Physical Therapy

The Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) program at Simmons University emphasizes professional experience.

Physical therapist working with a patient

In the Doctor of Physical Therapy program (DPT), students attend expert-led lectures, advance their technique in the skills laboratory, and participate in small-group discussions focused on clinical practice. Our students build their skills during full-time clinical internships, which are carefully selected to give students the opportunity to be mentored by experienced clinical practitioners in a variety of patient populations.

This 3-year, full-time program is designed for individuals who have completed three years of undergraduate work at Simmons or hold a bachelor's degree from another institution. Prospective students must also have completed the necessary physical therapy prerequisite work.

Students graduate ready to meet the challenges of the constantly evolving health care field. Our students go on to become dynamic leaders in physical therapy and excel in clinical practice in a variety of settings.

Doctor of Physical Therapy at Simmons is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE), 1111 North Fairfax Street, Alexandria, Virginia, 22314; telephone: 703-706-3245; email; website.

If needing to contact the program/institution directly, please call 617-521-2635; or email [email protected].

Why study Physical Therapy at Simmons?

There are many physical therapy schools and programs to choose from—so what makes Simmons’ DPT program unique? The physical therapy department at Simmons facilitates a commitment to active life-long learning, leadership, advocacy, and service to others across a diverse range of cultural and socio-economic populations. Graduation rates are high, as are pass rates for the Student National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE.) To boot, Simmons is a stone’s throw away from some of the top teaching hospitals in the nation.

Doctor of Physical Therapy Prerequisites

  • Biology* (one semester)
  • Chemistry* (two semesters)
  • Exercise Physiology (one semester)
  • Human Anatomy* (one semester)
  • Human Physiology* (one semester)
  • Physics* (two semesters) (can be calculus-based or non-calculus based)
  • Psychology (two semesters)
  • Statistics (one semester)

*with labs

See below for more information on prerequisite requirements.

Doctor of Physical Therapy Careers

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of physical therapists will grow 28 percent from 2016 to 2026. In addition to projected job growth, the median annual wage for physical therapists was $86,850 in May 2017.

  • Offices of physical, occupational, and speech therapists and audiologists
  • Hospitals—state, local, and private
  • Home healthcare services
  • Nursing and residential care facilities

No matter where our graduates end up, they make a tremendous difference in the lives of their patients. DPTs ease patients’ pain, help them increase their mobility, prevent further injury, and aid in returning patients to  a quality of life that they once thought lost. 

Learn more about our Doctor of Physical Therapy Program!

If you have questions about the Doctor of Physical Therapy program at Simmons, request more information! Or, you may contact Justin Beebe, Physical Therapy Department Chair via email.

For undergraduate students interested in pursuing a Doctor of Physical Therapy, look into our Exercise Science (BS) and Physical Therapy (DPT) accelerated 6-year program.

Year 1

Summer

Course #Course TitleCredits
DPT 621Human Anatomy7
DPT 631Clinical Medicine2

Fall

Course #Course TitleCredits
DPT 612Professional Seminar I1
DPT 622Movement Science I3
DPT 632Concepts and Skills in Physical Therapy I3
DPT 652Evidence Based Practice I2
DPT 672Frameworks for Physical Therapy: Musculoskeltal I7

Spring

Course #Course TitleCredits
DPT 613Professional Seminar II1
DPT 623Movement Science II3
DPT 633Concepts and Skills in Physical Therapy II3
DPT 653Evidence Based Practice II2
DPT 673Frameworks for Physical Therapy: Musculoskeletal II7

Total Credits: 41


Year 2

Summer

Course #Course TitleCredits
DPT 701Clinical Experience I (12 wks)5

Fall

Course #Course TitleCredits
DPT 712Professional Seminar III1
DPT 722Integument/ Prosthetics & Orthotics2
DPT 732Neuroanatomy2
DPT 742Health Promotion, Wellness, Advocacy3
DPT 752Research Seminar: Proposal1
DPT 772Frameworks for Physical Therapy: Cardiovascular & Pulmonary7

Spring

Course #Course TitleCredits
DPT 713Professional Seminar IV1
DPT 743Principles of Practice Management3
DPT 753Research Seminar: Systematic Review or
DPT 763 Faculty-Directed Research
1
DPT 783Frameworks for Physical Threrapy: Neuromuscular I7
SNHS 450Healthcare system: IPE3

Total Credits: 36


Year 3

Summer

Course #Course TitleCredits
DPT 714Professional Seminar V1
DPT 724Advanced Topics3
DPT 754Research Seminar: Systematic Review or
DPT 764 Faculty-Directed Research
1
DPT 784Frameworks for Physical Therapy: Neuromuscular II5

