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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 | Our Faculty | 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 student-to-faculty ratio is 12:1, 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.

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
  • 98.8% two-year average ultimate pass rate on the national physical therapy licensing exam (2021, 2020)
  • Learn in our state-of-the art physical therapy facilities in the Hursey Center that opened in Fall 2021
Mission

The University of Hartford DPT Program educates graduates who are autonomous movement system experts able to practice within interdisciplinary, 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. 

Vision

The vision of the DPT program at University of Hartford is to be recognized regionally and nationally as an innovative, top quality Physical Therapy program supporting an inclusive community of engaged clinicians, scholars, and educators.

Guiding Principles

Movement system, critical inquiry, collaboration, clinical reasoning, professional formation, and diversity.

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
Biomechanics
Physical Therapy Examination and Intervention Skills
Diagnosis/Intervention: Acute Care

Second Year

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

Third Year

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

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.

The Motion Analysis and Kinesiology Lab provides 1,800 square feet of classroom and lab space and is designed for motion capture of jumping, throwing and running tasks.

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.

The north 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 and Graduate Goals

The DPT program at University of Hartford will:

  • Admit qualified students who will succeed in the program.
  • Develop student habits to foster life-long learning necessary to excel in an ever-changing health care environment.

Graduates, as movement experts, will:

  • Be generalists who demonstrate clinical proficiency and professional formation commensurate with doctoral level expectations. 
  • Engage in evidence-based practices to promote optimal health outcomes within a diverse society.
  • Lead and collaborate in multiple roles that can positively impact health outcomes.

Program Goals

The DPT program will:

  • Provide a learning experience that exemplifies our mission.
  • Provide a learning experience that epitomized curriculum guiding principles, curricular threads, and graduate outcomes.

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
2021 90%
2020 93%
2019 97.8%

Two Year Average Graduation Rate

Graduation Year Graduation Rate
2020, 2021 91.5%
2019, 2020 95.4%
2018, 2019 96.5%

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

Graduation Year Pass Rate
2021, 2020 98.8%
2020, 2019 97.7%
2019, 2018 98.9%

Ultimate Pass Rate by Graduation Year

Graduation Year Pass Rate Student Pass Rate
2021 100% 34 of 34 students passed
2020 97.5% 39 of 40 students passed
2019 97.8% 44 of 45 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
2021 100%
2020 100%
2019 100%

Two year average employment rate

Graduation Year Employment Rate
2021, 2020 100%
2019, 2020 100%
2018, 2019 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

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, Spring term, Year 1
  • Clinical Education I: 10 weeks, Full time, Summer after Year 1
  • Integrated Clinical Experience II: 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

Kelly Pogemiller, PT, DPT
Director of Clinical Education

Physical Therapy Faculty

Matthew Austin
Clinical Assistant Professor of Physical Therapy
Rehabilitation Sciences

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Thomas Bellama
Clinical/Applied Assistant Professor of Physical Therapy
Rehabilitation Sciences

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Angela Brown
Clinical/Applied Assistant Professor of Physical Therapy
Rehabilitation Sciences

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Catherine Certo
Emeritus Professor of Physical Therapy
Rehabilitation Sciences

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Mary Gannotti
Professor of Physical Therapy
Rehabilitation Sciences

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Walter M. Gorack
Clinical/Applied Visiting Assistant Professor of Physical Therapy
Rehabilitation Sciences

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Jillian Kossbiel
Clinical/Applied Assistant Professor of Physical Therapy
Rehabilitation Sciences

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Richard Liebano
Associate Professor of Physical Therapy
Rehabilitation Sciences

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Vanessa O'Donnell
Visiting Clinical Assistant Professor of Physical Therapy
Rehabilitation Sciences

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Erika Ozdemirer
Clinical/Applied Assistant Professor of Physical Therapy
Rehabilitation Sciences

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Amanda Piccoli
Clinical/Applied Assistant Professor of Physical Therapy; Director of Clinical Education
Rehabilitation Sciences

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Kelly Pogemiller
Clinical Assistant Professor of Physical Therapy; Director of Clinical Education
Rehabilitation Sciences

