The physical therapy department, within the School of Allied Health Sciences, offers a doctorate of physical therapy degree designed to prepare students for entry into the profession. The program comprises intense academic and clinical work spread out during six semesters and three summers as well as 112 credit hours of graduate course work divided among classroom, clinical, and research activities. Students are prepared as generalists but then have an opportunity to investigate the orthopedic, pediatric, and geriatric specializations of physical therapy through clinical exposures and student research opportunities.
The department, formed in 1998, originally was a master’s program. The master’s in physical therapy program transitioned to a doctorate program in 2007.
The curriculum provides a comprehensive background in the art and science of physical therapy and prepares graduates for state licensure examination eligibility.
The Doctor of Physical Therapy Program at UNLV is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy (CAPTE)
The UNLV Physical Therapy data page contains exam pass rates, graduation rates, and employment rates from 2009 based on reports from the National Board Exam.
APTA Student Membership
The Physical therapy department earned silver-level status during the American Physical Therapy Association’s (APTA) 2017 REACH100 Student Membership Challenge. The department successfully encouraged 80 percent of its students to become APTA members.
Faculty and students from the physical therapy department regularly attend and present their research during the APTA Combined Sections Meeting.
After successfully completing the program, students will be eligible to take the licensure exam. Graduating students must take and pass the examination to become licensed physical therapists.
The demand for physical therapists has increased significantly during the past few years, and recent projections indicate continued growth. In Nevada, employment is projected to grow 30 to 40 percent. Nationally, the Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates an increase of 34 percent between 2014 and 2024. US News ran a story in April 2017 that identified a doctorate of physical therapy among the top for degrees that translate into immediate jobs.