The Doctorate of Physical Therapy program is part of the BGSU Graduate College and BGSU College of Health and Human Services

A Physical Therapy student testing foot reflexes
  • D
  • Doctorate

Physical Therapy

Bowling Green State University’s developing Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) program is Ohio’s first and only public, accelerated, hybrid (online and in-person) DPT program.

The Physical Therapist Centralized Application Service (PTCAS) is a service of the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA). PTCAS allows applicants to use a single application and one set of materials to apply to multiple DPT programs. 

In this blended learning program, you’ll earn your Doctor of Physical Therapy degree in two years. After passing the NPTE licensure exam, you will emerge as a clinician with a strong foundation in clinical reasoning and evidence-based practice, and be a valuable contributor to the interprofessional health care team.

BGSU offers a holistic approach to admissions and recruitment, reducing barriers to the physical therapy profession. Because of this approach, the GRE is not currently an admission requirement, and no interview is required.   We value diversity in our student body and our faculty support every students’ academic and career success.

DPT Informational Webinars

Learn about our two-year, accelerated, hybrid curriculum, as well as admissions requirements and accreditation standards for our developing program via one of our free upcoming webinars from 6:30‌-‌7:30 p.m. EDT/EST:

  • Nov. 8, 2021
  • Dec. 13, 2021
  • Jan. 17, 2022
  • Feb. 21, 2022
  • March 21, 2022
  • April 18, 2022

The best of both worlds

BGSU DPT students experience the benefit of living anywhere in the country while still being a part of the BGSU family. The hybrid accelerated DPT program infuses contemporary learning technologies and experiences into modern professional training for aspiring physical therapists. This approach allows completion of the degree requirements in two years meeting the established timing and content standards set by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE). By combining the best practices of distance learning with live, face-to-face immersive experiential sessions, the student is prepared to grow through clinical experiences both in their respective community as well as at nationally recognized centers of health care. While highly collaborative, engaging and rigorous, the hybrid, accelerated curriculum requires the student to be a self-starter, highly organized, motivated and open to learning in new ways.

BGSU knows how to support and enage its online learners. BGSU is the only school in Ohio and one of six nationally to gain the Quality Matters Online Learner Support certification at the institutional level for its eCampus-affiliated programs.

The Online Learner Support certification recognizes online programs that provide all the critical student and academic services needed for learner success and that use learner feedback to continually improve those services.

In addition to this, Bowling Green State University was recognized in 2019 as one of the best public universities in the country for teaching quality by the Wall Street Journal and Times Higher Education.

For this reason, we strongly recommend candidates think carefully about their capacity for working while completeing the concentrated graduate coursework offered within the BGSU DPT degree. 

Our two-year DPT model means our graduates can enter the workforce and earn an income sooner than students in a traditional three-year DPT program.

Students engage in immersive and experiential education, with a blend of online learning, on-campus lab immersions and clinical education. 

Curriculum

The mission of BGSU’s DPT program is to develop Doctors of Physical Therapy who create positive change in the lives of their patients and communities. We achieve this by teaching competence, innovation, application, research, inclusion and collaboration.

Our faculty, all renowned members of the physical therapy profession with a commitment to the education of the next generation of physical therapy professionals, have passionately and ardently created a two-year intensive curriculum designed to challenge and empower BGSU DPT students. Read more about our course details.

Stand Out in courses

  • Clinical Neuroscience for the PT
  • Health Promotion & Fitness Management
  • Mindful Patient Management
  • Cardiopulmonary Practice
  • Pharmacology for the PT
  • Movement Science

Careers

BGSU DPT graduates will have the opportunity to practice across a spectrum of settings: outpatient clinics, hospitals, critical care units, people’s homes, schools, sports and fitness facilities and workplaces, to name a few.

The physical therapy profession is set to grow 18% from 2019- 2029, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics – much faster than the average of 3% for all careers. An aging population and sedentary lifestyles are creating extra demand for qualified physical therapists.  

The median salary in the United States for a licensed physical therapist is $85,000. Salary and demand vary based on degree, location, position, years of experience and setting.

Licensed physical therapists may choose to pursue a residency or fellowship program to enhance their knowledge and practice in a specialty practice area.

 

GO FAR in your career

Clinician, researcher, educator, consultant, business owner and advocate:

  • Neurological physical therapist
  • Pediatric physical therapist
  • Private practice PT
  • Home services
  • Geriatric PT
  • Sports medicine 
  • Women’s health
  • Cardiac rehabilitation

Students engage in immersive and experiential education, with a blend of online learning, on-campus lab immersions and clinical education. 

