You can impact patient lives
Help people lead active, healthy, and fulfilling lives by earning your Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) degree at MGH Institute of Health Professions in Boston. Learning collaborative, patient-centered care from exceptional physical therapist faculty, you will develop the clinical reasoning and advocacy skills to convert your passion into a rewarding new career and join the next generation of physical therapist leaders.
The Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) program consists of a 2.5 year graduate-level curriculum; comprised of academic and clinical study experiences culminating with a 14 week unpaid or year-long, full-time, paid clinical internship.
The innovative modular curriculum uses case-based, self-directed, and collaborative learning to develop graduates with strong clinical reasoning, leadership, and advocacy skills to meet the demands of the contemporary healthcare environment.
Students take integrated and sequential 4-week academic courses one at a time, with each course building on the previous classes and experiences. The program’s curricular threads of (1) Clinical Decision-making, (2) Human Movement System, (3) Evidence-based Practice, (4) Interprofessional Collaborative Practice, (5) Professionalism, and (6) Social Justice and Health Equity are woven throughout the academic courses as well as through the full-time clinical experiences.
The DPT program is open to individuals who hold a bachelor’s degree in any field and have completed the prerequisite courses required for admission.
Transform physical therapy education, research, and clinical practice for a healthier and more equitable world
To advance and support excellence in PT education, practice, service, and research, we:
- value innovation achieved through curiosity, courage and new ideas
- foster a culture of accountability, respect, and critical self-reflection towards instilling justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion
- value effective collaboration based on listening and shared evolution
The Doctor of Physical Therapy Program educates its graduates to be part of patient/client-centered, interprofessional practice in a dynamic and diverse healthcare environment where they are prepared to be leaders in education, clinical practice, scholarship, professional service, and community engagement.
At MGH Institute of Health Professions, we believe that physical therapists are an integral part of an interprofessional health care team and should be prepared to serve as the entry-point into the health care system with a concomitant responsibility to collaborate and consult with other health care professionals, patients, caregivers, and the community.
Physical therapists must interact with and value a complex and diverse society in a compassionate, humanistic, and professional way.
Physical therapists have a responsibility to understand how their clinical decision-making interacts with the ethical/fiscal management of the setting within which they work while advocating for health equity for all.
A physical therapist’s goal is to optimize an individual’s ability to function within society by addressing prevention, wellness and rehabilitation across the lifespan and in a variety of settings.
The Physical Therapy Program at the Institute prepares clinicians who recognize that physical therapist practice is centered on the human movement system.
The faculty embraces the view that active adult learning is a process by which students employ an ongoing interpretive and reflective process that synthesizes prior and current experiences into new learning. This best happens within an inclusive learning community that continually strives for clinical excellence and professionalism among faculty, students and graduates.
The program is structured to be fluid, proactive and responsive in meeting the present and future needs of its students and of health care, including the incorporation of modern technology and innovation into education and practice.
Recognizing the responsibility to prepare members of a doctoring profession, the program prepares self-directed, life-long, collaborative learners who are able to use scientific and analytic approaches for clinical decision-making to achieve optimal patient care through evidenced-based practice.
- Act as reflective practitioners that demonstrate the ability to think critically, challenge assumptions, offer alternative solutions and assess outcomes.
- Utilize common and cohesive framework for efficient clinical decision-making that reflects best available evidence, a concern for patient-centered care, and is grounded in current best practice.
- Act in a professional, ethical, and responsible manner in patient/client interactions, in peer collaborations, and in practice management.
- Function effectively in the multifaceted roles of a physical therapist including clinician, scholar, administrator, consultant, educator, and advocate.
- Demonstrate accountability for independent decision-making with responsibility for interprofessional collaboration, and referral to others to optimize patient outcomes.
- Respect and act with consideration for how differences, values, preferences, and expressed needs of a patient/client, family or group may influence or are influenced by the judgment, recommendations or decisions of the physical therapist.
- Apply principles of health, wellness and rehabilitation across the lifespan in a dynamic health care environment.
- Contribute to the community and the profession through service and by exercising leadership skills.
- Demonstrate the values of active and life-long learning to enhance professional development.
