San Diego State University

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Overview, DPT

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Dr. Kelly Prescher with first-year doctoral students

Dr. Kelly Prescher with first-year doctoral students

Mitch Rauh

Mitch Rauh, Program Director

The program is a 3-year program (eight full-time semesters) intended to produce graduates with the Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) degree. The first two years are didactic instruction while the third year consists primarily of clinical experiences.

DPT Program Primary Goals

  • provide students with advanced knowledge and research in the natural, behavioral, applied and health sciences related to the practice of physical therapy,
  • prepare students with the knowledge, skills, and opportunities related to the acquisition, interpretation, and application of evidence to the practice of physical therapy,
  • become life-long learners, participate in professional self-development, and contribute best practices to the profession of physical therapy, and
  • prepare students with the knowledge, skill, and attitudes necessary to pass the National Physical Therapy Examination and California Law Examination for licensure in California.

Career Prospective

The DPT is the entry-level degree for physical therapists for which there will be an increased demand as our population ages. The California Employment Development Department estimated that between 2008 and 2018, there will be a need for an additional 4400 physical therapists in the state, which represents a 29% increase. Also, an additional 1,900 DPTs will be needed to replace retirements in the next 10 years.


The Doctor of Physical Therapy Program at San Diego State University is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE), 1111 North Fairfax Street, Alexandria, VA, 22314; phone: 703-706-3245; email:; website: