The Doctor of Physical Therapy program at Duke aims for the highest possible academic achievement. With our 100 percent employment rate, DPT graduates can expect to enter the profession knowing that their degree is second to none—thanks to our accomplished faculty and unique academic opportunities.

The Doctor of Physical Therapy curriculum provides students with the latest innovative instruction. Our signature pedagogy uses team-based learning, STEPs® (Student Team Experience in Practice), clinical internships, extensive research opportunities, professional development, and a focus on global health.

The DPT program's integrated didactic and clinical curriculum requires a three-year, full-time commitment. Students complete 40 required courses plus two elective courses for a total of 122 credit hours. The curriculum is conducted in sequence. Student spend approximately half of their time in the classroom/lab and half of their time in clinic.

Classes are taught by the program's diverse faculty at the medical school and through U.S.-based and global clinical internships. DPT faculty take advantage of the high-tech education facilities available at the Duke University Medical Center. Clinical instruction is provided at sites throughout the United States.

Curriculum highlights

  • Team-based learning: TBL means DPT students can establish a sense of cohesion, deeper learning, and more inter-professional connections with their colleagues in the medical school, physician assistant program and School of Nursing.

  • STEPs®: Student Team Experience in Practice allows students to work in clinic practically applying what they have learned under the direction of a skilled clinician.

  • Clinical internships: Three clinical internships in the third year allow students to work in a variety of clinical settings. DPT students earn almost half of their required hours in clinical settings. Clinical internships are available in affiliating hospitals, rehabilitation centers and private practices 32 states, including Hawaii and the District of Columbia.

  • Research: DPT students explore research through three evidence-based-practice courses (the EBP series) within the core curriculum, which culminate with a capstone project pursued jointly with a faculty mentor. Students can also take electives and work with research-based faculty.

  • Global health: Global programs are constantly evolving. Today, Duke administers global programs in Norway and Kuwait, while clinical education coordinators focus on emerging international collaborations in Sri Lanka and Tanzania.



Applications must be submitted through the Physical Therapy Centralized Application Service (PTCAS). Learn more about the application process.

Contact Us

If you have questions regarding our program, contact us at 919-681-4380.