Faculty will demonstrate a commitment to:
- Reflective practice and advocacy for contemporary, evidence-based practice
- Learning-centeredness and dedication to producing competent and effective professionals
- Excellence as citizens of the Institute
- Leadership in the profession
- Leadership in scholarship, including the scholarship of teaching and learning
- Demonstrating passion for the art and science of physical therapy, as well as commitment to curiosity and life-long learning
- Fostering a learning environment inclusive of gender, race, ethnicity, national origin, age, socio-economic background, ability, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, and religious belief.
Through its faculty and curriculum, the program will demonstrate a commitment to:
- Innovation in both education and practice, embracing new ideas, and demonstrating a continuous drive for excellence that is not risk-aversive
- Depth and breadth of expertise that includes faculty with clinical specialization across several practice areas
- Interprofessional education and collaboration
- Health promotion
- Team collaboration in a non-competitive environment that values diversity of contributions
- Embracing our clinical colleagues and their contribution to the education of our students
- The promotion of social justice and health equity
The Doctor of Physical Therapy Program at MGH Institute of Health Professions is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE), 3030 Potomac Ave., Suite 100, Alexandria, Virginia 22305-3085; telephone: 703-706-3245; email: accreditation [at] apta.org; website: www.capteonline.org. If needing to contact the program/institution directly, please call 617-726-8099 or email pt [at] mghihp.edu.
All states require physical therapists to pass a licensure exam before they can practice after graduating from an accredited physical therapist educational program.
Over the past two years, 100% of our graduates successfully passed the professional licensure exam, and 100% obtained professional positions within 6 months of successful completion of the physical therapist licensure examination.
Aspiring physical therapists must obtain a doctoral degree, and there are a variety of post-professional options. Licensed physical therapists are expected to continue their professional development by participating in continuing education courses and workshops and a number of states require continuing education as a condition of maintaining one’s licensure.
Licensure Pass Rates
In 32 months, the Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) program prepares you to take the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE), which you must pass to become a licensed physical therapist. Licensing is done by state boards of physical therapy. Physical therapists are required to renew their licenses on a periodic basis.
Per the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE) requirements, below are first-time and ultimate national licensure pass rates for the most recent two years:
MGH IHP DPT Program First Time Pass Rate
MGH IHP DPT Ultimate Time Pass Rate
National Average Ultimate Pass Rate
The Doctor of Physical Therapy Program has a two year average graduation rate of 98%. CAPTE requires at least 80% averaged over two years.
The Doctor of Physical Therapy Program has an employment rate of within six months of graduation of 100%. CAPTE requires at least 90% averaged over two years.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) report, the median annual earnings for physical therapists in 2021 was $95,620.
Comparing various factors including personal satisfaction, job security, salary, and growth opportunities for the profession, U.S. News & World Report ranked physical therapy as a top Health Care job.
Case Based Curriculum
The 102-credit curriculum is designed to prepare students to serve patients and clients in the areas of health promotion, disease prevention, and rehabilitation based on concepts of patient/client-centered care and best practice.
We offer an integrated, case based curriculum designed to foster critical thinking, clinical decision-making, evidence-based practice, and professionalism. Real-life cases are used to foster applied learning of basic sciences (e.g., anatomy) with clinical sciences (e.g., orthopedics), in the context of socio-behavioral sciences (e.g., culture).
Integrated cross-curricular threads are embedded within each course to promote the development of your ability to model the clinical decision-making and critical thinking processes of skilled physical therapists.
Process that includes skills such as critical thinking, problem solving, and synthesizing information across affective, cognitive and psychomotor domains.
Process that entails making decisions about how to address healthcare needs by integrating the best available research evidence with patient/client preferences and values, and practitioner clinical judgement and experience.
The human movement system comprises the anatomic structures and physiologic functions that interact and move the body or its component parts. Physical therapists practice as experts in the human movement system.
Process that begins with appreciating health as a socially constructed phenomenon. Students recognize, analyze, and intervene on factors which promote health disparities and work towards improving health and wellness for all.
When health workers from different professional backgrounds provide comprehensive services by working with patients, their families, caregivers and communities to deliver the highest quality of care across settings.
Aspiring to and wisely applying principles of altruism, excellence, caring, ethics, respect, communication and accountability.
