While this doctorate degree encourages worldwide student enrollments, it is not appropriate for international students who want to study in the U.S. on a student visa.
Practicing physical therapists can obtain their Doctor of Physical Therapy degree through the innovative transitional DPT program. This program is designed for the working professional with demanding careers, using online course offerings to provide flexibility and convenience. The program is structured so that candidates may complete their coursework and doctoral projects in as few as 1-2 years.
The transitional DPT program offers a curriculum that is adaptable and allows students to pursue areas of individual interest. Core topic areas include: differential diagnosis and medical screening, diagnostic imaging, pharmacology, nutrition, and motor control. All students will study current evidence with respect to each core topic. Students may take electives and/or specialize across a wide range of subjects including, but not limited to, orthopaedics, pediatrics, geriatrics, advanced nutrition, women’s health, education, business management, leadership, urban health, or autonomous practice and direct access. Students may also choose to complete a directed study on a pre-approved topic of their choice.
The transitional DPT program provides practitioners with a degree-based opportunity to acquire new knowledge, skills, and behaviors and to do so with professional colleagues who bring a wealth of experience in the application of the science and art of physical therapy. In this day and age, preparation to be a physical therapist requires an educational experience that is commensurate with doctoral preparation.
To complete the program a comprehensive case analysis, research project, or doctoral level independent work is required. This capstone work will address an issue in clinical investigation, community health, ethics, law, urban health, or another topic of interest. This structure provides a unique educational experience offering students opportunities for professional growth while providing the knowledge base required of a doctorally-prepared practitioner. Many of our graduates publish and present their doctoral work both nationally and internationally. The American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) envisions the clinical DPT becoming the terminal degree of the profession by the year 2020. The mission of the transitional DPT program is to graduate doctorally-prepared adult learners, who were previously in possession of a physical therapy license and are practicing clinicians and/or educators. The philosophical model of the department of physical therapy guides the DPT curriculum and fosters an integration of art and science, as well as professional and experiential education. Graduates of the Northeastern University transitional DPT program will be well versed in the physical therapy arena of autonomous practice and direct access.
Eric Folmar, PT, DPT, OCS, CKTP
Department of Physical Therapy, Movement and Rehabilitation Sciences