The University of Delaware Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) Program is a University based physical therapist educational program housed within the College of Health Sciences. The DPT program faculty members believe that the University is an appropriate environment for the education and development of future physical therapists, especially at the doctorate degree entry-level.

In addition to preparing graduates to be entry-level generalists, they are also capable of pursuing a specialty area within the profession or for further graduate work in a research environment. As a program within a State supported institution of higher learning, we recognize the need and obligation to address the continually changing physical therapy needs of the State of Delaware. We also recognize the considerable commitment the State and University of Delaware have made to the growth and development of this program. As a member of the College of Health Sciences, we are responsive to the development of partnerships throughout the state in an era of interdisciplinary collaborative healthcare to enhance our student learning, research diversity, and post professional training.

The physical therapist is a professional member of a health care team who views the patient as an individual with physical, intellectual, and psycho-social needs. It is the unity and dynamic nature of these dimensions that must be recognized and respected in each individual if the health care team is to serve humanity adequately in a multi – cultural environment. Interwoven in this philosophy is the belief in the dignity of humankind, the right of quality health care services, and the potential of the individual as a consumer to actively participate in the health care process. It is the team concept, with the patient as an active participant that best serves the needs of the patient in maintaining or restoring his/her state of health and well-being. Physical therapists must be excellent communicators as well as facilitators of communication if this goal is to be reached.

Physical therapists serve many roles. Their primary professional duty is to provide excellent health care and to act as a patient advocate. They also act as administrators, consultants, educators, and researchers. As such, the educational preparation of the physical therapist is an integrative process, drawing from the liberal arts, basic sciences, natural sciences, and applied sciences.

The DPT curriculum is predicated on evidenced-based practice. Clinically oriented courses draw extensively from primary source research as well as traditional theory and practice. A strong foundation in basic science is established early in the curriculum alongside courses in which students learn skills necessary for the practice of physical therapy. Integration between didactic courses and clinical practice takes place in our on-site PT clinics, which are a fundamental component of our Program.

A major goal of the curriculum is to encourage students to develop lifelong learning skills as a means to remain up to date throughout their careers. This is accomplished, in part, by educating students to be consumers of relevant literature and to make wise choices for their future continuing education experiences. Recognized clinical experts are regularly utilized as instructors in the program in an effort to further develop the relationships between expert clinical practice and research.

The future of health care has always rested on the art and scientific inquiry of its practitioners. Physical Therapy is a profession, that like other health care professions, is ever evolving and advancing in the quality, nature, and extent of services offered. The body of knowledge of Physical Therapy will only grow if its practitioners engage in basic and clinical research. The PT Program at the University of Delaware is firmly committed to developing new knowledge and advancing the profession of physical therapy.

The University of Delaware does not discriminate against any person on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, genetic information, marital status, disability, religion, age, veteran status or any other characteristic protected by applicable law in its employment, educational programs and activities, admissions policies, and scholarship and loan programs as required by Title IX  of the Educational Amendments of 1972, the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and other applicable statutes and University policies. (See complete Notice of Non-Discrimination, Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action.)

(Approved by faculty 2019)


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STAR Health Sciences Complex

540 S College Ave, Newark DE 19713

P: 302-831-8910 | F: 302-831-4234