As the only degree-granting affiliate of Mass General Brigham, we offer exceptional access to placements at Harvard Medical School affiliates such as Brigham and Women's, Massachusetts General, and Spaulding Rehabilitation hospitals. Our network of affiliated clinical PT sites also includes over 100 other healthcare and educational sites throughout New England and beyond.
Clinical Experiences & Internships
You'll have a full-time, 10-week clinical experience in the summer after year one and in the winter during year two. Most students also complete a paid, full-time, year-long internship in their last year – which often leads to a permanent position after you graduate. Our program was one of the first and remains one of the relatively few in the country that offers this form of an internship as the culminating clinical experience.
In addition, throughout the program, you will be able to immediately put into practice what you are learning in our on-campus PT IMPACT Center. You will have simulated learning experiences with standardized patients and community-dwelling adults to complement your coursework, honing your skills to prepare you for professional practice.
In contrast to traditional programs that have separate basic and clinical sciences, we employ the latest in adult-learning theory - combining basic, clinical, behavioral, and social sciences in case-based and simulated learning experiences to model real-life clinical scenarios. Team-based learning approaches are used to foster active engagement with learning and strong collaborative interprofessional skills. Coupled with the Institute's IMPACT Practice model, our students develop strong uniprofessional (physical therapy) and interprofessional skills.
MGH Institute of Health Professions welcomes applications from individuals holding a Bachelor’s degree who seek to enter the field of Physical Therapy with a Doctor of Physical Therapy degree.
Dates & Deadlines
Program Starting: Summer 2023 (June)
The PTCAS 2022-2023 Application Cycle is now open.
The deadline to apply is October 17, 2022
The Doctor of Physical Therapy program participates in the Physical Therapist Centralized Application Service (PTCAS). All students are required to apply online through PTCAS.
Items to submit directly to PTCAS:
- PTCAS application with application fee
- Official transcripts from all colleges/universities attended
- Three (3) reference letters
- MGH IHP Custom Questions
- Physical Therapy observation hours (optional for 2022 cycle)
MGH Institute of Health Professions does not require a supplemental application.
*In order to be eligible for review, PTCAS applications must be completed on or prior to the deadline. Please note: you should allow several weeks for all required documents to be received and processed by PTCAS.
Bachelor's degree (BS or BA) from an accredited US college or university or recognized international equivalent.
Prerequisite coursework for those applying in 2022 for a Summer 2023 start:
Completion of the following prerequisite courses at a fully accredited institution with a grade of C or better is required for admission.
At the time of submitting an application, prospective students must have at least 6 of the 10 required prerequisites complete in order to be considered for admission.
All of these courses are offered online by the MGH Institute. Learn more about our online prereqs.
- Anatomy & Physiology (2 semesters, with labs)
- Biology (1 semester, no lab required)
- Chemistry (2 semesters, with lab)
- Physics (2 semesters, with lab)
- Abnormal or General Psychology (1 course)
- Statistics (including inferential statistics)
- Exercise Physiology (3 credits, no lab required)
- Applicants may be asked to submit mid-term reports for certain prerequisite courses.
- All prerequisite courses must be satisfactorily completed prior to matriculation.
- Prerequisite credit cannot be given for courses with a grade of Pass/Fail.
- All prerequisite courses must have been taken at an institution that is accredited by one of the six regional accrediting bodies. Please refer to the Council for Higher Education Accreditation website for additional information.
- Applicants with questions about prerequisite course equivalency and/or acceptability should complete and submit the DPT Prerequisite Inquiry Form. Upon submission of the form, replies can be expected by email within 7-10 business days.
- Applicants who are currently in the process of completing prerequisite courses are still encouraged to apply.
The General Test is not required for admission.
The language of instruction and clinical education at the MGH Institute is English and a high level of proficiency in both written and spoken English is required. Applicants who have not completed either an undergraduate or graduate program where English is the language of instruction must demonstrate English Language proficiency as part of your application to the MGH Institute of Health Professions. If you have questions about the language requirements, please contact the Office of Admissions.
