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DPT Frequently Asked Questions

The Department of Physical Therapy offers the DPT as the degree for first preparation as a physical therapist.  Below are the answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about our program.

Features of the Temple DPT program

  • The DPT Program is located within the Department of Physical Therapy, College of Public Health (CPH) at Temple University on Temple’s main campus. 
  • State-of-the-art Temple University Anatomy Laboratory and Clinical Simulation Laboratory opened.
  • Temple’s full-time faculty consist of clinical instruction and research professors
  • The entire DPT program two years and 11 months in duration.  Classes are year round with some breaks that correspond to the Universities academic calendar. The clinical education (internship) portion is 36 weeks divided into three 12-week full time experiences. We also have part-time integrated clinical experiences which are completed alongside didactic coursework.
  • Students can expect to receive a strong background in the foundational sciences (anatomy, physiology, pharmacology, psychology, neuroscience, movement analysis) with increased emphasis on the human movement system to increase the knowledge required by the physical therapists as the primary provider of health care intervention for movement dysfunction.
  • Students can expect to become critical consumers of scientific and clinical literature in support of evidence-based physical therapy examination, diagnosis, and intervention with emphasis on clinical decision-making.
  • Students will have an opportunity to select from courses in advanced topics in specialized practice areas.
  • Students can expect to receive training that emphasizes the new and expanding roles for physical therapists in diagnostics, radiology, pharmacology, cultural competence, health policy, health promotion and wellness, administration and management, health care financing, consultation in health care and, client education on individual, community, and public levels.

How long is the program?

Temple’s program is ~3 years in duration. The 117-credit curriculum includes 36 weeks of full-time clinical experiences.

What does the Temple DPT curriculum include?

  • The curriculum for the DPT program includes a foundational year including basic science and clinical skills followed by clinical management courses.
  • The third year includes a capstone project related to the evidence surrounding a clinical topic. Additionally, each student is able to select two elective courses to enhance their skill or knowledge in a given area.
  • The DPT academic program is divided into three years with an effort made to maintain a curricular intensity close to a 1 credit average per week for every semester.
  • We include an Integrated Clinical Education (ICE) experiences throughout the first year of the curriculum to allow students to practice skills on live patients.
  • We also have a total of 36 weeks of full-time clinical education experiences.

What sets Temple apart from other Doctor of Physical Therapy programs?

  • Being in the heart of Philadelphia and part of the College of Public Health, the DPT program is positioned to be working with other healthcare professionals within the College.
  • All classrooms are smart classrooms.  Temple utilizes Canvas as an online educational management tool.  Canvas allows easy online access of syllabi, course lectures, course documents, grades, paper submission, reserved articles, and free access to research publications and journals.
  • Unlike most DPT programs Temple has a large research component.  Most faculty conduct a research agenda and students are invited to participate as assistants, observers, subjects and analysts.
  • The Clinical Simulation Laboratory allows for the use of hard wired mannequins by the students for the practice of physiological monitoring.

Are research opportunities available at Temple?

Yes. A large number of faculty members have research agendas sponsored by federal government or foundation grants. Research areas include: virtual reality rehabilitation, balance, musculoskeletal overuse disease, inflammatory biomarkers, movement disorders, stroke rehabilitation, pediatric cerebral palsy, admissions, the effectiveness of non-government support of the poor, and pediatric spinal cord injury. Students may volunteer in these laboratories or may apply for work study grants.

Describe the clinical education courses.

  • There are three clinical education courses known as Clinical Experiences. A total of 36 weeks of full-time clinical experiences are divided equally among three experiences. In additional to the full-time clinical experiences, we have 5 dedicated courses for part-time integrated clinical experiences that allow students to apply techniques and skills learned in the classroom immediately within an actual physical therapy setting.
  • The clinical experiences place the student at clinical sites affiliated with Temple University. The majority of the sites for clinical education are on the East Coast, concentrated in the Delaware Valley, where students receive the opportunity to practice skills learned during the didactic portion of the curriculum under the guidance of a qualified clinical instructor. There are currently clinical sites in 36 states. 
  • The Co-Directors of Clinical Education meet with each student yearly to target potential sites for internship based upon student clinical interests, student geographical interests, and site availability. Particular site placement cannot be guaranteed.
    • Please NoteStudents are responsible for all costs associated with clinical education, including travel, housing, meals, and other living expenses. These costs might be up to $1500 per full time internship.

Dual or post-professional degree options?

  • Beginning in September of 2009, Temple University Doctor of Physical Therapy Program began accepting students into the Orthopedic Physical Therapy Residency Program. Residency programs in Physical Therapy follow the medical model of post-graduate specialist education.

General Questions

Are there open houses for potential applicants?

Typically, open houses are held one time in the Fall and Spring semester. Please refer to the Temple DPT website or email DPTadmissions@temple.edu

How often and how long are any breaks within the DPT Program?

The DPT curriculum is designed to provide numerous opportunities for students to get some time away from the classroom and the clinic. Student can expect to encounter several breaks of at least a week or more. This is in alignment with the academic calendar of the University.

Are there available locations on campus for the students to meet and work together on weekends?

Yes, the main library, medical library and other campus locations are open 24 hours per day, 7 days per week.

Prerequisite Questions

What are the pre-requisites for the program?

Please click here for complete information about prerequisites.

What is the GRE code for Temple DPT?

Institutional Code: 7581

Application and Admission Questions

When should I apply to Temple DPT?

