Curriculum

Degree Requirements

To earn the Doctor of Physical Therapy at the University of Washington, you must complete 163 credits, including 34 credits from clinical internships and an 11-credit capstone project. While all courses are required, and there are no electives, students can earn additional independent study credits for special research or clinical activities.

Curriculum

The mission of the UW DPT curriculum is to graduate outstanding physical therapists capable of specializing in any of the different areas of PT practice. Through your coursework and clinical education experiences, you’ll develop a broad foundation of physical therapy knowledge and skills, as well as the critical thinking and clinical reasoning abilities you’ll need as physical therapists.

The UW DPT program spans 11 quarters over the course of three years. The first two years, or eight quarters, are focused primarily on classroom instruction, progressing from developing foundational knowledge to applying skills in clinical evaluations and showing a beginning mastery of examination, evaluation and intervention strategies.

In the summer between the first and second year, you’ll do a four-week clinical internship, which allows you to practice skills you’ve learned in the first year. Between winter quarter of the first year and summer quarter of the second, you’ll also gain PT experience through numerous integrated clinical experiences in a variety of practice settings, including the UW Medical Center, Harborview Medical Center and Hall Health, located on the UW Seattle campus.

The final three quarters are spent entirely on clinical internships. Each student participates in three full-time, 11-week clinical internships, which can take place at a variety of local, regional and national clinics and institutions. During these last three quarters, students also complete a capstone project, which involves selecting a patient case and writing a formal case report.

Course Sequence

Below is the program plan for students in the current cohort. Credit values are listed in parentheses after each course title.

Year One

Autumn Quarter
  • REHAB 504: Procedures I: Basic Physical Examination of the Extremities (2)
  • REHAB 509: Physical Therapy Procedures: Functional Skills Assessment (1)
  • REHAB 517: Physical Therapy Seminar I (2)
  • REHAB 521: Survey of Pathophysiology for Rehabilitation I* (3)
  • REHAB 522: Neurophysiological Topics in Rehabilitation Medicine (2)
  • REHAB 541: Gross Anatomy Laboratory – Extremities* (1)
  • REHAB 544: Functional Anatomy for Rehabilitation of the Extremities (4)
Winter Quarter
  • REHAB 506: Procedures II: Basic Physical Examination of the Spine (2)
  • REHAB 517: Physical Therapy Seminar II (2)
  • REHAB 521: Survey of Pathophysiology for Rehabilitation II* (3)
  • REHAB 533: Diseases and Diagnosis in Rehabilitation I* (2)
  • REHAB 542: Gross Anatomy Laboratory – Spine* (1)
  • REHAB 545: Functional Anatomy for Rehabilitation of the Spine (3)
  • REHAB 551: Neurobiology for Rehabilitation (5)
Spring Quarter
  • REHAB 508: Principles of Therapeutic Exercise (3)
  • REHAB 517: Physical Therapy Seminar III (2)
  • REHAB 525: Exercise Physiology for Rehabilitation (3)
  • REHAB 533: Diseases and Diagnosis in Rehabilitation II* (2)
  • REHAB 536: Patient Evaluation and Clinical Decision Making* (1)
  • REHAB 543: Rehabilitation Kinesiology Laboratory* (1)
  • REHAB 547: Biomechanics Basis of Exercise (3)
  • REHAB 548: Kinesiology for Rehabilitation (3)
Summer Quarter
  • REHAB 500: Clinical Internship in Physical Therapy* (4)
  • REHAB 507: Physical Therapy Procedures III: Modalities (4)
  • REHAB 517: Physical Therapy Seminar IV (2)
  • REHAB 537: Functional Mobility Skills (2)
  • REHAB 540: Acute Care Practice in Physical Therapy I (3)
  • REHAB 566A: Interprofessional Education* (1)

Year Two

Autumn Quarter
  • REHAB 505: Introduction to Pharmacology* (2)
  • REHAB 510: Rehabilitation Psychology* (2)
  • REHAB 511: Musculoskeletal IV: Clinical Management (5)
  • REHAB 523: Neuroscience III: Applied Neurology (4)
  • REHAB 531: Critical Thinking Skills in Physical Therapy (3)
Winter Quarter
  • REHAB 502: Pediatric Physical Therapy I (4)
  • REHAB 512: Musculoskeletal V: Clinical Management (4)
  • REHAB 527: Neuroscience IV: Special Topics in Neurologic Rehabilitation (3)
  • REHAB 529: Professional and Practice Issues in Physical Therapy* (2)
  • REHAB 538: Integumentary, Edema Management, and Circulatory Screening for PT (2)
Spring Quarter
  • REHAB 502: Pediatric Physical Therapy II (4)
  • REHAB 503: Life Span III: Geriatric Physical Therapy (3)
  • REHAB 540: Acute Care Practice in Physical Therapy II (3)
  • REHAB 569: Prosthetics and Orthotics for Physical Therapists* (2)
Summer Quarter
  • REHAB 514: Systems Review for Physical Therapists* (3)
  • REHAB 515: Advanced Neuromusculoskeletal Interventions in Physical Therapy* (3)
  • REHAB 535: Physical Therapy Administration Issues* (2)
  • REHAB 566A: Interprofessional Education* (1)
  • REHAB 566C: Massage and Soft Tissue* (1)
  • REHAB 801: Capstone Project Seminar* (1)

Students must also take REHAB 567: Practicum in Rehabilitation* (1) at least once between winter quarter of year one and summer quarter of year two.

Year Three

Autumn Quarter
  • REHAB 595: Clinical Internship* (10)
  • REHAB 801: Capstone Project* (4)
Winter Quarter
  • REHAB 595: Clinical Internship* (10)
  • REHAB 801: Capstone Project* (4)
Spring Quarter
  • REHAB 595: Clinical Internship* (10)
  • REHAB 801: Capstone Project* (3)

*Taken as credit/no credit