Post Baccalaureate Physical Therapy (DPT)

Northeastern University Physical Therapy graduates are innovative, global leaders who excel in clinical practice, research, and community service. As one of the longest accredited Physical Therapy Programs in the United States, and the only program with Cooperative Education, our students graduate with exceptional clinical decision-making skills, and experience in the field of physical therapy.


If you hold a baccalaureate degree in another field of study, the Post Baccalaureate Doctor of Physical Therapy program [PB-DPT] may be right for you. With an earned undergraduate degree and the completion of the outlined core prerequisites, you may apply as a graduate student to the professional phase of our DPT program. As such you will join an existing cohort of undergraduate students and together will work as a graduating class toward the DPT. The PB-DPT curriculum begins during the spring semester of each academic year. Our comprehensive and rigorous curriculum is designed to be completed within three and half years. It includes didactic, co-operative and clinical education components. Cooperative Education (Co-op) is a unique program which allows students to alternate periods of academic study with periods of employment. Opportunities also exist for students to engage in community service as well as specific areas of concentration.

Our Doctor of Physical Therapy program builds on the university’s core values of interdisciplinary education, urban engagement, international knowledge, and cutting-edge research. Our exceptional faculty is dedicated to promoting excellence in practice, education, scholarship, and community service. Faculty are active in the American Physical Therapy Association and engaged in active clinical research and practice. A hallmark of our program is the integration of experiential learning and didactic education whether through use of standardized patients, communication and interaction with community consultants, participation in service-learning projects, or engagement in research with our faculty.

Interprofessional Opportunities

At Bouvé College of Health Sciences, the Arnold S. Goldstein Laboratory Suite is the keystone of our interprofessional Simulation-learning program. Simulation-learning is considered a vital component of experiential education and the hallmark of interprofessional education, collaborative practice and promoting a team-based approach to health care delivery.


We offer multiple global academic and service-oriented experiences including PT academic exchange programs to Switzerland, cooperative experiences to Uganda and service PT programs to Ecuador.


Students interested in working with young children may pursue a concentration in Early Intervention (EI). The EI concentration prepares students to work with Infants and toddlers with known disabilities or at risk for developmental delays. This program is offered in conjunction with the Department of Applied Psychology. Completion of this concentration provides physical therapy students with the requirements for provisional certification with advanced standing as an early intervention specialist.

Our Sports Performance Concentration enhances a graduate’s ability to work with athletes in various venues from gyms to the athletic field and improve collaboration with multiple medical disciplines. This concentration prepares physical therapy students to sit for the sports and conditioning certification.

In addition, several students have participated in, global dialogues, of fourteen to thirty days where along with faculty, they had the opportunity for exposure to and immersion into health care systems in countries of Central America, Africa, Asia and Europe. More information is available from the Office of International Study Programs.

The PB-DPT curriculum begins during the spring semester of each academic year.

Application Due Date

The application deadline is November 15, 2017 for individuals seeking admission to the next PB-DPT class who will begin their studies in January 2019. Please watch this site for any change to the application process or deadline date.

Contact Info
Sonya L. Larrieux, PT, MA, C/NDT

Sonya L. Larrieux, Ph.D., MA, PT
Director, Post Baccalaureate DPT Program Department of Physical Therapy, Movement and Rehabilitation Sciences
301 Robinson Hall
Boston, MA 02115
Tel: 617.373.3101


Satisfactory completion – within 7 years of all science courses is required:

  • Anatomy & Physiology with Lab (2 semesters)
  • Chemistry with Lab (2 semester)
  • Physics with Lab (2 semester)
  • Exercise Physiology (1 semester)

Satisfactory completion within 10 years of the following prerequisites:

  • General Psychology (1 semester)
  • Development Psychology (1 semester)
  • Statistics (1 semester)

A minimum of forty [40] observation/volunteer hours in a Physical Therapy facility is required. Documentation of required observation/volunteer hours are to be included within the body of the resume component of the application. The application deadline is November 15, 2017. ALL components of the application to the PB-DPT program MUST be received by the noted deadline in order for prospective students to be considered for acceptance into the program.


If you are a physical therapist with a bachelors or masters degree interested in pursuing a terminal clinical doctoral degree in physical therapy [t-DPT] please go to the following link.

