About

Introduction

The physical therapy department, within the School of Integrated Health Sciences, offers a doctor of physical therapy degree program designed to prepare students for entry into the profession. The program comprises 112 credit hours of graduate coursework spread across six semesters and three summers.  Coursework includes classroom, clinical, and research/service learning activities. Students are well prepared as generalists.  Students will gain exposure to common inpatient and outpatient practice settings during the academic program.  Students may also be exposed to a variety of areas of specialty practice through clinical experiences, student research, and service learning projects.  

The department was formed in 1998 as a master’s program. The master’s in physical therapy program transitioned to the doctor of physical therapy program in 2007.

The curriculum provides a comprehensive background in the art and science of physical therapy and prepares graduates to sit for the national physical therapy exam (NPTE®).

The UNLV Doctor of Physical Therapy program data page contains the program's first time and overall pass rates for students taking the NPTE. The data page also contains information regarding program acceptance, matriculation, graduation, and employment rates.

Accreditation

The Doctor of Physical Therapy Program at University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV) is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy (CAPTE), 1111 North Fairfax Street, Alexandria, Virginia 22314; telephone: 703-706-3245; email: accreditation@apta.org; website: http://www.capteonline.org.

If needing to contact the program/institution directly, please call 702-895-3003 or email physical.therapy@unlv.edu

Licensure Exam and State of Nevada Licensure Requirements Disclosure

After successfully completing the program, students become eligible to take the national physical therapy exam (NPTE®). Graduating students must take and pass the NPTE to become a licensed physical therapist.  In addition to taking and passing the NPTE, graduating students must apply for licensure to practice as a physical therapist in each U.S. state or territory where they will work. 

UNLVPT encourages all prospective and current students to fully explore the licensure requirements in each state(s) where they wish to practice in the future.  For more details regarding state licensure, visit the Federation of State Boards of Physical Therapy (FSBPT) webpage.  The FSBPT provides students and current licensees with contact information for the respective physical therapy licensing boards for all U.S. states and U.S. territories, as well as useful tools to determine state by state licensing requirements. 

  • Nevada Physical Therapy Licensure - Educational Requirements
    • The UNLV Physical Therapy department has determined that the UNLV doctor of physical therapy program meets the educational requirements for state licensure in Nevada as outlined in NRS 640 and NAC 640.
  • Nevada Physical Therapy Licensure - Non-Educational Requirements
    • ​​Non-Educational requirements, as outlined in NRS 640 and NAC 640 (as of May 2020), include the following: Must pass national exam; must provide official transcript from DPT program; must take and pass a jurisprudence assessment; must submit fingerprints and background check; must submit an application and pay a fee; must be of good moral character.

Those planning to apply for a license to practice physical therapy in Nevada are encouraged to review the relevant Nevada statues and regulations regarding the practice of physical therapy.  Learn more at: Nevada Physical Therapy Board.

Doctor of Physical Therapy Program Contacts

APTA Student Membership

The Physical therapy department earned honorable mention status during the American Physical Therapy Association’s (APTA) 2019 REACH100 Student Membership Challenge. The department successfully encouraged 77 percent of its students to become APTA members.

APTA logo

UNLV Physical Therapy Newsletter and Social Media

The UNLV Department of Physical Therapy publishes a quarterly digital newsletter. The newsletter helps faculty, students and families, alum, community partners, and friends of UNLVPT stay connected. The newsletter contains great content including: highlights of faculty and student publications and presentations at conferences, student and faculty achievements, UNLVPT community engagement activities, a clinical education report, current student/alumni good news, and much more!

Career Opportunities

The demand for physical therapists has increased significantly and recent projections indicate that continued growth is expected. 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 doctor of physical therapy degree among the top for degrees that translate into immediate jobs.