32students accepted per year
15adjunct faculty

The URI Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) program is an entry-level doctoral program that prepares students as critical thinkers, lifelong learners, and healthcare providers for persons with movement-related dysfunctions. The curriculum emphasizes the development of movement analysis skill, clinical decision making, and evidence-based clinical practice through a 2.5-year graduate study plan. This program prepares graduates for the professional licensure examination and future practice as physical therapists.

Mission Statement

The Physical Therapy Program is dedicated to graduating Doctor of Physical Therapy professionals who are competent, compassionate, and devoted to providing services for diverse individuals across the lifespan in a variety of settings. These professionals value and utilize evidence in practice, are committed to ongoing professional development, and actively contribute to their communities. The program also aspires to develop professionals who will provide care with the highest ethical standards to patient/client populations within Rhode Island and nationwide. In pursuit of excellence for education, research, workforce development, and the profession of physical therapy, the program promotes interdisciplinary learning and evidence-based practice, while also advocating for diversity, equity, and inclusion.


The program faculty will: 

  • Prepare doctors of physical therapy who are competent to provide physical therapy services to diverse patient/client populations, across the lifespan, in Rhode Island and nationwide.
  • Prepare clinical scholars for evidence based practice and participation in scholarly activities.
  • Prepare practitioners with high standards of professional conduct demonstrated through participation in the professional organization; local and campus volunteer service activities, and public health and/or legislative actions or functions.
  • Be actively involved in professional activities and in scholarship that contributes to the body of knowledge in physical therapy.
  • Consistent with the mission of a Land Grant University and professional association goals, the faculty will facilitate the development of global citizens prepared to serve the College, University, the profession, state and nation.
  • To consistently promote diversity, equity, and inclusion in the pursuit of excellence for education, workforce development, and the physical therapy profession.


The faculty and staff of the Physical Therapy Department believe:

  • In the inherent worth of the individual, and that all individuals, considering their unique qualities, should be given opportunities to develop to their fullest potential. 
  • That professional behaviors will be exhibited and guide all encounters among members of the Program. 
  • That graduates of the Program must be prepared as generalists capable of functioning at entry level in a variety of settings. 
  • That the curriculum of the Physical Therapy Program is based on an accumulation of both empirical and applied evidence. 
  • That scholarly activity is an integral part of education and clinical practice. 
  • That all physical therapists should be Doctors of Physical Therapy who function autonomously and are the providers of choice for movement-related concerns.
  • That all physical therapists should be competent and understand the importance of collaboration among all care providers and related disciplines. 
  • That lifelong learning is critical to the continued competence of a professional and is vital to the physical therapy profession.
  • That ethical service to the profession and the community benefit both the individual and the profession. 
  • To provide students with opportunities to ensure that each cohort of graduates will perform at or above the Commissioner on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE) expectations for pass rates on the National Physical Therapy Exam (NPTE) for licensure.


The Doctor of Physical Therapy Program at the University of Rhode Island is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE), 3030 Potomac Ave., Suite 100, Alexandria, Virginia 22305-3085; telephone: 703-706-3243 or 800-999-2782 ext. 3243; email: accreditation@apta.org; website: http://www.capteonline.org.  If needing to contact the program/institution directly, please call 401-874-5001 or email janes@uri.edu.

Accreditation by CAPTE is a statement that a physical therapist or physical therapist assistant education program meets the standards for quality set by the profession in areas including educational experiences, faculty, resources and student outcomes. Graduation from a CAPTE-accredited program is required for eligibility to take the national licensing exam. The University of Rhode Island has consistently been awarded the maximal accreditation level. 

Comments, complaints, or concerns about the URI PT Program can be mailed to the American Physical Therapy Association, Attention: Accreditation Department, 3030 Potomac Ave., Alexandria, VA 22305-3085; Fax: 703-684-7343; or emailed to accreditation@apta.org.

The University of Rhode Island’s Physical Therapy Program is a member in good standing in the American Council of Academic Physical Therapy (ACAPT).

Professional Licensure Disclosure

In accordance with the 2019 Reauthorization of the Higher Education Act, URI hereby discloses only that the curriculum for this program meets the educational requirements for licensure as a Physical Therapist in all U.S. States and Territories. The applicable licensing board in these states may impose additional non-educational requirements on candidates prior to granting a license (e.g., passing of an exam; obtaining a certificate; performing supervised clinical/practicum hours; etc.), and we encourage you to investigate those requirements with your licensing board.

Academic ProgramStates where curriculum meets educational requirements for licensure or certification
Doctorate in Physical Therapy (DPT)All U.S. states, plus Washington DC, Puerto Rico, and the US Virgin Islands