Sample Post Baccalaureate DPT Curriculum

Class of 2021

  • Spring Semester

    • PT 5101 Foundations of PT (3)
    • PT 5102 Foundations of PT Lab (1)
    • HLTH 5450 Research (4)
    • HLTH 5451 Research Rec. (0)
    • PT 5131 Gross Anatomy (4)
    • PT 5132 Gross Anatomy Lab (1)
    • PT 5160 Psychosocial Aspect of PT (3)
    • PT 5161 Psychosocial Aspect Seminar (1)

    17 Credits

  • Summer Semester

    • PT 5140 Pathology (4)
    • PT 5138 Neuroscience (4)
    • PT 5139 Neuroscience Lab (1)
    • PT 5133 Kinesiology (3)
    • PT 5134 Kinesiology Lab (1)
    • PT 5500 Pharmacology for PTs (2)

    15 Credits

  • Fall Semester

    • PT 5150 Motor Control/Development (4)
    • PT 5151 Motor Control/Dev. Lab (1)
    • PT 5503 Cardiovascular & Pulm Mgmt (4)
    • PT 5504 Cardiovascular & Pulm Mgmt Lab (1)
    • PT 5111 Professional Development for Co-op (1)
    • PT 5145 Intro to Healthcare Systems (2)
    • PT 5450 Intro to Therapeutic Activities (2)

    15 Credits

  • Spring Semester

    • PT 6964 Co-op Work Experience (24 Weeks)

    This co-operative education experience must be in Physical Therapy

  • Summer A Semester

    • PT 6964 Co-op Work Experience continued

    This co-operative education experience must be in Physical Therapy

  • Summer B Semester

    • PT 6243Health Assessment (3)
    • PT 6244 Health Assessment Rec (0)
    • PT 5515 Integumentary Systems (2)
    • PT 5516 Integumentary Sys Lab (1)
    • PT 5540 Clinical Integration 1 (2)

    8 Credits

  • Fall Semester

    • PT 5505 Musculoskeletal Mgmt I (4)
    • PT 5506 Musculoskeletal Mgmt I Lab (1)
    • PT 5209 Neurological Rehab I (4)
    • PT 5210 Neurological Rehab I Lab (1)
    • PT 5227 PT Project I (3)
    • PT 6241 Medical Screening for PT (4)
    • PT 6000 Leadership, Admin., Mgt. (2)

    19 Credits

  • Spring Semester

    • PT 6221 Neurological Rehab II (4)
    • PT 6222 Neurological Rehab II Lab (1)
    • PT 6223 Musculoskeletal Mgmt II (4)
    • PT 6224 Musculoskeletal Mgmt II Lab (1)
    • PT 5226 PT Professional Seminar II (2)
    • PT 5229 PT Project II (2)
    • PT 5230 Pedi/Geriatrics Lifespan (3)

    17 Credits

  • Summer A Semester

    • PT 6441 Clinical Education 1 (8 weeks)

    6 Credits

  • Summer B Semester

    • PT 6215 Assistive Technology (3)
    • PT 6216 Assistive Technology Lab (1)
    • PT6250 Clinical Integration 2 (2)
    • PT6231-6237 Adv. topics elective (2)

    8 Credits

  • Fall Semester

    • PT 6442 Clinical Education II- 14 wks (6)
    • PT 6251 Diagnostic Imaging: online (3)

    9 Credits

  • Spring Semester

    • PT 6448 Clinical Education III – 14 wks (9)

    9 Credits

Curriculum subject to change

Admissions Process & Requirements

Prospective students of the Post Baccalaureate Doctor of Physical Therapy [PB-DPT] program must have or will have completed a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university prior to anticipated enrollment in the DPT program. The Admissions Committee welcomes applications from scholars of diverse educational backgrounds. Decisions are based on the individual applicant’s academic qualifications and potential. Each component of the application is carefully reviewed, and specific attention is given to the:

  • Overall GPA
  • Prerequisite Science GPA
  • GRE Scores: code = 7427

  • Statement of Purpose
  • Letters of recommendation

Although prerequisite requirements may be in progress at the time of application, all must be completed prior to matriculation. Only those applications that have been fully completed and submitted prior by the deadline will be considered. Letters indicating the outcome of the application review [ accepted, provisionally accepted, conditionally accepted, wait listed or denied] will be disseminated by mid-February. Prospective students are given two (2) weeks to respond and confirm their intention to enroll in the PB-DPT program that will commence in the spring semester of the subsequent year. Applications of those placed on the “Wait List” are ranked and these applicants are offered a seat in the class to which they have applied pending any changes in the PB-DPT cohort.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Northeastern's PB-DPT program accredited?

