Doctor of Physical Therapy

Mark Bowden, PT, PhD, Division Director

Physical therapy is a dynamic health care profession. Physical therapists (PTs) are movement experts who improve quality of life through prescribed exercise, hands-on care, and patient education and provide care across the lifespan to anyone of any ability.  PTs can identify, diagnose, and treat movement problems. Pain-free movement is crucial to quality of life, ability to earn a living, and independence. PTs design treatment plans for each person's individual needs, challenges, and goals. PTs help people improve mobility, manage pain and other chronic conditions, recover from injury, and prevent future injury and chronic disease. They work in hospitals, nursing homes, schools, private offices, rehabilitation centers, community health centers, research centers, industry, and sports medicine clinics, and as educators and researchers in colleges and universities.

The Doctor of Physical Therapy program (DPT) program prepares individuals to evaluate patients/clients with impairments that affect the musculoskeletal, neuromuscular, cardiopulmonary, integumentary or other body systems that cause movement dysfunction. Physical therapists then implement evidence-based treatment programs that minimize or prevent these impairments, improve and restore movement, and enhance function and quality of life.

The three-year DPT program incorporates foundational learning with clinical coursework, clinical reasoning, community-based service, and interprofessional learning embedded throughout. The curriculum incorporates 40 weeks of clinical practice that allow students to further develop their knowledge and skills in a clinical environment.


The MUSC Doctor of Physical Therapy program at MUSC is accredited by the Commissionon Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE).