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Transitional Doctorate in Physical Therapy

Program Details

The transitional Doctorate of Physical Therapy Degree (t-DPT) at the University of South Dakota is the first online doctoral program in the South Dakota Regental System. This program is remarkably affordable when compared to other t-DPT programs. The Doctor of Physical Therapy Degree is conferred upon completion of a structured 5 semester, 25 credit hour, online post-professional knowledge, skills and behaviors.

The program was designed to parallel the American Physical Therapy Association's Preferred Curricular Model for the Transitional Clinical Doctoral Program and Learner, as well as their Transitional Clinical Doctorate Competencies Document.


  • Possess a current license to practice physical therapy
  • Graduate from a Physical Therapy program accredited by the Commission on the Accreditation of Physical Therapist Education (CAPTE) or foreign trained with a current PT licensure in the United States (in good standing) or graduate from a Physical Therapy program accredited by the Physiotherapy Education Accreditation Canada (PEAT) with current PT licensure in Canada. Foreign students who have passed the National Physical Therapy examination developed and administered by Federal State Board of Physical Therapy are not required to submit a TOEFL score.
  • Possess a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.7
  • Meet one of the following:
    • Hold a Certificate in Physical Therapy plus a Bachelor’s Degree in select field plus 20 years of experience in the field of PT
    • Possess a Bachelor’s Degree in Physical Therapy plus 10 years experience in the field of PT
    • Possess a Master’s Degree in Physical Therapy plus 2 years of experience in the field of PT
  • One official transcript
  • Statement of Purpose
  • Resume/CV
  • Successful completion of criminal background check upon acceptance
  • Two letters of recommendation

Accreditation & Licensing

North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, The Higher Learning Commission