Yes, the Physical Therapy program has been fully accredited since 1930.

On average, how many students apply to this program compared with how many are accepted?

We receive approximately 750 applications for this very competitive program – (40-45 seats).

How long does the PB-DPT curriculum take to complete?

The program takes 3 full academic years plus one semester. There are 6 semesters of didactic course work (5 full and 2 half summer sessions); 6 months of co-operative education and 3 clinical education experiences. 

Is this a cohort program or can the students take classes as they fit into their schedule?

The PB-DPT program is “cohort program”. Students move forward in the curriculum as one graduating class. It is important to note that, graduate students join the existing undergraduate cohort who are in their third year of curricular study. The two cohorts matriculate together as one graduating class through the professional phase of the DPT curriculum.

Can PB- DPT Program Students do a concentration?

Yes, the options are: • The Early Intervention Certification Program prepares students to work with one sector of the pediatric population; children from birth to 3-years old. • The Sports Performance Concentration prepares students to work with athletes in various venues and be eligible to take and pass the sports and conditioning certification.

Does this program accommodate full-time job holders?

The PB-DPT program at Northeastern is a full time day program; all classes are offered between 8:00 AM and typically not beyond 5:30 PM on Monday through Friday.

Is there a part time DPT program available at Northeastern?

The PB-DPT program for graduate students is a full-time day school program. The only part time program offered at NU is through the College of Professional and Continuing Studies (CPS): the t-DPT program: a transitional DPT for individuals who are licensed physical therapists seeking the terminal clinical degree (DPT) but do not have a DPT.  

Are there clinical experience locations in the Boston area?

Clinical education experiences are located throughout the greater Boston area and many states in the U.S.

What are the core prerequisites for application into the PB-DPT program?

• Anatomy & Physiology with Lab (2 semesters) • General Psychology (1 semester) • Developmental Psychology (1 semester) • Chemistry with Lab (2 semesters) • Physics with Lab (2 semesters) • Statistics (1 semester) • Exercise Physiology (1 semester)

If I have not taken Developmental Psychology but have other extensive course work in Psychology would this fulfill the prerequisite?

The developmental psychology requirement is intended to afford the student with an understanding of typical psychological development of individuals across the life span; therefore the only other option to meet this requirement would be individual courses in child, adolescent, and adult psychology through old age. Abnormal Psychology does not satisfy this requirement.

What are the requirements for Anatomy and Physiology?

Two semesters of course work with a co-requisite lab will fill this requirement. Some universities offer a semester of Human Anatomy, followed by a semester of Human Physiology (vs. Anatomy & Physiology 1 & 2) and this is also acceptable. An on line course will not meet this prerequisite requirement.

Do you allow courses to be taken online?

Yes on-line courses are accepted provided taken through an accredited college or university.  If you have specific request you should contact the PB-DPT director – Sonya Larrieux

Do required courses need to be completed by the time of application submission or by the time of admission?

Courses may be in progress at the time of application; however, all prerequisites must be satisfactorily completed in order to matriculate. Indicate your plan for completion on the prerequisite form included in the application. No more than two science prerequisites may be outstanding at time of application.   Should you be accepted to the program with outstanding prerequisites, your acceptance would be conditional upon satisfactory completion of any outstanding requirements. Prerequisite courses can be taken at any accredited college or university.

Are the GRE's required?

Yes, the GRE’s are required as part of the application process to the PB-DPT program. Minimum GRE score considered:
Verbal reasoning scaled score: 150
Quantitative reasoning scaled score: 150
Analytical writing scaled score: 3.5

Graduate Record Exam (GRE): #7427 Northeastern U PTCAS

Is there a required minimum GPA to apply to the PB-DPT program?

Yes a minimal quantitative GPA of 3.0, minimal quantitative science GPA of 3.0 and core prerequisites completed with a “C” grade or higher is required.

At what intervals are students accepted to the program?

Our PB-DPT program begins in the spring semester of each academic year (which starts in January).

Do you have rolling applications?

Applications are accepted year round. However, the specific deadline is as noted on the website; as a general rule of thumb the date will be November 15th. All students are notified after the deadline date and through mid April. An “active wait list” is maintained once the class has been filled should a seat become available in the class to which you have applied.

Where do I find application materials for your program?

The application process is fully electronic through PT CAS. The “Apply” button at the bottom of this page will take you to the application.

In filling out the application where do I enter my volunteer observation hours?

