Earn your Doctor of Physical Therapy Degree in Just Six Years

Earning a degree in physical therapy is about so much more than training to rehabilitate athletes. At LVC, we prepare you to work with patients from infancy to adulthood and in settings that range from outpatient clinics to nursing homes or home healthcare.

Lebanon Valley College’s physical therapy doctoral program (DPT) is fast-paced and highly competitive. We designed our physical therapy courses to guide you through your pre-professional phase as an undergraduate physical therapy major and into your professional phase as a doctoral candidate. In six years, we'll help you tackle everything from prerequisites to clinical rotations. 

We're proud to be one of the physical therapy colleges in Pa. that offers a high level of preparation for a career leading directly to clinical placement. We'll also help you develop the critical thinking, communication, and problem-solving skills employers seek, because we want you to become an outstanding communicator with your patients and pursue a meaningful lifelong career in the health professions.

 

Discover Your Degree Pathway

There are three distinct phases for admission to the program:

All three of these phases lead to a Doctor of Physical Therapy degree. You'll begin helping patients in your first professional year of the program.

You can also learn new techniques and update your medical knowledge with our selection of Continuing Education courses.

See the degree requirements you'll need.

 

In-the-Field Training

Physical therapy majors regularly use volunteer labs to practice learning. You'll gain real-world experience by helping patients with disabilities and neurological diagnoses, all under the watchful eye of faculty who remain engaged in their own clinical practice. 

These experiences lead to professional opportunities in physical therapy. Take advantage of interprofessional education at Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center by working directly with nursing, physician's assistant, and pharmacy staff on a variety of real cases. Pursue student-faculty research opportunities in speech therapy or the effects of exercise on patients with autism in order to present and publish your findings to the medical community.

Through a series of integrated clinical experiences, you'll work with a licensed physical therapist to apply what you learned in the classroom on patients as soon as your first professional year. 

You'll also be required to log 34 weeks of clinical education in a variety of settings, and to travel off campus for at least one of your experiences. Some students have traveled as far afield as Alaska or Italy for the clinical experience that best suited their research and career interests. We encourage you to seek out the clinical education placement that will clarify your career goals and put you on the path to success.

 

What Makes Physical Therapy at LVC Special?

  • Ours is one of the few direct-admit physical therapy programs in Pa.
  • You'll learn in the new, state-of-the-art Jeanne and Edward H. Arnold Health Professions Pavilion, where you can perform exercise testing in the human movement lab and learn about the body from the inside out in the human anatomy lab.
  • You'll be mentored by faculty who have real-world experience in geriatrics, sports medicine, and home health.
  • A rigorous 34-week clinical education is integrated throughout the semester and summer of your fourth and fifth years.
  • You can gain experience while serving the community through the student-led C.U.R.E. Clinic, where students schedule and treat uninsured patients from the community entirely pro bono.

 

What You Can Do with an Accelerated Physical Therapy Degree

Our Doctor of Physical Therapy degree prepares you to enter the field in any number of settings, from public schools to health clinics, research labs, and home healthcare. Recent graduates are working as physical therapists, pediatric physical therapists, college physical therapy assistants, facility directors, and self-employed physical therapists throughout Pennsylvania, the Mid-Atlantic region, and further afield.

Alumni who respond to our annual surveys boast 100% job offer rates, and more than 90% of graduates pass the physical therapy board exam. In addition to strong support for health careers professionals on campus, you'll be connected to a wide and deeply engaged alumni network of practicing clinicians.

 

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Since 2006, LVC's Physical Therapy Doctoral Program has received full accreditation status from the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE). Our physical therapy curriculum is based on the American Physical Therapy Association's "A Normative Model of Physical Therapist Professional Education" and the "Guide to Physical Therapy Practice." The program follows the guidelines established by CAPTE.

The strong reputation of the DPT program in the Central PA region and the C.U.R.E. student-run pro bono clinic were factors that influenced my decision to attend LVC.

Physical Therapy Doctoral Graduate

Kristin Miller D'16