The Innovative, Hybrid
Doctor of Physical Therapy Program

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Earn Your DPT Online from
No. 24-Ranked Arcadia University

Arcadia University's College of Health Sciences offers their No. 24-ranked Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) program1 in an online format. Arcadia DPT Online prepares students to apply clinical, behavioral, and research-driven knowledge to diagnose and treat movement dysfunction for people of all ages and backgrounds.

Accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE)

Accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE), Arcadia DPT Online prepares graduates to pursue licensure and sit for the National Physical Therapy Exam. For the last four years, 100% of on-campus students passed their test, with greater than 95% of students passing on the first attempt.2

Arcadia DPT Online Highlights

Arcadia DPT Online teaches students the fundamental knowledge necessary for the examination, evaluation, and treatment of physical therapy clients while applying critical thinking skills. Our students are trained to provide comprehensive, patient-centered care using evidence-based practice and are prepared to become innovative leaders in the physical therapy field.

Accelerated Curriculum

Our innovative, patient-centered curriculum requires 25 months to complete and is available to entry-level students. The curriculum is organized into 20 case-driven courses that integrate knowledge from every practice area of physical therapy.

Renowned Faculty

Students in Arcadia’s online DPT program are trained by expert, dedicated faculty. Arcadia faculty are at the forefront of the physical therapy profession and pursue and model scholarship, best practices, innovative teaching, and leadership.

Hands-On Preparation

Through a mix of engaging online sessions, on-campus immersions, and clinical education experiences, students have hands-on opportunities to apply classroom instruction throughout the duration of the program.

A Real-World, Patient-Centered Curriculum

Arcadia DPT Online’s hybrid curriculum is designed to transform the next generation of physical therapists into research-driven, clinical experts who excel in critical thinking, communication, and problem-solving.

The 110-credit curriculum is organized into 20 patient-based courses that build in complexity and depth as students progress through the program. Each module focuses on patient case examples and emphasizes key principles that teach students how to make accurate and effective clinical decisions.

Course content is informed by the most up-to-date research, which keeps our students at the forefront of innovation. As the field continues to grow, graduates of Arcadia DPT Online will be prepared to analyze and integrate the latest research as competent practitioners who address the needs of the whole patient.

If you want to find out about all of our program options that are offered online and on campus, visit Arcadia’s College of Health Sciences website.


Clinical Experiences

Arcadia believes that to understand the world, students should experience it. Students will be exposed to inpatient and outpatient settings during their part-time clinical education experiences throughout the first year of the program.

Full-time clinical experiences consist of eight weeks in the second fall semester of the program after completion of the first didactic year and a 24-week, terminal clinical experience after the completion of the second academic year.

Arcadia has developed more than 250 clinical relationships with a variety of highly regarded local, regional, national, and international facilities. Students who participate in the hybrid program will be afforded access to the same far-reaching Arcadia network that has proven to be beneficial for students in the on-campus program, many of whom have discovered their first job through the relationships they develop during these experiences.

Students may develop their hands-on DPT skills in a number of settings:

  • Major medical centers
  • Community hospitals
  • Community-based health centers
  • Rehabilitation hospitals and agencies
  • Home health
  • School-based clinics
  • Private practices

World-Renowned Faculty

Online students are taught, mentored, and guided by the same acclaimed faculty as the on-campus program. When students begin their physical therapy journey at Arcadia, they soon realize that their professors engage them as peers and genuinely take an interest in their success in the classroom and as graduates in the field.

Our world-renowned faculty are dedicated to each student’s growth and success so that they may become physical therapy leaders of the future.

Multiple faculty members have received excellence in teaching awards, are published in peer-reviewed journals and textbooks, hold elected and appointed positions in professional associations, and have funded research. Learn more about the latest in faculty research.

Additionally, three members of our faculty have been recognized as Fellows of the American Physical Therapy Association, the highest honor awarded to members of the profession. Get to know Arcadia's DPT Faculty.

Phil McClure

Philip "Phil" W. McClure PT, PhD, FAPTA

Professor / Chair

A professor of Physical Therapy at Arcadia since 1998, Dr. McClure directed the University’s highly successful transitional Doctor of Physical Therapy program for 14 years prior to becoming Chair of the Department of Physical Therapy. Dr. McClure has earned several national professional awards, including selection as a Catherine Worthingham Fellow of the APTA and the National Award for Excellence in Teaching from the Orthopedic Section of the APTA.

A professor of Physical Therapy at Arcadia since 1998, Dr. McClure directed the University’s highly successful transitional Doctor of Physical Therapy program for 14 years prior to becoming Chair of the Department of Physical Therapy. Dr. McClure has earned several national professional awards, including selection as a Catherine Worthingham Fellow of the APTA and the National Award for Excellence in Teaching from the Orthopedic Section of the APTA.

Becky Craik

Rebecca "Becky" L. Craik PT, PhD, FAPTA

Dean

Dr. Craik received her undergraduate training in Biology at Case Western Reserve University, physical therapy training at Duke University, and doctoral training in physiology at the School of Medicine, Temple University. She was a member of the Board of Trustees for the Foundation for Physical Therapy and is currently serving as a mentor for the APTA Education Leadership Institute.