These experiences afford prospective students with valuable insight to the profession.  A good place to capture the required hours [minimum of 40] would be to incorporate them in your resume. Be sure to include the type of setting, number of observation hours and dates.  There is no separate verification form required. 

Do I need to attach a copy of my resume to the application?

Yes, your resume is required as part of the application process. 

Where can I find schedules for Open House programs?

Updated information for Open Houses and Information Sessions can be found at the Graduate School web page for the college.

Is there some way to submit specific question I may have or get updates related to your program?

The Graduate Office will allow you to get periodic information about admission deadlines, open houses etc. as well as request information.

To contact the Department of Physical Therapy, Movement and Rehabilitation Sciences directly, email

Where do I send any necessary mail correspondences?

Applicants should send transcripts and other required paper documents directly to:
PO Box 9112
Watertown, MA 02471

What is the approximate cost per year for the program?

The tuition is decided each spring by the Board of Trustees.  There are no tuition fees when students are on co-op assignment.

What kind of financial assistance is available?

The Double Husky Scholarship is helping Husky alums finance their graduate education by providing a tuition discount of up to 25 percent on more than 100 eligible degree programs.

What resources are available for international students?

The university has a strong global emphasis that embraces diversity and offers a welcoming and encouraging environment for all of our international students. The International Student & Scholar Institute (ISSI)—part of a comprehensive University support network—offers cultural and educational programs and services designed to support your transition to life in the United States and to enrich your Northeastern experience.

Experiential Learning

Learning extends beyond the classroom at Northeastern. Providing students with opportunities for experiential education that links coursework with the real world is central to the mission both of the University and the Bouvé College of Health Sciences. Our broad mix of experience-based programs-includes; co-op, student research, service learning, and global learning.

Essential Functions for Northeastern University Physical Therapy Students

Physical therapy students must be able to perform, with or without reasonable accommodations, each of these essential functions in order to fully participate in our program and successfully complete the requirements for the DPT.

Cognitive Functions

  1. Comprehend, integrate and analyze complex information from the liberal arts, basic sciences, mathematics, psychological and clinical sciences and apply this information to professional course work.
  2. Comprehend, integrate, analyze and apply information from written materials, demonstrations, lectures, class discussions, laboratory practice sessions, and real and simulated patients.
  3. Effectively utilize information obtained from classroom, laboratory and experiential learning, and written materials to create interventions for real and simulated patients.
  4. Access, critique and analyze information from the professional literature, clinical experience and patient preferences to provide evidence-based interventions.
  5. Educate others including but not limited to: patients, students, colleagues, peers, the general public/community groups and other health professionals in a variety of venues using appropriate teaching and learning methods.
  6. Determine the physical therapy needs of any patient with movement dysfunction.
  7. Properly document physical therapy assessment, plan of care and produce any other documents necessary for any patient receiving physical therapy services.
  8. Demonstrate management skills including strategic planning, organizing, supervising, delegating, managing resources, and adhering to legal/regulatory requirements.
  9. Evaluate patient or community needs and create programs of prevention and health promotion in a variety of client populations and settings.
  10. Advocate for patients and member of the community to improve access to health care and health outcomes.
  11. Analyze the impact and influence of lifestyle, socioeconomic class, culture, beliefs, race, and abilities of patients and colleagues to develop appropriate and effective interventions.
  12. Identify and analyze factors which affect the overall health of society, its healthcare policies, access, delivery and quality.
  13. Assess environmental and personal factors that serve as facilitators or barriers to full community participation based on patient’s goals.
  14. Screen for psychosocial factors that affect patient function such as substance abuse, domestic violence and psychiatric conditions, and provide appropriate interventions.
  15. Provide interventions for patients/clients and the community at large that is culturally appropriate and respectful of their preferences.

