Transitional DPT Programs for Working Physical Therapists

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Transitional DPT programs offer a path for physical therapists with a bachelor’s or master’s to earn a doctorate degree. Designed for licensed Physical Therapists, transitional doctor of physical therapy programs may come in flexible formats, including online and hybrid programs. Check out our list of transitional DPT programs that might help you boost your professional readiness. Or, keep reading to learn more about pursuing a transitional DPT.

List of Transitional Doctor of Physical Therapy Programs

These ten partner schools have transitional DPT programs that may be ideal for licensed physical therapists. Check them out, or fill out our form to get matched!

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u003ch2u003eu003ca href=u0022/graduate-schools-in-united-states/missouri/at-still-university-of-health-sciences-main-campusu0022 title=u0022Transitional DPT at A.T. Still Universityu0022u003eA.T. Still University of Health Sciencesu003c/au003eu003c/h2u003e
u003cpu003eA.T. Still University of Health Sciences is a private, graduate-level school based in Kirksville, Missouri. The school focuses on health sciences and is the world’s first institution of osteopathic healthcare. (Not sure what osteopathic medicine is? Developed in 1874 by Andrew Taylor Still, the founder of A.T. Still University, it is the practice of treating the body as an integrated whole rather than a collection of symptoms.)u003c/pu003ernrnu003cpu003eThe Transitional Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) program at ATSU is designed for practicing physical therapists who have earned a bachelor’s or master’s degree. Students study online, in a program that may vary according to the individual. Each student is given a prior learning assessment (PLA) that considers current knowledge and skills in order to design an optimal plan of study.u003c/pu003e
u003ch4u003eTransitional DPT Programs:u003c/h4u003ernu003culu003ern tu003cliu003eu003ca title=u0022Transitional DPT at A.T. Still Universityu0022 href=u0022/form/36/6710u0022 rel=u0022noindex nofollowu0022u003eTransitional Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT)u003c/au003eu003c/liu003ernu003c/ulu003ern
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u003ch2u003eu003ca href=u0022/graduate-schools-in-united-states/tennessee/university-of-tennessee-chattanooga-main-campusu0022 title=u0022Transitional DPT at UT – Chattanoogau0022u003eUniversity of Tennessee – Chattanoogau003c/au003eu003c/h2u003e
u003cpu003eThe University of Tennessee at Chattanooga is a public university offering bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral programs. The university places emphasis on experiential learning, working with regional partners to help students pursue their goals. UTC is a member of the University of Tennessee System.u003c/pu003ernrnu003cpu003eThe Transition Doctorate of Physical Therapy at UTC is a bridge program designed for therapists with a bachelor’s or master’s degree. Among other requirements, applicants must be a U.S.-licensed physical therapist in good standing, with at least two years of relevant work experience. While students are typically admitted as a cohort, tDPT courses are delivered in a convenient online format.u003c/pu003e
u003ch4u003eTransitional DPT Programs:u003c/h4u003ernu003culu003ern tu003cliu003eu003ca title=u0022Transitional DPT at UT – Chatanoogau0022 href=u0022/form/4693/229722u0022 rel=u0022noindex nofollowu0022u003eTransitional Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT)u003c/au003eu003c/liu003ernu003c/ulu003ern
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u003ch2u003eu003ca href=u0022/graduate-schools-in-united-states/massachusetts/boston-university-main-campusu0022 title=u0022Transitional DPT at Boston Universityu0022u003eBoston Universityu003c/au003eu003c/h2u003ern
u003cpu003eBoston University is a private research institution with two campuses in Boston and 17 schools and colleges. BU serves more than 33,000 graduate and undergraduate students across over 250 programs of study.u003c/pu003ernrnu003cpu003eBU’s Transitional Doctor of Physical Therapy (tDPT) program is offered both on campus and online. The program is designed for U.S.-licensed physical therapists, with a curriculum that builds on students’ current knowledge foundations. Applicants must have graduated from an accredited physical therapy program, among other requirements.u003c/pu003e
