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physical therapy students perform grip test with clinic patient

Doctor of Physical Therapy Degree Program

Physical Therapy Doctoral Program: How to Apply and What to Expect

The Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) degree program at Southwest Baptist University, fully accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE), prepares you for your career as a physical therapist.

As a physical therapy doctoral student at SBU, you will:

  • Gain the knowledge and skills needed for patient management, education, consultation and clinical research.
  • Build upon a strong liberal arts background with an emphasis on Christian faith integration.
  • Develop critical and analytical thinking skills, effective communication skills, and professional behaviors.

Learn more and apply to SBU's PT Doctoral Program

Costs and Admissions

If you are finishing/have completed an undergraduate degree and are ready to take the next step toward your Doctor of Physical Therapy degree, use the link below to learn more about the admissions process, cost, and financial aid for SBU's DPT program.

DPT Admissions Information

More Programs and Opportunities

High school senior students with 24 ACT (or equivalent SAT or CLT) scores or higher are eligible to apply on a competitive basis for early conditional acceptance into the physical therapy program. High school students (or incoming freshmen with less than 30 credit hours completed), should contact the PT division for an application for early conditional acceptance.

Early Acceptance Information

Physical therapists often find that business skills are beneficial. With an Master of Business Administration, you will have the business skills you need to be successful in healthcare management positions or running a private practice. SBU has developed a course plan specifically for DPT students who want to simultaneously complete an MBA degree along with the Doctorate of Physical Therapy degree.

MBA Dual Enrollment Info (PDF)

Students who participate in Missouri's A+ program are eligible for automatic acceptance into the Doctor of Physical Therapy program at SBU. To earn automatic acceptance, students must earn a Bachelor of Science degree at SBU within two years after successfully completing an associate's degree under the parameters of the A+ program. 

A+ Program Info for Future PT Students (PDF)


(SBU DPT graduates have a 100% employment rate within one year of graduation.)

Physical therapy professor demonstrates an exercise on a student laying on lab table while explaining to another student looking on

The SBU Advantage

  • Christian beliefs and values are incorporated in ways that enrich the program, including both local and international service-learning opportunities.
  • State-of-the-art facility and a faculty practice clinic allow for you to gain hands-on experience in the first two years of the program prior to your clinical rotations.
  • SBU's DPT program can accept up to 80 new students each year
  • 96.25% graduation rate over the past two years
  • 96.15% ultimate licensure exam pass rate over the past two years

Faith Integration

Faith in learning — Our curriculum includes the integration of Christian values throughout the program as students learn the craft of physical therapy.

Faith in action — SBU DPT students have opportunities to use their physical therapy skills through local and international service.

  • Student organizations — Volunteer with local entities such as Salvation Army, nursing homes, etc.
  • Global Health Outreach — Participate in international medical mission work.
  • Go Baby Go Explore — Build adapted toy cars for children with limited mobility to help them actively explore their environments.
  • Pro bono clinic — Provide cost-free physical and occupational therapy services to qualifying members of Bolivar and surrounding communities.

April Fajardo
"As a traveling physical therapist, I am afforded the flexibility to work in various settings and locations and take time off between jobs to serve on international service learning trips. The professors at SBU have undoubtedly prepared me for any situation by teaching me to learn continuously, think critically and love wholeheartedly."
April Fajardo '15
Traveling Physical Therapist with Cariant Health Partners

Program Mission and Student Outcomes


Our Healing Mission: Preparing future doctors of physical therapy to deliver care in a global society while integrating Christian faith.


Graduates of the Doctorate of Physical Therapy program have thrived in their professional life and careers after graduation. Over the past two years, our graduates and students within the program have seen these exciting results:

  • Graduation rate is 95.48% (2022-2023)
  • Ultimate licensure exam pass rate is 96.0% (2021-2022)
  • First-time licensure exam pass rate is 73.9% (2021-2022)
  • Employment rate within one year of graduation for those passing licensure examination is 100% (2022-2023)

(This information was last updated January 2024.)



Accreditation Status

DPT Accreditation Status

The Doctor of Physical Therapy program at Southwest Baptist University is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE), 3030 Potomac Ave., Suite 100, Alexandria, Virginia 22305-3085; telephone: 703-706-3245; email:; website: If needing to contact the program/institution directly, please call (417) 328-1672 or email

Higher Learning Commission

30 North LaSalle Street, Suite 2400
Chicago, IL 60602-2504
(800) 621-7440
(312) 263-0456

The Texas Workforce Commission does not consider externships or clinicals involving unpaid preceptors as establishing a place of business in the state which would require regulation and is therefore not regulated in Texas under Chapter 132 of the Texas Education Code. The accrediting agencies that regulate SBU DPT are listed above on this page (CAPTE and HLC) with direct links to each agency. Within those agency websites are links on how to file a complain to that respective agency.

Current and former entry-level Doctor of Physical Therapy students who fall under the jurisdiction of the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (THECB) by beginning and/or completing a required clinical education rotation in the state of Texas, may, after exhausting the institution's grievance/complaint process, initiate a complaint with THECB per Texas Administrative Code 1.110-1.120. Information about THECB complaint procedures can be found online or by contacting Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board/College Readiness and Success Division, PO Box 12788, Austin, Texas 78711-2788 or


Doctor of Physical Therapy Course Plan

Year 1

Fall Semester

PTH 5012 Psychosocial Issues of Health Care
PTH 5047 Human Anatomy
PTH 5064 Clinical Kinesiology
PTH 5402 Physical Assessment
PTH 5481 Christian Applications for the Healthcare Professional I
PTH 5592 Neuroscience for the Physical Therapist
PTH 5631 Integrated Clinical Experience I
Total hours: 19

Spring Semester

PTH 5073 Physical Therapy Measurement
PTH 5093 Patient Care Skills for the Physical Therapist
PTH 5102 Therapeutic Modalities in Physical Therapy
PTH 5382 Pharmacology for Physical Therapists
PTH 5611 Professional Development Seminar I
PTH 5641 Integrated Clinical Experience II
PTH 6273 Physical Therapist Management of Integumentary  Disorders
PTH 6393 Motor Control and Learning
PTH 6472 Pathology for Physical Therapists I
Total hours: 20

May, June, and July Terms

PTH 5132 Critical Inquiry
PTH 5221 Teaching and Learning
PTH 5232 Foundations of the Patient Management
PTH 5412 Diagnostic Imaging for Physical Therapists
PTH 6022  Today's Health Care
PTH 6082 Lifespan Motor Control
Total hours: 11

Year 2

Fall Semester

PTH 5151 Clinical Investigations I
PTH 5423 Therapeutic Exercise I
PTH 6245 Physical Therapist Management of Musculoskeletal Disorders I
PTH 6262 Orthotics
PTH 6325 Physical Therapist Management of Neurological Disorders I
PTH 6501 Christian Applications for the Healthcare Professional II
PTH 6603 Pathology for Physical Therapists II
PTH 6651 Integrated Clinical Experience III
Total hours: 21

Spring Semester

PTH 6255 Physical Therapist Management of Musculoskeletal Disorders II
PTH 6282 Prosthetics
PTH 6293 Therapeutic Exercise II
PTH 6551 Clinical Investigations II
PTH 6671 Integrated Clinical Experience IV
PTH 7283 Physical Therapist Management of Cardiopulmonary Disorders
PTH 7315 Physical Therapist Management of Neurological Disorders II
Total hours: 20

May, June, and July Terms

PTH 6332 Administration and Management
PTH 6621 Professional Development Seminar II
PTH 6583 Prevention, Health Promotion, Fitness, and Wellness
PTH 7343 Pediatric Physical Therapy
PTH 7352 Geriatric Physical Therapy
PTH 7362 Capstone
Total hours: 13

Year 3

Fall Semester

PTH 7418 Clinical Education I
PTH 7428 Clinical Education II 
Total hours: 16

Spring Semester

PTH 7438 Clinical Education III 
PTH 7448 Clinical Education IV 
Total hours: 16

This is a proposed guideline. Please check the catalog and see your advisor for your final degree requirements.
Southwest Baptist University reserves the right to make changes to degree plans without advanced notice or obligation.
The student is responsible for understanding and completing all general education, degree, departmental and graduation requirements.

Download in PDF format:

Doctor of Physical Therapy Plan (PDF)