Physical Therapy Transitional Doctorate (tDPT)

The last class for this program will be admitted in Winter 2019.

Final applications for the last class are due by November 1, 2018.  All the core courses required in the curriculum will be offered for one additional cycle.  Course descriptions and yearly schedule of classes can be found under the Transitional Doctorate of Physical Therapy Curriculum. 

Students admitted in Fall 2018 or Winter 2019 will be expected to follow the course scheduled offering and to complete the (6) core courses in 2 years (6 semesters) as they are offered.  They will have an additional year to complete PT8850 and PT7900 (or elective).

The Transitional Doctorate of Physical Therapy (tDPT) program is designed for individuals who have graduated from an accredited physical therapy program and are practicing, licensed physical therapists in the United States with either a Bachelor of Sdience or master's degree in physical therapy. The curriculum is intended to build on the skills, knowledge and experience of practicing clinicians. The program will prepare therapists for autonomous, evidence-based practice by augmenting their knowledge in the areas of differential diagnosis, physical assessment, diagnostic imaging, scientific inquiry and pharmacology.

The Transitional Doctor of Physical Therapy is a part-time transitional doctorate program. Online classes provide a distance learning opportunity with one course offering a two-day laboratory experience on campus. There is an opportunity for students to pursue a special area of interest through the directed study or elective option.

Students with a master's degree

Students, including those with a bachelor's degree in physical therapy and advanced level degree in another specialty, will be required to take 24 credit hours of coursework through Wayne State University. Credit toward the tDPT degree will not be given for previously completed coursework as a minimum of 24 hours of course participation at Wayne State University is mandatory for this degree. Students may ask for a waiver of specific courses if they demonstrate knowledge and skill attainment through coursework at an advanced degree level or clinical practice. If a core course has been waved, students must replace the course with an appropriate alternative elective that will meet their educational and professional needs and develop an appropriate advanced plan of work through Wayne State University. Academic credit is not awarded with a course waiver. Each plan of work will be evaluated and approved on an individual basis by the student, tDPT program coordinator and the director of the physical therapy program.

Students with a Bachelor of Science degree

Bachelor of Science prepared students must take 30 credits, including 24 hours at Wayne State University's Graduate School, of advanced level coursework. The additional program of study will be developed in collaboration with the tDPT program coordinator. Students and the coordinator will develop a plan of work for directed study, elective courses, clinical practicum and additional coursework in preparation for the tDPT. Six hours of credit can be awarded for appropriate previous advanced degree coursework (i.e., above 500 level) taken at a four-year college or university. Courses will be evaluated for appropriateness in meeting students' educational and professional needs. Student will be required to create a portfolio presenting evidence of learning and relevance to professional development to receive credits.

Transitional Doctorate of Physical Therapy course waiver forms:

Transitional Doctorate of Physical Therapy degree requirements

Courses in the tDPT program are offered on rotational basis throughout the fall, winter, spring and summer semesters. The Transitional Doctorate of Physical Therapy course requirements are as follows:

Course Number and Name


PT  6300 - Critical Thinking and Inquiry for Health Sciences


PT  6700 - Motor Learning and Motor Control


PT  6400 - Teaching and Learning in Health Care


PT  8300 - Differential Diagnosis


PT  8400 - Diagnostic Procedures


PT  7900 - Directed Study or elective


PT  8170 - Professional Development and Reflective Practice or Elective


PT  8850 - Clinical Practicum or Approved Elective


Total Credits


Review the Transitional Doctorate of Physical Therapy curriculum with descriptions of core courses and yearly schedule of classes.