Join Organization 2022-23
Central Michigan University Doctoral Program in Physical Therapy
1280 East Campus Drive Mount Pleasant MI 48858 United States
Phone+1 989.774.1730
CAPTE Accredited

Please Note: To complete your supplemental application, please visit  

Program Description

Central Michigan University's Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) curriculum follows a case-oriented educational model that places the multiple dimensions of patient care at the center of instruction. Clinical cases are used throughout the curriculum to focus instruction on situations and cases that arise in physical therapy practice. These cases provide the contextual background for understanding and applying theoretical, scientific and clinical concepts. 

Students are challenged throughout the program to think critically, master clinical skills and engage in reflection on what they are learning. The development of professional behaviors, ethical thought and action, generic abilities and core values is emphasized across all areas of the program. The faculty and staff are committed to helping students in the program successfully make the transition from the classroom to becoming knowledgeable, competent, ethical and caring healthcare professionals.

The Physical Therapy Program is housed in two locations. The original location is on the Mt. Pleasant campus of CMU, and the auxiliary location is in Houghton, Michigan, on the campus of Michigan Technological University (MTU). Students at both locations are Central Michigan University students and will graduate with the same Doctoral degree from CMU. Instruction is provided simultaneously to both campuses through synchronous interactive technology. All students attend the CMU campus for the first summer session, and then disperse between the two locations for the remainder of their didactic education.

On the CMU campus, the Physical Therapy Program is housed in the Health Professions Building. The Health Professions Building contains state-of-the-art technology and outstanding facilities for education, research and clinical practice, including a dedicated classroom and laboratory for interaction with the Houghton campus. In addition to the dedicated instructional spaces, physical therapy students and faculty have access to the Dell Virtual Reality Laboratory, the Motion Analysis Center, a Human Performance Laboratory, a Physical Therapy Clinic in the Carls Center for Clinical Care and Education, the Fall and Balance Center, the Field Neurosciences Institute Laboratories, the Health Innovation and Simulation Laboratory, a Global Telepresence Facility, and a hydrotherapy area with an exercise pool. 

Students attending the Mt. Pleasant campus may also be involved in our Hands for Health pro bono Clinic. Students in the first two years of the physical therapy program work with faculty supervisors to evaluate and treat individuals in need of physical therapy service who are uninsured or under-insured. This unique clinic provides a valuable service to the community, as well as an avenue for students to further develop and maintain their clinical skills while completing academic coursework. Students also have the opportunity to participate in MOVE for Health, a weekly exercise program for individuals with various neurological disorders.

In Houghton, the Physical Therapy Program is housed in the ATDC Building on the campus of Michigan Technological University (MTU). Similar to the Mt. Pleasant campus, the building contains a dedicated classroom and laboratory for interaction with students and faculty on the Mt. Pleasant campus. In affiliation with faculty from MTU's Department of Kinesiology and Integrative Physiology (KIP), students and faculty work collaboratively to do research in MTU's state-of-the-art facilities. This research focuses on the areas of Electrophysiology, Human Neuromechanics, and Integrative Physiology. We also encourage collaborations with other MTU departments, such as Biomedical Engineering, Mechanical Engineering - Engineering Mechanics, and Cognitive & Learning Sciences. 

Students at the Houghton campus have access to all MTU student amenities, including the library, fitness/recreation, arts and entertainment facilities. A MOVE for Health exercise program is also offered at the Houghton location, providing students the opportunity to interact with individuals with neurological conditions on a weekly basis. Similar to the Mt. Pleasant pro bono clinic, MOVE provides a valuable service for the community and helps students hone clinical skills.

Another highly regarded aspect of the CMU physical therapy program is its clinical education program. Unique features of our clinical education model include: integrated clinical experiences during the first two years of the curriculum; a full academic year of clinical experiences (two semester-length clinical experiences) at the conclusion of the didactic curriculum; and the use of a team of clinical coordinators (a Director of Clinical Education and four Regional Clinical Coordinators) to support and extend student learning during the clinical rotation year through the use of face-to face and virtual discussion groups with fellow student colleagues in defined geographic regions. The CMU Physical Therapy Program has more that 300 affiliated clinical agencies to support student learning experiences in a variety of practice settings in Michigan, the Midwest and the United States.

The research component of the CMU physical therapy curriculum provides students with two options for completion of their doctoral project. One option is to participate in a prospective collaborative research project working with the guidance and supervision of a faculty member. The prospective research project will be connected with the current research agenda of the faculty supervisor. There is a wide array of research expertise and areas of interest among CMU's physical therapy program faculty. The approaches to scientific inquiry employed by faculty span quantitative, qualitative and mixed-methods designs. A second research option is to complete a clinical case report working with the guidance and supervision of either the Director of Clinical Education or one of the Regional Coordinators during the final clinical rotation year. Both options require the student to produce a final manuscript in publishable form and to present their project and findings at an annual Research and Case Report Colloquium. Students are encouraged to, and often do, present their papers at state, national and international meetings.

Program offers a guaranteed freshman admission pathway?
Dual Degrees
Dual-degree programs offered in conjunction with the PT degree
Will the professional (entry-level) PT program offer a satellite or branch campus to applicants during the upcoming admissions cycle?
Information regarding satellite or branch campus

We have a satellite campus in Houghton, Michigan, on the campus of Michigan Technological University. See full description in Program Description section. 

Institution's Religious Affiliation
Admission Interviews
Program conducts interviews as part of the admissions process?
Is a Deposit Required for Accepted Applicants?
Total cumulative deposit
Additional Information about Deposit
Deposit is due upon acceptance of a seat in the program. The deposit will be applied towards your future tuition costs when you matriculate into the program. 
Deposit Refundable?
Additional Information about Refunds
The deposit will be applied towards your future tuition cost when you matriculate into the program. If you choose not to attend CMU after submitting the deposit, your deposit will not be refunded, even if the deposit is submitted before the deadline
Deposits collected on a rolling basis after offer of admission made?
Incoming Class Profile
Anticipated Size of the Next Entering Class
Size of Most Recent Entering Class
% of IN-STATE applicants accepted
% of OUT-OF-STATE (non-resident) U.S. applicants accepted
% of CANADIAN applicants accepted
% of INTERNATIONAL (non-U.S/non-Canadian) applicants accepted
% Male
% Female 
% Hispanic 
% African-American/Black (Non-Hispanic)
% Hawaiian/Pacific Islander
% White (Not of Hispanic Origin) 
% Two or More Races 
% Declining to State 
Additional information about the class profile
Of the 60 students in each class, 48 are housed on the Mt. Pleasant campus and 12 on the Houghton campus. All will be graduates of Central Michigan University.
Minority-Serving Institution (MSI) Status
Program housed at a Minority-Serving Institution No