The Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) program at the University of Southern California (USC) provides the required educational preparation for a professional career as a physical therapist. Program graduates are knowledgeable, self-assured, adaptable, reflective, and service-oriented practitioners who by virtue of critical thinking and ethical values render informed and independent judgments concerning patient/client needs, promote the health and quality of life of the client, and enhance the professional foundations for practice. Graduates are prepared to become autonomous practitioners, capable of evaluating and treating patients without the need for referral from another practitioner, but ready to work in collaboration with other health professionals. These practitioners contribute to society and the profession through practice, teaching, administration, and the discovery and application of new knowledge about physical therapy. The educational philosophy of the program is to maximally challenge each student and facilitate his or her development of skills for life-long learning, professional development, and leadership. The program is offered through two different pathways - the residential program is composed entirely of on-campus learning experiences, while the hybrid program is composed of a combination of online and on-campus learning experiences. To learn more about the similarities and differences between these two outstanding options, visit our website: https://dpt.usc.edu/.The three-year program runs year round and consists of 115 graduate credits. The first two years are focused on academic and clinical coursework, including a total of 18 weeks of clinical rotations in 4 practice settings. The curriculum during the first two years is systems-based, with whole semesters focused on musculoskeletal, cardiovascular/pulmonary, and neurologic physical therapy. The third year is integrative, reinforcing and building upon concepts introduced in the first two years. It consists of a 16-week terminal full-time clinical education experience in one semester and a 16-week terminal integrated clinical education experience (3 days per week). During the integrated semester, students spend Tuesdays and Thursdays in a unique case-based curriculum with a team-based approach designed to help students integrate across different practice areas. Commencement is in May immediately following the University's main Commencement Ceremony. USC was the second program in the nation to graduate doctorally prepared students and in 2019 it graduated it's 22nd DPT class. The Division has three faculty practices (one hospital-based and two outpatient) and offers four residency programs for specialized training in Orthopedic, Neurologic, Sports, and Pediatric Physical Therapy. It also offers MS and PhD degrees in Biokinesiology for advanced research training. The physical therapy program at USC is one of the premier programs in the country. This distinction derives from a mission that includes the advancement of physical therapy education, practice, and research. Because of this, students in our program benefit from a dynamic learning environment where patient care and research are actively integrated. Faculty are national and international leaders engaged in teaching and research with a focus on increasing the quality and understanding of physical therapy practice and science.
An initial $1,000 Commitment Deposit is due 1-4 weeks after notification of an admission offer (depending upon the date of the initial offer), but not before January 15 of the matriculation year. A secondary $500 Commitment Deposit is due by mid-May of the matriculation year. Both deposits are non-refundable and will be applied in their entirety to the tuition fee bill after matriculation.