More than 120,000 physical therapists are licensed in the U.S., treating nearly 1 million people every day. Alvernia University’s Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) program aspires to develop “ethical leaders with moral courage,” prepared to assume a leadership role in addressing the health-related concerns society faces. Alvernia’s DPT program utilizes a state-of-the art facility, featuring Anatomage Virtual Dissection tables, a research lab with motion analysis system, a real-time ultrasound unit, a split-belt treadmill, surface electromyography and accelerometers.

The DPT program is offered in a 4+3 year curricular format or a 3+3 year accelerated format. Alvernia students who are admitted as undergraduate students into one of 4 majors (Biochemistry, Biology, Healthcare Science, or Psychology) begin the professional phase of the curriculum in their senior year. Upon maintaining the required GPA and completion of all admission 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.


Getting Started

General Notes
  • A minimum of 123 credits are required for graduation.
  • Credits earned for COM 100 and MAT 100 do not count toward the 123 credits required for graduation; however, COM 100 students may petition for elective credit.
  • Where appropriate, courses required for the major can be used to satisfy General Education requirements. However, the credits earned for these courses are applied to either Gen Ed requirements or the major, not both.
  • Paths of Knowledge coursework may count towards major or minor requirements, but may not fulfill a second Mid-Level Liberal Arts Exploration requirement.
  • Students are expected to follow the catalog requirements for General Education, the major, and additional requirements.
  • A minor or second major within the areas listed under Paths of Knowledge automatically fulfills that area of the Gen Ed requirements.
Application Instructions

Through a rolling admission process, prospective undergraduate students — including first-year, transfer, and international students — may apply via the Alvernia web portal or The Common Application. To learn more about how to complete your application, please visit our application page.

Financing Your Education

There are options to assist in financing your education and making the tuition affordable. Visit our Student Financial Services page for a detailed overview of the process, including a link to complete the FAFSA application, as well as more information about tuition, the tuition payment plan and the tuition deferment program we offer. Alvernia’s Title IV code for the FAFSA is 003233. The Office of Student Financial Services is available to help with any questions you may have. Call 610-796-8201 or email

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Why Choose Alvernia?
• A nationally ranked comprehensive regional university, Alvernia offers more than 50 majors and minors.
• An ever-expanding number of experiential learning opportunities includes internships, field experiences, co-ops, research projects, and study/service abroad programs.
• A rich campus life allows students to enjoy a full calendar of activities and events, more than 50 clubs, intramural sport and student leadership and governance opportunities.
• In growth mode, Alvernia continues to add value to its student experience: expanding academic programming in new facilities; adding student living space and updating residence halls; partnering with a community health provider; and adding amenities including a game room and new performance space.


Program Overview

Major Notes
  • BIO 109 is recommended. MAT 208 is the required Math course.
  • CLEARANCES: In the semester before the practicum, the student must obtain appropriate background clearances. If the clearances 
    are not on file in the Academic Compliance Office prior to the first day of the semester, the student will not be allowed to enroll in 
    the practicum. If the student fails a clearance, the course instructor will attempt to place the student in a practicum which does not 
    require a clearance. The practicum agency makes the final decision regarding acceptance of a student with their organization.
  • Any student participating in an experiential component of the program (ex. Research with a faculty member, service-learning course, 
    volunteer experience) may be required to obtain background clearances prior to participating.
Curriculum: General Education

All Alvernia students must successfully complete a minimum of 123 semester credits to receive a Bachelor of Arts or a Bachelor of Science degree. You’ll need to complete 54-56 liberal arts core credits and complete community service hours. In addition, Mechanical Engineering majors must complete 98-103 credits in the major.

