Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation Science

  • Degree Programs

    The Department of Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation Science offers a unique learning environment in a leading medical education center. Resources are available to complement the mission of excellence in teaching, research and clinical service. Organizationally, the department is located in the Carver College of Medicine. The Department of Rehabilitation Therapies (Physical Therapy Clinic) is a separate department in the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics.  

    The Department of Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation Sciences offers two degrees, the DPT and PhD:

    Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT)

    A professional clinical entry-level program that based on the number of outstanding applicants admits 38-42 students in July of each year into a 2½ year curriculum including 35 weeks of full time clinical education experience. Satisfactory completion of the curriculum qualifies the candidates to take a state-administered national licensing examination.

    Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

    A program designed to prepare the student for a career in research, teaching, and scholarship. Students take a mix of coursework designed to support a research career in Rehabilitation Science. Students will also perform independent research in one of the core laboratories under the guidance of their primary mentor. Applicants must have a bachelor’s degree or higher in a related field.

    Combined DPT/PhD

    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.