Program Description

As a student in the doctoral physical therapy program, you'll learn and work alongside dedicated instructors and researchers in top of the line facilities such as the Human Performance Laboratory and the Motional Analysis Laboratory.

The physical therapy program offers a curriculum that is responsive to the changing environment of health care, a mission that promotes caring professionals, dedicated instructors, professional leaders and accessible facilities that house current cutting-edge technologies used in the profession.

Research Opportunities

Students also will have the chance to conduct research alongside faculty members in settings such as the Motion Analysis Center and the Human Performance Laboratory. Students may choose one of two options to satisfy the research component of the curriculum. They may either choose to work on a collaborative research project with the guidance and supervision of a faculty member, or choose to complete a clinical case report working with the guidance of either the director of clinical education or one of the regional coordinators during the final clinical rotation year. 

Admission Requirements

Admission to the physical therapy program requires:

  • completed or nearly completed undergraduate degree;
  • a minimum of 50 career exploration hours;
  • recent GRE (Graduate Record Examination) scores;
  • a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0, with no grade below 2.0 in the prerequisite courses listed below; and
  • completion of the following prerequisite courses:
    • anatomy with lab (HSC 214 or BIO 337)
    • physiology with lab (HSC 215 or BIO 392)
    • exercise physiology (HSC 308)
    • chemistry (CHM 120, 127 and 342 OR CHM 131 and 132)
    • mathematics (MTH 109)
    • physics with lab (PHY 130, 131, 170 and 171 OR PHY 145, 146, 175 and 176)
    • psychology (PSY 220 and a course in health or rehabilitative psychology is recommended with a total of 9 credit hours required)
    • statistics (BIO 500, HSC 544, PSY 211 OR STA 282)

Course designators listed above are specific to CMU. Find course equivalencies from other institutions here.

The application deadline for the May DPT program is October 1.
Applications submitted after this deadline will not be reviewed.

A complete application includes:

  •   The application via PTCAS (Physical Therapist Centralized Application Service);
  • PT Supplemental Application - 2019 Application Cycle.pdf; or PT Supplemental Application - 2019 Application Cycle.xlsx 

  • GRE (General Record Examination) scores; and

  • two letters of recommendation for admission. One needs to be from a licensed PT and the other needs to be from a faculty member you had as an instructor.

International applicants should also provide course-by-course Foreign Evaluation
Requirements, TOEFL requirements and I-20 requirements.

Please contact our admissions office with any questions or concerns at or (989) 774-1730.

Graduation Requirements

Students in the physical therapy program at CMU are required to complete 34 weeks of clinical education as part of the PT curriculum. Students complete 6 weeks at the end of their first didactic year and the final third year consists of two 14-week clinical rotations.

Students must also complete a research project with the guidance and support of a faculty member in the PT program. There are two options for completing the requirements: students may choose to participate in a collaborative research project, or they may choose to complete a clinical case report.


The doctoral program in physical therapy at Central Michigan University is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE).

Career Outlook

For More Information

Doctoral Program in Physical Therapy
Herbert H. and Grace A. Dow College of Health Professions
School of Rehabilitation and Medical Sciences
1220 Health Professions Building
Central Michigan University
Mount Pleasant, MI  48859

(989) 774-1730

Or visit our website.