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A physical therapy student getting her doctorate at Grand Valley State University.

Physical Therapy, DPT

Physical therapists provide services that enhance functional independence and address all types of movement disorders or limitations.

Visit the program website for more information.

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Program Overview

Admission to the three-year Doctor of Physical Therapy program (DPT) is competitive and requires students to have a bachelor's degree. Students must also complete prerequisite courses and obtain a minimum of 20 hours of work, volunteer, and/or job shadow experience in physical therapy prior to admission. In addition, students must have two letters of recommendation, one of which must come from a physical therapist. Please see the website for any important updates and/or changes.

Please consult with Grand Valley State University's graduate admissions department if you have any questions.

Why Study Physical Therapy at Grand Valley?

  • State-of-the-art teaching and research facilities in close proximity to a world class rehabilitation center and hospitals on or near "The Medical Mile" in Grand Rapids, impacting instruction, collaboration, and professional networking.
  • A highly integrated curriculum, focused on hands-on experiential learning, delivered by expert core faculty who have clinical specialization in areas such as orthopedics, neurology, pediatrics, geriatrics, sports, manual therapy, wound care, and vestibular rehabilitation.
  • All students participate in collaborative research with faculty; results are regularly published in peer reviewed literature and presented at State and National conferences.
  • Graduates have achieved a 95% first time and 98 percent ultimate pass-rate on the National Physical Therapy Licensure Examination and 100-percent employment rate.

Career Insights

This tool shows an overview of potential career opportunities for this major. Actual salaries, employment opportunities, and job titles may change over time.


The Doctor of Physical Therapy program at Grand Valley State 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: [email protected]; website: If needing to contact the program/institution directly, please call (616) 331- 5675 or email Dr. Todd Sander at [email protected].

Grand Valley State University’s physical therapy program received its initial accreditation in May 1985. Its most recent accreditation visit was November 11, 2014. GVSU is fully accredited through June 30, 2023. The next accreditation visit will occur in 2022. The degree conferred by the GVSU Department of Physical Therapy is the Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT).

Location & Format

Graduate students in this major study at the Robert C. Pew Grand Rapids Campus and the GVSU Health Campus, near the Grand Rapids Medical Mile.

  • Face To Face


  • Anatomy and neurosciences
  • Cardiopulmonary PT
  • Clinical decision making
  • Musculoskeletal PT
  • Professional development
  • Neuromuscular PT
  • Pediatrics and geriatrics
  • Integumentary care
  • Research

Application Deadline

Deadline for the fall semester is "verified" by October 15. The $30 application fee is waived if the applicant previously applied to GVSU. Visit for application information.

Program Deposit

Students accepted into the program must submit a nonrefundable $500 deposit to hold their seat. If the student matriculates into the program, the deposit is applied to their first semester's tuition.

Admission Requirements

For general requirements for graduate admission, visit Grand Valley State University’s admission section of the online catalog.

Admission into the physical therapy program has additional requirements, which are available on this page.

If you have additional questions, please contact our graduate admissions office.

For More Information

College of Health Professions
Department of Physical Therapy and Athletic Training
Physical Therapy
301 Michigan Street NE, Grand Rapids, MI 49503
(616) 331-5675

Apply Online

Program Director

Todd Sander, PT, Ph.D.
(616) 331-5700