u003ch4u003eTransitional DPT Programs:u003c/h4u003ernu003culu003ern tu003cliu003eu003ca title=u0022Transitional DPT at BUu0022 href=u0022/form/52/258698u0022 rel=u0022noindex nofollowu0022u003eTransitional Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT)u003c/au003eu003c/liu003ernu003c/ulu003ern
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rnu003ch2u003eu003ca href=u0022/graduate-schools-in-united-states/nebraska/creighton-university-main-campusu0022 title=u0022Transitional DPT at Creightonu0022u003eCreighton Universityu003c/au003eu003c/h2u003e
rnu003cpu003eCreighton University is a private Jesuit, Catholic university that focuses on education in health, law, business, and the arts and sciences. Based in Omaha, Nebraska, Creighton serves over 8,000 undergraduate, graduate and professional students. They are known for their occupational and physical therapy programs, among other areas.u003c/pu003ernrnu003cpu003eCreighton offers a Transitional Doctor of Physical Therapy program for licensed practitioners seeking post-professional education. Applicants must hold current U.S. licensure in one or more states and have spent at least one year practicing physical therapy, among other requirements.u003c/pu003e
u003ch4u003eTransitional DPT Programs:u003c/h4u003ernu003culu003ern tu003cliu003eu003ca title=u0022Transitional DPT at Creighton Universityu0022 href=u0022/form/135/39253u0022 rel=u0022noindex nofollowu0022u003eTransitional Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT)u003c/au003eu003c/liu003ernu003c/ulu003ern
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u003ch2u003eu003ca href=u0022/graduate-schools-in-united-states/utah/rocky-mountain-university-of-health-professions-main-campusu0022 title=u0022Transitional DPT at Rocky Mountain Unviersityu0022u003eRocky Mountain University of Health Professionsu003c/au003eu003c/h2u003e
u003cpu003eRocky Mountain University of Health Professions (RMUoHP) is a graduate, post-professional healthcare institution based in Provo, Utah. They serve both full-time, traditional students and limited-residency students with the goal of balancing work, life, and graduate education.u003c/pu003ernrnu003cpu003eRMUoHP offers an online Transitional Doctor of Physical Therapy (tDPT) program with an emphasis in pediatric science. Students learn about areas of physical therapy pertaining to children and infants, like pediatric pharmacology and imaging, pediatric gait, embryology and fetal development, and more. Though the program is three semesters long, candidates may opt to pursue a fourth semester in order to complete a Pediatric Science capstone project.u003c/pu003ern
u003ch4u003eTransitional DPT Programs:u003c/h4u003ernu003culu003ern tu003cliu003eu003ca title=u0022Transitional DPT at Rocky Mountain University of Health Professionsu0022 href=u0022/form/5698/203924u0022 rel=u0022noindex nofollowu0022u003eTransitional Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT)u003c/au003eu003c/liu003ernu003c/ulu003ern
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u003ch2u003eu003ca href=u0022/form/1293/36696u0022 title=u0022Transitional DPT at St. Scholasticau0022 rel=u0022noindex nofollowu0022u003eCollege of St. Scholasticau003c/au003eu003c/h2u003ern
u003cpu003eThe College of St. Scholastica is an independent, private college founded on Catholic, Benedictine values. They offer both undergraduate and graduate programs at campuses across Minnesota. The college enrolls about 4,000 students, who are attracted to St. Scholastica’s online, evening, and weekend courses in addition to more traditional paths.u003c/pu003ernrnu003cpu003eThe Transitional Doctor of Physical Therapy program at St. Scholastica is 100% online and designed for working clinicians. Serving as a bridge between a bachelor’s or master’s degree and earning a doctorate, the curriculum delves into the latest healthcare policies and practices, helping working physical therapists to update and enhance their knowledge.u003c/pu003e
u003ch4u003eTransitional DPT Programs:u003c/h4u003ernu003culu003ern tu003cliu003eu003ca href=u0022/form/1293/36696u0022 title=u0022Transitional DPT at St. Scholasticau0022 rel=u0022noindex nofollowu0022u003eTransitional Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT)u003c/au003eu003c/liu003ernu003c/ulu003ern
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u003ch2u003eu003ca href=u0022/graduate-schools-in-united-states/michigan/university-of-michigan-flint-main-campusu0022 title=u0022Transitional DPT at UM – Flintu0022u003eUniversity of Michigan – Flintu003c/au003eu003c/h2u003e