Fall

Course #Course TitleCredits
DPT 735Complex Conditions2
DPT 792Clinical Experience II (12 wks)5

Spring

Course #Course TitleCredits
DPT 793Clinical Experience III (12 wks)5

Total Credits: 22


Total Curriculum Credits: 99

The following courses are required prior to application:

  • Biology* (one semester)
  • Chemistry* (two semesters)
  • Exercise Physiology (one semester)
  • Human Anatomy* (one semester)
  • Human Physiology* (one semester)
  • Physics* (two semesters) (can be calculus-based or non-calculus based)
  • Psychology (two semesters)
  • Statistics (one semester)

*with labs

The expectation is that applicants have a minimum 3.0 GPA in both their overall undergraduate and overall prerequisite GPAs. All courses must have been completed within ten years prior to the application deadline. All courses should be equal to one semester in length. Thus, two quarters may be required to equal one semester

Courses completed on a pass/fail or audited basis, and CLEP and AP scores are not accepted in lieu of these courses.

Two prerequisites may be outstanding for application eligibility, as long as they are completed in the spring semester before the start of the program in June.

A maximum of two prerequisites may have been retaken once, regardless of grades earned and whether or not the courses were re-taken at the same or different institution. Course titles may differ but if the content is the same, it is considered a repeat. 

If you want to know if a particular course will meet our admission requirements, email the SNHS Office of Admission. Please provide the name and number of the course,where it was/will be offered and when. We will tell you if it is has been approved or if we need a course syllabus for further review. If we need a syllabus, please complete and submit the required form below. An evaluation of a course cannot be completed until we receive this form.

Mission

The DPT program educates future healthcare professionals who promote effective, accessible, and efficient health care for all individuals and communities. Through discovery in research and evidence based practice students are prepared for evolving, contemporary clinical practice. The program cultivates a commitment to active life-long learning, leadership, advocacy, and service to others, across cultural and socio-economic diverse populations.

Graduation Rate

ClassGraduation Rate
201982.4%
201890.0%

Pass Rate

ClassFirst TimeUltimate
201989.7%93.1%
201885.7%94.3%

2-Year Employment Rate

(% of graduates who were employed as PTs within six months of graduation)

ClassEmployment Rate
2018-2019 (26 respondents)96%

Clinical and research experience are a critical part of the DPT program. Clinical education provide students with opportunities for professional role modeling, observation, patient care and teaching in a wide variety of settings.

All DPT students complete a capstone research course, where you'll work in small groups on faculty-directed research or a systematic review to address a clinical practice question that you’ll share as a poster presentation for Simmons Physical Therapy Research Day.

Additionally we have a 733 square foot research laboratory that features:

  • 10-camera Vicon-Optical motion analysis system: ability to capture full-body human movement at various velocities and obtain 3D kinematic data 
  • trakSTAR – electromagnetic motion analysis system with 5 sensors: ability to capture smaller area, fine movement and obtain 3D kinematic data 
  • Electromyography – 8 channel Noraxon Wireless TeleMyo EMG system: ability to obtain muscle activation and patterns of activation data 
  • Supersonic Imagine Aixplorer Ultrasound, Ultrasound imaging system with Shear Wave Elastography: Ability to capture real-time ultrasound images as well as quantify tissue stiffness 

Using the lab's technology, our faculty are working with students on a number of projects:

  • To determine the effects of infraspinatus muscle fatigue on tissue stiffness and range of motion. 
  • To quantify fatigue by looking at changes in the median frequencies of power spectral densities pre- to post-exercise. 
  • To quantify muscle stiffness changes from pre- to post-exercise.

Details regarding the minimum qualifications to seek licensure in individual state’s can be found on the state physical therapy licensing board website.

State by State Licensure Information

Simmons University: College of Natural, Behavioral, and Health Sciences physical therapy doctoral degree program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE). This program does meet the pre-licensing requirements for all states, the District of Columbia, Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico, and U.S. Virgin Islands. At this time American Samoa, and Guam do not regulate the profession of physical therapy.

We recommend that you contact your respective state physical therapy licensing board to determine any other requirements for licensure (e.g. additional post-graduation examinations, application and licensing fees, criminal background checks, etc.). It is important that you be aware of all such requirements and that you plan accordingly.

Ready to take the next step? We'll guide you through the requirements and deadlines — and get you started on your way.

Apply Now

Offered As
  • Doctorate
School/Department
Apply NowVisitRequest Info

Our Faculty

Justin Beebe

Justin Beebe

  • Associate Professor and Chair of the Department of Physical Therapy
Mark Dynan

Mark Dynan

  • Associate Professor of Practice and Director of Clinical Education