Expand your ability to transform lives, become a doctor of physical therapy

Join a diverse group of aspiring physical therapists in a deep and accelerated experiential learning journey. Our expert team has uniquely designed a well-rounded, hands-on PT curriculum geared towards treating patients beyond their disease to improve functional outcomes.

An integral part of your training will consist of 4, full-time clinical experiences in a variety of healthcare settings (hospitals, outpatient clinics, rehabilitation centers, sports medicine, pediatrics).

To complement your clinical knowledge, you will become well-versed in seeing beyond the patient’s impairment and see how their life circumstances can impact their recovery.

Quick facts

  • Sharpen your technical and non-technical skills for healthcare practice
  • Learn in a healthcare team-based model (interprofessional collaboration)
  • Gain clinical experiences in Pittsburgh, around the U.S. and internationally
  • Lock in your tuition for all 8 semesters*

*Lock in your tuition

Incoming (Fall 2023) PT students are eligible to lock in their per-credit tuition rate for their whole program duration as long as they are continually enrolled in the PT program.

▸ View tuition & fees [pdf]

Credits required:

115 credits

Cost per credit:


Time to degree:

As few as 8 semesters


On campus

Well-rounded, employable PT curriculum

Our physical therapy curriculum allows you to learn the many facets of the PT industry including team-based patient care (interprofessional collaboration), entrepreneurship, leadership, health informatics to guide clinical decision-making, understanding of healthcare policies, and economics.

Designed to give you the time you need to reflect and digest your new knowledge, each Fall and Spring semester is divided into two, eight-week sessions.

Curricular highlights

  • Learn in a healthcare team model which provides you with the opportunity to learn and discuss with aspiring nurse practitioners, occupational therapists, physician assistants and speech-language pathologists.
  • Build confidence in your clinical skill through simulated hospital and ICU scenarios in our state-of-the-art simulation lab.
  • Graduate with a competitive resume that will include pro-bono services at our community teaching/learning lab, opportunities throughout the Carlow campus community (early learning center, elementary school, Sisters of Mercy convent) and international clinical experiences.

At Carlow, we believe that the non-technical skills are equally essential to your health professional training as the technical skills. Your training will emphasize three important habits of healthcare practice:

Heart (professional formation/responsibilities)

Head (cognitive knowledge)

Hand (clinical skills)

It is the training in the habits of the heart that will allow you to act above and beyond your technical responsibilities and advocate for your patients.

It is the expectation that Carlow University physical therapy graduates will advocate for healthcare equity for all, serve their communities with empathy and compassion, and actively contribute to creating a just and merciful world.

Career opportunities for physical therapists

Understood as one of the most rewarding healthcare careers, physical therapists develop real relationships with their patients and help them live better lives through rehabilitative medicine. Located in Pittsburgh, our PT program is in the heart of physical therapy career opportunity.


best healthcare jobs


growth in the next 10 years


median salary for PTs

To practice as a physical therapist in the U.S., you must earn a physical therapist degree from a CAPTE- accredited physical therapist education program and pass a state licensure exam.

Apply today and get an interview next month!

Qualified applicants will be invited for a formal interview with the DPT faculty. As part of the interview, applicants will write a personal statement responding to specific essay prompts that demonstrates the applicant’s fit with the mission of Carlow University.

Admission requirements and application process

You can apply through PTCAS, and must submit the following materials:

  • A completed application on PTCAS
  • A bachelor’s degree (students can apply in their senior year but must graduate before the start of the DPT program).
  • Have a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.00+
  • Prerequisites completed within 10 years and before matriculation (Fall 2013 to current)
    • C+ or better: One course in anatomy with Lab, one course in physiology with Lab, or two courses sequence in anatomy and physiology with lab, two courses in biological sciences, one course in psychology/sociology 
    • C or better: Two courses in general chemistry with Lab, two courses in general physics with Lab, one course in statistics
  • One page resume
  • Two Letters of recommendation describing the following:
    • From a licensed physical therapist that you observed describing your passion for physical therapy and how our profession is a right fit for you.
    • From an undergraduate counselor or professor who can describe your personal and academic abilities to be successful in the Doctor of Physical Therapy program and become a licensed practitioner 
  • No set number of observation hours is required. However, it is expected that interested students will have engaged in those opportunities to be able to articulate their interest in the physical therapy profession confidently and competently.

If you are an international student, additional items are required.


Priority deadline: Dec. 1
Final deadline: May 15

Start term:

Fall (August)

Early assurance (conditional admission) for High School students to apply in: View our helpful fact sheet [pdf] that offers guidance on the process and requirements.


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Mission statement

Our physical therapy program strives to develop evidence-informed, critically-thinking, skilled practitioners and leaders who advocate for healthcare equity for all, serve their communities with empathy and compassion, and actively contribute to creating a just and merciful world.

Contact Admissions

If you are interested in this graduate program, our Admissions team is available to help you with the next steps, including scheduling an on-campus visit or attending an upcoming event.


Graduation from a physical therapist education program accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE), 3030 Potomac Ave., Suite 100, Alexandria, Virginia 22305-3085; phone: 703-706-3245; accreditation@apta.org is necessary for eligibility to sit for the licensure examination, which is required in all states. Carlow University is seeking accreditation of a new physical therapist education program from CAPTE. On December 1, 2022, the program submitted an Application for Candidacy, which is the formal application required in the pre-accreditation stage. 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.


What does this mean for you?

If you apply to Carlow for Fall 2023 and we are granted candidacy in May 2023, upon completion of the program, you will receive a Doctor of Physical Therapy degree and be eligible to sit for the licensure exam regardless of our accreditation status.

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