Degree Requirements

The Physical Therapy program leads to the Doctor of Physical Therapy degree. The program prepares candidates for entry-level positions as practicing physical therapists. Physical therapists practice as independent practitioners in the health care environment.

Degree requirements are established by the faculty on recommendation from the Director of Graduate Study and the Academic Standards Committee.

  • An undergraduate degree must be cleared and posted to the academic record by the time of enrollment.
  • All courses required for physical therapy must be completed with a grade of C or better. The PT courses are listed below in the course sequence. In addition, students must receive a passing grade for 3 semesters of PT integrated clinical experiences and 3 full time clinical internships. 

  • PT Integrated clinical experiences require the student to complete the equivalent of 6 weeks of work in the on-site clinic. PT full-time clinical internships require 32 weeks of full-time clinical internship under supervision of licensed physical therapists in clinical facilities that hold an Extended Campus Agreement with the Physical Therapy program.  To be eligible to participate in off-campus internships, students must satisfactorily complete all prerequisite coursework and demonstrate appropriate professional behavior. In addition, students must undergo annual criminal background checks through prior to placement in off-campus clinical experiences. Students whose criminal background checks are deemed unsatisfactory may be denied access to clinical experiences in certain clinical facilities. The PT program may also deny a student access to the on-site clinic based on the findings in a criminal background check. Failure to complete the clinical education component of the program will prevent a student from graduating from the program.

  • University of Puget Sound DPT students are required to complete social action/service learning activities and reflections in the first and second years of the PT program. 
  • And successfully complete a comprehensive written exam.

Continuation Toward the Degree

  • Once degree candidacy has been granted, a student is expected to complete all degree requirements within six years. All courses to be counted in the degree must be taken within the six-year period prior to granting the degree.
  • A student is expected to maintain a cumulative grade point average of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale.  The Academic Standards Committee reviews the record of a degree candidate who earns a cumulative grade point average below 3.0 or who receives a grade of C+ or lower in a course.  A maximum of two courses with a grade of C or C+ may be counted toward a degree, subject to school approval.  Grades of C-, D+, D, D-, F and WF are failing grades and are not used in meeting graduate degree requirements but are computed in the cumulative grade point average.  A candidate falling below a 3.0 GPA will be placed on academic probation. A student will not be approved for PT 657 or 687 (Clinical Experiences I-II) while on academic probation. The schedule for clinical experiences taken out of usual timing will be determined the Director of Clinical Education and will likely result in delayed graduation.

A candidate failing a course may not register for additional work until the course is repeated for a successful grade. All DPT program courses are offered once in an academic year. Failing a course will therefore result in the student being placed on an academic leave of absence for one semester. The student will enroll and repeat the failed course for a grade.  The student will be required to pay a per unit tuition and will not be eligible for financial aid during this semester. The student will resume full-time coursework in the next semester.

A student will be unable to continue in the program or enroll in Physical Therapy courses if the student: a) receives a failing grade for the second time in a required course; b) must repeat more than two required courses; c) violates the standards of ethical practice observed by the academic and clinical educational programs in physical therapy; or d) violates university policies regarding academic integrity.  A student may petition the Academic Standards Committee to appeal this decision.

  • Each student must provide his or her own transportation to clinical facilities for clinical experience; pay a fee for PT 657 and 687 (Clinical Experiences); and maintain health insurance, immunizations, and a current CPR certificate, and maintain current membership in the APTA for the duration of the PT program.
  • To be eligible to obtain a University degree from the School of Physical Therapy, a student will be required to meet the minimum technical standards and competencies outlined in the program Essential Technical Standards document. It is the student’s responsibility to read, understand and ensure that he/she has these capacities.