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Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT)

A dynamic curriculum with small class sizes.

What makes the DeSales Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) program so special? Our contemporary graduate curriculum will prepare you for success in a variety of physical therapy settings. Our program boasts first-year cadaver anatomy, a state-of-the-art simulation center, service-learning community outreach experiences, and much more.

DeSales has long been recognized as a leader in healthcare education. Now you can pursue your passion to become a highly-educated physical therapist and movement expert right here in the beautiful Lehigh Valley.

Application Process

The 2024-2025 PTCAS (Physical Therapist Centralized Application Service) application cycle will open on June 17, 2024.

 Visit PTCAS

Learn by Doing
The DeSales DPT program holds four specialized free physical therapy clinics each year, as well as a year-round therapy clinic for the uninsured and underinsured. These faculty-supervised clinics give our students hands-on, real-world experience with a variety of clients and provide a valuable free service to our community.


That’s when Ellis heard about the Doctor of Physical Therapy program’s Pediatric Physical Therapy Clinic, where students provide services, free of charge, for six weeks. 

While under the mentorship of Dr. Sue Migliore, assistant professor, students work with Pete on a range of motion exercises, including stretching, sitting and standing balance, as well as coordination activities like stepping over foam pads and walking along a taped line.

“He has a lot of internal rotation,” says Chelsea Smelas ’19. “We were trying to get him more into a neutral hip position that will help hit some more of his milestones that he might not have hit early on. And it will help him later on in life be more functional with everyday tasks.”

The clinic has also helped Ellis spot warning signs at home and give positive feedback. “We’ve learned what words work best for us,” she says. “If we say ‘sit nice,’ he immediately corrects the way that he sits and that’s not something we could really get him to do before.”

For Smelas and her fellow students, the clinic provides essential hands-on training. “It’s good experience for us,” she says. “We’re used to sitting in the classroom all day learning about all these conditions and diagnoses. On top of that, just knowing that we’re helping out kids that really need this therapy, it’s just an indescribable feeling.”  

The DPT program holds free clinics throughout the year. The next clinic will be in the spring for individuals experiencing activity limitations caused by neurologic health conditions. •

The program at a glance:

  • Graduate program (4+3 year program)
  • Undergraduate program (3+3 year program)
  • First-year human anatomy series with cadaver dissection
  • Emphasis on servant leadership
  • Systems-based differential diagnosis and intervention series
  • 5-course research series, culminating in a faculty-mentored student project
  • 36 weeks of clinical education
Doctor of Physical Therapy

DeSales Community Wellness and Physical Therapy Clinic

A student-run, no-cost pro bono clinic that provides a full range of screening, evaluation and therapy services to our local community.

Clinic hours are Mondays and Wednesdays from 3:00 p.m. - 7:00 p.m. Pre-registration is required.

Community Wellness and PT Clinic

DPT Goals & Outcomes

Our graduates boast an exceptionally high pass rate on the National Physical Therapy Examination.

DPT Goals & Outcomes
DeSales DPT Goals and Outcomes
Doctor of Physical Therapy

Nationally Accredited Doctor of Physical Therapy Program

The Doctor of Physical Therapy Program at DeSales University is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE), 3030 Potomac Ave. Suite 100, Alexandria, Virginia 22305-3085; telephone: 703-706-3245; email: website: If needing to contact the program/institution directly, please call 610-282-1100 extension 1898 or email

student looking at a dna model

Health Humanities Scholars (HHS) Association

HHS is a student-led, faculty mentored program for students in our graduate healthcare curricula (PA, DPT, NP, DNP, Healthcare MBA, SLP). Students will facilitate humanities content and develop reflective practice through narrative medicine concepts in order to foster resiliency, empathy, and avoidance of burn-out.

Learn more about HHS


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