Physical Therapy FAQs


How many applications do you receive each admissions cycle? Of those, how many applicants are accepted each year?

The number of qualified applicants varies each year, but we often receive approximately 400 applications during each admissions cycle. We accept 48 applicants into the physical therapy program each year.

What if I get "wait-listed"?

Many applicants who have been selected for an interview as part of the admissions process and have met all criteria for admissions to the program, will be offered a spot on the wait list. If a spot opens in the class during the admissions cycle, applicants will be chosen from the wait list according to their ranking.

Clinical Education

How many and how long are the clinical internships? 

DPT students engage in 4 full-time internships, ranging from 5 weeks to 10 weeks in length for a total of 34 weeks of full-time internships.

Where are your clinical internships located?

The Department of Physical Therapy Education has contracts with over 400 clinical sites in 43 states. Over 83% of our clinical sites are located in KS, MO, OK, IA, and NE.  We are always open to pursuing relationships with new sites based on student, faculty, alumni, and area clinician recommendations.

How are students’ clinical internships decided?

All students submit preferences for upcoming internships prior to assignments being made. A hybrid computer/committee model is used to match students to clinical internships, with final assignments reviewed by faculty. Early 3-week internships are determined via a computer matching process.  Longer 5, 9 and 10-week internships are determined via a lottery system with a student/faculty committee recommending student internship assignments. Student internships are based on individual needs, while working to ensure all students experience a range of practice settings to prepare them to successfully secure employment after graduation.   


Are students able to have time for jobs? If so, how much do they usually work per week?

Approximately 70% of students enrolled in the DPT program have jobs outside of attending PT school.  The majority work fewer than 10 hours per week.  The maximum number of hours students report working is less than 20 hours per week.

General Program Questions

What distinguishes Rockhurst's DPT program?

Rockhurst uniquely offers a broad range of integrated active learning opportunities for developing clinical skills, leadership and professionalism in the program, in professional organizations, and in the community. In addition, students may select from a variety of electives that enrich knowledge and experience in specialty areas, including pediatrics, geriatrics, sports medicine, men’s and women’s health, teaching, research, and business. Students may pursue additional coursework in business for a Masters in Management or a Masters in Business Administration.

Clinical education is infused across the curriculum, offering opportunities to practice “hands on” skills early in the program and allowing increased competence and self-confidence. Students in clinical education excel according to feedback from clinical instructors:

  • "I would say [this DPT student] is easily at entry level and she reflects VERY well on the quality of students at Rockhurst." "[This DPT student] is a pleasure. He has excellent anatomy skills. Also he is a quick study, positive and helpful. I have been more efficient with him around. Finally I think he is a self-starter. [This student] put the “I” in independence."

Are students required to do research?

All students complete a series of research courses designed to actively engage students in exploration and discovery of knowledge related to physical therapy.

Do my instructors still spend time in the clinic or are they mainly on the academic side of physical therapy?

The majority of core faculty is engaged in clinical practice in areas of expertise. Areas of practice include home health, skilled nursing facilities, acute care, outpatient orthopedic, sports medicine, oncology rehab, lymphedema,  and working with patients with developmental disabilities across the lifespan. Adjunct faculty also bring clinical expertise, including in health care management, vestibular rehabilitation, cardiopulmonary rehabilitation, neurological rehabilitation, and private practice ownership.

Does the program at Rockhurst favor a specific style of therapy e.g. manual techniques versus modalities?

The program emphasizes evidence-based practice, recognizing that physical therapy involves cognitive, psychomotor, and affective skills. All instructors bring their clinical expertise into the classrooms. We introduce multiple approaches to physical therapy management and teach all foundational physical therapy skills, including manual techniques and modalities.