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.


Prospective applicants to the Doctor of Physical Therapy program (DPT) with an earned undergraduate degree and the completion of the outlined core prerequisites may apply as a graduate student to this DPT program. As such you will join an existing cohort of undergraduate students and together will work as a graduating class toward this terminal professional degree. The curriculum begins during the summer semester of each academic year. Our comprehensive and rigorous curriculum is designed to be completed within three years and two months. It includes didactic, co-operative and clinical education components. Cooperative Education (Co-op) is a unique program which affords students six months of employment within a physical therapy setting. 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 and staff are dedicated to promoting excellence in practice, education, scholarship, and community service. Faculty are active in the American Physical Therapy Association and engaged in active research and practice. A hallmark of our program is the integration of experiential learning and didactic education whether with the assistance of standardized patients, communication, and interaction with community consultants, participation in service-learning projects, or engagement in research with our faculty. 

Diversity Information

As global citizens, the Post Baccalaureate program in Physical Therapy is dedicated to access, equity, and inclusion. We are committed to developing future health professionals who can advance diversity by providing culturally informed care to people across race, gender, sexuality, ethnicity, class, age, ability, and nationality. We support the acquisition of competencies that ready our students to recognize, broach, and interrupt discrimination in its many forms.

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, and other international cooperative experiences as well as service PT programs to Ecuador. 


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 summer semester of each academic year.

Application Due Date

The application deadline was November 15, 2019 for individuals seeking admission to the next PB-DPT class who will begin their studies in June 2020. Our application will reopen in July 2020. 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


All science prerequisites with the exception of Exercise Physiology MUST be taken with a co-requisite lab. Online equivalents will not be accepted for Anatomy & Physiology, Chemistry, or Physics.  


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

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

Satisfactory completion within 10 years of the following prerequisites:

  • General Psychology (1 semester)
  • Developmental 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, 2019. 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) click here for more information.

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 to the deadline will be considered. Letters indicating the outcome of the application review (accepted, provisionally accepted, conditionally accepted, waitlisted or denied) will be disseminated within three months of the application deadline. Prospective students are given two weeks to enroll in the PB-DPT program that will commence in the summer 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 800 applications for this very competitive program – (35-40 seats).

How long does the PB-DPT curriculum take to complete?
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 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 they are taken through an accredited college or university.  If you have a 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 recommended:
Verbal reasoning scaled score: 50th Percentile and Above
Quantitative reasoning scaled score: 50th Percentile and Above
Analytical writing scaled score: 50th percentile and Above

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, clinical education, 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.

Communication Functions

  1. Read, understand, and communicate information in written and spoken formats using the English language. 
  2. Interpret and respond to the verbal, non-verbal, and written communications of others in an appropriate, professional manner. 

Affective Functions

  1. Establish, value, and continue to develop professional, respectful, empathetic relationships with individuals from all lifestyles, cultures, ages, socioeconomic backgrounds, and abilities. 
  2. Develop, value, and maintain effective working relationships with faculty, students, professional colleagues, peers, patients/clients, families, and the general public. 
  3. Meet externally imposed deadlines and time requirements. 
  4. React effectively in challenging situations with use of appropriate resources. 
  5. Demonstrate an ability to function effectively in complex, highly stimulating environments. 
  6. Demonstrate responsibility for self-directed assessment, reflection, and professional growth.  
  7. Demonstrate core values of honesty, integrity, and accountability for the consequences of one’s own actions. 
  8. Demonstrate ethical behavior, proper judgement, and decision making skills. 

Cognitive Functions

  1. Demonstrate self-management skills including planning, organizing, time management, and adhering to legal/regulatory requirements. 
  2. Use a variety of sources, including reading material, lecture, discussion, observation, and physical examinations to: 
    • Recall, interpret, extrapolate and apply information.
    • Measure, analyze, synthesize and evaluate information.
    • Gather and prioritize information needed to solve a problem.
  3. Respond appropriately to emerging problems and potentially hazardous situations by making timely judgments to react effectively and seek assistance when necessary. 
  4. Accept and apply constructive feedback.  

Psychomotor Functions

  1. Possess physical strength, stamina, balance, movement, hand-eye coordination, and dexterity required to perform patient care tasks in a manner that does not compromise the safety of self or others. 
  2. Perform intermittent physical activity of the whole body throughout an eight to twelve-hour period. 
  3. Engage in complex, coordinated movements needed during a variety of activities including skills lab practice; manual techniques, patient examination, intervention, and guarding. 
  4. Utilize auditory, visual, and tactile senses to receive information from written, spoken, and non-verbal communication mechanisms; observation of human structures; postures and movements; and equipment and or technology. 
  5. Quickly and appropriately react to sudden or unexpected events or movements of others. 

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. This scholarship is awarded to a DPT student upon graduation. 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.

Bouvé Eminence Award

This award is intended to serve as recognition of the nominee’s exemplary core qualities in the following areas: academic excellence, commitment to diversity, community service and participation in research and innovation. There is no application process for the Eminence Award.

Double Husky Scholarship

Alumni with a bachelor’s, master’s, or doctoral degree from Northeastern are automatically considered for the scholarship when they are admitted into an eligible graduate degree or certificate program. Upon acceptance, applicants receive a letter indicating the tuition discount that applies to their program. Please refer to Student Financial Services regarding other options that may be available to accepted graduate students There is no application process for the Double Husky Scholarship.

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