Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT)

Build a rewarding career in PT and serve others in our Doctor of Physical Therapy program.

The Doctor of Physical Therapy Program prepares the student for licensure and practice in the field of physical therapy. Physical therapists are health care professionals who provide service to individuals of all ages with physical impairments, functional limitations, disabilities or changes in physical function and health status resulting from injury, disease or other causes.

Physical therapists

  • Examine and evaluate individuals with movement related problems,
  • Diagnose and manage movement dysfunction to enhance physical and functional abilities,
  • Promote physical function and wellness to provide optimal quality of life as it relates to movement and health, and
  • Prevent the onset of symptoms and the progression of movement related problems

Treatment by physical therapists includes exercise, joint and soft tissue mobilization and manipulation, cardiovascular endurance training, neuromuscular re-education, the therapeutic application of heat, cold and electricity, and activities of daily living training. Physical Therapists find careers in settings ranging from hospitals and rehabilitation centers to private practices, pediatric facilities, home health agencies, school systems, higher education and research institutions, fitness and wellness centers, and nursing homes.

Why earn your DPT at Bellarmine?

Our Doctor of Physical Therapy Program is an integral part of the School of Movement and Rehabilitation Sciences and Bellarmine University, the physical therapist professional community, and the local health care delivery system. We embrace our heritage of Catholic higher education excellence in undergraduate liberal arts and quality professional education programs. The program is dedicated to excellence in physical therapist education and service by providing comprehensive academic and clinical experiences for diverse and talented students. This is accomplished through:

  • active faculty mentoring;
  • instruction grounded in clinical, scientific and educational evidence;
  • learning experiences that are reflective, practical, directed, collaborative and innovative; and
  • directed and focused engagement with the community.

We are responsive to the needs and demands of contemporary physical therapy practice, which are evolving and dynamic. Our goal is to develop autonomous patient-centered practitioners of physical therapy, dedicated to service and life-long learning, with skills, attitudes and behaviors commensurate with societal expectations for outstanding care.

Our students also have opportunities to serve in our service learning clinics; study abroad in Australia, Guatemala and the Dominican Republic; collaborate with faculty on projects; and engage with local and regional partners in community engagement projects.

Program Highlights

The Doctor of Physical Therapy Program develops autonomous, patient-centered physical therapists, dedicated to service and life-long learning, with knowledge, skills, attitudes and behaviors that are commensurate with societal expectations for outstanding care. Program faculty mentor and teach diverse learners to practice, serve and lead with integrity, sensitivity and commitment to excellence. This is accomplished by integrating Catholic liberal arts and professional education traditions with scientific inquiry, clinical expertise, and adherence to professional core values.

Admission Requirements

Students are admitted to the professional program after completing a bachelor’s degree in a major of choice and all program prerequisites. Highly qualified Bellarmine undergraduate students may be admitted to the Doctor of Physical Therapy Program after completing all university general education requirements and the program prerequisites. Various paths to admission are described on our Admissions and Admissions Statistics page. The university awards the Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) degree upon completion of the professional curriculum.

Transcript Review

We can provide fast feedback about your transcript(s) and pre-requisite coursework. Simply complete the form below by attaching unofficial copies of your transcript(s).

Student Story

Kaylynn Schwamb

“Bellarmine's Doctorate of Physical Therapy program has a small school atmosphere with faculty that were willing and available to help me succeed and get the most out of my education. The program stressed the importance of learning fundamental theory but also provided me with multiple opportunities to put theory into practice in order to hone my skills as a PT. The program was challenging and provided opportunities for fieldwork and mentorship that made the transition of being a new graduate and finding a rewarding career seamless. I also have a great support system of Bellarmine colleagues all around the county who continue to teach me and inspire me to provide the most efficient and evidence-based care available to my patients.”

Kaylynn Schwamb DPT '19

Faculty

Here is a quick snapshot of a few of our faculty members. Read profiles of all of our distinguished faculty.

Beth Ennis, PT, EdD, PCS

Beth Ennis, PT, EdD, PCS, Associate Professor and Chair
Dr. Ennis teaches courses in Pediatrics, Professional and Legal Issues and technology. She coordinates the capstone projects and supervises the Pediatric Service Learning Clinic. Research interests include use of technology in education, as well as using therapy to re-engage children with disabilities into the community.

Megan Danzl, PT, DPT, Ph.D., NCS

Megan Danzl, PT, DPT, Ph.D., NCS, Assistant Chair
Dr. Danzl teaches in the following courses: Introduction to Acute Care, Service Learning Clinic, and Neurological Rehabilitation for the Adult Patient. Her current scholarship interests include examining the practice of patient and caregiver education in physical therapy practice, the use of qualitative research methods in physical therapy research, and neurorehabilitation. She serves as the research and education coordinator in the Bellarmine University and Norton Healthcare neurologic physical therapy residency.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q. What is the application deadline?
A. The priority application deadline is October 1 of the year prior to your intended start. The final application deadline is December 2. All applications submitted by October 1 are reviewed before applications submitted by December 2. It is in your best interest as an applicant to apply prior to October 1. Visit www.ptcas.org to apply.

Q. Is the GRE required?
A. Yes. Applicants to the physical therapy program must provide GRE scores from the last 5 years to PTCAS.

Q. Is it part time or full time?
A. This is a full time day program.

For answers to more questions, please visit our FAQ page.

Tuition and Fees

For the most up-to-date tuition and fee information, please visit our Graduate Tuition page. 

Students also will be responsible for any course fees, professional fees, and books. Students enrolled in the Doctor of Physical Therapy Program are required to complete a significant number of hours in local, regional and national clinical education sites.

Accreditation

The Physical Therapy Program at Bellarmine University is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE), 1111 North Fairfax Street, Alexandria, Virginia 22314; telephone: 703-706-3245; email: accreditation@apta.org; website: http://www.capteonline.org.

Licensure

Upon completion of the program, the student is eligible to sit for the National Physical Therapy Exam (NPTE) and apply for licensure in any state.

Contact Information

Beth Ennis, PT, EdD, PCS
Chair
502.272.8434, eennis@bellarmine.edu

Jordan Wiehebrink
Associate Dean of Graduate Admission
502.272.8245
jwiehebrink@bellarmine.edu

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