The rigorous Bachelor of Science in Exercise Physiology from Saint Joseph’s University focuses on courses that cover physiology, fitness, health and management while acquiring and applying communication, leadership, planning and organizational skills.
Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT)
Saint Joseph’s University’s Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) is an accredited doctoral program that prepares you for a fulfilling career in physical therapy, which was named one of the best healthcare professions and best jobs overall by U.S. News & World Report. With an accelerated curriculum focused on experiential learning, our 31-month physical therapy program will teach you evidence-based techniques and empower you to practice independently and work collaboratively in diverse healthcare environments. You’ll have access to 350+ full-time clinical practice sites in Philadelphia and beyond and treat patients in different healthcare settings.
You can enter this program if you already hold a bachelor’s degree or higher and have completed all prerequisites. We also offer a BS to DPT program for incoming first-year students (through our direct-entry admission pathway) and transfer students.
What Sets Our Program Apart
Our condensed two-and-a-half-year curriculum allows you to enter the field faster, and our students typically receive several job offers before graduation. Because you graduate in December instead of the typical May date for other PT programs, you’ll have a head start on board exams, additional certifications, advanced training opportunities and the job market.
You’ll learn to assess and treat the body as a series of integrated systems through a curriculum built on the Movement System Framework. Endorsed by the American Physical Therapy Association, Saint Joseph’s University is among the first institutions in the country to adopt this framework, which assesses how all systems in the body (i.e. neuro, skeletal, vestibular, muscular, etc.) interact to produce movement.
At Saint Joseph’s, you’ll learn in many different environments — not just in the classroom. Starting in your first professional year, you’ll be exposed to patients and clients through our integrated clinical experiences and pro-bono clinics. In the latter part of the program, you'll participate in three full-time 12-week clinicals nationwide under the supervision of a licensed physical therapist.
Our faculty includes doctorally trained, clinically certified specialists who represent just about every practice area. And they practice what they teach — most are expert clinicians and many engage in rehabilitation research. All of them are outstanding instructors invested in your success.
You’ll get to engage in physical therapy research — a rarity among PT programs today. Our faculty of active practitioners conduct research in areas such as biomechanics, oncology, pediatrics and treatment interventions.
State-of-the-art research facilities housed inside Glasser/Woodland Hall — including the physical therapy department’s Patricia Leahy Motion Analysis Lab and BTE Technologies™ Rehabilitation Research Lab — give you a taste of working in a professional healthcare setting.
Saint Joseph’s offers a pro bono physical therapy clinic, which lets you get hands-on experience with patients in year one.
View required courses for this program in the academic catalog. Please contact us if you have any questions about the program curriculum.
Information and Resources
- Department of Physical Therapy Student Handbook/Policy & Procedure Manual
- Department of Physical Therapy Clinical Education Policy & Procedure Manual
Enter the Doctor of Physical Therapy program as a first-year undergraduate student to earn a BS in health science (BSHS) or BS in exercise physiology and a DPT in just under six years. Students who’ve taken college coursework but have not received a bachelor’s degree may also transfer into the pre-professional years of the BS/DPT program if they meet all prerequisite requirements.
The tuition* for DPT students entering summer 2023 is:
- $45,750 (Year 1)
- $45,750 (Year 2)
- $30,500 (Year 3)
*Pricing does not include room and board, health insurance or any professional, clinical or transportation fees. Visit our Tuition & Fees page for a detailed cost breakdown. Please note that the Tuition and Fee page reflects the current 2022-2023 costs, which will be changing for students beginning the program in Fall 2023.
Financial aid may be available to you to help offset the cost of your degree. Explore your options on our Financial Aid page.
Additional Information Regarding Clinical Experiences: Students are expected to travel for clinical experiences. Costs incurred for travel, housing, tolls, food, parking, etc. are the responsibility of the student. In addition, students are responsible for health and safety requirements such as fingerprinting, required by most clinical experience sites. Students may use federal or alternative educational loan funding to help with the miscellaneous costs related to clinical experiences. Contact the Financial Aid Office for further information.
The costs reflected in the Student Financial Fact Sheet are for students who enter the professional phase of the Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) program in the summer of 2022. Program related costs, and other associated expenses are highly variable, depending on location of clinical rotation sites.
The Doctor of Physical Therapy Program at Saint Joseph's University in Philadelphia 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; website: www.capteonline.org. If you need to contact the program/institution directly, please call 215.596.8677 or email email@example.com.
