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Washington University in St. Louis

Program in Physical Therapy

Saint Louis, MO


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Washington University in St. Louis


A U.S. News top ranked Doctor of Physical Therapy

"U.S. News & World Report" ranked the Doctor of Physical Therapy program at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis as the best in the country. The program's pioneering movement-based approach focuses on how improper movement causes impairment and injury. Its curriculum integrates innovative classroom learning with extensive clinical training. In fact, students receive 38 weeks of full-time clinical exposure and have access to 400-plus clinical training sites nationwide.


Students earn their degrees in a collaborative learning environment that includes passionate educators and groundbreaking research as well as a world-renowned, academic medical center. This high level of training ensures that they graduate fully-equipped to become compassionate and effective physical therapists.

Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) curriculum

The full-time, three-year DPT program at Washington University School of Medicine has four elements:

- Coursework in foundation sciences includes anatomy, kinesiology, neuroscience, and physiology.

- Coursework in clinical sciences consists of diagnosing and managing patient conditions.

- Professional application training encompasses courses and training about business practices, ethics, and policies within the profession.

- Clinical education provides hands-on experience in physical therapy clinics.

The first year of the program focuses on the foundation sciences and provides initial contact with patients. In year two, the focus shifts to clinical diagnosis and management of patients' conditions. Year three involves completing final coursework and clinical internships.

Graduate training to investigate and improve movement impairments

Washington University School of Medicine offers  the expertise of outstanding researchers from diverse fields to create a world-class training experience built on a core of biocontrol, biomechanics, and bioenergetics. The PhD in Movement Science trains students to examine and improve movement impairments in people who have chronic conditions like diabetes, low back pain, hip disorders, neuropathy, obesity, Parkinson disease, and stroke. Students collaborate with multiple departments in the Washington University School of Medicine, as well as with colleagues in biomedical engineering, psychology, radiology, orthopaedic surgery, and biology.

Distinguished faculty members

The DPT program's world-renowned faculty members ensure that students receive the highest quality education. They have in-depth knowledge about the treatment of neuromuscular and orthopedic conditions as well as movement impairment classifications. They engage in systematic investigation of the movement system to develop diagnoses for movement dysfunction.

Clinically-relevant research

The research division's mission is to understand how aging, development, disease, injury, and lifestyle affect the movement system. It also aims to determine how movement can be used to enhance physical activity, function, and participation for people in all life stages. Its interdisciplinary, scientific efforts include mechanistic and translational studies at every level of organization--from the human cell to society. Its research receives millions of dollars in funding from the university as well as federal agencies and private foundations.

Faculty members are instrumental in fulfilling the Research Division's mission. Their research and critical analysis of evidence provide a strong foundation for educational and clinical efforts in the physical therapy program. They investigate a wide-range of areas including the following:

- B. Ruth Clark, PT, PhD and Susan B. Racette, PhD: Physical Activity and Fitness

- Diana C. Parra Perez, MPH, PhD: Nutrition and Exercise Science

- Gammon M. Earhart, PT, PhD and Ryan P. Duncan, PT, DPT: Movement and Neurodegenerative Disease

- Mary K. Hastings, PT, DPT, MSCI, ATC: Foot and Ankle Injury and Recovery

- Linda Van Dillen, PT, PhD, FAPTA: Prevention, Rehabilitation & Maintenance in Musculoskeletal Conditions

- Marcie Harris- Hayes, PT, DPT, MSCI: Rehabilitation Research for Orthopaedic Conditions

- Todd Cade, PT, PhD: Metabolism & Organ Function in Metabolic Disease

- Catherine Lang, PT, PhD: Stroke Recovery & Rehabilitation Accelerometry

- Michael Harris, PhD: Whole Body and Joint-Level Orthopaedic Biomechanics

- Gretchen Meyers, PhD: Integrative Muscle Physiology

Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis

Washington University School of Medicine works to advance human health across the globe. Since its founding in 1891, the school's faculty has contributed many innovations and discoveries to medicine and science. They are both collaborators and mentors who help students become highly-skilled clinicians and researchers in the following health fields:

- Medical Education

- Audiology and Communication Sciences

- Biology and Biomedical Sciences

- Clinical and Population Research

- Occupational Therapy

- Physical Therapy

The university receives national recognition for providing excellence in education, patient care, and research. According to "U.S. News & World Report," Washington University School of Medicine is one of the best medical schools for research (#8) and primary care (#10) in the nation. The publication also ranked several of its programs among the best in the country including audiology (#3), internal medicine (#8), and occupational therapy (#1).

The school is one of seven within Washington University in St. Louis, which is located in St. Louis, Missouri in the southern region of the United States.

Degrees & Awards

Degrees Offered

Degree Concentration Sub-concentration
Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT)

Degrees Awarded

Degree Number Awarded
Doctoral Degrees 85

Earning Your Degree

Part-time study available? No
Evening/weekend programs available? No
Distance learning programs available? No
Terminal master's degree available? No

Degree Requirements

Degree Requirement
Doctoral Degrees Entrance Exam GRE
Thesis Required for some


Acceptance Rate



Application Fee - Domestic
applications accepted?
Applications processed
on a rolling basis?

Application Deadlines

Type Domestic International Priority date
Fall deadline August 15th August 15th Yes
Winter deadline February 1st February 1st Yes
Spring deadline February 1st February 1st No

Entrance Requirements

Exam Details
Doctoral Degree Exam GRE
Additional Entrance Requirements Professional degree in physical therapy, clinical experience

International Students

Exam Details
TOEFL: Required TOEFL Paper score: 600
TOEFL IBT score: 100
TWE: Required IELTS Paper score: 5

Tuition & Fees

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Financial Support

Financial award applicants must submit: FAFSA
Application deadlines for financial awards February 1
Types of financial support available Fellowships
Institutionally-sponsored Loans
Scholarship and/or loans

Student Body

Total Graduate Students
Not Reported
International Breakout (representing other countries)
Out-of-state students


Hispanic/Latino 1.46%
Black or African American 2.92%
White or Caucasian 81%
American Indian or Alaska Native 0.36%
Asian 4.38%
Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander Not Reported
Two or more races Not Reported
Unknown 9.85%


Male (24%)
Female (75%)


Total faculty
Full-time - 23
Part-time - 13
Male (8)
Female (28)


Focus of faculty research: Movement and movement dysfunction
Externally sponsored research expenditures last year:

Location & Contact

Address Campus Box 8502
4444 Forest Park Avenue
Saint Louis, MO  63108
United States
Contact Dr. Gammon Earhart
Phone: 314-286-1400
Fax: 314-286-1410