Physical therapy student working with a child
  • Program Type
  • School
    Saint Gianna School of Health Sciences

Combine your professional skills with your passion for helping others. Be a leader in serving and advocating for the populations that need you.

What You’ll Learn

You’ll focus on three critical areas of PT leadership — evidence-based practice, education, and scholarly activity. You’ll learn the practice of treatment and rehabilitation in a hands-on setting, and engage in the research, education, and preventative care necessary to meet current and future health care challenges. 

Application to the Doctor of Physical Therapy program is through the Physical Therapist Centralized Application Service (PTCAS).

View more information on program details and application and admission requirements

Gain Valuable Clinical Experience

Take part in enriching full-time clinical education experiences at diverse settings throughout the country. 

Complete in Three Years

Students enrolled full-time can earn the Doctor of Physical Therapy degree in three years. A bachelor’s degree must be completed prior to beginning the program.

Develop Your Understanding of How to Work with Populations in Need

You’ll help manage a pro bono clinic on campus and provide physical therapy services under faculty guidance in order to practice skills and serve the needs of the people in the region. You also have an option to participate in an international service-learning experience in Guatemala.

Secure Your Spot Early

Incoming freshmen with exceptional high school academic achievements and official admission to the University of Mary can apply for Early Assurance to the physical therapy program. Also, students with 60 completed credits in their bachelor’s degree can seek admission through the Priority Admissions process.

Program Information

Please visit our catalog for admission requirements and a full list of our courses.


View the Program Financial Fact Sheet and additional information regarding the accreditation of this program.

Careers & Outcomes

Employment Trends

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects employment of physical therapists to grow by 15% through 2032, much faster than the average for all occupations. As we face an aging population, the healthcare industry will inevitably have to confront growing challenges in chronic disease and disability.

Career Paths

  • Physical Therapist
  • Researcher 
  • Educator
  • Clinic Director
  • Policy Advocate 

The Doctor of Physical Therapy program within University of Mary's Saint Gianna School of Health Sciences embodies the moral courage of its namesake.

Featured Faculty

Jody Eckert, PT, DPT, EdD

Board Certified Clinical Specialist in Orthopaedics, Director of Doctoral Physical Therapy, Associate Professor of Physical Therapy

I've served as faculty in the University of Mary DPT program since 2007. In fall 2021, I transitioned from the DCE role into the role of program director. I'm from Bismarck originally and my husband, Robb, and I feel blessed to be raising our two children (Emerson and Bobby) here in this community. Initially, I got my BA in Exercise Science from Concordia College in 2001 and then worked my way through a master's degree in PT and then two doctorates in PT and educational leadership. In my free time, I love spending time with my family outside skiing, hiking, and going on walks together. I also enjoy running, cycling, and reading. I'm an avid sports fan of any sport my kids are currently playing.

Take Your Next Step in Physical Therapy