College of Pharmacy and Health SciencesQueens Campus
St. John’s University offers a graduate program leading to a Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) degree. The program combines St. John’s 150-year legacy as a Catholic, Vincentian, and global university with innovative and hands-on training to prepare graduates to provide care in the ever-changing field of health care.
Housed within the Department of Clinical Health Professions in the College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences, the DPT program is part of a rich history of scientists and clinicians whose purpose is to improve the health and quality of life of those they serve. St. John’s urban location provides experiential learning in world-renowned hospital systems and collaboration between the DPT program and St. John’s Athletic Department affords students unique opportunities to interact with Division I sports teams.
The DPT program faculty affirm the mission and values of St. John’s University. We are committed to fostering excellence, scholarly activity, rigorous standards, innovative application of knowledge, and service to support the common good of a diverse local and global community. We aim to empower students and graduates to be compassionate, ethical leaders, autonomous practitioners, and effective team members of the health-care community who advocate for the prevention of injury and the promotion of health and wellness.
Our vision is that the DPT program will be a nationally recognized model of distinction for the preparation of exemplary physical therapists who, as movement specialists, leaders, advocates, researchers, and scholars, meet the needs of local, urban, and global societies.
The mission of the DPT program is to develop competent, patient-centered students, faculty, and graduates who optimize movement and function; improve the health and wellness of a culturally diverse population; and who serve their patients, the community, and the profession of physical therapy. The program utilizes a student-centered, active-learning approach to enable development of the necessary communication, clinical reasoning, leadership, service, academic, professional, interpersonal, and evidence-based clinical skills to function proficiently, confidently, and compassionately in a constantly changing health-care environment.
The program mission is consistent with the Catholic and Vincentian values of the institutional and College missions of providing equal opportunity for students and faculty and for educating students to be compassionate, collaborative, patient-centered, and service-oriented physical therapy practitioners who are focused on providing safe, competent health care as part of an interprofessional team. The program mission promotes development of students, graduates, and faculty who are reflective, critical thinkers; problem-solvers; decision makers; lifelong learners; and collaborative health-care providers who employ moral and ethical reasoning through the use of evidence-based practice. Students are engaged in advancing the institutional and professional missions through engagement in service and professional activities.
The program mission supports APTA’s mission of optimizing movement to improve the human experience. Students and graduates of the program are well-equipped as effective and efficient movement experts to analyze, maintain, restore, and improve human movement, enabling individuals of all ages to have optimal functioning and quality of life, while ensuring patient safety. Graduates possess the professional ideals, behaviors, and skills consistent with APTA’s mission, values, and standards to serve as part of an interprofessional team to promote the health and wellness of local and global communities.
Assistant Program Director, Director of Clinical Education and Assistant Professor[email protected]
Newly renovated and dedicated DPT spaces and classrooms.
St. John’s is one of the most culturally and religiously diverse universities in the nation.
Dr. Ali El-KerdiDr. Sheryl CometDr. John Patrick DorangricchiaDr. Alan LamDr. Cynthia LeoneDr. Teresa MillerDr. Susan RabinowiczDr. Rosa Torres-Panchame
Outcome 1.1: Core faculty will publish or present one scholarly product every two years in a peer-reviewed venue.
Outcome 1.2: At least 50 percent of core faculty will be active in clinical practice.
Outcome 1.3: 100 percent of board-certified faculty will maintain board certification in their areas of specialty.
Outcome 2.1: 100 percent of core faculty will attend at least one workshop per year related to teaching and learning.
Outcome 3.1: 100 percent of core faculty engage in one leadership, advocacy, service, or mentorship activity per year.
Outcome 6.1: 100% of students will achieve a final mark at or above “entry-level” on the PT CPI, items 2 through 4 (i.e., Professional Behavior, Cultural Competence, and Communication) upon completion of the terminal clinical education experience.
St. John’s University reviews all qualifying applications. Only those who are competitive will be invited to interview. Decisions on candidates to the program will consist of a complete review and process that includes consideration of all application requirement criteria and interview performance.
For more information about admission to this and other St. John’s graduate programs, please visit the Office of Graduate Admission or contact 718-990-1601; [email protected]
Soft application deadline: Jan 16, 2023Final application deadline: March 15, 2023
DPT program accepts a maximum of 45 students per cohort. Please click here to apply.
Students seeking financial assistance may visit this webpage to learn more about graduate aid. Questions? Email the Office of Graduate Admission.
