Skip to main content

LAKERS TOGETHER‘We can’t wait to meet you.’ One constant is our passion for teaching. Watch a faculty member talk about your learning experience.



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

Physical Therapy, D.P.T.

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

Visit the program website for more information.

Listen to Podcast

U.S. Job Growth by 2024
Michigan Job Growth by 2024
GVSU Ranking as West Michigan Talent Provider

Source: EMSI, 2020

Program Overview

Admission to the three year Doctor of Physical Therapy program (D.P.T.) is competitive and requires students to have a bachelors degree. Students must also complete prerequisite courses and obtain a minimum of 50 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.

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.

Why Study Physical Therapy at Grand Valley?

  • Thirteen of fifteen PT faculty members have DPT or terminal doctoral degrees. Many have clinical specializations in areas such as orthopedics, neurology, pediatrics, geriatrics, sports, manual therapy, wound care and vestibular rehabilitation.
  • Advanced topic elective courses based on availability include: cardiopulmonary, sport, spinal manual, neurologic, and pediatric physical therapy.
  • Five full-time clinical education experiences (38 total weeks) with locations available across the United States.
  • Four major area hospitals provide educational experiences.
  • All students participate in collaborative research with faculty.
  • Ninety-eight percent ultimate pass-rate on the National Physical Therapy Licensure Examination, and 100 percent employment rate.
  • The D.P.T. program at Grand Valley is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE), 1111 North Fairfax Street, Alexandria, Virginia 22314; phone: (703) 706-3245; email:; website:


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:; website: If needing to contact the program/institution directly, please call (616) 331- 5675 or email Dr. Dan Vaughn at

Grand Valley State University’s physical therapy program received it’s initial accreditation in May of 1985. It’s most recent accreditation visit was November 11, 2014. GVSU is fully accredited through June 30, 2023. Our 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

Career Options

Physical therapists are employed in many health care settings:

  • Acute care hospitals
  • Athletic teams
  • Centers for persons with disabilities
  • Home health care settings
  • Outpatient offices
  • Rehabilitation facilities
  • Research centers
  • School systems

Skills Employers Want

The Doctor of Physical Therapy at GVSU will develop the skills you need to land the job you want. Whether the skills are advanced or general, you will build a resume of qualifications that are sure to attract employers. The following skills correlate with those pulled from actual job postings in the health sciences field.

  • Physical Therapy
  • Rehabilitation
  • Home Care
  • Treatment Planning
  • Neurology
  • Case Management
  • Acute Care

Application Deadline

Application information is available at Deadline for fall semester is October 15. The $30 application fee is waived if applicant previously applied to Grand Valley.

Admission Requirements

Refer to the physical therapy website for program requirements and university requirements.

For More Information

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

Graduate Admissions Office



When you became a Laker, you opened up a lifetime of learning, and now alumni like you can use your Laker Lifetime Learning (L3) account for classes that provide greater knowledge and new skills. Your account is waiting for you to use for future classes at GVSU. All you have to do is click on the button below to find out more.

Find Out More About Your Laker Lifetime Learning Account (L3)