Physical Therapy, DPT—Direct Entry

301 Robinson Hall
617.373.3161 (fax)
Our postbaccalaureate Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) program is designed for individuals who hold a minimum of a baccalaureate degree in any major other than physical therapy and have satisfied the prerequisite requirements.Over the course of three and one-half years, this rigorous curriculum provides didactic and experiential learning experiences, the cornerstone of our program. These experiences include cooperative education, simulated patient interactions, engagement with consumer clients, service-learning, clinical research, and clinical education experiences.

Emphasis on Experiential Learning

Cooperative Education

Our DPT program provides students with six months of full-time experiential learning in addition to the required clinical affiliations necessary for licensure. Through cooperative education, the hallmark of Northeastern University, students are able to integrate semesters of academic study with semesters of cooperative education experiences in hospitals and clinics throughout the country and around the globe. Students may be employed as physical therapy co-ops with increasing responsibilities commensurate with their academic studies or perform other health-related duties.

Clinical Education

The curriculum also includes three rotations for a total of thirty-six weeks of clinical education under the direct supervision of a licensed physical therapist. We are affiliated with world-class medical centers and clinical sites throughout the United States, providing students with access to master clinicians and clinical scholars. Every effort is made to accommodate individual circumstances, but students should be prepared to travel out of state for two of the three clinical placements. Availability of a car may be required, as most sites are not accessible by public transportation. All expenses associated with clinical education, including travel and housing, are the responsibility of the student.

Global Outreach

Students may participate in short cultural immersion experiences abroad whereby they engage in community service projects under the direction of a physical therapy faculty member or on physical therapy academic exchanges with partner academic institutions.


During the curriculum, students participate in service-learning opportunities in the local community that offer them an opportunity to learn and apply skills and knowledge related to program objectives. These opportunities start during the first academic year and continue throughout the program in a variety of settings.

Ability to Concentrate

Once in the program, students may have the ability to acquire additional information in two areas of concentration. The Certificate in Early Intervention is an interprofessional program that meets the state and national requirements for personnel to work with families, infants and toddlers with disabilities, or those who are at risk for developmental delays. The Sports Strength and Conditioning Concentration seeks to prepare the physical therapy student to confidently pursue a sports physical therapy position working with athletes of all ages in a variety of settings. In both areas, students take additional course work and conduct focused research and clinical rotations that expand upon the entry-level physical therapy curriculum.

Student Research

Physical therapy students participate in research that is integrated into the curriculum. Students have the opportunity to work with faculty to conduct ongoing research in world-renowned medical centers, in one of the twelve Department of Physical Therapy, Movement , and Rehabilitation Science’s labs and centers (e.g., Neuromotor Systems Lab, Lab for Locomotion Research, Cancer Survivorship Center, The ReGameVR Lab, Movement Neuroscience Lab, Rehabilitation and Epidemiology Trainee Program, Occupational Biomechanics and Ergonomics Lab, Neurophysiology Lab, Teaching and Learning Innovation Lab, Musculoskeletal Epidemiology and Biomechanics Lab, Cadaver Lab, and Neuroscience Wet Lab). The successful outcome is the ability to conduct and present quality research at local and/or national-level conferences.

Complete all courses and requirements listed below unless otherwise indicated.


Year 1

Spring Term
HLTH 5450
and HLTH 5451
Healthcare Research
and Recitation for HLTH 5450
PT 5101
and PT 5102
Foundations of Physical Therapy
and Lab for PT 5101
PT 5131
and PT 5132
Gross Anatomy
and Lab for PT 5131
PT 5160
and PT 5161
Psychosocial Aspects of Healthcare
and Psychosocial Aspects of Healthcare Seminar
Summer Term
PT 5133
and PT 5134
and Lab for PT 5133
PT 5138
and PT 5139
and Lab for PT 5138
PT 5140
and PT 5141
and Recitation for PT 5140
PT 5145Introduction to the Healthcare System2

Year 2 

Fall Term
PT 5111Professional Development for Bouvé Graduate Co-op1
PT 5500Pharmacology for Physical Therapy4
PT 5150
and PT 5151
Motor Control, Development, and Learning
and Lab for PT 5150
PT 5503
and PT 5504
Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Management
and Lab for PT 5503
Spring Term
PT 6964Co-op Work Experience0
Summer Term 1
PT 6964Co-op Work Experience0
Summer Term 2
PT 5515
and PT 5516
Integumentary Systems and Advanced Modalities
and Lab for PT 5515
PT 5540Clinical Integration 1: Evidence and Practice2
PT 6243
and PT 6244
Health Education, Promotion, and Wellness
and Recitation for PT 6243

Year 3

Fall Term
PT 5209
and PT 5210
Neurological Rehabilitation 1
and Lab for PT 5209
PT 5227Physical Therapy Project 13
PT 5505
and PT 5506
Musculoskeletal Management 1
and Lab for PT 5505
PT 6000Leadership, Administration, and Management2
PT 6241Screening for Medical Conditions in Physical Therapy Practice4
Spring Term
PT 5226Physical Therapy Professional Seminar 22
PT 5229Physical Therapy Project 22
PT 5230Pediatric and Geriatric Aspects of Life Span Management3
PT 6221
and PT 6222
Neurological Rehabilitation 2
and Lab for PT 6221
PT 6223
and PT 6224
Musculoskeletal Management 2
and Lab for PT 6223
Summer Term 1
PT 6441Clinical Education 16
Summer Term 2
PT 6215
and PT 6216
Assistive Technology
and Lab for PT 6215
PT 6250Clinical Integration 2: Evidence and Practice2
Complete 2 semester hours from the following range:2

Year 4 

Fall Term
PT 6251Diagnostic Imaging3
PT 6442Clinical Education 26
Spring Term
PT 6448Clinical Education 39

Program Credit/GPA Requirements

123 total semester hours required
Minimum 3.000 GPA required