Dr. Craik received her undergraduate training in Biology at Case Western Reserve University, physical therapy training at Duke University, and doctoral training in physiology at the School of Medicine, Temple University. She was a member of the Board of Trustees for the Foundation for Physical Therapy and is currently serving as a mentor for the APTA Education Leadership Institute.

Brian Eckenrode

Brian J. Eckenrode PT, DPT, OCS

Associate Professor

Dr. Eckenrode is the coordinator of the Arcadia University Orthopaedic Clinical Residency and director of the Arcadia University Running Injury Clinic. Dr. Eckenrode is a board certified orthopaedic clinical specialist and graduated from Arcadia with a BA in Psychobiology in 1997. Dr. Eckenrode has published peer-reviewed articles, written book chapters, and presented at numerous physical therapy meetings.

Dr. Eckenrode is the coordinator of the Arcadia University Orthopaedic Clinical Residency and director of the Arcadia University Running Injury Clinic. Dr. Eckenrode is a board certified orthopaedic clinical specialist and graduated from Arcadia with a BA in Psychobiology in 1997. Dr. Eckenrode has published peer-reviewed articles, written book chapters, and presented at numerous physical therapy meetings.

"As graduate students, we like to do volunteer work to pull ourselves out of our textbooks, give back to the community, come together, and learn. We gain almost as much as we give with these experiences.”
— Vanessa Rappold ’19


Join Arcadia’s community of passionate experts who are redefining what it means to be a physical therapist.

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The Hybrid, Online Experience

Arcadia’s online DPT curriculum is delivered through an innovative blend of self-guided coursework, live online classes, and hands-on training. Both on-campus and hybrid DPT students begin and progress through the courses simultaneously.

Live, weekly classes are led by Arcadia’s DPT faculty and encourage collaboration and discussion in real time.

Self-guided coursework enables you to plan your assignments and cover material at your own pace.

On-campus immersions and clinical education experiences give you opportunities to apply what you learned in the class to real patients, alongside peers and professors.

Admissions and Application Requirements

Arcadia DPT Online seeks aspiring physical therapists who are ready to excel as students, educators, researchers, and clinicians. Each applicant will be considered holistically by our admissions team. Entry-level students with no background in physical therapy are welcome to apply.

To qualify for admission, the following program-specific requirements must be met:

  • A Doctor of Physical Therapy application. Complete the application online.
  • A bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited institution
  • A minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 and a minimum Arcadia prerequisite GPA of 3.0 is strongly preferred
  • Prerequisite courses including Biological Sciences, Physical Sciences, Behavioral Sciences, and Statistics
  • Official transcripts for prerequisite courses and degree-bearing work
  • Three letters of recommendation: one from a licensed, practicing physical therapist; one from a college professor; one of your choice
  • GRE test scores
  • Observation hours showing sufficient experience in at least one inpatient and one outpatient setting
  • Two personal statements, in response to defined essay prompts, that describe your interest in physical therapy

For more detailed information, visit our Application Requirements page.

Physical Therapy Specializations

Arcadia DPT Online prepares its students to treat the whole person and not just the diagnosis. This training provides a foundation that prepares students to pursue advanced practice in a number of specialty areas, of which there are many.

Physical therapists can choose to become board-certified clinical specialists through the American Board of Physical Therapy Specialties (ABPTS). Upon successful completion of the program, licensed clinicians may voluntarily pursue specialization by developing a greater depth of knowledge related to a particular area of practice.


Physical therapists can become board-certified specialists in the following areas:

  • Cardiovascular and Pulmonary
  • Clinical Electrophysiology
  • Geriatrics
  • Hand Therapy
  • Neurology
  • Oncology
  • Orthopaedics
  • Pediatrics
  • Sports
  • Women's Health

“At Arcadia University, they really emphasize service and they emphasize that PT isn't just a job to make money, but it is a vocation. It is a way to serve the community and the population by improving societal health and individual health."
— Noah Smith, Physical Therapy Student


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Career Outlook and Salary for DPT Graduates

Arcadia DPT Online is preparing aspiring physical therapists to meet the expanding need for competent, skilled practitioners. The field of physical therapy is constantly growing as demand for its benefits and applications increases.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of physical therapists is projected to grow 22 percent from 2018 to 2028, much faster than the average for all occupations.3

This projected growth will create a need for innovative experts who are ready to address the demand. Advances in medical technology, an aging baby boomer population, and a rise in chronic conditions are the main reasons why competent physical therapists are needed now more than ever.

The median annual wage for physical therapists was $87,930 in May 2018. In May 2018, the median annual wages for physical therapists in the top industries in which they worked were as follows:4

$95,540

Nursing and residential care facilities

$94,080

Home healthcare services

$91,260

Hospitals: state, local, and private

A Lifelong Vocation

Arcadia DPT Online promotes physical therapy as more than a career. We encourage all students to focus on improving societal health as well as individual health through their service-oriented care and treatment. When students come to Arcadia, they become lifelong members of a community that is dedicated to excellence, support, integrity, and a curiosity that never ceases.

Whether you’re a recent undergraduate or a mid-level professional seeking a career change, we encourage you to take the next step and learn more about Arcadia DPT Online.