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.
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
Entrance Exam GRE
Thesis Required for some
|Doctoral Degree Exam||GRE|
|Additional Entrance Requirements||Professional degree in physical therapy, clinical experience|
TOEFL Paper score: 600
TOEFL IBT score: 100
IELTS Paper score: 5
Tuition & Fees
|Financial award applicants must submit:||FAFSA|
|Application deadlines for financial awards||February 1|
|Types of financial support available||
Scholarship and/or loans
|Black or African American||2.92%|
|White or Caucasian||81%|
|American Indian or Alaska Native||0.36%|
|Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander||Not Reported|
|Two or more races||Not Reported|
|Focus of faculty research:||Movement and movement dysfunction|
|Externally sponsored research expenditures last year:||1,745,942|