- Applicants who are citizens of Australia, Canada (except Quebec), Great Britain, Ireland, South Africa, New Zealand, Guyana, an Anglophone country of Africa, or an English-speaking country of the Caribbean are not required to submit TOEFL or IELTS scores.
- Applicants who are candidates for graduation from an accredited degree-granting program in the United States or at an English-speaking school in one of the countries listed above are also not required to submit TOEFL or IELTS scores. Acceptance to the IHP will be contingent upon the successful completion of this degree prior to matriculation.
Please note that in some circumstances, demonstrating English language proficiency may be required by the academic program even if you are a citizen of a country in which the (or one of the) national language(s) is English. Decisions about the need for TOEFL or IELTS scores are at the discretion of the academic program to which you are applying in coordination with the department of OES.
The IHP accepts either the TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) or the IELTS (International English Language Testing System). The test must have been taken within two years of the application deadline and official score reports are required. The minimum TOEFL (internet-based) score accepted is 89 and the minimum IELTS score accepted is 6.5.
- To forward your TOEFL score please contact the Educational Testing Service (ETS). The MGH Institute of Health Professions code is 3513.
- For IELTS, a Test Report Form may be mailed to MGH Institute of Health Professions and score information will be verified by the IHP directly. You may designate up to 5 schools to receive Test Report Forms at the time you register for the test. To request additional Test Report Forms, contact your test center.
Please contact the Office of Admissions if you have any questions about the MGH Institute’s English Language requirements.
Please refer to our page on PTCAS for specific information. All official transcripts should be submitted directly to PTCAS.
Applicants that have earned a degree from a non-US institution are required to submit a course-by-course credential evaluation from one of the following NACES (National Association of Credential Evaluation Services) members: Educational Credential Evaluators, Inc., SpanTran: The Evaluation Company, World Education Services (WES), or the Center for Educational Documentation. If you earned your bachelor's degree outside of the U.S. this credential evaluation must document the minimum equivalency of a US baccalaureate degree or higher.
Statement of Intent/School-Specific Questions
Please refer to our program page in PTCAS for specific information. Statement should be completed and submitted through PTCAS.
Please refer to our program page in PTCAS for specific information. Recommendation letters should be completed and submitted through PTCAS
For the Summer 2022 application cycle, observation hours are an optional part of your application. Virtual observation hours are acceptable. It is highly recommended that applicants have obtained at least some observation hours to demonstrate knowledge and experience with the profession. A combination of depth and breadth of exposure is strongly recommended. Depth refers to the amount of exposure in any single PT practice setting. Breadth refers to a variety of exposure to PT practice settings or areas of specialty (i.e., outpatient, inpatient, rehabilitation, pediatrics, etc.).
Please refer to our program page in PTCAS for specific information.
Yes, you can take your prerequisite courses at any accredited two- or four-year college or university.
Yes, you can use online courses to meet a requirement as long as the course is taken for college credit and is offered through an accredited college or university. The Institute offers most of our required prerequisite courses online.
Anatomy and Physiology
- What works: Most people fulfill this requirement with two semesters of Anatomy and Physiology (A&P).
- Note: Both semesters have to have a lab attached. We offer online Anatomy and Physiology I and II courses here at the Institute that will fulfill the requirement. They are undergraduate-level courses with online labs.
- Alternatively, you can take a course in Anatomy and a separate course in Physiology. In this case, both courses have to have the lab attached. We accept Human or Vertebrate Anatomy
- What works: Any Biology course. It can be anything from General Biology to Genetics to Molecular Biology to Environmental Biology.
- What doesn’t work: Non-Biology courses
- What if I can’t find a local college that offers Biology? You can take it online.
- We offer an online Biology course here at the Institute that will fulfill the requirement. It is an undergraduate-level course. See course number and title HBIO-450– Introduction to Biology 1.
- What works: Any two Introductory Chemistry courses in a series with associated labs. They can be for non-science majors.
- What if I can’t find a local college that offers Chemistry?
- You can take it online.
- We offer online General Chemistry here at the IHP that will fulfill the requirement. There are two undergraduate-level courses that include labs. The course numbers and titles are:
- What Works: The course we want is almost always listed as Exercise Physiology. You do not need a lab with Exercise Physiology.
