Southwest Baptist University Physical Therapy
Division of Physical Therapy 1600 University Ave. Bolivar MO 65613 United States
Phone+1 417.328.1690
Phone 2 +1 417.328.1672
Fax+1 417.328.1989
CAPTE Accredited

"This page is intended for college transfer students and graduates ONLY. High school students MUST contact the institution directly for information about the guaranteed freshman-entry program. Do not apply using PTCAS."

Program Description


Our Healing Mission (Rev. 11.26.18): Preparing future doctors of physical therapy to deliver care in a global society while integrating Christian faith.


Students enter the Doctor of Physical Therapy program in August of each year and continue through the program for 33 months straight until graduation in May of the third year.

The curriculum starts with and builds upon the foundational sciences progressing to clinical application in order to achieve the mission and goals of the program. The sequencing of courses and clinical experiences are arranged to challenge and develop independent, critical thinkers who recognize the value of physical therapy and who can communicate effectively to a variety of stakeholders. Students engage in the professional practice expectations on a diverse patient and client population throughout the lifespan. The faculty nurture and mentor students promoting personal, professional and spiritual growth.

The first two years are made up of lectures, labs, and regular weekly interaction with either our faculty practice clinic or other clinics in our community. The third year, August-May, is made up of four 8-9 week clinical rotations that can be fulfilled nationwide in any of 650+ sites with whom we have contracts. Clinical rotations, at the minimum, will include one acute care hospital based experience, one outpatient orthopedic experience, and one adult neuro-rehabilitation experience.


There are thirteen full-time faculty positions currently filled. Eight of the core and part-time faculty are certified as clinical specialists by ABPTS (4 Orthopaedic, 1 Neurology, 1 Geriatric, 1 Pediatric, 1 Cardiopulmonary) with one holding a prestigious fellow status by AAOMPT and one Sports Clinical Specialist Emeritus. Eight are engaged in clinical practice to some degree. The full time faculty to student ratio is 1:20.


The program accepts up to 80 physical therapy students in each class for a maximum total of 240 students.


Our program has an active local chapter of the SPTA and a local service organization called Move Forward Bolivar. Through these two student-led groups, students have the opportunity to earn additional credentials and certifications prior to graduating, serve our local community, and be a part of our Go Baby Go initiative for children with developmental delays. 

SBU is located in Bolivar, Missouri, a town of 10,500 people with a low crime rate, low cost of living and strong community values. Located in the heart of southwest Missouri, Bolivar is just 30 minutes north of Springfield, 2 1/2 hours south of Kansas City, and 3 1/2 hours west of St. Louis.


International service learning opportunities are a unique component available through the physical therapy program at SBU. The Global Health Outreach initiative allows you the opportunity to utilize your physical therapy skills while making a difference around the world. Trips involve current DPT students from multiple years of the program, SBU DPT alumni and faculty.

As part of a Global Health Outreach trip, you will practice both your new professional skills and your Christian faith as you help meet the physical and spiritual needs of people in need around the world. Team members work to raise funds needed to cover travel and participation expenses for the trip. SBU DPT students have served around the world in resource-poor communities in places such as India, Venezuela, El Salvador, Brazil, Haiti, Zambia and Peru.


See a current listing of our tuition and fees on our website at


Results over the past two years:

Graduation rate is 97% (2018=94%; 2019=99%)

Ultimate licensure exam pass rate is 94% (2018=96%; 2019=91%)

Employment rate within one year of graduation for those passing licensure examination is 100% (2018=100%; 2019=100%)

Acceptance rate into program is 50% (2018=53%; 2019=46%)

Average number of complete applications received per cycle is 291 (2018=291; 2019=291)

Average number of qualified applications received per cycle is 213 (2018=218; 2019=207)

(This information was last updated November 2019.)

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?
Institution's Religious Affiliation
Southern Baptist
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
Two non-refundable $500 deposits, applied toward tuition, are due upon acceptance into the program and June 1st.
Deposit Refundable?
Due Date of First Required Deposit
Total Cost of Education for In-State Students
Total Cost of Education for out of State Students
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 INTERNATIONAL (non-U.S/non-Canadian) applicants accepted
% Male
% Female 
% Hispanic 
% American Indian/Alaskan Native
% Asian
% African-American/Black (Non-Hispanic)
% White (Not of Hispanic Origin) 
% Two or More Races 
Additional information about the class profile
The program gives preference points to applicants who will graduate with a bachelor's degree and maintain the articulation requirements from the following undergraduate institutions:

* Anderson University  (IN)
* Avila University
* Belhaven University
* Bethel University (IN)
* Central Methodist University
* College of the Ozarks
* Drury University
* Evangel University 
* Grace College (IN)
* Hannibal-LaGrange University
* Indiana Wesleyan University
* John Brown University
* MidAmerican Nazarene University
* Missouri Baptist University
* Oklahoma Baptist University
* Oklahoma Wesleyan University
* Oral Roberts University
* Ouachita Baptist University
* Pensacola Christian College
* Southern Nazarene University
* Sterling College
* Tabor College
* Union University
* William Jewell College
* Williams Baptist University