Doctor of Physical Therapy

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Our entry-level Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) program is designed so graduates excel in serving patients and clients as generalist physical therapists capable of autonomous practice in the health care system. During our 34-month program students progressively build clinical reasoning skills with increasingly complex patient problems through a series of academic and clinical courses that are closely integrated in a uniquely designed curriculum.


Learn about the admissions process, including:

  • Application Deadline: October 1
  • How To Apply via PTCAS
  • Admissions Stats
  • Chat with an Admissions Counselor


Review requirements for admission, including:

  • Minimum recommended criteria
  • Prerequisites
  • Transcripts

Why Choose Samuel Merritt University for your DPT?

SMU Doctor of Physical Therapy Outcomes

Graduation & Employment  

Graduation Rate*94.1%100%91.89%
Employment Rate**100%100%100%

*Graduation rate is the percentage of students admitted to the DPT program who completed the program within 150% of the time normally expected for completion. 
**Employment rate is the percentage of graduates who sought employment and were employed in physical therapy (full-time or part-time) within 1 year of graduation.
Both of these are the definitions used by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education.

National Physical Therapy Exam (NPTE) Pass Rates
SMU  Cohort SMU 1st Time Pass RateNational Average 1st Time Pass Rate+SMU Ultimate Pass Rate+National Average Ultimate Pass Rate+
Class of 201491.7%91.3%100%98.9%
Class of 201594.4%91.3%97.2%98.3%
Class of 2016100%94.3%100%95.3%

+From Federation of State Boards of Physical Therapy Samuel Merritt University Basic Rate Report, 9/8/2016

Additional Links

Check out the Flickr PT photo album below.    

Created with flickr slideshow.




Click the image above to view confirmation of program accreditation

The Doctor of Physical Therapy Program at Samuel Merritt University is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE), 1111 North Fairfax Street, Alexandria, Virginia, 22314; telephone: 703-706-3245; email:; website: