Doctor of Physical Therapy

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About the DPT Program

The Department of Physical Therapy is dedicated to the development of an autonomous practitioner, motivated through faith, who can effect change in healthy outcomes for the individual, and the local, regional, national and global community through service, leadership, advocacy and exemplary, evidence-based clinical practice. 

As with all Health Sciences programs at IWU, the DPT program will be congruent with the Mission and Vision of the School of Health Science and Indiana Wesleyan University, “committed to developing compassionate graduates that are clinically, professionally, and culturally competent for careers in Public Health, Athletic Training, Occupational Therapy, Physical Therapy and related health professions.”



Unofficial transcript reviews are available to help you determine if you have fulfilled the prerequisites and estimate your science and cumulative GPA.



  • Registration for Open House begins - May 1, 2020
  • Application portal opens - June 15, 2020
  • Application deadline - December 15, 2020
  • Interviews - November 2020, January 2021, March 2021
  • Accreditation candidacy decision - April 2021
  • Classes begin - May 2021



  • May 14
  • June 11
  • July 16
  • August 13
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Please contact with any questions and/or if interested in receiving email updates regarding program progress.    

Graduation from a physical therapist education program accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE), 1111 North Fairfax Street, Alexandria, VA 22314; phone; 703-706-3245; is necessary for eligibility to sit for the licensure examination, which is required in all states.
Indiana Wesleyan University is seeking accreditation of a new physical therapist education program from CAPTE. The program is planning to submit an Application for Candidacy, which is the formal application required in the pre-accreditation stage, December 1, 2020.  Submission of this document does not assure that the program will be granted Candidate for Accreditation status. Achievement of Candidate for Accreditation status is required prior to implementation of the professional phase of the program; therefore, no students may be enrolled in professional courses until Candidate for Accreditation status has been achieved.
Further, though achievement of Candidate for Accreditation status signifies satisfactory progress toward accreditation, it does not assure that the program will be granted accreditation.

Tuition & Financial Aid

Program Credit Hours Tuition
Doctor of Physical Therapy 124 Total $11,000 / trimester

*Effective July 1, 2020, through June 30, 2021.

Payment for each term is due by April 30th for Summer, August 15th for Fall, and December 15th for Spring. Course textbooks, parking fees and fees for background checks and immunizations required to start the program are not included in the costs listed above.

The total credit hours and per-credit-hour costs listed above are effective for the required core program. Costs may change if you withdraw from the program and restart in a future program at a later date.

Financial Aid

For information about financial aid, call 866-468-6498, visit our financial aid website, or email

Published tuition and fees are subject to change.


Year One

Year 1, Trimester 1 SUMMER


Total 14 credit hours

Year 1, Trimester 2 FALL


Total 12 credit hours

Year 1, Trimester 3 SPRING


Total 16 credit hours

Total for Year One 42 credit hours

Year Two

Year 2, Trimester 4 SUMMER


Total 17 credit hours

Year 2, Trimester 5 FALL


Total 16 credit hours

Year 2, Trimester 6 SPRING


Total 15 credit hours

Total Credits for Year Two 48 credit hours

Year Three

Year 3, Trimester 7 SUMMER


Total 13 credit hours

Year 3, Trimester 8 FALL


Total 12 credit hours

Year 3, Trimester 9 SPRING


Total 9 credit hours

Total Credits for Year Three 34 credit hours

Total Overall Credits: 124 Credit Hours


Below are the lists of requirements for the Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) program. Click on each link to expand the requirements. If you have any questions about the admissions process, feel free to contact one of our admissions representatives at 1-866-498-4968 or email


Admission Requirements

  • An earned undergraduate baccalaureate degree of any kind from a regionally accredited institution with a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale documented with official transcripts. The degree need not be completed at the time of application but must be completed prior to program enrollment.
  • Completion of the following prerequisite coursework from an accredited institution with a grade of “C” or better, prior to the start of DPT coursework.
    • Sciences – Science GPA must be >3.0 on a 4.0 scale. Courses may not be > 5 years old. Two-thirds of Science prerequisites (approximately 21 credit hours – see prerequisite table below) must be completed to be considered for the application process. Only completed and transcripted courses will be considered. Therefore, fall semester courses from the year of application will not be considered in the application. Courses must be one year (two semesters or three quarters) each with a laboratory component for the following:
      • Anatomy and Physiology – one semester each or a combined two semester series. (Human preferred; mammalian acceptable. Exercise Physiology does not count toward this requirement.)
      • Physics (either algebra/trigonometry based or calculus based)
      • Chemistry (general, organic, biochemistry all acceptable)
      • Biology (Cellular. Botany excluded. )
    • Humanities and Social Sciences- one course in each of the following areas:
      • Psychology
      • Sociology
    • Statistics – one course
  • Completion of at least 80 verifiable clinical observation hours completed with a licensed physical therapist. At least 20 hours each are required to take place in an in-patient setting and in an outpatient setting.
  • Completion of the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) < 5 years prior to application. Since admission is a competitive process, combined verbal/quantitative scores above 300 are recommended as well as an analytical score of 4.0 or above. Scores will be “supersized” when the GRE has been taken repeatedly, selecting the highest score from each category regardless of the attempt.
  • Three Letters of Recommendation, one from:
    • A professor who is qualified to assess your academic performance.
    • A licensed physical therapist.
    • A non-family member. A pastoral reference is highly recommended.

Graduation Requirements

To fulfill graduation requirements, students must have completed all of the following:

  1. All credits required in the program of study with a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.25.
  2. Minimum grade in each course of “B-“ or higher or a “pass” in pass/fail courses.
  3. The successful completion of all Clinical Education courses to include site assessment documentation.
  4. Payment of all program tuition and fees is required to receive a diploma.



Application Procedures

To be considered for admission to the Doctor of Physical Therapy program, complete each of the following steps.

  1. Application
    Apply online at
    The application process will open and be available beginning June 15, 2020 for the incoming cohort with an anticipated close date of December 15, 2020.
    • Your first step in the DPT application process is to fill out a general application here.
    • After the general application has been submitted, you will receive an email with a link to an Early Access Portal within 1-2 business days. Clicking on that link will give you access to the remainder of the application process and all needed forms. The DPT content is on the right side of the webpage under the heading Special Requirements
    • The Early Access Portal will have links to the following forms for you to complete:
      • 3 Recommendation Forms
      • Clinical Observation Verification Forms
      • Prerequisite Checklist Form
    • You can contact the DPT program via email at or the DPT program representative Kurtis Lewis at at any time with questions
  2. Transcripts
    College: Official transcripts are required for all courses taken from every institution.

    IWU can request and pay for your transcripts if your school accepts third party requests. To take advantage of this convenient service, complete our Transcript Request Form electronically in the Early Access Portal

    College Transcripts from Non-U.S. Schools: Secure a course-by-course report from Educational Credential Evaluator ( ). The evaluation must list course-bycourse hours and grades.
  3. Observational Hours
    Applicants must provide documentation of completion of at least 80 verifiable clinical observation hours completed with licensed physical therapists. At least 20 hours each are required to take place in the following settings:
    • an in-patient setting
    • an outpatient setting
  4. GRE Scores
    Applicants must provide proof of a competitive Graduate Record Exam (GRE) taken within the last 5 years, including the analytical writing component. Scores will be “supersized” when the GRE has been taken repeatedly, selecting the highest score from each category regardless of the attempt. Applicant scores below 300 for the verbal/ quantitative sections combined may not be competitive. If GRE analytical writing scores are < 4.0, completion of an on-line IWU writing course for graduate students will be required prior to program matriculation. The IWU institutional code for GRE scores is R1446. Additional GRE information can be obtained by contacting Educational Testing Services at 609.771.7670 or visiting their Web site @

Start Dates

Below are the program locations, upcoming dates, and meeting times for the Doctor of Physical Therapy program. This list is updated regularly as new classes are added.

Classes begin May 2021

Frequently Asked Questions

Program Specifics:

When does the program start?

  • The anticipated student start would be early-mid May of 2021. 

How many students per cohort?

  • The inaugural cohort size will be 36 students. A new cohort will start at the beginning of each summer trimester.

How long is the program?

  • The program is 9-trimesters and will take just under 3 years to complete including summers.

How does a trimester differ from a regular semester?

  • A trimester takes the calendar year and divides it up into three equal terms. Semesters have long fall and spring terms with a short summer term. Using trimesters allows us to avoid accelerated summer coursework. A trimester is approximately 12 weeks in length.

Is there an opportunity for global experiences?

  • Yes, there is a required global or transcultural experience that is interprofessional with OTD students. The cost for this trip is included in your tuition.

When will the program be fully accredited?

  • The program is currently in the pre-accreditation phase. Our Application for Candidacy to the Commission on Accreditation for Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE) is due December 1, 2020 and we anticipate achieving candidacy status in April of 2021, allowing students matriculation in May of 2021.
  • Per CAPTE, "accreditation is a process used in the US to assure the quality of the education that students receive. It is a voluntary, non-governmental, peer-review process that occurs on a regular basis. Prior to graduation of the first cohort of students, the program completes the Accreditation Process." Please view CAPTE’s website for further details.

