Student assisting physical therapy patient

Program Description 

The department of physical therapy at Rockhurst University transforms students into competent entry-level physical therapy practitioners who demonstrate a lifelong commitment to learning, moral responsibility and the values that serve as the foundation for professional practice.

Students who complete a bachelor’s degree and key pre-requisite courses are eligible to apply for Rockhurst’s Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) program. Our DPT program is a doctoral program with a new cohort beginning each summer semester. The program consists of eight semesters of coursework, including 34 weeks of fieldwork experience presented throughout 2 1/2 academic years.

Accomplished and experienced faculty members utilize a hybrid learning approach that develops relationships among students and educators while incorporating state of the art digital simulation and instructive resources.

Learning Outcomes 

Rockhurst University is committed to the development of proficient, compassionate physical therapy professionals with a strong ability to effectively lead and advocate for patients and clients. Graduates are ready to assist individuals in the prevention or treatment of impairments due to developmental deficits, injury, aging or physical illness. 

Unique to other physical therapy schools, Rockhurst proudly offers a Jesuit education emphasizing teaching excellence. Priorities include students learning to serve others, sharing their skills through their involvement in varied, clinically based community service projects and/or international service immersion and mission experiences.

Rockhurst PT students have a distinctive opportunity to explore specialized physical therapy subject areas with a choice of elective courses during their last semester, including Examination and Treatment of the Running Athlete, Pediatric PT or Special Issues in Women’s and Men’s Health.

PT program graduates are committed to leadership, advocacy and service within the community and as part of their physical therapy jobs.

Prospective Students 

Current Students 


  • Select freshmen, first-year students and transfer students with strong academic backgrounds may be offered pre-admission to the Doctor of Physical Therapy graduate program upon initial acceptance to Rockhurst.
  • Undergraduate students at Rockhurst can join the Pre-PT/Pre-OT Club. 
  • Student members of the American Physical Therapy Association have the opportunity to meet and network with other physical therapy students. 
  • In conjunction with Rockhurst University’s Helzberg School of Management, physical therapy students will have the opportunity to earn both a Doctor of Physical Therapy degree and a Master of Business Administration or Master of Arts in Management degree. 

    The MBA includes a measurable business curriculum while the MA in Management features a focus on management leadership. Both degrees provide the skills to practice as a physical therapist and effectively manage a department, your own clinic or corporation. Both degrees also include optional electives in health care leadership. Learn more at Rockhurst University dual degrees.


Common undergraduate majors for future DPT students include: 

  • Exercise science 
  • Kinesiology 
  • Biology 
  • Health science 
  • Athletic training