Choosing a School for Your DPT

As of June 2017, there are 226 accredited physical therapist professional degree programs in the United States. 

We strongly recommend you pick several schools in your application process to maximize your chances of being admitted, so think carefully about all the factors we’ve identified below – and others we may have missed that are important to you:

The below table shows the University of Montana's DPT student outcomes for comparison with other programs. 

Graduating Class

Graduation Rate

Pass Rate on the PT Licensure Exam

Employment Rate for students seeking work

Class of 2013

100%

100%

100%

Class of 2014

100%

100%

100%

Class of 2015

100%

100%

100%

Class of 2016

100%

100%

100%

Class of 2017

100% 100% 100%

Class of 2018

100% 100% 100%

Class of 2019

97.2% 100% 100%

Things to Consider:

  • The Depth, Breadth and Experience of Faculty, and 'Faculty:Student Ratio'

    At UM, we believe the faculty should be a blend of research trained faculty (PhD or equivalent) and clinically trained faculty (DPT, specialization and/or many years of experience).  Preferably, all faculty will have both clinical and research/scholarship expertise at varying levels.  The practice of contemporary physical therapy is grounded in scientific evidence, what we often refer to as evidenced-based practice (EBP).  New graduates in physical therapy should be trained as practitioners of EBP and versed in the necessary requisites for good clinical research practice so they may best evaluate the evolving science of physical therapy practice.

  • Availability of On-Site Clinical Experiences

    Regardless of where you attend school you will be required to spend a portion of your education in clinical environments under the supervision of a physical therapist.  Attending a school where there is an on-site clinic enhances the learning potential through convenient experience under the supervision of clinical instructors and faculty obviously proving patient care consistent with the curricular philosophy.  In addition, patients/clients are more readily available for evaluation in the context of regular on-campus course work.  At UM we are pleased to have two clinical environments, the University of Montana Physical Therapy Clinic and the New Directions Wellness Center.

  • A Location that You Love to Live In for Three Years

    Physical therapy school is challenging, so finding a location for your training that is comfortable and speaks to your outside interests is important to maximize your enthusiasm and energy for school.  Look for an environment that decreases excess stress – consider the ease of commuting, access to essential services, and a recreational scene that suits your interests.  Can you ride your bike or walk to school?  Is the bus service low cost?  We have provided links to help you better understand Missoula and the surrounding area and would encourage you to examine the pros and cons of the communities you are considering in relation to the school.