2,095.00
APTA dues $100.00
Total estimated costs – year 2 $31,579

Year 3 costs

Cost Fee
Summer 8 credits at $626 per credit $5,008.00
Summer Course Lab Fees $250.00
Fall Tuition Flat Rate $13,392.00
Fall Course Lab fees $150.00
Fees and estimated book costs $1,503.00
Clinicals DPT 730 and DPT 740 at $1,700 each  $3,400.00
APTA dues $100.00
Total estimated costs – year 3 $23,803.00
Total Estimated Expenses $92,996.00

*Costs are estimated and subject to change based on University fee updates

Note: As part of Professional Development within our curriculum, membership to the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) will be required.  The University of Hartford will cover your first year’s dues ($90 for 2019~$80 National Dues, $10 Connecticut Chapter). Renewal of your membership for subsequent years is mandatory and will be the responsibility of each student. We will register you as a group during Orientation week.

Additional expenses will vary from student to student and may or may not include rent and utilities, meals, books, supplies, transportation, and miscellaneous personal expenses. More detail about our rates can be found on Graduate Tuition Rates and Fees, Student and Housing Fees, and Miscellaneous Fees pages. Costs for the 2022 and 2023 terms have not been set at this time.

To discuss ways to finance your program of study, contact the financial aid officer for the College of Education, Nursing and Health Professions by calling 860.768.4296 or emailing

Frequently Asked Questions

Find answers to the most frequently asked questions about our Doctor of Physical Therapy program.

The job market for physical therapists has improved significantly over the last several years. There is an anticipated increased need for physical therapy services through 2025 due to the aging of the baby‐boomer generation and the increased role of physical therapists in many areas of health care.

The scientific inquiry series offers an opportunity for students to work in small groups with a faculty member to design, conduct, and analyze a research project over the course of three consecutive semesters. Integrated clinical experience begins early in the program to facilitate the development, measurement and assessment of professionalism.

The current 2‐year (2020, 2019) average ultimate pass rate on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) is 97.7%. This pass rate is updated routinely and is available through the Federation of State Boards of Physical Therapy website.

Working with students, the Directors of Clinical Education arrange clinical experiences. These occur at contracted sites throughout the United States. During these experiences students are registered as full‐time students and are responsible for housing and transportation costs in addition to a fixed university fee for each of the three clinical experiences. Students should expect to be placed at one experience out of state.

No federal funds are available for financial aid at the graduate level. Financial assistance is available to domestic students in the form of student loans. To receive federal financial assistance, including Stafford Loans, students are required to file the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). More information can be obtained through the Office of Student Financial Assistance at (860) 768‐4296. For current costs please see the section below.

Prerequisites may be taken at any college or university, including a community college or the University of Hartford. If you are unsure whether the course you want to take will fulfill a required course, email the course description and the prerequisite in question to Applicants may apply for admission into the program while completing up to 2 prerequisites during the spring term, however they all need to be completed prior to the summer start of the program.

Sometimes students are allowed to substitute a course for one of the prerequisites. This must be pre‐approved and is generally not allowed for science courses. Completing all prerequisites with no substitutions results in a more competitive application. If you received a grade lower than a B‐, particularly in a science prerequisite course, we encourage you to repeat the course. The higher of the two grades will be used in any GPA calculations. You can have two prerequisites in progress when you apply.

Yes, as long as coursework is completed at an accredited college or university and are considered “college level” courses, they are acceptable.

Yes, the DPT program is a full‐time, three year, 12 month program.

The University of Hartford has very limited graduate housing near the main campus. Most graduate students live off campus in one of the many area apartment complexes.

Additional Information

Graduate 1.1 Students will successfully graduate from the program with skills to practice in an evidenced-based manner.

Graduate 1.2 Graduates will successfully pass the National Physical Therapy Licensure Exam.

Graduate 1.3 Graduates will practice in a manner consistent with established legal standards, professional behavior, and ethical guidelines.

Graduate 2.1 Graduates will obtain desired employment in physical therapy within six months of licensure.

Graduate 2.2 Graduates will adapt delivery of physical therapy services using current knowledge and clinical judgment with consideration for patients' difference, values, preferences, and needs.

Graduate 2.3 Graduates will establish a physical therapy plan of care that is safe, efficient, patient-centered, and evidence-based.

Graduate 3.1 Graduates will complete and effectively present a research project.

Graduate 3.2 Graduates will collect and analyze data from selected outcome measures in a manner that supports accurate analysis of individual patient and group outcomes.

Graduate 3.3 Graduates will perform a physical therapy patient examination using evidence-based tests and measures.

Select Physical Therapy is an outpatient private practice located in Health Services at the Sports Center. Select offers wide range of physical therapy sports medicine and work health services and is dedicated to enhancing the quality of our patients’ lives. The clinic takes pride in outstanding customer service, excellent patient care, and strong outcomes. We offer complementary injury assessment.  Students in the Physical Therapy program are linked to the clinic through their integrated or full-time clinical experiences.

Our hours are currently:

Monday 7 a.m.-1 p.m.
Tuesday 9 a.m.-5 p.m.
Wednesday 7 a.m.-1 p.m.
Thursday 9 a.m.-5 p.m.
Friday 7 a.m.-1 p.m.

Phone: 860.768.5335

Kristamarie Pratt, PhD MEng
Assistant Professor of Physical Therapy
Graduate Admissions Chair
Department of Rehabilitation Sciences
Office: Dana Hall, Room 312C

Graduate Admission Office


The Doctor of Physical Therapy program at the University of Hartford is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE), 3030 Potomac Ave., Suite 100, Alexandria, VA 22305-3085, tel: 703.706.3245; email:; website: If needing to contact the program/institution directly, please call Catherine Certo at 860.768.5367 or email

The Doctor of Physical Therapy program and the Health Sciences program within the College of Education, Nursing and Health Professions at the University of Hartford is accredited by the Board of Higher Education of the State of Connecticut and by the New England Commission of Higher Education.


The program has determined that its curriculum meets the state educational requirements for licensure or certification in all states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands secondary to its accreditation by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education, based on the following:

CAPTE accreditation of a physical therapist or physical therapist assistant program satisfies state educational requirements in all states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Thus, students graduating from CAPTE-accredited physical therapist and physical therapist assistant education programs are eligible to take the National Physical Therapy Examination and apply for licensure in all states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. For more information regarding state qualifications and licensure requirements, refer to the Federation of State Boards of Physical Therapy website at

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