First Year Curriculum: Enduring Questions

  • SEARCH Seminar-Enduring Questions or Honor Search-Enduring Questions (3 credits: SRH 101 or HNR 160)
  • COM 101 Composition & Research: Must earn a C or higher (3 credits)
  • THE 105 Foundations of Theology (3 credits)
  • PHI 105 Introduction to Philosophy (3 credits)

Mid-Level Liberal Arts Exploration Credits

  • Exploring the Natural World (6-8 credits)
    • Lab Science (Bio 109 is recommended)
    • Math (MAT 208 is required)
  • Individuals & Communities (6 credits)
    • History or Political Science
    • PSY 101, HIS, POS, SOC, SSC, or ECON (Met in major requirements)
  • Culture & Language (9 credits)
    • Communication (Not COM 100 or 101)
    • World Language – 2 courses in sequence
  • Creative Expressions (6 credits)
    • Literature (ENG)
    • Art, Music, or Theatre

Ethical Leaders and Followers Credits

  • Theology or Philosophy (200-400 level)
  • Theology or Philosophy (Ethics/Morality @ 200 level)
Curriculum: Paths of Knowledge

Paths of Knowledge may count towards minor or Related Requirements, but not Mid-Level Arts Exploration requirements. Choose one path.

PATH 1: Interdisciplinary Study (IS)

Three courses, at least two from Liberal Arts disciplines, not the major, at the 200-400 level from the interdisciplinary minors of Women & Gender Studies, Digital Media, Community & Environmental Sustainability, Community Engagement, Cultural Studies, Leadership Studies or Pre-Law.

PATH 2: Multi-disciplinary Study (MS)

Three courses, at least two from Liberal Arts disciplines, not the major, at the 200-400 level employing multiple disciplinary perspectives to explore the Enduring Questions in one of the following themes: Cultural & Global Studies, Imagination & Creativity, Peace & Conflict, Poverty & Wealth or Sustainability, Science & Technology.

PATH 3: In-depth Disciplinary Study (DS)

Three courses at the 200-400 level in one Liberal Arts discipline other than one’s major, guided by common ideas and methods of inquiry. Students choose from Art, Biology, Chemistry, Communication, Computer Science, Economics, English, History, Mathematics, Music, Philosophy, Political Science, Psychology, Sociology, Theology, Theatre or World Languages. This path may be used to give students a firm foundation in a discipline supporting their chosen major, or to pursue an interest in one of the Liberal Arts disciplines. 

Curriculum: Major Requirements

All Alvernia students must successfully complete a minimum of 123 semester credits to receive a Bachelor of Arts or a Bachelor of Science degree. You’ll need to complete 54-56 liberal arts core credits and complete community service hours. In addition, Psychology majors must complete 50 credits in the major. All psychology majors are required to do a year-long practicum during their senior year. Alvernia's internship is unique because during the students' two semesters in the internship, they can choose two different sites or spend two semesters at the same site.

Semester 1 (16 credits)

  • BIO 107 A&P I (3 CR)
  • BIO 117 A&P I LAB (1 CR)
  • Gen Ed (3 CR)
  • PSY 101 Introductory Psychology (3 cr)
  • THE 105 or PHI 105 (3 cr)
  • Complete 5 hours of Community Service

Semester 2 (16 credits)

  • PSY 130 Exploring Research (must be taken before PSY 230) (3 cr)
  • THE 105 or PHI 105 (3 cr)
  • MAT 208 (Pre-Requisite for PSY 230) (3 cr)
  • Gen Ed (3 cr)
  • BIO 108/118 A&P II lecture & lab (4 cr)
  • Complete 5 hours of Community Service

***Students should expect to take additional coursework (3-6 credits of Gen Ed) over the summer or winter to complete this program.
A BS in PSYCHOLOGY is awarded at the end of the 4th year. The remainder of the DPT curriculum will result in the earning of the DPT.***

Semester 3 (16-17 credits)

  • PSY 250 Psychopathology (3 cr)
  • PSY 230 Applications of Research (Pre-req PSY 130 /Pre-req or Co-req MAT 208) (3 cr)
  • CHE 104/110 General Chemistry I lecture & lab (4 cr)PHY 110 General Physics I or Gen Ed ONLY FALL (3-4 cr)
  • Gen Ed (3 cr)
  • Complete 5 hours of Community Service

Semester 4 (17-18 credits)

  • PSY 314 Application Theories/Tech Spring Only (3 cr)
  • PHI 200 level (or above) ethics course (3 cr)
  • CHE 105/111 General Chemistry II lecture & lab (4 cr)
  • BIO PATH 3 (BIO 211 Kinesiology Recommended) (4 cr)
  • PHY 111 General Physics II or Gen Ed OFFERED EVERY OTHER YEAR (3-4 cr)
  • Complete 5 hours of Community Service