What is the total cost?

  • The tuition cost is $11,000 per term with 3 terms a year and 9 terms total, bringing the total tuition cost to $99,000.

May I apply while in the process of completing my observation hour?

  • No, the application will not be considered completed until all 80 observation hours have been completed and verified by the supervising licensed physical therapist.
  • This requirement may be modified upon request due to constraints imposed by COVID 19. Please email: to discuss if you are unable to complete your 80 observation hours before the deadline.

Will scholarships and financial aid be available?

  • The office of financial aid works individually with students to procure appropriate student loans and aid based on their needs.

Are students able to work while in the program?

  • The Physical Therapy Program curriculum is rigorous, with a heavy study load. Successful completion will require the full attention of each student. Students are strongly discouraged from working while enrolled in the Program.  No accommodations will be made in the didactic schedule or in clinical rotations for students who choose to work.



When does the admission process start?

  • The application process will be open beginning July 15, 2020. This will occur on-line through links on our website. No other application is required.

What are your minimum required GPA?

  • A cumulative GPA of 3.0 out of 4.0 is required. All prerequisite coursework must be at least a grade of “C”.

Is a specific major required?

  • No, a specific major is not required as long as all the prerequisite requirements are met. This allows for a diverse cohort with different perspectives. Common majors include Exercise Science, Biology, Neuroscience, Health and Wellness, Psychology though majors in Business, Graphic Design and others have also occurred.

May I apply while in the process of completing my observation hours?

  • No, the application will not be considered completed until all 80 observation hours have been completed and verified by the supervising licensed physical therapist.

May I apply while in the process of completing my prerequisites?

  • Yes. Two-thirds of the Science prerequisites must be completed and verified by transcripts prior to application. All coursework must be completed and evidence of graduation from an accredited institution with a baccalaureate degree must be complete prior to enrollment in the program.

Some of my courses are old? Is there a time limit on prerequistes?

  • Ten years on completed prerequisites is a good figure to keep in mind. However, this will be considered on an individual basis dependent on the applicant’s degree major and work history since then. Bear in mind that the more recent completed Science prerequistes may be helpful in application to DPT foundational coursework. For example, an accepted student who completed the undergraduate Anatomy and Physiology requirement ten years prior may find the DPT Anatomy course particularly challenging when compared to a student who took an undergraduate course the year prior to enrolling in the DPT program.

What is the minimum GRE score accepted?

  • No minimum scores are required, however, acceptance into the program is a competitive process. Applicants with lower GRE scores relative to the applicant pool will not be accepted. Generally, competitive applications will have both verbal and quantitative scores of 150 or higher and analytical writing of 4 or greater.

Do you superscore the GRE?

  • Yes! This means that the top scores for each GRE section will be taken regardless of GRE attempt.

How many recommendations? Who should write them?

  • Three letters of recommendation are required:
    • A professor who is qualified to assess your academic performance.
    • A licensed physical therapist.
    • A non-family member. A pastoral reference is highly recommended.

Do you require an interview?

  • Yes, an on-campus interview is required. No provisions for an electronic interview will be made. The interview session is an opportunity for you to experience IWU and will include a program overview and lab demonstrations and is done in a group context.

Do you accept transfer credit?

  • No transfer credit from other DPT programs will be accepted.

Does the program require a background check prior to admission?

  • Yes. Most clinical sites will not allow students to do clinical experiences there without a background check. Additionally, certain findings on a background check may prevent a person from becoming a licensed physical therapist.

Can I be admitted if I left or was dismissed from another DPT program?

  • Yes, so long as the applicant meets all admission standards. No advance standing will be given.


Clinical Experiences:

When in the program of study do students get to go into the clinic?

  • Students start time in the clinic during the first trimester through our Early Integrated Clinical Experiences.
  • Full-time Early Clinical Experiences (2, two-week experiences) are at the end of Year 1.
  • Three Terminal Clinical Experiences of 8, 10 and 12 weeks duration in the 3rd program year.

Are there required practice settings to complete clinical experiences?

  • Yes. Early Clinical Experiences at the end of Year 1 will be 2 weeks in an out-patient setting and 2 weeks in an in-patient setting. Terminal Clinical Experiences requirements are: One in an in-patient setting, the two final experiences may not be in the same type of setting, and only one specialty setting (pediatrics, for example,) and either of the final two experiences may be in a specialty setting.

Can I have a clinical experience close to my home or at a location not yet established?

  • Yes. The DPT program has a policy and process in place to work with the Director of Clinical Education in setting up clinical placements for facilities that we do not have a contract with. Every effort will be made to set up final clinical internships close to where students plan to practice after graduation and licensure.