Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation Science

  • Combined DPT/PhD Opportunity

    We offer the opportunity for highly qualified students to pursue studies in both clinical physical
    therapy (DPT) and rehabilitation research (PhD). The DPT is the degree required to practice
    physical therapy, whereas the PhD provides the training to become an independent scientific
    investigator. An education in both areas provides unique preparation for a successful career in
    clinical and translational rehabilitation research. The goal of combined studies is to train
    clinician-scientists who will become physical therapy researchers at the university level and
    generate new knowledge for the fields of physical therapy and physical rehabilitation science

    The University of Iowa Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation Science Graduate Program has a
    long-standing history of training both physical therapists (45+ years) and PhD rehabilitation
    scientists (30+ years). If you desire to become a physical therapist and a rehabilitation scientist,
    this opportunity may be for you.

    The program begins with the DPT phase of education where students learn clinical skills along
    with their classmates. During this clinical training period, however, the student will also begin
    their initial research training, being mentored by one of the PhD faculty and integrated into a
    research laboratory. Some of the coursework and research done during the DPT program will
    be applied to the PhD coursework reducing the student’s time in the PhD by approximately one
    year. At the end of the DPT curriculum (~2.5 years), the DPT/PhD student will be eligible to sit
    for the national licensure exam. The average time to completion of the combined DPT/PhD
    studies is approximately 7 years.

    Students interested in this opportunity should apply for admission to the DPT program through
    the Physical Therapist Centralized Applications Service (PTCAS) and also contact the Chair of the PhD Admissions Committee, Dr. Richard Shields.