Doctor of Physical Therapy (119 credits)

  • This highly competitive program offers multiple opportunities for hands-on learning through courses in our faculty-supervised clinics, plus full-time clinical affiliations around the country. 
  • Develop excellent hands-on and clinical reasoning skills, effective communication strategies, and the ability to collaborate inter-professionally through experience. 
  • Learn person-centered care that changes the lives of students, of patients, and of their families.
  • The Doctor of Physical Therapy program at Nazareth College — the only one in the Rochester region — is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education.

Program is Ideal For

  • Academically strong students driven to succeed in physical therapy who have a bachelor's degree and have completed these prerequisites with a grade of B or better by the start of classes (summer): 8 credits of anatomy and physiology, 8 credits of chemistry, 8 credits of physics (all sciences include labs), 3 credits of statistics (psychology-based preferred), 6 credits of psychology (one course in developmental psychology preferred). 
  • Strong academic performance is paramount for admission; your undergraduate major is secondary.

Career Information

  • 98% graduation rate, meaning 98% of those who started the professional program successfully completed it within the expected time frame, 2014 and 2015
  • 98% pass rate on the National Physical Therapy Exam, 2014 and 2015
  • 100% employment rate: Of those seeking employment, all were employed within six months of passing the licensure exam, 2014 and 2015.
  • Physical therapy is one of the fastest-growing roles in health care. Jobs are projected to grow 36 percent from 2012 to 2022, much faster than the average for all occupations, as baby boomers age and more people have mobility issues from chronic diabetes or obesity, according to the U.S. Occupational Outlook Handbook.
  • Physical therapists can practice in acute care, rehabilitation hospitals, sub-acute rehabilitation facilities, outpatient clinics, early intervention programs, schools, wellness/prevention programs, home health, and research centers.

Graduate's Perspective

“The small class sizes, the open-door policy of all of the professors, and most importantly the pro bono clinics on campus set me up for success. My hands-on experience set me apart from other new graduates and allowed me the opportunity to become a traveling physical therapist, exploring the country and working contract jobs for a year. There is nothing that beats that! Nazareth DPT professors shaped the person and professional I am today and so impacted my life that I have decided to come back to my alma mater to help in our pro bono clinics to continue to set up the Nazareth DPT students for success.”

Rachel Waugh ’11, ‘13G, home care physical therapist for Visiting Nurse Service of Rochester

What to Expect
  • Experience integrated clinical education starting your first semester, working with patients/clients in our on-campus physical therapy clinics specializing in multiple sclerosis, neuromuscular diseases, orthopedic injuries, prosthetics, wellness, and pediatrics, under the supervision of faculty. Immediately apply material learned in lecture and lab to ensure mastery.
  • Be part of a rich tradition of providing inter-professional pro-bono service to the local community by working collaboratively with occupational therapy, speech therapy, art therapy, and music therapy students in our numerous on-campus clinics.
  • Use cutting-edge equipment to help patients/clients regain mobility. Research at Nazareth guided the development of Gorbel's SafeGait trainer.
  • Gain further experience through four full-time clinical internships, totaling 32 weeks, at any of nearly 500 sites around the country with which Nazareth College has official agreements.
  • Work closely with faculty in classes, labs, clinics, and during research projects. Faculty members have an open-door policy and students often stop by to talk about physical therapy.
  • Learn human anatomy through cadaver dissection in our on-campus Anatomy & Physiology Lab. 
  • Conduct research with faculty mentors, attend lab classes, and help people with movement dysfunctions using high-tech equipment in Nazareth's motion analysis lab.
  • Choose elective courses in unique applied clinical topics, including international study opportunities such as working with underserved clients in India.
  • Optional: Numerous graduate assistantships are available through a competitive process.
  • Have a question about the program? Take a look at the Frequently Asked Questions regarding the Physical Therapy program.
  • Short-term study abroad option: Explore physical therapy in the context of modern medicine in India.

Elective Course Examples
  • Advanced Applied Anatomy
  • Advanced Neurology 
  • Advanced Orthopedics 
  • Advanced Pediatrics Yoga and Physical Therapy
Full D.P.T. requirements, course list, and course descriptions >>

Program Director

Mary Ellen Vore

Mary Ellen Vore

Clinical Associate Professor & Chair in Physical Therapy
York Wellness and Rehabilitation Institute 164

Education: B.S. Physical Education, SUNY Brockport; M.S. Physical Therapy, D'Youville College; Ph.D. Physical Therapy candidate, Nova Southeastern University.

Teaching and Research Interests: Orthopedics, acute care, prevention and wellness. She is also a Multiple Sclerosis Certified Specialist.

Read full bio.

Program Faculty »

The Physical Therapy Program at Nazareth College is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE), 1111 North Fairfax Street, Alexandria, Virginia 22314; telephone: 703-706-3245; email:; website:

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