u003cpu003eThe University of Michigan–Flint is a public, urban university, and a satellite campus of the University of Michigan. UM-Flint was founded in 1958 and continues to foster excellence in teaching, learning, and scholarship. The university offers undergraduate and graduate programs in academic areas like healthcare, business, education, and much more.u003c/pu003ernrnu003cpu003eUM-Flint’s Transitional Doctor of Physical Therapy (t-DPT) features a flexible learning plan, which lets students work at their own paces and adjust their studies to their own schedules. Coursework is completed online, though students have access to on-campus resources. Students will study the latest biomedical literature, approach topics from an evidence-based practice perspective, and enhance their professional preparation.u003c/pu003e
u003ch4u003eTransitional DPT Programs:u003c/h4u003ernu003culu003ern tu003cliu003eu003ca href=u0022/form/4465/298506u0022 title=u0022Transitional DPT at UM – Flintu0022 rel=u0022noindex nofollowu0022u003eTransitional Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT)u003c/au003eu003c/liu003ernu003c/ulu003ern
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u003ch2u003eu003ca href=u0022/graduate-schools-in-united-states/new-york/utica-college-main-campusu0022 title=u0022Transitional DPT at Uticau0022u003eUtica Collegeu003c/au003eu003c/h2u003e
u003cpu003eUtica College is an independent, private college located in Central New York. Utica is home to Certificate, Bachelor’s, Master’s, and Doctoral degree programs, including online programs. In addition to Physical Therapy, they offer programs in Nursing, Cybersecurity, Business Administration, and more.u003c/pu003ernrnu003cpu003eThe Transitional Doctor of Physical Therapy program at Utica College is comprised of online courses taught by experienced clinicians. Students also complete a campus residency and participate in a physical therapy practicum course. You may study areas like Foundations of Autonomous Practice, Diagnostic Imaging, Pharmacology and Pathophysiology, and more, while building on your current professional knowledge.u003c/pu003e
u003ch4u003eTransitional DPT Programs:u003c/h4u003ernu003culu003ern tu003cliu003eu003ca href=u0022/form/145/6712u0022 title=u0022Transitional DPT at Uticau0022 rel=u0022noindex nofollowu0022u003eTransitional Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT)u003c/au003eu003c/liu003ernu003c/ulu003ern
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u003ch2u003eRosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Scienceu003c/h2u003e
u003cpu003eRosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science is a private graduate school based in Chicago. Named after Dr. Rosalind Franklin, who was instrumental in the discovery of DNA’s structure, the university is dedicated to the study of the health sciences. Over 30 graduate health profession and science programs are offered.u003c/pu003ernrnu003cpu003eThe Transition Doctor of Physical Therapy (tDPT) program at RFU is designed to be a part-time program aimed at working physical therapists. The curriculum features collaborative learning, a focus on building scientific inquiry skills, and the chance to grow as a leader and clinician. The degree may be earned in about two years.u003c/pu003e
u003ch4u003eTransitional DPT Programs:u003c/h4u003ernu003culu003ern tu003cliu003eTransitional Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT)u003c/liu003ernu003c/ulu003ern
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u003ch2u003eu003ca href=u0022/graduate-schools-in-united-states/florida/nova-southeastern-university-main-campusu0022 title=u0022Transition DPT at NSUu0022u003eNova Southeastern Universityu003c/au003eu003c/h2u003e
u003cpu003eNova Southeastern University is a private research university offering undergraduate, graduate, and professional degree programs. NSU emphasizes research activity, personal attention from faculty, and participation in a vibrant campus life. They have a main campus in the Fort Lauderdale area of South Florida.u003c/pu003ernrnu003cpu003eNSU’s Transition Doctor of Physical Therapy (T-DPT) program is designed to help practicing physical therapists enhance their skills, in light of an industry shift toward clinical doctorates. The curriculum focuses on areas like clinical reasoning, evidence-based practice, radiology and pharmacology, patient management, and more. Eligible APTA members may even be able to qualify for a tuition discount!u003c/pu003e
u003ch4u003eTransitional DPT Programs:u003c/h4u003ernu003culu003ern tu003cliu003eu003ca href=u0022/form/280/26817u0022 title=u0022Transition DPT at NSUu0022 rel=u0022noindex nofollowu0022u003eTransitional Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT)u003c/au003eu003c/liu003ernu003c/ulu003ern

