Doctor of Physical Therapy Program Overview

The Alvernia University Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) Program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy (CAPTE). The DPT is a clinical post-graduate doctoral degree that is 3 years in length and the required credential for preparing graduates to make significant contributions to the profession. The DPT program is offered in a 4+3 year curricular format. Prospective students with an earned bachelor’s degree from Alvernia or another four-year accredited institution are welcome to apply. A 3+3 year, accelerated format is also available that allows Alvernia students who are admitted as undergraduate freshman into one of 4 majors (Biochemistry, Biology, Healthcare Science, or Psychology) to begin the professional phase of the curriculum in their senior year. Upon maintaining the required GPA and completion of all requirements, these students are eligible to compete with other accelerated students for entrance into the program, and may complete their undergraduate training and doctoral degree within 6 years. See Alvernia DPT Program's accreditation status under the "Accreditation" tab.


Preparing the Next Generation of Physical Therapists

Physical therapy is provided by Doctors of Physical Therapy, who are recognized by consumers and other healthcare professionals as an entry-point into the healthcare system. The physical therapist will be responsible for evaluating and managing an individual's movement system across the lifespan to promote optimal development; diagnose impairments, activity limitations, and participation restrictions; and provide interventions targeted at preventing or ameliorating activity limitations and participation restrictions. The movement system is the core of physical therapist practice, education, and research. Educators will seek to propagate the highest standards of teaching and learning, supporting collaboration and innovation throughout academia. Researchers will collaborate with clinicians to expand available evidence and translate it into practice, conduct comparative effectiveness research, standardize outcome measurement, and participate in interprofessional research teams. The physical therapy profession will advocate for patients/clients/consumers both as individuals and as a population, in practice, education, and research settings to manage and promote change, adopt best practice standards and approaches, and ensure that systems are built to be consumer-centered."1

As an Alvernia Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) graduate, you will be prepared to engage in evidence-based clinical care, understand your rights and responsibilities as a member of a doctoring profession, and possess the required knowledge and skill to change the lives of those whom you serve. Consistent with the vision of the American Physical Therapy Association and Alvernia University, the DPT Program endeavors to develop graduates who are "ethical leaders with moral courage" and prepared to assume a leadership role in addressing the health-related concerns that society faces.

1. APTA. Vision Statement of the Physical Therapy Profession. 2013

Expanding Opportunities and Making a Difference

The profession of Physical Therapy appeals to people who enjoy physical activity, service to others, and interactive therapeutic relationships. They make a positive difference in the lives of individuals who have impairments in mobility by helping to prevent, restore, or resolve dysfunctional conditions.

More than 120,000 physical therapists are licensed in the United States today, treating nearly one million people every day. Physical Therapists are employed in a variety of practice settings which include, but are not limited to, orthopaedic outpatient clinics, acute care hospital-based facilities, acute and sub-acute rehabilitation hospitals, sports medicine centers, research institutions, long-term care facilities, pediatric facilities, skilled nursing facilities, transitional care units, school-based facilities, and home health care.

The Profession of Physical Therapists was considered the 16th Best Health Care Job and 20th Best Job in America in 2019, with an expected 28% increase in job opportunities between 2016 and 2026 with an estimate of 67,100 new job opportunities (US News and World Report, 2019). U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics expected a 22% increase in job opportunities from 2018 to 2028, a greater increase compared to other occupations (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2019).

Program Features
  • Early and frequent clinical education immersion which begins in the first semester of the Program, serves to connect the classroom with the clinic
  • New state-of-the-art facility and equipment; research lab for motion analysis and teaching-learning labs with four virtual dissection tables.
  • Performance-based physical therapy education, which focuses on the practical application of knowledge and the development of clinical skills ensures that graduates will be prepared to have an immediate impact on the lives of others.
  • Opportunities for interprofessional educational experiences with students from OT, nursing, behavioral health, athletic training, medical imaging, and healthcare science, among others provides students with an appreciation for the unique contribution of each discipline within the healthcare team 
  • Active community engagement and service-learning through various initiatives in the nearby city of Reading enables students to appreciate their role within the community and their responsibility to use their skills in the service of others
  • Our Clinical Expert Integration Model (CEIM) endeavors to identify highly skilled, expert clinicians within a variety of areas within the Program, as associated faculty who perform didactic teaching, lab assistance, and provide clinical education
  • Active learning experiences provide opportunities to engage students as adult learners who take the onus for the creation of authentic learning 
  • Completion of a Comprehensive Examination helps to prepare students for the National Physical Therapy Exam (NPTE), which is required for licensure
  • DPT core faculty have over 80 years of combined clinical experience and 50 years of academic teaching experience representing a variety of specialty practice areas within the profession. Students will learn from professors who currently practice, publish, impart contemporary and evidence-based practices, and truly care about each student's educational journey. 
  • Employment placement rate of 100%
Learn More

For more information about our Doctor of Physical Therapy Program, contact Graduate Admissions at 610-796-5187, via email at or by filling out the form below:




DPT Doctor of Physical Therapy

PT OT students in Belize
PT, OT Students Serve Patients in Need in Belize
Alvernia University physical therapy (PT) and occupational therapy (OT) students and faculty served patients in a clinical study abroad experience in Belmopan, Belize.

Doctor of Physical Therapy Program at Alvernia University is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy (CAPTE), 3030 Potomac Avenue, Suite 100, Alexandria, Virginia 22305-3085; telephone: 703-706-3245; email:; website: If needing to contact the program/institution directly, please call 610-568-1546 or email