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Physical Therapy, Ph.D.

  • Application Deadline
  • 36 months
University rank #33 (ARWU) Online
The Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) program is a graduate-level program designed to provide a comprehensive program of excellence to prepare direct-access ready physical therapists to meet the needs of North Carolina in a manner consistent with high professional values.
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Building on the foundation of a master's degree in physical therapy, UNC-Chapel Hill's Transitional Doctor of Physical Therapy program will give you the clinical competence to identify and develop new clinical services and to practice autonomously as a primary clinical care practitioner. The curriculum is built around three interactive core components: a clinical foundation core, a clinical practice core, and a specialty practice core. 

The DPT program enrolls graduates of BS/MPT programs and experienced physical therapy clinicians seeking advanced clinical knowledge and skills. Graduates are expected to return to clinical practice and to serve in policy-making and leadership positions in their communities. Graduates with significant clinical experience may also seek board certification as clinical specialists and/or positions as clinical faculty in physical therapy education programs. All of the transitional DPT curriculum is offered through web-based instructional technologies that allow you to begin or continue in practice while you pursue your degree, but not all of your work is online. 

Program Objectives

Based upon our program mission and philosophy, the program objectives reflect the outcomes we expect from our students at the completion of the program. With satisfactory mastery of the program objectives, students are well prepared for licensure and clinical practice in a variety of clinical settings.

Detailed Programme Facts

  • Programme intensity Full-time
    • Full-time duration 36 months
  • Languages
    • English
  • Delivery mode

Programme Structure

Curriculum Overview

  • Coursework is completed over three years beginning with basic sciences and progressing to clinical sciences and clinical rotations. 
  • Students should expect to be in the classroom between 25 and 35 hours per week during the didactic work throughout the first two years of the program. Clinical rotations require 40 hours per week of clinical contact time. During the final year of the program, courses are taught through a combination of in-class and online formats.
  •  Students should continue to expect to participate in class-related activities on a full-time basis. The curriculum overview provides an outline of the timing of various courses. For a brief description of individual courses, consult the course descriptions.

English Language Requirements

You need the following IELTS score:

  • Minimum required score:


    The IELTS – or the International English Language Test System – tests your English-language abilities (writing, listening, speaking, and reading) on a scale of 1.00–9.00. The minimum IELTS score requirement refers to which Overall Band Score you received, which is your combined average score. Read more about IELTS.

    Get a free IELTS practice test

Academic Requirements

  • This programme accepts GRE® scores. However, it does not provide a recommended score range.

    The GRE® General Test is a widely administered admissions test that measures the skills needed in today's graduate and business school programs worldwide. The GRE® General Test contains three sections - Verbal Reasoning, Quantitative Reasoning, and Analytical Writing. Three scores are reported: a Verbal Reasoning score on a 130 - 170 score scale in one-point increments, a Quantitative Reasoning score on a 130 - 170 score scale in one-point increments, and an Analytical Writing score on a 0 - 6 score scale in half-point increments.

General Requirements

Admissions Documents

  • A personal statement explaining your goals in applying to our program and how you feel it will fit your educational and professional needs.
  • Official transcripts from each college/university attended including UNC-CH graduates.
  • Copy of physical therapy license from any U.S. jurisdiction or application for licensure.
  • Two recommendation letters submitted electronically.
  • TOEFL scores for all students for whom English is a second language.
  • Application fee. This can be submitted online via credit card immediately following submission of your application.
  • GRE Scores are NOT required to apply for the transitional DPT program.

Tuition Fee

  • International

    16728 USD/year
    Tuition Fee
    Based on the original amount of 50169 USD for the full programme and a duration of 36 months.
  • National

    8568 USD/year
    Tuition Fee
    Based on the original amount of 25693 USD for the full programme and a duration of 36 months.
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