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Potential Earnings

Physical therapists earned a median annual salary of $97,720 in 2022, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

5 Things You Should Know While Searching for Transitional DPT Programs

What is a Transitional DPT?

Transitional DPT programs are aimed at current physical therapists who are already licensed but wish to earn a doctorate degree. Not all DPT programs aimed at licensed physical therapists are called “transition” or “transitional.” So, don’t be thrown off by programs that call themselves “post-professional” or “bridge” programs, since they’re usually the same thing. You may also spot the common abbreviation, tDPT.

Not yet a licensed PT? Check out potential entry-level physical therapy programs.

Finding a transitional Doctor of Physical Therapy program that’s perfect for you requires a bit of research. Here are the top 5 things you may want to know as you evaluate post-professional doctorate programs in physical therapy.

  • Earn your degree from a university with a “Whole Human Education” approach that focuses on assisting you in all aspects of your education: academic, emotional, career, financial, and family.
  • Choose from 75+ programs: Whether you’re starting fresh or seeking advancement, our career-focused programs are designed to help you make an impact in your chosen field.
  • National University is regionally accredited by the WASC Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC).

1. A Rose by Any Other Name…

Not all DPT programs aimed at licensed physical therapists are called “transition” or “transitional.” So, don’t be thrown off by programs that call themselves “post-professional” or “bridge” programs, since they’re usually the same thing. You may also spot the common abbreviation, tDPT.

2. Not All Programs Accept International Students

If you’re an international student searching for transitional DPT programs in the USA, be aware that many programs may not be appropriate for your needs. Many programs require students to have U.S. licensure as a prerequisite for potential admission. However, the American Physical Therapy Association states that some programs may accept students who do not have U.S. licensure, as long as they don’t plan to practice in the U.S. Since rules and requirements vary, it’s important to contact the program you’re interested in to learn more.

3. Transitional DPT Programs Are Not CAPTE-accredited

The Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE) accredits professional, entry-level physical therapy programs, not continuing education programs. Since transitional DPT programs are considered post-professional physical therapy education programs, CAPTE doesn’t accredit them. That doesn’t indicate anything about a program’s quality, however!

4. PTA to PT Transition Programs Are Rare

Hoping to transition from Physical Therapist Assistant (PTA) to Physical Therapist (PT)? According to the American Physical Therapy Association, this is actually a pretty rare career move, since most PTAs remain in the same career track while honing their unique skillset. However, there are currently a couple of universities that offer formal PTA to PT bridge programs, including The University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston.

5. Online Programs May Be Ideal for Your Life and Schedule

Currently, quite a few graduate schools offer online transitional DPT programs. So, if you haven’t considered distance learning yet, you may want to find out more about this path. Online DPT programs may feature flexible coursework that can be completed at the time that suits you, potentially great for working physical therapists who don’t want to relocate or put their careers on hold.

Are transitional DPT programs accredited?

Transitional DPT Programs Are Not CAPTE-accredited. The Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE) accredits professional, entry-level physical therapy programs, not continuing education programs. Since transitional DPT programs are considered post-professional physical therapy education programs, CAPTE doesn’t accredit them.

Search for Graduate Schools That Offer Transitional DPT Programs

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written by Shannon Fandler

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