Learn more about pursuing your doctor of physical therapy at BGSU

Accreditation

Bowling Green State University has obtained approval from the Ohio Department of Higher Education and regionally through the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) to offer the DPT degree. Our application for candidacy status to the Commission on Accreditation of Physical Therapy Education will be submitted by Dec. 1, 2021.

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; accreditation@apta.org is necessary for eligibility to sit for the National Physical Therapy Examination licensure examination, which is required in all states.

Bowling Green State 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, on 12/1/2021. 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/technical] phase of the program; therefore, no students may be enrolled in [professional/technical] 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.

Upon completion of the Doctor of Physical Therapy degree, students will be able to:

  • Initiate professional physical therapy practice on a diverse patient/client population throughout the lifespan including all federal, state and institutional regulations related to patient/client management and fiscal responsibility.
  • Integrate the best contemporary evidence for physical therapy practice given increased clinical expertise and patient/client values, needs and preferences.
  • Make appropriate clinical judgments through efficient and effective reasoning, reflection and mindfulness.
  • Organize efforts to promote and improve healthcare delivery through professional service and advocacy.
  • Generate effective communication with all stakeholders in the healthcare environment fostering teamwork, collaboration, health and wellness.
  • Formulate strategies for life-long learning coupled with professional and personal growth

Preference will be given to those applicants who complete the majority of their coursework at and earn their bachelor’s degree from Bowling Green State University and to those who have taken honors courses.

  • No GRE required.
  • Complete a baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited institution prior to class beginning. Admission may be granted pending completion of the degree.
  • Complete all required prerequisite courses with a minimum cumulative grade point average (GPA) and prerequisite course GPA of 3.0 or greater on a 4.0 scale.
  • Grades Below “C-” in prerequisite courses will not be accepted.
  • If a prerequisite course is repeated, the credit hours assigned to the course may be counted only once in fulfilling the required number of hours. The pre-requisite GPA will be determined using the highest course grade achieved; however, both grades will be calculated into the cumulative GPA.
  • If cumulative GPA is less than 3.00 on a 4.00 scale, an applicant may still be eligible for admission if a cumulative GPA of 3.50 or greater has been achieved over the last 60 semester or 90 quarter hour credits of coursework.
  • Submission of three references.
  • Completion of a minimum of 40 hours of volunteer or work experience with a licensed physical therapist is recommended, but not required.
  • Three personal statements/supplemental essays.
  • Completion of an independent Hybrid Learning Simulation and Self-Assessment. Applicants are invited to progress to this stage of the admissions process based on a holistic evaluation of their application and supporting materials.
  • For all applicants for whom English is not their first language or those who have completed a degree and prerequisite courses in a foreign country, demonstration of English language proficiency is required through completion of the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) exam.
  • Ability to fulfill the technical standards and essential functions of the DPT program for admission.
  • Biology with laboratory (6 semester hours/8 quarter hours)
  • Chemistry with laboratory (8 semester hours/12 quarter hours)
  • General physics with laboratory (8 semester hours/12 quarter hours)
  • Human anatomy and physiology with laboratory (8 semester hours/12 quarter hours)
  • Statistics (3 semester hours/4 quarter hours)
  • Any psychology (3 semester hours/4 quarter hours)
  • Abnormal or developmental psychology (3 semester hours/4 quarter hours)
  • English composition or writing (3 semester hours/4 quarter hours)

Applicants must complete anatomy and physiology courses within the last eight years, prior to application, or demonstrate ongoing work experiences that have kept this knowledge current (e.g. physical therapist assistant, athletic trainer, etc.).
Introductory-level science courses are not accepted.

Completing Prerequisite Coursework

Courses must be completed before matriculation into the DPT program, but applications will still be accepted as long as courses are in progress or will be completed prior to matriculation. At the time of application submission, prospective students must have at least eight of the 12 required prerequisites complete in order to be considered for admission, as reflected by submitted transcripts. All prerequisite courses will be assessed for fit on a case-by-case basis.

