Physical Therapy, DPT


Program Summary

Format: On-site

Locations: Potsdam

Credit Hours:

101 credits

Cost: flat fee per semester

Our Program

The Doctor of Physical Therapy program at Clarkson University is a 101 credit, full time, post baccalaureate curriculum that takes 2 and 2/3 years to complete. The program uses a Problem Based Learning curricular model, which uniquely prepares students to become lifelong learners and expert clinicians using an integrated case based approach to learning. Students participate in 4 full time clinical affiliations in addition to hands on clinical experiences interwoven throughout the didactic portion of the curriculum.

The philosophy behind Problem-Based Learning (PBL) is simple: the best way to learn a new concept is to experience it firsthand. At Clarkson, we introduce Doctor of Physical Therapy students to a wide variety of clinical scenarios, some involving “paper patients” and some with real clients. Textbook knowledge is important, but the goal of PBL is to stimulate the development of real-world problem-solving skills. Students are trained to ask three questions: “What do I know?” “What don’t I know?” and “How will I find the answer?”

Students in a PBL learning environment:

  • Know where to find answers, by listening closely to the patient and by searching peer-reviewed journals for the latest and best information.
  • Ask more and better questions. Their mental framework is higher-level and contextual and reflects better preparation. PBL students can easily frame questions to clarify clinical dilemmas.
  • Develop lifelong learning skills that allow them to seek answers independently.
  • Expect and integrate ongoing feedback to improve their professional skills.
  • Practice evaluation and intervention strategies to experience what patients experience and develop competency under the capable supervision of physical therapists.
  • See the patient in a broader context and consider the economic and cultural issues that influence intervention and care.


  • PT 505 Foundational Sciences for Physical Therapy
  • PT 506 Professional Foundation for Physical Therapy
  • PT 508 Principles of Measurement
  • PT 515 Cardiopulmonary/Exercise Science
  • PT 517 Professional Practice I
  • PT 518 Evidence-Based Practice
  • PT 525 Musculoskeletal Physical Therapy
  • PT 527 Professional Practice Preparation
  • PT 528 Research Design
  • PT 537 Professional Practice II
  • PT 605 Neuromuscular Physical Therapy I
  • PT 607 Professional Practice III
  • PT 608 Physical Therapy Data Analysis
  • PT 606 Neuromuscular Physical Therapy II
  • PT 615 Physical Therapy for Multiple Systems Disorders I
  • PT 617 Professional Practice IV
  • PT 618 Research Data Collection
  • PT 616 Physical Therapy for Multiple System Disorders II
  • PT 627 Professional Practice V
  • PT 645 Practice Management in the Autonomous Environment
  • PT 648 Writing & Presenting Research
  • PT 657 Advanced Clinical Skills
  • PT 667 Professional Practice VI
  • PT 677 Professional Practice VII

Admission Requirements

The Doctor of Physical Therapy program at Clarkson University is a full time graduate program. In order to be considered for admissions students must:

  • Complete a baccalaureate degree with an overall grade point average greater than or equal to 3.2.
  • Take all the necessary pre-requisite courses with a grade point average greater than or equal to 3.2 in all pre-requisite courses and no grade lower than a C in these courses.
  • Submit documentation of a minimum of 50 hours of observation/volunteer or work experience in physical therapy and/or another healthcare setting, of which a minimum of 30 hours must be completed under the supervision of a physical therapist.
  • Submit three letters of recommendation. At least one must be from a physical therapist and a faculty member. None can be from family, friends or clergy.

All applications must be submitted through the Physical Therapy Common Application Service. The deadline for submission of applications is February 16. However, the department uses a rolling admissions process so applications will be reviewed and students offered admission on an on-going basis starting December 15.

Incoming High School Students
Clarkson University offers a pre-Physical Therapy program to highly qualified and motivated incoming high school students who wish to pursue a career in physical therapy. Students who apply to the undergraduate programs at Clarkson University can also apply to this program at the same time. At least 50% of the available seats in each cohort will be held for Clarkson University pre-PT undergraduate students who successfully complete all of the necessary pre-requisite requirements.

Career Opportunities

Physical therapy is a deeply rewarding healthcare profession that improves the lives of people who have suffered a serious injury or are living with a chronic health condition. Physical therapists diagnose and treat individuals of all ages with a variety of different health conditions that limit their ability to move and perform functional tasks. Physical therapists examine each client and develop an individualized plan of care to restore pain free movement and regain the ability to do every day functional activities. Physical therapy is consistently rated among the top 10 growing professions by a number of different agencies. For more information on a career in physical therapy visit the American Physical Therapy Association.

US News and World Report, the Bureau of Labor Statistics and other publications consistently rank Physical Therapist in their top 10 best jobs. Employment of physical therapists is predicted to grow 36% between 2012 and 2022, “much faster” than the average growth rate for all occupations. The mean salary across the US for physical therapists is $84,000.


Contact Us

If you are interested in learning more contact:
Lisa Hayes
Administrative Assistant for Physical Therapy

If you are ready to apply or have admissions questions contact:
Anne Gilbert
Administrative Assistant for Physical Therapy

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