Virginia Commonwealth University

DPT professional degree

VCU's Department of Physical Therapy offers a three-year degree program leading to a Doctor of Physical Therapy. The DPT Program prepares students for entry into the profession by teaching them to evaluate and manage patients with physical therapy problems effectively and in accordance with ethical principles. It also provides students with strategies to continually define and meet their own educational needs in order to keep skills and knowledge current throughout their professional careers.


The Doctor of Physical Therapy Program at VCU is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE), 1111 North Fairfax Street, Alexandria, Virginia 22314; telephone: 703-706-3245; email:; website:


DPT Graduation Data:

Graduation rate 100%
Licensure Examination pass rate 98.04%
E mployment rate: 100%

The DPT Program prepares graduates within the scope of physical therapy practice to:

  • Effectively examine, evaluate, diagnose and determine the prognosis of individuals with impairments, functional limitations and disabilities.
  • Apply health promotion principles and practices in primary, secondary and tertiary prevention.
  • Manage physical therapy problems in a safe, ethical, legal and professional manner.
  • Use appropriate educational principles to design methods to teach patients/clients, caregivers, colleagues and other health care professionals.
  • Effectively manage changes in the physical function and health status of patients/clients.
  • Collaborate with other health care practitioners to achieve the optimum delivery of health care.
  • Select and implement safe and effective physical therapy interventions and assess the subsequent outcomes.
  • Determine the need for further examination or consultation by another physical therapist or for referral to another health care professional.
  • Manage human and material resources and services to provide high quality and cost-effective physical therapy services in diverse settings.
  • Apply concepts and principles of management to effectively supervise support personnel to whom tasks have been delegated.
  • Effectively document patient information and physical therapy services to colleagues in an organized, logical and concise manner.
  • Integrate basic principles of critical inquiry to evaluate, interpret and utilize professional literature in clinical practice, participate in clinical research activities, and critically analyze new concepts in the application of physical therapy practice.
  • Effectively communicate, verbally and non-verbally, with patients and their caregivers, health care personnel and members of the community.
  • Demonstrate an awareness of the influence of social economic, legislative and demographic factors on the delivery of health care.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the importance of lifelong learning and a commitment to the physical therapy profession.