Physical therapists must be licensed to practice, and must pass the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) for physical therapists and physical therapist assistants, which is administered by the Federation of State Boards of Physical Therapy. This exam does not need to be taken again for licensure transfer to another state, provided that one's score satisfies the scores for each individual state in which one practiced. The only requirement to take the examination is graduation from a Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education-accredited program, such as the University's DPT program.
For Saint Joseph’s graduates who responded to the alumni survey, 100% were employed within one year of passing the licensure examination (2019 and 2020.)
The 2-year graduation rate is 92.1% (2020-2021.)
The two-year ultimate pass rate on the national licensure examination for the DPT classes of 2020-2021 is 97.4%. The first-time pass rate for the DPT class of 2021 was 81.8%. To access further details on pass rates, visit this link on the FSBPT website.
Visit the Department of Physical Therapy website to view the technical standards that apply to all clinical training students in Saint Joseph’s DPT program.
Why Study Physical Therapy in Philadelphia?
Here in Philadelphia, you’re in the heart of the health science industry, surrounded by more than 250 medical facilities. As a physical therapy doctoral student at Saint Joseph’s University, you’ll benefit from our partnerships with local clinics and work alongside other students and faculty members to provide pro bono PT services to Philadelphia communities. The city’s diverse population and rich healthcare employment opportunities offer a unique environment to gain PT experience in a variety of settings — from large medical systems with acute-care specialty clinics to inpatient and subacute rehabilitation centers.
DPT Admissions Information
Applications for 2022-2023 will be available via the Physical Therapist Centralized Application Service (PTCAS) in June. No supplemental application is required. Please submit all documentation directly to PTCAS.
You must meet the following requirements to be considered for admission to the DPT program:
- Have a bachelor’s degree from an accredited university or college
- Complete all prerequisite courses listed below by the end of the spring term preceding enrollment at Saint Joseph’s
- 3.00 cumulative GPA and a 3.00 math/science GPA with a “C” or better in all prerequisite courses
- Interview: An invitation-only interview is required for admission into the program. Interviews begin in October and continue until all seats are filled.
GRE scores are not required. Shadowing hours are not required but highly recommended of all applicants.
Required prerequisite courses should be completed by the end of the spring term preceding enrollment at Saint Joseph's:
- Chemistry, with lab (2 semester sequence, 8 credits)
- Biology, with lab (2 semester sequence, 8 credits)
- Physics, with lab (2 semester sequence, 8 credits)
- Anatomy & Physiology (2 semester sequence, 8 credits-inclusive of labs I and II.)
- Nutrition (3 credits)
- Mathematics (3 credits of pre-calculus and 3 credits of statistics; 6 credits total)
- Psychology (6 credits)
- Complete two of the following: Introduction to Psychology, Cognitive Psychology, Developmental Psychology, or Abnormal Psychology
- Additional Social Science coursework (6 credits)
- Examples of social sciences are:
- Political Science
- Examples of social sciences are:
- English (6 credits)
- One writing intensive course
- One additional English course
- Medical Terminology (2 credits)^
^ If you have not completed medical terminology at the time of acceptance, you can opt to complete a free online proficiency course prior to the start of the program in May.
If you’re applying as an international student, you must provide proof of English Language Proficiency and Certification of Finances along with your application. Check the Graduate Admission page for additional requirements.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Physical therapy was ranked one of the top 10 best healthcare professions in the U.S. and was named among the top 30 best jobs overall by U.S. News & World Report. With a Doctor of Physical Therapy, you can become a movement specialist and have the option to work in patient care or academia, research, the government and health care administration.
PTs can practice in a number of diverse environments, including:
- Inpatient and outpatient clinics and healthcare facilities
- Home health care
- Sports medicine clinics
- Fitness facilities
- Research centers
- Private practice
It usually takes three to eight years to become a physical therapist. To become a physical therapist, you must have a Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) degree from an CAPTE-accredited institution, which typically takes three years to complete if you’ve already completed four years of pre-professional undergraduate coursework — a requirement to be admitted to a PT school. At Saint Joseph’s, you can complete your pre-professional coursework and DPT degree in just 5.5 years with our BS to DPT program. After earning your DPT you’ll need to obtain a license in the state in which you decide to practice to work as a physical therapist, which requires passing a state licensure exam.