Pacific Northwest University of Health Sciences School of Physical Therapy
200 University Parkway Yakima WA 98901 United States
+1 509.249.7888 +1 509.249.7907
2005 100 to 500

This program has been granted Candidate for Accreditation status by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE - 3030 Potomac Avenue, Suite 100, Alexandria, VA, 22314; phone: 703-706-3245; email: Candidate for Accreditation is a pre-accreditation status of affiliation with the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education that indicates the program is progressing toward accreditation and may matriculate students in professional courses. Candidate for Accreditation is not an accreditation status nor does it assure eventual accreditation.

"This page is intended for applicants who will graduate college before starting physical therapy training. High school students cannot apply using PTCAS."

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Program Description

The School of Physical Therapy (SOPT) at PNWU supports the university's mission of educating and training health care professionals emphasizing service in rural and medically underserved communities throughout the Northwest. The student-focused, patient-centered, dynamic, and collaborative learning environment centers around PNWU's established culture of interprofessional education, compassion, innovation, and social responsibility, resulting in a new wave of physical therapists capable of revolutionizing the health of our communities. 

By demonstrating the value of movement and function for health and longevity, translating evidence from practice into action, and advocating for access to physical therapy in rural and medically underserved communities, PNWU Physical Therapists will impact health and health care delivery across lifespans. As movement system experts, PNWU DPT graduates will infuse innovative, evidence-informed practice in rural and medically underserved communities throughout the Northwest.

The professional coursework spans across 8 semesters of which 3/8 students are in their full-time clinical experiences off campus. Embedded in the 5/8 semesters of didactic coursework, students also receive hands-on experiences as part of our two pro bono physical therapy clinics: the Center for Applied Movement Sciences (CAMS) lab, on campus and the Yakima Union Gospel Mission. 

The curriculum is grounded in the mission of the program and university  semesters, thee of which are in full-time clinical experiences. The curriculum is a blended design with traditional and systems-based approaches. It embeds movement systems within professional practice management themes. Contemporary PT practice with use of the evidence to inform clinical practice is incorporated through a combination of didactic, laboratory, service-learning, and clinical experiences that develop students across the cognitive, affective, and psychomotor learning domains. The curriculum directly reflects the skills, professionalism, leadership, and critical reasoning necessary for entry-level, contemporary physical therapy practice, and life-long learning expected across the span of graduates' careers.

The curricular model is designed to produce a knowledgeable, reflective generalist who offers evidence-informed, quality care in a compassionate and professional manner as a competent member of the interprofessional team in rural and medically underserved communities. This solid foundation in the signature pedagogy of applied movement science and collaborative practice allows graduates to assume the role of a movement expert, researcher, educator, consultant, administrator, leader, and advocate within the interprofessional health care team.


Effective November 2, 2021, the Doctor of Physical Therapy program at Pacific Northwest University of Health Sciences has been granted Candidate for Accreditation status by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE) 3030 Potomac Ave., Suite 100, Alexandria, Virginia 22305-3085; phone:703.706.3245; email: If needing to contact the program/institution directly, please call 509.249.7752 or email

Candidate for Accreditation is an accreditation status affiliation with the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education that indicates the program may matriculate students in technical/professional courses. Achievement of Candidate for Accreditation status does not assure that the program will be granted Initial Accreditation.

CAPTE Timing and the Licensing Exam.

The DPT program will be evaluated for full-accreditation status in the third year of the first cohort (2024/2025).  Accreditation is anticipated to be received in the spring of 2025 prior to graduation of the first cohort which will be May 2025.  Based on Rule 7.2 (see below), graduates of the first cohort will be able to take the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) as early as July 2025. 

New Rule:7.2 Definition of Candidate for Accreditation

Candidate for Accreditation is a pre-accreditation status, awarded prior to enrollment of students in the technical (PTA programs) or professional (PT programs) phase of the program, which indicates that the physical therapy education program is progressing toward accreditation. 

All credits and degrees earned and issued by a program holding candidacy are considered to be from an accredited program.

Program offers a guaranteed freshman admission pathway?
Dual Degrees
Will the professional (entry-level) PT program offer a satellite or branch campus to applicants during the upcoming admissions cycle?
Admission Interviews
Program conducts interviews as part of the admissions process?
Additional information about interviews

All applicants invited to interview with PNWU-SOPT are interviewed in groups of three to five with two panelists per group. Interview panelists are provided a list of names prior to interview day to determine any conflict of interest.

Interview day is an opportunity for PNWU to get to know applicants and for applicants to get to know PNWU. Opportunities to communicate directly with faculty and staff will be provided. The dress for the day is professional.

Is a Deposit Required for Accepted Applicants?
Total cumulative deposit
Additional Information about Deposit
This is a nonrefundable deposit that is credited toward first semester tuition.
Deposit Refundable?
Deposits collected on a rolling basis after offer of admission made?
Additional information about rolling deposits
First interview date in February then rolling admission until class is filled.
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
Additional information about the class profile
PNWU-SOPT seeks students compatible with the University mission and who have the prerequisite knowledge, skills, and abilities to assure a reasonable probability of success. Applications from all qualified individuals will be considered; however, in order to meet the mission of the School of Physical Therapy, priority will be given to applicants from Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, Washington, or from rural or medically underserved areas.
Minority-Serving Institution (MSI) Status
Program housed at a Minority-Serving Institution No
Employees100 to 500