Doctor of Physical Therapy

Program Description

The entry-level DPT program is 110 semester hours of full-time study, offered in eight semesters over three calendar years. This degree prepares students to be both autonomous and interprofessional practitioners equipped with the necessary tools to practice physical therapy as leaders in health systems in the 21st century.

The physical therapy curriculum explores motor control and the movement system as foundational principles of PT education. Students study how various body systems (cardiovascular, pulmonary, endocrine, integumentary, nervous and musculoskeletal) interact to produce movement and relate this knowledge to physical therapy management across the lifespan. Extensive study of the foundation sciences is incorporated into the curriculum. Within an evidence-based practice perspective, graduates apply best available evidence to clinical decisions. This model enables students to successfully link theory and application to clinical practice. Numerous faculty-facilitated, small group activities are included in the curriculum. For example, in-depth clinical case scenarios are explored in small group tutorials offered in the Professional Issues/Case Management series of the curriculum. These tutorials serve to extend and integrate content from other courses and foster students’ ability to access and apply information. We encourage all members of the DPT program to learn proficiently, think globally and critically, identify personal and professional values, engage in the profession and community and advocate for social justice. We further encourage the development of physical therapy skills, intercultural sensitivity, and leadership abilities necessary for distinguished professional work and contributions to the improvement and transformation of the physical therapy profession and health care systems.

During clinical experiences, students integrate knowledge gained from courses to refine their skills in examination, evaluation, diagnosis, prognosis, intervention, outcomes, and communication with diverse populations. Participation in clinical experiences within the program necessitates travel to various sites outside the Denver area and across the country. All expenses incurred during the clinical experiences are the responsibility of the student. Students are required to participate in a minimum of one rural experience and one out-of-state experience to facilitate an understanding of diverse practice settings. Currently, the School of Physical Therapy is affiliated with more than 800 clinical sites throughout the country, as well as select international experiences.

Graduation requirements include completion of course requirements, a scholarly project and a capstone portfolio. Upon successful completion of the program, graduates are awarded a Doctor of Physical Therapy degree, making them eligible to take the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) for licensure in any U.S. jurisdiction.

Essential Functions

The Doctor of Physical Therapy educates competent physical therapists who can examine, evaluate, diagnose, prognose, and establish interventions for patients/clients who receive services in acute, rehabilitation, and ambulatory health care settings. The observational, cognitive, communication, behavioral, social, and psychomotor skills deemed essential to complete this program and to perform as a competent practitioner of physical therapy are located in the School of Physical Therapy Student Handbook.

If a student cannot meet these essential skills and abilities, it is the responsibility of the student to request an appropriate accommodation. The university will provide reasonable accommodation as long as it does not fundamentally alter the nature of the program offered and does not impose an undue hardship.


All applicants will apply for admission to the Doctor of Physical Therapy professional entry program through the Physical Therapist Centralized Application Service (PTCAS)

PTCAS c/o Liaison International
311 Arsenal St., Suite 15
Watertown, MA 02471

All qualified applicants are reviewed by the faculty of the School of Physical Therapy. Applicants who meet the following criteria to the satisfaction of the School of Physical Therapy are invited for an interview and considered for acceptance into the graduate program.

  1. Criteria for admission are as follows:
    • Completion of a baccalaureate degree prior to matriculation with a major in a field other than Physical Therapy from a regionally accredited institution of higher education. No academic major is given priority consideration during the selection process.
    • Completion of prerequisite course work with a minimum grade of “B-” or above in each prerequisite course preferred and a minimum cumulative grade point average of 2.75 (further details are listed under the “Admissions Prerequisites” heading in this section). Prerequisite course work must be completed prior to matriculation; however, course work may be in progress or planned at the time of application.
    • Demonstration of an undergraduate cumulative grade point average of 3.00 on a 4.00 scale preferred.
    • Demonstration of familiarity with the profession of physical therapy.
    • Evidence of potential for success in graduate education.
    • Evidence of potential for success as a professional in the field of physical therapy.
  2. Applicants must submit all required admission information as instructed by PTCAS and requested on the PTCAS application. This, in part, includes the following items:
    • Official transcripts of all college-level course work.
    • Three letters of recommendation from persons well suited to evaluate qualification for graduate study and/or physical therapy. One recommendation must be completed by a licensed physical therapist and one recommendation must be completed by a college-level faculty. Personal letters of recommendation are not accepted.
  3. Applicants are ranked for admission according to the following criteria:
    • Prerequisite grade point average.
    • Cumulative grade point average.
    • Recommendations
    • Completion of highly recommended courses.
    • Experiences and perspectives that demonstrate commitment to the Jesuit mission of building a "more humane world".
    • While the School of Physical Therapy does not offer guaranteed admission, priority interview consideration is given to all Regis College undergraduates who have a strong academic record. Additional consideration is given to those students who major or minor in Health and Exercise Science.
  4. Applicants with the highest rank are invited for an interview with members of the faculty.
    • Since the number of qualified applicants exceeds available slots, the faculty selects a diverse student group from the interviewed applicant pool. Admission decisions are not based solely on final applicant rank.

