Feb 01, 2023  
Graduate Catalog 2019 - 2020 
Graduate Catalog 2019 - 2020 [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Physical Therapy, DPT

School of Health Sciences

Health Sciences 101
(216) 687-3566

Elizabeth Domholdt, Director, School of Health Science
Suzanne Giuffre, DPT Program Director


The emphasis of the Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) is to prepare competent entry-level practitioners who are well prepared to meet the demands of the current health care arena. The DPT degree emphasizes advanced skills in medical screening, differential diagnosis, critical thinking and clinical reasoning, and will arm students with an evidence base that validates clinical decisions to support the level of independent practice expected in a direct access environment. The DPT, a clinical doctorate, is differentiated from a Ph.D. by its emphasis on clinical skills and practice issues. However, it is expected that students will develop research skills related to being prepared to be critical consumers of the scientific literature. The DPT program is fully accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education.

Faculty Research

Cleveland State University faculty have research specializations in biomechanics, culture and health, health services research, epidemiology, exercise physiology, motor learning and control, motor behavior, neurologic and musculoskeletal disorders, among others. State-of-the-art Motion Analysis, Motor Behavior and Go Baby Go laboratories are available for research. Students in the program have an opportunity to work on research with faculty mentors.

Current faculty information can be located on the Cleveland State University Faculty Profile page.

Admission Information

Admission to the program is selective and limited. Admissions are conducted yearly; each admissions cycle begins in July with complete application files due by October 1 annually. In addition to meeting College of Graduate Studies requirements for admission, applicants to the program must:

  • Submit an application through the Physical Therapy Centralized Application Service (PTCAS).
  • Submit a complete CSU Application for Graduate Admissions, OR, if an international student, submit a graduate application to the Center for International Services and Programs.
  • Take the Graduate Record Exam (GRE) and have scores submitted to PTCAS, with a probable cut-off point for admission to the DPT Program per the following: Combined minimum score on the GRE of 290-296 (quantitative 144-146; verbal 146-150) and a 4.0/6.0 on the analytical writing section.
  • Attain the minimum of a baccalaureate degree from an accredited college or university in any subject area.
  • Attain a minimum grade point average overall of 3.20
  • The following prerequisite courses must be completed with a C grade or better, with no more than 2 C’s:
  1. Statistics (Must be upper division – undergraduate junior or senior level, i.e., 300 or 400 level– or graduate level course. At CSU: PSY 311 or STA 347 required at undergraduate level)
  2. Human Physiology or Vertebrate or Mammalian Physiology with laboratory (Must be upper division – undergraduate junior or senior level, i.e., 300 or 400 level course. At CSU: HSC 422 or BIO 422/423; OR A&P1 AND A&P2 AND Exercise Physiology with laboratories would fulfill this requirement)
  3. Anatomy with laboratory (A&P 1 AND A&P 2 would fulfill this requirement OR Anatomy with laboratory (A&P 1 AND A&P 2 would fulfill this requirement OR Human Gross Anatomy with cadaver dissection laboratory (At CSU: HSC 457/475)
  4. Physics: Two-course sequence with laboratories (At CSU: PHY 221/222 or PHY 231/232 or PHY 241/242)
  5. Chemistry: Two-course sequence with laboratories (At CSU: CHM 251/256 + 252/257)
  6. Cell or General Biology with laboratory (Cell Biology preferred. Must include cell/molecular biology component if General Biology. At CSU: BIO 200/201)
  7. Psychology: One course
  8. Social/Behavioral Sciences: Two courses (Two courses in addition to one required psychology course. Can be psychology, sociology, anthropology, or an appropriate course in another department)

Apply Now: http://www.csuohio.edu/graduate-admissions/how-apply and


Program of Study

The curriculum for the Doctor of Physical Therapy consists of 113 semester credits over three years/nine consecutive semesters, including:

  1. Eighty-four academic credits in core areas
  2. Twenty-four credits of clinical experience
  3. Five credits of elective course work

Program Requirements

Students in the DPT program must be enrolled full-time and complete 9 semesters, including all courses listed in the following sequence. The program begins each year in January.

DPT Curriculum


♦ Students must also complete a minimum of 5 credit hours of elective course work during the DPT Program.

*DPT 601  is required for students who have Gross Anatomy waived.

**DPT 607  recommended in spring for students who have Gross Anatomy waived.

***DPT 607  recommended in summer for those students who take Gross Anatomy in spring.

DPT 598 - Special Topics in Physical Therapy Research  (variable credit). Available to students who wish to assist faculty with research.