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Kristamarie Pratt
Assistant Professor of Physical Therapy, Associate PT Program Director, Liaison to Undergraduate Pre-PT Programs
Rehabilitation Sciences

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Sarah Ridge
Assistant Professor of Physical Therapy
Rehabilitation Sciences

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Sean P. Riley
Assistant Professor of Physical Therapy
Rehabilitation Sciences

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Brian T. Swanson
Chair, Department of Rehabilitation Sciences; Program Director, Physical Therapy; Director, Certificate in Advanced Orthopedic Physical Therapy; Associate Professor of Physical Therapy
Rehabilitation Sciences

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Donna Snowdon
Clinical/Applied Assistant Professor of Physical Therapy
Rehabilitation Sciences

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Xin Ye
Assistant Professor of Physical Therapy
Rehabilitation Sciences

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Admission

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 ptcas.org), 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 www.ets.org.
  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.

Prerequisites

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.

Tuition

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 2023 term (July 1, 2022 through June 30, 2023).* This estimate does not include living expenses.

Year 1 costs

Cost Fee
Summer 2022 tuition - 9 credits at $635 per credit $5,718.00
Summer course lab fees $200.00
Fall/Spring Tuition Flat Rate at $13,592 per semester $27,184.00
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 $38,097

Year 2 costs

Cost Fee
Summer 2022 Clinical DPT 630 $1,700.00
Fall/Spring Tuition Flat Rate at $13,592 per semester $27,184.00
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 $31,979

Year 3 costs

Cost Fee
Summer 2022 8 credits at $635 per credit $5,080.00
Summer Course Lab Fees $250.00
Fall Tuition Flat Rate $13,865.00
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 $24,348
Total Estimated Expenses $94,424

*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 2023~$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 2024 and 2025 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 finaid@hartford.edu

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 due to the aging of the baby‐boomer generation and the increased role of physical therapists in many areas of health care. Read more about the job outlook for physical therapists on the APTA website.

The doctoral research 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 DPT program also offers opportunities for interprofessional education with students in our Occupational Therapy and Prosthetics/Orthotics programs.

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. See the "Clinical Education" section above for a partial listing of current clinical education placements.

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). 

Several scholarship opportunities are available to DPT students:

  • We offer a DPT Graduate Academic Promise Scholarship that supports a student for up to two years at $12,000 of tuition per year. Students are invited to apply based on merit and need.
  • Several smaller DPT Academic Scholarships supporting students are available for one year. Students are selected based on their application.​
  • Six to eight Teaching Assistantships (TA) are available annually to earn a stipend.​
    • First year: TA opportunities in undergraduate courses such as Anatomy & Physiology, Chemistry, Biology, Physics, Medical Microbiology, etc.​
    • Second year: TA opportunities in DPT 1 courses​
    • Third year: TA opportunities in DPT 1 and DPT 2 courses​

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 finaid@hartford.edu

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 dptgrad@hartford.edu. 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 now offers on-campus housing for graduate students, including multiple newly renovated spaces.

Graduate housing features fully renovated single bedrooms, bathrooms, and shared living spaces. Two bedroom/1 bath and 3 bedroom/2 bath units are available. Apartments come completely furnished with bedroom, living room, and kitchen furniture as well as kitchen appliances and a microwave. 

Learn more about graduate housing options here

Additional Information

General Inquiries:
dptgrad@hartford.edu

Brian SwansonPT, DSc, OCS, FAAOMPT
Department Chair
Program Director, Physical Therapy
Associate Professor of Physical Therapy
860.768.5314
bswanson@hartford.edu

Kristamarie Pratt, PhD MEng
Assistant Professor of Physical Therapy
Associate Program Director
Department of Rehabilitation Sciences
860.768.5266
kpratt@hartford.edu
Office: Dana Hall, Room 312C

Graduate Admission Office
860.768.4371
800.945.0712
GradStudy@hartford.edu

Accreditation

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: accreditation@apta.org; website: capteonline.org. If needing to contact the program/institution directly, please call Brian Swanson at 860.768.5314 or email bswanson@hartford.edu.

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.

PROFESSIONAL LICENSURE DISCLOSURE

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 www.fsbpt.org.

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