Regis University reserves the right to deny admission, continued enrollment, or re-enrollment to any applicant or student who would pose an unreasonable risk of harm to self or others, or any unreasonable risk of disruption to the academic or clinical processes of the School of Physical Therapy, the Rueckert-Hartman College for Health Professions, or Regis University. Also, adherence to the “Code of Ethics, Guide to Professional Conduct,” and “Standards of Practice for Physical Therapy” as described by the American Physical Therapy Association is required for all students in the program. Accepted students must complete a variety of new student requirement to include: health and physical forms, BLS Certification, Essential Functions and Safety Forms, drug test and criminal background checks. The ability to begin the DPT program is dependent upon successful completion of all requirements.

Note: All documents submitted during the application process become the property of Regis University.

Probationary Admission

In rare cases, students may be admitted to the program on probation. If this is the case, the student must follow the conditions listed in the Academic Standing section of this Catalog.

Conditional Admission

Students who may not have fully completed prerequisite course work at the time of admission may be accepted into the program pending successful completion of prerequisite courses with a grade of “B” or higher. Similarly, students who have not completed their bachelor’s degree must successfully graduate with a B.A. or B.S. degree prior to matriculation. Students must submit official transcripts demonstrating that the conditional requirements have been met prior to the first day of regular classes.


Prerequisite course work must be completed prior to matriculation into the School of Physical Therapy. The biological and physical science courses must be those designated for science majors.

  • Behavioral Sciences1 6 SH
  • Biology (lectures and laboratories)2 8 SH 
  • General Chemistry (lectures and laboratories) 8 SH 
  • General Physics (lectures and laboratories) 8 SH 
  • Human Anatomy (lecture and laboratory)3 4 SH 
  • Human Physiology (lecture and laboratory)3 4 SH
  • Statistics (Descriptive and Inferential) 3 SH 

Behavioral Sciences include courses in anthropology, psychology, and sociology. Developmental and Abnormal Psychology are recommended.


Any two biology courses (lecture and lab required) taken from a biology department will fulfill the biology requirement. Examples of appropriate biology courses include: Cell Biology, Embryology, General Biology I, General Biology II, Genetics, Histology, Immunology, Microbiology or Molecular Biology.


Regis University requires one (1) four credit hour course in Human Anatomy with lab plus one (1) four credit hour course in Human Physiology with lab for a total of one year of study, or eight credit hours (one year sequence) of a combined anatomy and physiology (A&P I and II).

Other courses that are highly recommended but not required for admission include:

  • Communications/Speech,
  • Motor Control/Motor Learning,
  • Research Methods/Advanced Statistics,
  • Neuroscience/Neuroanatomy,
  • Mechanical Kinesiology/Biomechanics, and
  • Exercise Physiology.

Computer Literacy

Students use computers throughout the curriculum for communication, access to course materials, submission of assignments, computer-based examinations, movement analysis projects, clinical education, and many other professional and academic tasks. At minimum, students are required to have a laptop (Apple or PC) or a tablet (iPad or Microsoft Surface Pro).

Technology must meet these specifications:

  • The minimal technical specifications for a laptop computer are a 2.0 GHz Intel processor or equivalent, 8 GB memory, 256+ GB or larger hard drive, and sufficient USB ports to connect back-up drives and other connections.
  • If using an iPad, it must support iOS 10 and have a minimum of 64 GB storage.
  • If using a Microsoft Surface tablet, it should be a version 2020 or newer Microsoft Surface Pro.
  • Operating System: 32-bit and 64-bit Versions of Windows 10.
  • Alternate versions of Windows 10, such as Windows RT and Windows 10 S, are not supported with the Program Exam software.
  • Only genuine, U.S.-English versions of Windows Operating Systems are supported.
  • Students use Microsoft Office, either Office 2013 or Office 365, which includes: Word, Excel, Power Point, and Outlook. All Regis students will be able to access Office 365 online and/or download Office Professional Plus to their personal computers at no cost
  • The DPT Program Exam software does not support tablet devices other than Surface Pro or iPad (iOS 11, iOS 12, and iPadOS 13)

Note: High speed broadband (cable or DSL) or wireless Internet access at home and while on clinical rotations is required so that students can access multimedia files through the University systems throughout the entire program. All students/faculty/staff electronic communication is accomplished through an issued RegisNET email account. The University has several computer labs on campus that students may use, however, access from home and clinical rotation housing is essential. Consult the school website for further information on system requirements and configurations at


An academic faculty advisor is assigned to all entering DPT students. Advisors assist students in accessing resources for academic success and provide guidance and in professional growth and career planning. Students are required to meet with their advisors a minimum of one time per semester to facilitate ongoing dialogue and development of professional behaviors, complete portfolio requirements, and graduation criteria throughout their studies. Each DPT student is also assigned a clinical education advisor for guidance in selecting and completing clinical education experiences, and a research advisor for completion of a scholarly project.

