Campus DPT Degree Programs


DPT Degree Requirements

The DPT is a practice-oriented doctorate, similar to the Doctor of Medicine (M.D.) or Doctor of Dental Science (D.D.S.), in contrast to the research-oriented​ Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)​ or the post-professional Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)​. The CSU DPT education programs are in alignment with the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) Mission of Physical Therapist Professional Education.

Program Length

While CSU DPT programs vary in their curriculum, in general the programs are three years and require 110 to 120 units taken across eight to nine semesters, including summers.

Clinical Practice

The DPT requires a minimum of 30 weeks of internship in a clinical setting as part of the three-year program. Practica and internships are scheduled by the university in multiple practice settings.

Qualifying Assessment

To be eligible for the Doctor of Physical Therapy degree, the candidate shall have completed a program of study that includes a qualifying assessment.

Grade Point Average

An overall grade point average of 3.00 (grade of B on a 4.00 scale) or better shall have been earned in the coursework taken to satisfy the requirements for the degree.

Doctoral Project

Graduation from the program requires successful completion of a doctoral project that is expected to contribute to an improvement in physical therapy practice, policy or client outcomes. The doctoral project is expected to demonstrate the student's doctoral-level mastery of current evidence-based practice, critical and independent thinking, and a command of the research literature. ​The written component of the doctoral project is expected to demonstrate originality, evidencing critical and independent thinking. An oral defense of the doctoral project is also required.​