To practice as a physical therapist (PT) in the U.S., you must earn a Doctor of Physical Therapy degree (DPT) from a Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education program and pass the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE).
The University of Colorado Colorado Springs (UCCS) Helen and Arthur E. Johnson Beth-El College of Nursing and Health Sciences (Johnson Beth-El) has partnered with the CU Anschutz physical therapy program to launch an accredited hybrid DPT program in the Hybl Sports Medicine and Performance Center. The DPT program’s hybrid option officially begins summer of 2024, and applications for both the UCCS hybrid and CU Anschutz residential programs opened on June 15, 2023 and will continue until October 2, 2023.
The DPT program’s hybrid option is taught by faculty and staff from Johnson Beth-El and the CU-PT program at the Anschutz School of Medicine. The primary hybrid program physical therapy lab spaces are based at the UCCS William J. Hybl Sports Medicine and Performance Center.
Visit Johnson Beth-El online to learn more about the hybrid Doctor of Physical Therapy program.
What is a Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) Academic Program?
A Doctor of Physical Therapy program, or DPT program, is typically a 2.5- or 3-year accredited program that is required to become a physical therapist (PT). Courses in the curriculum include anatomy, biomechanics, exercise physiology, cardiovascular and pulmonary, endocrine and metabolic and musculoskeletal courses.
Physical therapists diagnose and treat individuals of all ages, from newborns to people at the end of life. Many PT patients have injuries, disabilities, or other health conditions that need treatment, but physical therapists also care for people who simply want to become healthier and to prevent future problems.
Where do you begin on the pathway to becoming a physical therapist?
Many students who wish to pursue a DPT degree begin by earning an undergraduate or bachelor’s degree in a related health care field prior to being admitted into a DPT program.
At UCCS, students may choose to pursue an undergraduate degree in:
- Exercise Science
- Human Physiology and Nutrition
- Health and Wellness
- Psychology (you’ll need to take prerequisite courses)
Why would you choose to be a physical therapist?
“I’ve been a physical therapist for 40 years now and I still love it. We help people maximize the quality of their lives by helping them to move better,” shared Jenny Rodriguez, Director of Clinical Education for the CU School of Medicine Physical Therapy program.
Becoming a health care professional is one of the most rewarding and purposeful careers someone can pursue. U.S. News & World Report listed physical therapist as the #3 “best job” in health care and #6 overall, based on number and percentage of projected openings from 2021 to 2031 as determined by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
When do classes begin?
Cohorts start at the beginning of June of each year for both the Residential and Hybrid programs.
“We look forward to combining our world-class sports medicine building with innovative hybrid teaching and practical experiences,” shared Jackie Berning, UCCS Health Sciences department chair.
Both the CU School of Medicine Residential PT Pathway and the CU Hybrid PT Pathway are accredited through CAPTE as part of the CU Doctor of Physical Therapy Program.
Both pathways will have the same number of weeks and general timing of clinical education experiences. The Program affiliates with more than 500 clinical sites located throughout Colorado and across the United States. The clinical education team ensures that Program requirements for clinical education are met through the placement process for each clinical education experience.
Students in the hybrid pathway may have the opportunity to complete some of their full-time clinical experiences near the student’s area of residence.
Learn more about the CU physical therapy program options online.
About Helen and Arthur E. Johnson Beth-El College of Nursing and Health Sciences
The Helen and Arthur E. Johnson Beth-El College of Nursing and Health Sciences has trained and educated the region’s health professionals and human performance professionals for over 118 years, and in 2022, celebrated 25 years with the University of Colorado Colorado Springs (UCCS).
At Johnson Beth-El, students meet the needs of a rapidly changing health care landscape by providing innovative, nationally accredited, and ranked programs.
Johnson Beth-El’s nursing programs are accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). The Clinical Simulation Learning Center is accredited by the Society for Simulation in Healthcare (SSH). The Master’s of Science in Nutrition and Dietetics is the first Future Education Model (FEM) registered dietitian nutritionist (RDN) program in Colorado and accredited by ACEND. The Doctor of Physical Therapy program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE). The Master of Science in Athletic Training (MSAT) became the first graduate athletic training program in Colorado when it was awarded CAATE accreditation in Spring 2020.
Our traditional Bachelor of Science in nursing (BSN) program is ranked nationally by US News and World Report. The Helen and Arthur E. Johnson Beth-El College of Nursing and Health Sciences ranks #67 out of 681 national nursing programs. The Helen and Arthur E. Johnson Beth-El College of Nursing and Health Sciences is consistently ranked as a US News and World Report’s Top online Master’s in Nursing program for veterans. In 2022, we ranked #1 in the state of Colorado for veterans. Learn more about the Johnson Beth-El at johnsonbethel.uccs.edu.
About University of Colorado School of Medicine
The University of Colorado School of Medicine offers comprehensive, lifelong, interdisciplinary learning for health care professionals. With state-of-the art laboratories for discovery and innovation, a commitment to decreasing health disparities and increasing health equity, and faculty who provide world-class clinical care at Children’s Hospital Colorado and UCHealth University of Colorado Hospital, the CU School of Medicine is transforming the health care landscape. Learn more at medschool.cuanschutz.edu.