Doctor of Physical Therapy

Physical Therapy

Female physical therapist works with female patient.

We are collaborating to develop reflective clinicians who explore human health and the profession. 

The profession of physical therapy allows you to work with a wide spectrum of patients. You can improve the quality of life in children, professional athletes, older adults, or individuals who have experienced severe trauma or neurological challenges. As movement experts, physical therapists get individuals moving again in whatever capacity they can to achieve their goals.

Female physical therapist works with female patient.

"Physical therapists are movement experts who improve quality of life through prescribed exercise, hands-on care and patient education. Physical therapists can have a profound effect on people's lives."

– American Physical Therapy Association

Meet the Faculty

About the Doctor of Physical Therapy Program

The University of Arizona College of Health Sciences is preparing to launch a Doctor of Physical Therapy program. The three-year, full-time program will progress students through organized, sequential studies where foundational knowledge is repeatedly connected to clinical and patient applications. Students will gain experience through community service, experiential learning, simulation, and clinical and professional skill building. Prior to graduation, students will complete full-time clinical coursework, a capstone research project, and clinical and professional skills exams that prepare them for licensure and to enter the profession as skilled generalist physical therapists and master adaptive learners.

Careers in Physical Therapy

The pursuit of excellence through innovation in education, community service, and research to develop diverse, critical-thinking Doctors of Physical Therapy who advance the profession and improve societal health.


We are collaborating to develop reflective clinicians who explore human health and the profession. 

Core Values:  

Authenticity: We show up in a way that is genuine. 

Collaborative: We engage inclusively for equitable outcomes.

Excellence: We inspire the best in all that we do.

Fun: We use creativity to work hard and have fun.

Innovation: We think “outside the box” to expand boundaries of teaching and learning.

Integrity: We are ethical, honest, and respectful.

Reflection: We demonstrate self and situational awareness.

Students will demonstrate their knowledge of the human body, through the lifespan, by identifying normal, pathological or injury induced states to select and appropriately apply physical therapy interventions.

Students will comprehend and identify the impact of social determinants of health, health literacy, diversity, equity, inclusion, and other societal issues that influence the provision of healthcare.

Students will be collaborative practitioners, comfortable working together with all members of the healthcare team to achieve optimum outcomes for their clients.

Students will be critical consumers of the literature to integrate best practices and construct appropriate research questions to advance the knowledge of the profession.
Students will analyze and demonstrate traits of the master adaptive and lifelong learner essential to the future needs of the profession.

Student Goals

Students will contribute to societal health in the local community throughout the program. 

Students will demonstrate critical thinking, and active problem solving as members of the physical therapy profession and community.  

Graduate & Alumni Goals

Graduates will demonstrate community and societal awareness.

Graduates will demonstrate critical thinking and active problem-solving skills.

Program Goals

Enroll a diverse student body that is achieved when enrolling a minimum of 15% non-traditional DPT students.

Develop innovative educational approaches defined as patient-engagement simulation, service learning, experiential learning and active problem solving. 

Faculty Goals

Faculty will contribute research in collaboration with others within the program, the University, and the community.

CAPTE Statement

Graduation from a physical therapist education program accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE), 3030 Potomac Ave., Suite 100, Alexandra, Virginia 23305-3085; phone, (703) 706-3245; is necessary for eligibility to sit for the licensure examination, which is required in all states.

The University of Arizona is seeking accreditation of a new physical therapist education program from CAPTE. The program is planning to submit an Application for Candidacy, which is the formal application required in the pre-accreditation stage, on December 1, 2024. Submission of this document does not assure that the program will be granted Candidate for the Accreditation status. Achievement of Candidate for Accreditation status is required prior to implementation of the professional phase of the program; therefore, no students may be enrolled in professional courses until Candidate for Accreditation status has been achieved. Further, though achievement of Candidate for Accreditation status signifies satisfactory progress toward accreditation, it does not assure that the program will be granted accreditation.

7.2 Definition of Candidate for Accreditation: Candidate for Accreditation is a pre-accreditation status, awarded prior to enrollment of students in the professional phase of the program, which indicates that the physical therapy education program is making satisfactory progress toward and likely to attain full accreditation. All credits and degrees earned and issued by a program holding candidacy are considered to be from an accredited program.

Anyone wishing to make a comment or complaint regarding the University of Arizona program should contact CAPTE here