Program Progression

A student needs a minimum grade of “C+” or better in each course in order to progress in the Physical Therapy program. If a grade of “C” or “C-” is received in any of the course requirements, the student must remediate the course within the following semester in order to progress (for specifics, see Remediation). Students may participate in clinical education rotations during semester IV while remediating a grade of “C” or “C-”. DPT students may not participate in any subsequent clinical education experience until remediation of a grade of “C” or “C-” in a previous semester course is completed. It should be noted that failure to participate in a clinical education experience may limit a student’s ability to continue participation in the program with their original cohort. As DPT courses are offered once a year, a student may be required to delay progression for a full academic year to complete a required course.


Students follow the add/drop policy dates published in the General Information section of this Catalog. Requests to drop a course require the signature of the program director. Students who drop a course must understand that this jeopardizes their ability to continue in the program.


A grade of “C” or “C-” for a course must be remediated. The initial grade will be changed to a “C+” following successful remediation of the “C” or “C-” grade. Grades of “D” or “F” for a course cannot be remediated. Refer to the RHCHP Graduate Academic Suspension section in this Catalog for consequences. The process of remediation begins the first week of the semester following receipt of a grade of “C” or “C-”. During this week, a remediation contract with input from the student and instructor is developed that outlines format, content and evaluation method for the remediation. This contract is finalized and signed by the student, instructor, and program director.

The agreed upon remediation must be successfully completed by the end of the semester following the semester in which the unsatisfactory grade was received. Failure to successfully complete the remediation process by this time cancels the student’s ability to participate in a clinical education experience. An exception to this policy is available during semester IV. Students may participate in DPT 750 Clinical Education I while remediating a “C” or “C-” grade. Students may not participate in any subsequent clinical education rotations until remediation for a “C” or “C-” in a previous semester course is completed.

Students should be aware that completion of a remediation must occur at least nine business days prior to the start of the clinical education rotation. It should again be noted that failure to participate in a clinical education experience may limit a student’s ability to progress through the remainder of the curriculum. Students should refer to the DPT Program Student Handbook for specific consequences for not completing a remediation successfully or on time. If the initial remediation is not successful, one more remediation is allowed as long as time still allows within the designated remediation contract date. If remediation attempts continue beyond the contract date (in cases of subsequent clinical rotations) or end of semester, this may also necessitate stopping out until the next academic year. If this remediation is not successful, the student is considered to have an unremediated “C” or “C-” and is suspended from the program.


See details within the RHCHP Graduate Academic Standing and Penalty section of this Catalog and the DPT Program Student Handbook.

Course Overload

A student may participate in independent study as a course overload for any term with the permission of the faculty of record, the advisor and the program director.

Transfer Credit

Transfer credit from other health professions education programs to the Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) program will be considered for each individual student request. Courses under consideration for transfer must be graduate-level and must have been taken within the past three years in a ground-based format.

The school dean and director of graduate studies will evaluate the syllabus from each requested course for equivalency of course content and rigor. Credit hours earned with grades of “B-” or better (grades of C+ or below are not acceptable) at an accredited institution of higher education prior to admission to the Regis University School of Physical Therapy may be transferred based on equivalency review. Credit hours are transferred, but quality points are not. The grade-point average of the student will be determined only by work done at Regis University. A maximum of 12 semester hours of transfer credit will be accepted.

Graduation Requirements

Students must meet the following criteria to be awarded the Doctor of Physical Therapy degree:

  • Satisfactory completion of required academic and clinical coursework.
  • Cumulative GPA of 3.000 and a minimum of “C+” in each course.
  • Satisfactory completion of a scholarly project.
  • Satisfactory completion of a comprehensive examination.
  • Satisfactory completion of a capstone project.
  • Successful progression in professional behaviors, including required membership in and attendance at APTA activities.
  • Recommendation for the degree by the faculty of the School of Physical Therapy.

It is the student’s responsibility to read and understand all policies and requirements of the School and the University. It is also the student’s responsibility to maintain personal records of coursework applicable to the degree.