Oct 01, 2023  
2022-2023 Catalog 
2022-2023 Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Physical Therapy Professional Program (DPT)

Physical Therapy Department Information   

The Professional Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) Program prepares graduates to be licensed physical therapist practitioners. Graduates are prepared to assume roles in a variety of practice settings and for individuals with a diverse array of musculoskeletal, neurologic, cardiovascular, pulmonary, lymphatic and other health conditions as well as for health, wellness and injury prevention.

Physical therapy education is built on a solid foundation in the basic sciences of biology, chemistry, physics, anatomy, physiology, pathology and kinesiology. Study of humanities and behavioral sciences provides preparation to develop effective interpersonal relationships with patients/clients, family members, caretakers, other health care professionals, third party payers, community agencies and other stakeholders.

Student physical therapists learn to strive for excellence in patient/client management across the lifespan, learning to value and respect diversity of gender, race, culture and disability, regardless of age. Graduates are self-directed learners who are critical thinkers using evidence and best practices to make sound clinical judgments. Physical therapist are experts in the examination, evaluation, diagnosis and development of a plan of care for individuals with movement disorders.

Career opportunities for physical therapists are continually expanding and include positions in hospitals, outpatient clinics, home health care agencies, schools universities, industry, nursing homes, wellness centers, employee health programs, acute care facilities and private practice.

Admission to the DPT Program

The University of Michigan-Flint Physical Therapy Program uses the Physical Therapist Centralized Application Service (PTCAS). Applicants should check the Office of Graduate Programs website for the application deadline.

To be considered for admission, applicants must meet the following requirements and qualifications by the time they are admitted:

  • Bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution
  • Overall 3.0 GPA or higher in the undergraduate degree
  • Overall 3.0 GPA in prerequisite courses (courses noted below with an ‘*’)
  • Overall 3.0 GPA in science prerequisities (courses below noted with a ‘#’)
  • Completion of prerequisite courses from an accreditied institution with a grade of ‘C’ or better in each course.  Prerequisite courses should be completed within 7 years of applying to the program; prerequisite courses taken more than 7 years prior will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis.

8 credits Biology with at least two labs (no Botany)*#

8 credits Chemistry with at least two labs *#

8 credits Physics with at least two labs*#

4 credits Human Anatomy with lab*#

4 credits Human Physiology with lab (if a 5-6 credit combination Anatomy and Physiology class is taken, then course content needs review by program)*#

3 credits Exercise Physiology (lab recommended)*#

3 credits Statistics*

3 credits College Algebra and Trigonometry or Pre-calculus*

6 credits Psychology (general and developmental)*

1 credit Medical Terminology*

  • GRE (general test) sent to UM-Flint Institutional Code #7737

Minimum test score of 146 Verbal and 141 Quantitative

Competitive scores are 153 Verbal and 153 Quantitative

  • Current First Aid and CPR Certification.

CPR Certification must include Infant, Child, Adult CPR with AED training for health care providers.

In order to receive certification, hands on experience with mannequins is required.  Online course work only is not accepted.

  • 30 or more hours observing Physical Therapists

Two or more types of clinical settings required (inpatient and outpatient)

A minimum of 4 hours must be completed at a site to be counted.

Application Process

To be considered for admission, an applicant must submit a completed application though the Physical Therapy Centralized Application Service (PTCAS). Instructions for completing the application may be found at the PTCAS website (http://www.ptcas.org) or at the Office of Graduate Programs Website (http://www.umflint.edu/graduateprograms/physical-therapy-entry-level-dpt).

International applicants must submit additional documentation (see the Graduate Study  portion of the catalog) and meet Physical Therapy Department English proficiency requirements  

Application Deadlines

Students are admitted for the Fall semester only.  Admission to the program is highly competitive.  Up-to-date admissions requirements and application process information is available on the website at  www.umflint.edu/graduateprograms/physical-therapy-entry-level-dpt.

Application deadlines are posted on the admissions portal through the PTCAS website.


Students will be required to purchase clinical attire, examination tools to be used in the classroom or clinical practice and professional textbooks. Clinical Education experiences may require students to leave the Flint area. All students are responsible for providing their own transportation to all clinical sites and housing. Students are responsible for costs related to keeping all required health documents updated, including special tests required by clinical sites (drug screen, fingerprinting, etc.). Current estimates of costs are available to applicants through the Physical Therapy Department. Tuition and fees are subject to change without notice.

DPT Curriculum

The Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) at the University of Michigan-Flint is a three-year degree program. The DPT program provides students with a comprehensive preparation for evaluating and managing patients/clients with impairments of body function and structure, activity limitations, and participation restrictions or changes in physical function and health status resulting from a variety of conditions.

The DPT curriculum provides students with both a depth and breadth of knowledge, skills and professional behaviors necessary for excellence and success in physical therapists practice. The DPT curriculum requires 9 semesters (120 credits) of full-time course work over three calendar years. The DPT program is considered a “lock step” curriculum, meaning that the courses are taken in a specific sequence meant to build students’ knowledge and skills in a progressive and comprehensive manner. A part-time option is available on a limited basis.

Clinical Education consists of integrated clinical education experiences, full-time clinical education experiences, and three 10-week full-time clinical internships after the successful completion of the didactic curriculum. The DPT program at the University of Michigan-Flint affiliates with over 350 carefully selected clinical sites, including many within the major health care systems located throughout Michigan.

Transfer of Credit

Transfer of credit for courses in Years 1-3 taken prior to admission to the DPT program is the prerogative of the Physical Therapy faculty. Transfer courses must meet the requirements outlined in the Guidelines for the Transfer of Credit of Previous Course Work in Partial Fulfillment of Requirements for Professional DPT Program which is available from the Physical Therapy Department.

Requirements (120 credits)

The DPT degree requires completion of a three-year academic program with satisfactory completion of clinical education courses. Each academic calendar includes a 14-week Fall and Winter semester followed by a 10-week Spring/Summer semester.  Students must achieve an overall GPA of 3.0 or higher both prior to beginning the final clinical internships and upon completion of the degree program.  A grade of C (2.0) or better is required in each course.

Year One

Year Two

Year Three

Required Elective (3 credits)

Three (3) credit hours of electives must be selected from the list provided below. For more detailed information regarding the Independent Study course and other courses, please speak with your advisor.