Do I need an undergraduate degree in order to apply to the Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) Program?
You do not need an undergraduate degree to apply and receive a decision regarding your application. However, you must hold a conferred bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution of higher education prior to starting classes.
Is there a particular area of study my undergraduate degree must be in?
Your undergraduate degree can be in any field of study. Applicants with any undergraduate field of study will be considered so long as you meet the program pre-requisites. Typically, prospective DPT students major in areas of study such as exercise science, biology, kinesiology, biomedical sciences, psychology, public health, etc.
Are there specific pre-requisite courses needed to apply for the program?
All pre-requisite courses are listed under the Academic requirements section of the website.
What is the minimum grade point average (GPA) needed for considering my application?
A minimum overall GPA of 3.0 is required for all coursework completed from all undergraduate, post-baccalaureate, graduate level colleges/universities ever attended.
Each pre-requisite course must meet a GPA of 3.0 or higher, with the exception for a B- grade (2.7) in no more than 2 pre-requisite courses.
I did not start out with good grades at the beginning of my undergraduate coursework. Are you able to make exceptions to the minimum GPA requirement if my GPA Is close to 3.0?
There are no exceptions for applicants who do not meet the minimum admission requirements (GPA, prerequisites, etc.) for entry into the program.
I am not sure that a particular course is equivalent to one of the prerequisite courses. How can I find out?
You may email us at [email protected] with the course number/code/department, the college or university where the course was taken and the course description. We will review and make a determination as appropriate.
If I retake a pre-requisite course will it replace the initial grade in my GPA calculation?
The course GPA from all attempts will be averaged as per St. John’s University Policies.
Am I required to take the GRE?
No.The Graduate Record Examination (GRE) is not required.
How long is the program?
The program takes 3 full years to complete and involves 34 weeks of clinical placement.
When is the application deadline?
The application deadline for the Summer 2023 start term are as follows:
Do all the prerequisite courses need to be completed before applying?
It is recommended that no more than two prerequisites be in progress or planned after the application deadline. If you are enrolled in or plan to enroll in prerequisite courses that you have not yet completed, please indicate this on your admission application and submit proof of enrollment to the Admissions Committee ([email protected]).
Are interviews a required part of the application process?
Qualified, competitive applicants will be invited to take part in an interview as part of the admission process. Interviews may be conducted in person or virtually as decided by the DPT program.
Is there a supplemental application fee?
There is no supplemental application fee. However, there is a standard fee charged by PTCAS for each application submitted to an institution. More information can be found on the PTCAS website.
Is the DPT program accredited?
The DPT Program at St. John's University has Candidacy for Accreditation Status by CAPTE. Candidacy Status assures that if you successfully complete all of the program requirements for graduation, you will be qualified to take the National Physical Therapy Licensing Examination. Licensure varies by state. Please visit the Office of the Professions for the state that you are interested in seeking licensure in for specific licensure requirements by state. NY State Office of the Professions for further details. Please note that licensure requirements vary by state.
When does the program start each year?
Classes typically begin the day after Memorial Day and coincide with the Summer I course schedule. DPT Summer courses are approximately 10 weeks and coincide with Summer I and Summer II coursework. Students are required to attend an Orientation Day, which will be held 1-2 weeks prior to start of classes.
How many students are accepted each year?
A maximum of 45 students can be admitted each year.
Do you accept advanced placement (AP) courses taken in high school?
Yes. We currently accept AP courses that were taken in high school.
How do I apply?
All applications are submitted through the PTCAS portal.
Students must have attained a baccalaureate degree prior to the start of the program and have completed all prerequisite course work within the indicated grade point average (GPA) academic thresholds. Applicants must successfully complete all pre-requisite course within 10 years of application submission. Only official transcripts will be reviewed. The required prerequisites for the program include
Foreign credit transcripts evaluation should be completed by a NACES member with US equivalency degree and GPA. St. John's students receive a discount from SpanTran.
TOEFL/IELTS/Duolingo required for international applicants without a US degree conferral.
Three letters of recommendation from professionals (academic and occupational; at least one of these references must be from a licensed physical therapist).
A written personal statement (500 word minimum) describing why the applicant wishes to become a physical therapist.
All prospective and current students interested in applying and attending St. John's program should visit the Office of Student Financial Services for additional details. The Office of Student Financial Services is committed to providing students and their families with the information they need to navigate and understand the financial aid and payment process.