  • Complete all required pre-requisite courses with a minimum cumulative grade point average (GPA) and prerequisite course GPA of 3.00 or greater on a 4.00 scale.
  • All prerequisites must be completed with a grade C or better.
  • No more than 6 calendar-year 2020 prerequisite course hours can be submitted in pass/fail format; anatomy, physiology, and physics pre-requisite courses must be reported as letter grades.
  • If a course is repeated, the repeated course needs to be a grade C or better. The prerequisite and science/math GPAs will be determined using the highest course grade achieved; however, both grades will be calculated into the cumulative overall GPA.
  • Credit awarded through AP exams may be used toward direct equivalent prerequisites if the AP credit was accepted by the prospective student’s undergraduate institution.
  • All letter-graded prerequisite coursework (with the exception of anatomy and physiology courses) is acceptable, no matter when the coursework was completed.
  • Anatomy and physiology prerequisite courses must be taken within eight years of the admissions cycle year (e.g., If applying in 2021, then courses taken since January 2013 will be accepted). If anatomy and physiology courses were taken more than eight years prior to application, demonstrated ongoing work experience(s) that have kept this knowledge current (e.g., physical therapist assistant, athletic trainer, etc.) is required within a waiver application.
  • The rigor of the institution will be taken into consideration, and it is recommended that all courses be taken at a four-year accredited institution. However, courses from two-year accredited institutions will be accepted.

General guidelines for Prerequisite Courses

  • Introductory-level science courses are not accepted.
  • Prerequisite courses taken at institutions other than Bowling Green State University are evaluated through review of course catalog descriptions and/or syllabi to determine appropriateness of course material and level of rigor.
  • Quarter System Courses: In MOST instances, completion of three (3) quarters of biology, physics and chemistry are required to fulfill the two-semester requirement. These courses will be reviewed on an individual basis as institutions have different requirements and standards.
  • Science prerequisite course descriptions should state that they are “for science or pre-health majors” or be taught in a science department and should contain a lab. 
  • Applicants requesting for waivers or exceptions to prerequisite coursework requirements may be granted on a case-by-case basis. Such requests must be made in writing to the director of admissions, and must include the course description/syllabi, the institution at which the applicant took the course, and the grade obtained.
  • College Level Entry Program (CLEP) or aptitude tests are not accepted in place of having completed courses with a grade requirement; however higher-level subject matter courses will be considered as pre-requisites on a case-by-case basis.
  • Acceptable psychology pre-requisites may include: Introduction or 101, human development, abnormal psych, personality or child psychology.
  • Courses should cover developmental theories; lifespan is a plus. If an applicant has more than one psychology course beyond an introductory course, the two courses with the highest grades will be accepted.
  • Biomechanics cannot count for the Biology pre-requisite.

Prerequisite Course Equivalency Review/Waiver Application Form

Tuition for the two-year BGSU Doctor of Physical Therapy program is $95,000. This price includes annual tuition cost of $47,500, books, a physical therapist toolkit/supplies and a treatment table for at-home skills practice. There are no additional university or lab fees, and books/learning resources are provided through the BGSU University Libraries databases and Evidence in Motion’s Learning Academy library and linked through the Canvas Instructure learning management system.

The above costs do not include any travel or lodging requirements for lab immersion sessions or clinical education experiences. Students are required to make their own travel and lodging arrangements for these instructional periods. Any needed travel expenses and clinical education lodging will vary by student; during lab immersion sessions, most students will find local Bowling Green lodging options with classmates that are approximately $45/night per student.



Bowling Green State University programs leading to licensure, certification and/or endorsement, whether delivered online, face-to-face or in a blended format, satisfy the academic requirements for those credentials set forth by the State of Ohio.

Requirements for licensure, certification and/or endorsement eligibility vary greatly from one profession to another and from state to state.  The Doctor of Physical Therapy program leads to professional licensure.  For more information regarding state qualifications and licensure requirements, refer to the Federation of State Boards of Physical Therapy website at www.fsbpt.org.

Under the Higher Education Act Title IV disclosure requirements, an institution must provide current and prospective students with information about each of its programs that prepares students for gainful employment in a recognized occupation.

The Doctor of Physical Therapy program is not a recognized occupation that requires a Gainful Employment disclosure.

BGSU Graduate College

The Doctorate of Physical Therapy program is part of the BGSU Graduate College and BGSU College of Health and Human Services



* Job placement and salary information was compiled by the Office of Academic Assessment through the Graduation Survey from AY2015-2018. The data are gathered around the time of Commencement and a follow-up survey six months post Commencement. For the salary question, data for programs with fewer than fifteen responses are not included. Salaries for those programs are from the National Association of Colleges and Employers Summer 2019 Survey. For questions regarding the data, contact assessment@bgsu.edu.