- What doesn't work: Biomechanics, Kinesiology, Health, and Nutrition.
- What if I can’t find a local college that offers Exercise Physiology?
- You can take it online.
- We offer an online Exercise Physiology course here at the Institute that will fulfill the requirement. It is an undergraduate-level course. The course number and title is HEXPH-455 Exercise Physiology.
- What works: Physics, but it does not have to be Calculus-Based Physics. Two introductory courses in a series will do as long as they have labs attached.
- We offer online Physics 1 and 2 courses at the Institute that will fulfill the requirement. They are undergraduate courses with online labs. The course numbers and titles are:
- What doesn’t work: Biomechanics, Kinesiology
- What works: Introduction to Statistics. We are looking for inferential statistics, so the course should include probability, distribution, measures of central tendency, t-tests, hypothesis testing, and perhaps correlations. The course is often offered through social science or math departments.
- The Institute offers an online course in Statistics, HSTATS-451, in the summer, fall, and spring semesters.
- What doesn’t work: Business Statistics, Qualitative Statistics
General Psychology/Abnormal Psychology
- What works: Either General Psychology (sometimes called Introduction to Psychology) OR Abnormal Psychology.
- The Institute offers an online course in Abnormal Psychology, HPSYCH-452.
- What doesn’t work: Educational Psychology, Sports Psychology, Psychology of Disability
The PTCAS Work Group recently selected World Education Services (WES) as the preferred foreign transcript evaluation service for PTCAS applicants with non-U.S. coursework. If you have a degree earned outside of the United States, you will need to have your transcript credentialed by a credentialing agency.
We require 10 hours and recommend combining depth and breadth.
Depth: Identify one facility where you can spend enough time that you are likely to have a good idea of what PT is like in a particular facility. Try spending at least one week full-time in a facility. However, that is rarely logistically feasible. Therefore, using 40 hours as a framework, set up a schedule that would allow at least that much time.
Breadth: Spend at least one full day in one or two other PT facilities that are different types of settings from the one in which you spent your depth of experience. If you spent your depth in an outpatient setting, consider an inpatient or rehabilitation hospital setting. Not all experience that is helpful will be directly PT-related. What other healthcare experience do you have that will inform your ability to interact with patients or clients and with other members of the healthcare team? Be prepared to make an argument about how this experience informed your decision to be a physical therapist.
Students enter the program with a variety of educational, occupational and geographic backgrounds, many pursuing second careers. This diversity of class composition enhances the stimulating and supportive collaborative environment upon which teaching-learning experiences are based. The makeup of past classes has included 32 states, 3 countries, and a wide variety of undergraduate degrees.
- Kinesiology (18%)
- Exercise Sci/Physiol (18%)
- Biology/Biochem (7%)
- Psychology (7%)
- Health Science (4%)
- Neuroscience (3%)
- Anthropology (3%)
- English (3%)
- Nutrition (3%)
- Organizational Development
- Physical Education
- Art History
- Athletic Training
- Political Science
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Learn from the best
Our faculty are leaders in the profession. A majority have clinical appointments, allowing them to bring real-life cases into the classroom and give you the knowledge employers are seeking.
Assistant Professor Director of Student Support and Activities Physical Therapy Coordinator, Marjorie Ionta Physical Therapy Center for Clinical Education
Distinguished Teaching Assistant Professor Director of Curriculum Coordinator of the Clinical Residency in Orthopaedic Physical Therapy
Physical Therapy Club
Our purpose is to increase awareness of the profession to the general public. In addition, we seek to improve involvement of IHP students in the APTA. Students may get involved by providing health screening, info sessions, community lectures, mentoring, student forums and other community outreach. The club will also mentor new entry-level DPT students.
A Vibrant City for Living and Learning
Boston is not only the center of higher education and healthcare, it is also a city with a rich history, amazing sports teams, wonderful neighborhoods, and vibrant performing arts. Your graduate experience will be one you will never forget.
IMPACT Practice Center
Students tackle complex client problems under the direct supervision of Institute PT faculty, supported by the latest technology.
Justice, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion
The Justice, Equity, Diversity, & Inclusion (JEDI) office helps guide programs to improve the diversity, retention, and support of faculty, staff, and students of color.