It is highly recommended that all students file the FAFSA application to be considered for financial aid and scholarships.
Apply for Aid
Office of Student Financial Services
Email: [email protected]
The University’s current graduate tuition rates
The University’s required fees
The University’s tuition refund policy
Office of Student Financial Services
The DPT program is a three-calendar year graduate program that begins in late May and includes summer study for each year. Students graduate with a Doctor of Physical Therapy degree in May of each year. A maximum of 45 students are enrolled in the program each year.
For course descriptions, please see the graduate bulletin.
Gross Anatomy for the Physical Therapist
Histopathology or the Physical Therapist
Introduction to Physical Therapy
Applied Exercise Physiology for Wellness and Health Promotion
Psychosocial Aspects of Physical Therapy
Patient Care Skills
Research and Critical Inquiry
Pathophysiology for the Physical Therapist
Professional Seminar I
Functional Neuroanatomy for the Physical Therapist
Orthopedic Physical Therapy I
Learning Theories for Clinical Practice
Law for Physical Therapists
Motor Control and Motor Learning
Comp Exam (written)
Clinical Education I (6 weeks)
Clinical Reasoning and Decision Making I
Orthopedic Physical Therapy II
Cardiopulmonary Physical Therapy
Lifespan Physical Therapy
Neurologic Physical Therapy I
Pharmacological Considerations for Physical Therapy Practice
Orthopedic Physical Therapy III
Lifespan Physical Therapy
Prosthetics and Orthotics
Neurologic Physical Therapy II
Administration and Management of Physical Therapy Practice
Clinical Education II (8 weeks)
Clinical Reasoning and Decision Making II
Clinical Reasoning and Decision Making III
Community Wellness and Health Promotion
Complementary and Integrative Therapies
Professional Seminar II
Clinical Education III (8 weeks)
Clinical Reasoning and Decision Making IV
Professional Seminar III
Clinical Education IV (12 weeks)
Students integrate and apply didactic knowledge from the classroom through clinical practice experiences in a variety of settings. Students learn to interact with patients/clients, families, caregivers, and other members of the health-care team under the supervision of a licensed physical therapist.
The clinical education experiences are 34 weeks in total and begin in the second year of the program during the second half of the summer semester. Students are immersed in six weeks of clinical education. The first clinical is followed by three experiences in the third year of the program (i.e., eight weeks, eight weeks, and 12 weeks).
St. John’s has established clinical sites agreements with more than 50 sites that include a variety of practice settings, including medical centers, hospital systems, rehabilitation facilities, private practices, and many more. Each student is provided experiences in a variety of clinical practice settings to ensure and promote entry-level competency as a generalist in physical therapy practice upon graduation. Students will also be provided an opportunity to interface with the Athletic Department at St. John’s.
Below is a list of current clinical affiliations for the program. For a full list of all clinical affiliates for the College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences, please visit the Clinical Affiliations page.
Technical Standards for Matriculation
The DPT program at St. John’s University does not discriminate against qualified people with disabilities in the admissions process. Students are required to meet the DPT program minimal technical standards for matriculation with or without reasonable accommodations. These policies are consistent with the Americans with Disability Act (ADA) and the Rehabilitation Act of 1973* and apply throughout the duration of the curriculum.
Minimal technical standards may vary at clinical sites, which may not be willing or able to provide the same accommodations as provided by the program. Students with questions should call the Admission Office or the Chair of the College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences Curriculum Committee, who can be reached at 718-990-1417.
* Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disability Act requires that qualified individuals with a disability shall not, by reason of such disability, be excluded from participation in or denied the benefits of services, programs, or activities or be subjected to discrimination. The term “qualified individual with a disability” refers to an individual, who with or without reasonable modifications to rules, policies, or practices, the removal of architectural, communication or transportation barriers, or the provision of auxiliary aids and services, meets the essential eligibility requirements for the receipt of services or for participation in programs or activities.
The Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education and the American Physical Therapy Association Standards of Practice have identified the following fundamental skills as necessary for clinical practice:
The DPT program faculty have identified the following cognitive, affective, and psychomotor skills and abilities as necessary for successful matriculation and completion of both the didactic and clinical portions of the curriculum:
Students must be able to observe classroom demonstrations, read examinations and written and illustrated material, and view supplemental teaching materials in the classroom, clinic, and on the internet. The student must be able to read and discriminate research evidence and findings on patient examination and diagnostic tests. The student must be able to observe and differentiate facial expressions, signs and symptoms of illness, disability and disease, patient’s body structure and function, and activities and participation in functional activities from both the Gestalt and detailed perspectives.