Semester 5 (16-17 credits)

  • PSY 301 History & Systems Fall Only (3 cr)
  • PSY 412 Practicum I (2 cr)
  • PSY 422 Ethical and Professional Issues I (2 cr)
  • PHY 110 General Physics I or Gen Ed ONLY FALL (3-4 cr)
  • PSY 208 Human Development (3 cr)
  • Gen Ed (3 cr)
  • Complete 5 hours of Community Service

Semester 6 (16-17 credits)

  • PSY 413 Practicum II (2 cr)
  • PSY 423 Ethical and Professional Issue II (2 cr)
  • PHY 111 General Physics II or Gen Ed OFFERED EVERY OTHER YEAR (3-4)
  • PSY ELECTIVE or Gen Ed (3 cr)
  • BIO PATH 3 (3 cr)
  • BIO PATH 3 (3 cr)
  • Complete 5 hours of Community Service

Semester 7 (18 credits)

  • DPT 500 Gross Anatomy & Histology (5 cr)
  • DPT 503 Applied Physiology for Physical Therapy (5 cr)
  • DPT 504 Practice Management I (3 cr)
  • DPT 508 PT Procedures I (4 cr)
  • DPT 522 Foundations of Clinical Practice (1 cr)
  • Complete 5 hours of Community Service

Semester 8 (19 credits)

  • DPT 502 Kinesiology (4 cr)
  • DPT 512 Critical Inquiry I (1 cr)
  • DPT 516 Musculoskeletal Practice I (3 cr)
  • DPT 520 Neuromuscular Practice I ( 3 cr)
  • DPT 509 Found Clin Exam & Eval (4 cr)
  • DPT 528 Cardio Practice I (3 cr)
  • Complete 5 hours of Community Service
Experiential Learning Opportunities

Alvernia offers 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. Numerous service-learning opportunities are provided early and often and include interprofessional educational experiences with students from other programs.

Faculty have extensive clinical experience and continue to practice and conduct meaningful research within their varied areas of clinical
specialization. Local clinical experts support the coursework by imparting their areas of specialized knowledge and skill to the students.
The Program’s NPTE passage rate, Graduation rate and Employment rate are high and meet accreditation standards. Opportunities for interdisciplinary educational experiences with students from other programs — including occupational therapy, nursing, athletic training and medical imaging — 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. DPT students are required to participate in 36 weeks of full-time clinical experiences (internships). These experiences provide context for learning and develop students who demonstrate evidence-based clinical performance.

Students participate in real-world learning experiences featured in the program’s “clinic without walls” model, providing physical therapy care under the direction of licensed physical therapists for community members in a variety of formats. Such experiences include:

  • Providing PT care during classroom laboratory experiences.
  • Providing wellness-related services through collaboration between the DPT Program and other organizations such as Reading Housing
    Authority, Tower Health (Rise and Shine and Rock Steady Boxing), Walk with Ease and Matter of Balance.
  • Providing PT care at the DPT student-managed Health & Wellness Center at Liggett Avenue, which is located at the Berks Community
    Health Center (BCHC) in the Oakbrook section of Reading.
  • Community/university service and advocacy events like the BCHC Community Health Fair, Legislative Advocacy Day in Harrisburg, and Interprofessional education experiences with nursing and athletic training.
Accreditation Statement


  • The 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

    For more information regarding the process of accreditation, please contact the:

    Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education
    3030 Potomac Avenue, Suite 100
    Alexandria, VA 22305-3085
    Phone: 703-706-3245

Career Outlook

After earning your Doctorate of Physical Therapy, you can pursue a variety of careers, including:

  • Acute Care Hospital-Based Facilities
  • Sports Medicine Centers
  • Research Institutions
  • Pediatric Facilities
  • Skilled Nursing Facilities
  • Transitional Care Units
  • School-based Facilities

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of physical therapists is projected to grow 15% from 2022 to 2032, much faster than the average for all occupations. The median annual wage in May 2022 was $97,720.

Get to Know Your Faculty

For more information about Alvernia’s Psychology program contact the Admissions Office at 610-796-8269 or Or reach out directly to program Psychology & Counseling Department Chair Di You at 610-796-8354 or (Faculty members involved with the Doctor of Physical Therapy program can be found on the DPT program page.)