Affective and Communication Functions

  1. Establish professional, respectful, empathic relationships with individuals from a variety of lifestyles, cultures, ages, socioeconomic backgrounds and abilities, based on mutual trust.
  2. Develop and maintain effective working relationships with professional colleagues, peers, patients/clients, families, and the general public.
  3. Work effectively as part of an interdisciplinary team.
  4. Effectively communicate with patients, families, colleagues and others by providing information that is appropriate for their culture, level of knowledge, and health literacy.
  5. Identify the psychosocial impact of movement dysfunction and disability on the client and family; integrate these needs into all patient intervention or personal interactions.
  6. Meet externally imposed deadlines and time requirements.
  7. Effectively and consistently manage personal stress and the stress of others.
  8. Effectively attend to people, information, and tasks in a complex, highly stimulating environment.
  9. Practice in a safe, ethical, and legal manner, following guidelines as established by federal, state, and local law, the University, clinical facilities, the APTA, and related professional organizations.
  10. Demonstrate responsibility for self-assessment and the development of a life-long plan for professional growth and development.
  11. Accept responsibility for the consequences of one’s own actions.
  12. Respond to medical crisis and emergencies in a calm, safe, and professional manner.
  13. Speak and write effectively in English to convey information to other individuals and groups.
  14. Understand and interpret the verbal, non-verbal, and written communications of others and respond in an appropriate, professional manner.
  15. Place the needs of the patient before the needs of the therapist.

Psychomotor Functions

  1. Safely, reliably, and efficiently perform appropriate physical therapy procedures to examine the functional skills and abilities of patients with motor dysfunction across the lifespan consistent with currently established best practices.
  2. Safely, reliably, and efficiently perform physical therapy interventions consistent with currently established best practices for patients across the lifespan.
  3. Effectively and consistently practice standard precautions.
  4. Effectively perform CPR and emergency first aid.
  5. Read instructions, manipulate and operate physical therapy equipment and monitoring devices.
  6. Demonstrate appropriate body mechanics and react safely and appropriately to sudden or unexpected movements of patients.
  7. Demonstrate the ability to work in an environment that requires physical activity and mobility in a way that does not compromise patient or therapist safety.

Reference: Ingram, D. (1997). Opinions of Physical Therapy Education Program Directors on Essential Functions, Physical Therapy, 77(1), 37-45.

Polly Cerasoli Scholarship Fund

Thank you for your interest in the scholarship fund to honor Pauline (Polly) Cerasoli. Polly CerasoliPolly Cerasoli, clinician, teacher, mentor, scholar, leader, skier and friend, passed away on September 11, 2010 at the age of 71 while residing at the Rose Meadow Farm in New Boston, N.H. Polly’s career was cut short in 1996 when she sustained a traumatic brain injury from an unknown assailant while attending the APTA combined sections meeting in Atlanta. Life in Rural Vermont Polly grew up in Vermont where she accompanied her father, a country doctor, on his rounds to patient/client homes, braving the snow and ice of the Green Mountains to reach those in need in rural Vermont. Those special times with her dad fostered a love for medicine and a commitment to help others. When she learned about the profession of physical therapy, she knew it would become her life-long passion. Career Development Polly received her BS in Physical Therapy from the University of Connecticut. She then moved to Boston where she worked as a clinician while attending Boston University to earn a Master’s in Education. She became a member of the PT faculty at Northeastern University in the early 1970s. As a teacher, she taught a variety of courses, but her specialty was therapeutic exercise. She also served as academic coordinator of clinical education and acting chairperson of the physical therapy department. Polly earned her Doctor of Education degree in Rehabilitation Administration from Northeastern. Her dissertation addressed the relationship between leadership style and job satisfaction among physical therapist clinicians. Polly loved teaching and was devoted to nurturing the best in those around her. She always had time to mentor and inspire students and colleagues. Polly served the profession in other ways through her activities with the American Physical Therapy Association. She was an active member of the House of Delegates and the Education and Legislation/Regulations Sections. She also served on evaluation teams for the Commission on Accreditation for Physical Therapy Education as well as participating in various task forces. Polly left Northeastern to become Director of Rehabilitation at Massachusetts General Hospital and to teach at the MGH Institute. From there she moved to Denver, Colorado to live and ski in the Rocky Mountains. She became the Assistant Dean of Allied Health and Director of the Physical Therapy Program at the University of Colorado, where she continued working to advance the profession of physical therapy. In spite of her career moves, Polly always maintained her ties to Northeastern. Polly inspired students and colleagues to excel both personally and professionally. You can help cultivate Polly’s ideals and qualities in the next generation of physical therapist by contributing to the Polly Cerasoli Scholarship Fund. Proceeds from the fund will be used to award an annual scholarship to a physical therapy graduate student who exemplifies the characteristics that reflect those Polly displayed throughout her life and career. Making a Contribution If you would like to make a contribution to the Polly Cerasoli Scholarship Fund, please contact Kathy Cotter at 617.373.2637 or you can send a check to 215 Behrakis Health Sciences Center, 360 Huntington Avenue, Boston, MA 02115.

Apply for the Post Baccalaureate Physical Therapy (DPT) program.