Students must be able to speak, hear, and observe patients to elicit information and perceive and communicate clearly and concisely, both verbally and nonverbally, with patients, families, caregivers, students, faculty, and other healthcare team members with sensitivity, empathy, and compassion. Students must learn to recognize and respond to the emotions of others in a socially appropriate and professional manner. Students must also be able to read and communicate effectively orally, electronically, and in writing to comprehend, analyze, share, and debate large volumes of written material.
Students must have sufficient sensory and motor ability to see, hear, and feel sensory input and to be able to elicit information from patients, families, caregivers, and members of the healthcare team. Students must be able to conduct components of a physical examination and administer physical therapy interventions to optimize a patient’s movements and function. They must have sufficient strength, muscle tone, coordination, postural control, and endurance to teach and assist patients in performing functional activities. Sensory-motor requirements include teaching exercise, facilitating and providing resistance to movements, lifting, transferring, and assisting patients in performing functional activities, including ambulation on the level and unlevel surfaces and up and down from the floor.
Students must be able to self-reflect and critically assess their thoughts and actions to be effective physical therapists. They must be able to comprehend three-dimensional relationships and spatial relationships and apply these skills to patient care. Students must be able to calculate, select, prioritize, plan, analyze, synthesize, and integrate information pertinent to patient care and the practice of physical therapy. They must be able to think critically, develop clinical reasoning and decision-making skills, solve complex patient cases and design evidence-based, effective interventions for patients. They must be able to work effectively, within a reasonable time period in the classroom and clinical setting, individually and in collaboration with students, faculty, patients, families, caregivers, and other healthcare team members.
Students must have the emotional health to use his/her/their intellectual ability fully. They must behave consistently with the Core Values of St. John’s University, the APTA, and APTA Code of Ethics during all interactions and social situations inside and outside of class, including on electronic and social media. They must also behave in a manner consistent with the St. John’s University Student Code of Conduct through the embodiment of honesty, integrity, good judgment, and promoting a culture of kindness. Students must be able to sustain effective, collaborative interpersonal relationships with patients, students, faculty, and other members of the health-care team. They must be organized, flexible, and able to promptly meet all didactic and clinical responsibilities. Students must be able to tolerate emotional and physical stress and still function effectively and they must be receptive and willing to modify their behavior based upon constructive criticism.
The first cohort of students is expected to graduate in May 2026. The graduation rate for each cohort will be posted annually within two months of cohort graduation.
The pass rate of graduates on the National Physical Therapy Examination will be posted annually on this website.
The graduate employment rate will be posted annually on this website.
The graduate career outcomes will be posted annually on this website.
According to the US Bureau of Labor and Statistics, employment of physical therapists is projected to grow 22 percent from 2018 to 2028—faster than the average for all occupations.
Upon completion of the Doctor of Physical Therapy program, each graduate must successfully complete the licensing requirements, which will include specific examination(s), in the State(s) in which he/she chooses to practice.
Professional licensure and certification requirements often vary from state to state. St. John’s University has not determined requirements for individual states beyond New York. If you reside or plan to reside outside New York, you are strongly encouraged to contact the state licensing agency to seek information and guidance before beginning the program.
The first cohort of students is expected to graduate in May 2026; therefore, the first available eligibility for the first cohort's graduates to sit for NPTE is July 2026. The actual examination date is dependent solely on the FSBPT. Please visit the following page for the most up-to-date examination dates administered by FSBPT. NPTE Dates
New York State Education Department Office of Professions
For full details on licensure requirements within New York State, please visit http://www.op.nysed.gov/prof/pt/ptlic.htm#pt
The Federation of State Boards of Physical Therapy (FSBPT)
The FSPBT develops, maintains, and administers the NPTE for two reasons:
1) To help ensure that only those individuals who have the requisite knowledge of physical therapy are licensed in the physical therapy field.
2) To help regulatory authorities evaluate candidates and provide standards that are comparable from jurisdiction to jurisdiction.
Purpose of the NPTE
The examinations are designed to assess your basic entry-level competence after graduation from an accredited program or from an equivalent non-accredited program.
Visit the FSBPT Web site www.fsbpt.org/NPTE for additional information about these examinations, including examination content outlines, and answers to frequently asked questions.