  • We recommend you apply as early as possible in the cycle
  • PTCAS admission cycle opens in July annually
  • It is recommended that you apply as early as possible and prior to the deadline to be considered.

May I apply to more than one DPT Program?

Absolutely.  We strongly recommend applicants visit and apply to more than one program. 

What is early decision?

Early Decision Applicants: Temple University has decided to participate in the PTCAS Early Decision Program beginning in July 2013.  Briefly, students may apply for “early decision” to one school. The applicant may not apply to any other DPT programs during the early decision period.  The applicant must have the competed application to PTCAS by late August (please refer to the PTCAS website for the exact date).  A decision must be rendered to the applicant by late September. If the student is accepted, the student is not allowed to apply or commit to another PTCAS DPT program.  If the student is not accepted the student is free to apply to any PTCAS DPT program.

How can I maximize my chances of being accepted to Temple’s Doctor of Physical Therapy Program?

The entry-level DPT program involves a competitive selection process that leads to a rigorous curriculum and hopefully a very rewarding career.  If you believe that becoming a physical therapist is the right career decision for you, you should consider choosing a strong undergraduate program that prepares you for physical therapy admission.  We do accept applicants with any undergraduate major as long as all the pre-requisite courses (see below) have been successfully completed.  You can find out more about other CAPTE Accredited Physical Therapy Programs across the country via a centralized website or contact the American Physical Therapy Association at (800) 999-APTA.

For Temple undergraduate students, the following majors currently offer curricula that most efficiently prepare the student for entry into the DPT program: Exercise Science (College of Public Health), Kinesiology (College of Public Health), Therapeutic Recreation (College of Public Health,) Public Health, Biology (College of Science & Technology), Anthropology (College of Liberal Arts), and Psychology (College of Liberal Arts).  Undergraduate majors interested in Physical Therapy at Temple are not limited to these programs as long as pre-requisites have been completed prior to entry to the DPT program.   However, it is important to keep in mind that we have had many successful graduates with undergraduate majors in dance, accounting, theater, Spanish, history, education, chemistry, and physics.

Additional considerations for applying:

  • It should be evident through references and the essay that the applicant has a strong drive to become a physical therapist and ultimately understand the current status of the profession.
  • Temple DPT has a strong component of leadership and services that are embedded throughout the academic program. We advise applicants to seek out opportunities to develop their leadership skills and diversify their service experience.
  • Finally, physical therapy is a profession where interpersonal skills as essential for effectively communicating with members of the healthcare team, third parties and ultimately the patient and/or their family. Communication both verbal and non-verbal are critical components to becoming a successful physical therapist. 

Accelerated Admission Option

Does Temple have an accelerated option for admission?

  • Yes, and the accelerated option is only available to incoming Temple University freshmen. 
  • Please visit this webpage for additional information on the accelerated option.
  • Freshman entering Temple must choose one of the following undergraduate majors: biology, kinesiology, or health professions. 
  • At admission the student must declare to his/her advisor an interest in the accelerated option (3+3).  If the student maintains a cumulative GPA of >3.5 and a GPA in his/her major of >3.4 the student may apply to the DPT for admission after the junior year of undergraduate study, eliminating the need senior year of undergraduate school. 
  • This is the best available scholarship as it reduces one year of tuition and allows the successful student to enter the work-force one year earlier. 


Currently there are a few scholarships available within the Department of Physical Therapy. These scholarships are typically offered post-acceptance. Please see this webpage for additional information.


What are the estimated costs of the DPT Program?

Temple University tuition rates will give you a projected cost of the full-time DPT curriculum. The curriculum is 117 total credits.

  • FeesPlease see the above website for student fee information.
  • BooksBooks are an essential part of the physical therapist's education and form the basis of an individual’s professional library that will accompany the therapist throughout his or her career. One should anticipate that book purchases may total up to $1500 per year.
  • HousingHousing costs are variable, depending on the type of housing chosen by the student. The Philadelphia area has an abundant selection of rental properties, with urban and suburban options, within many price ranges. Contact with current graduate students can help in the selection process. On-campus housing is available from Temple University on its Main Campus. Contact:

The Office University Housing

315 Student Activities Center

13th St & Montgomery Ave

Temple University

Philadelphia, PA 19122

(215) 204-7224

  • Financial Aid – Information and financial aid forms are available from the:

Student Financial Services

Faculty Student Union

Broad and Ontario Streets

Temple University

Philadelphia, PA 19140

(215) 707-2667

  • Financial aid is available in the form of student loans and work-study positions for eligible students.  Information on "tuition support in return for employment" opportunities will be made available to enrolled students in the second and third year of the program.

Foreign-Trained Applicants

Are there special procedures for international students?

Temple strongly welcomes international applicants.  International applicants (Canadian applicants are not considered international applicants) must meet the same bachelor’s degree/GRE/pre-requisite requirements of US applicants.  In addition, international applicants must have their international transcripts reviewed by a licensed evaluative agency (http://www.wes.org and submit them to PTCAS.  In addition, international applicants who received their bachelor’s degree from any country other than the countries of Great Britain, Ireland, Australia and New Zealand must submit TOEFL scores directly to PTCAS.  International applicants who received their bachelor’s degree from a US institution do not need to have their transcript evaluated prior to submission to PTCAS and are not required to submit the TOEFL.

Foreign-trained applicants are encouraged to also send the review of the international transcript directly to Temple admissions (DPTAdmissions@temple.edu) to ensure that all pre-requisite courses have been successfully completed.