DPT Programs in Washington D.C.

For DC residents looking for a Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) program within city limits, there are two accredited options to choose from – George Washington University and Howard University. Additionally, there is the option of applying to online or hybrid DPT programs that allow students to attend class from anywhere in the country, while only needing to complete some hands-on requirements on campus. Here are some things to think about as you determine which programs to apply to.

Arcadia University

College of Health Sciences


Doctor of Physical Therapy

Earn your DPT from a hybrid program. Experience on-campus immersions and apply skills learned online to patients in person. Complete the program in 25 months. Applicants must have a bachelor’s degree but do not need to submit GRE test scores for admission.

  • Accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE) 
  • Complete in 25 months  
  • 32 weeks of in-person experience

University of Southern California (USC)

USC Division of Biokinesiology and Physical Therapy


Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT)

With USC’s Division of Biokinesiology and Physical Therapy, aspiring physical therapists can earn a Doctor of Physical Therapy degree in an innovative hybrid format. Bachelor’s required.

  • Full-time, three-year program 
  • 44 weeks of rich, varied clinical experiences 
  • Regular visits to USC for on-campus, skill-building immersions


On-Campus Programs vs Online DPT Programs in DC

Deciding between on-campus and online DPT programs is a very personal decision, and the right answer is different for everyone. Many people applying to DPT programs are juggling other commitments, such as work and family, which means that the flexibility of an online program may be appealing. On the other side of the coin, some people just learn better in a classroom environment and may thrive better with an on campus experience.
Last Updated: 3/7/21

Online DPT Programs

All current accredited DPT programs with online components are technically “hybrid” programs because there are some hands-on components that require some trips to campus to complete. Still, much of the classwork in an online program can be completed online, meaning more flexibility for the student. What also does not require a trip to campus is clinical requirements – depending on the program, placement sites can typically be secured in your own community.

Online learning for DPT programs is delivered in two different ways, some programs will combine both kinds of learning:

  • Synchronous – anything that requires logging in in real time to attend class or complete an assignment (i.e. attending a lecture via webcam)
  • Asynchronous – anything that is completed on a student’s own time (i.e. taking a multiple choice activity online at a time that works best for you)

Program websites are not always explicit in explaining how a program is delivered, always make sure to contact the program directly to get the best understanding of the learning experience offered.

On Campus DPT Programs

If you are looking to attend class in a classroom with your peers, a traditional on campus program is for you. With on campus programs, learning is done in person with homework assigned to be completed on a student’s own time. Then, clinical experiences are typically completed in the community surrounding the university.

How Long do DC DPT Programs Take to Complete?

DPT programs are typically completed in between two and a half and three years, though some may take more or less time. Even hybrid programs have a range from shorter to longer than the average time frame, so make sure to look for a program that balances weekly workload with total program duration in a way that works best with your schedule.

You can see the specific program lengths for DC on campus and online DPT programs in the tables below.

Typical Hybrid DPT Programs Available to DC Students

The following are examples of hybrid Doctor of Physical Therapy programs. Be sure to check with the school to see if they are authorized to operate in your state.

On Campus DPT Programs in DC

The following DPT programs have DC campuses.

General Tips on How to Become a Physical Therapist in DC

To become a physical therapist in DC, here are some common steps. Be sure to check with the licensing agency for specific requirements:

  1. Earn your Doctor of Physical Therapy Degree – Consider looking for physical therapy programs accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE) which may help you ensure you meet certification requirements in the future.
  2. Pass the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) – To do this, you will need to get approval from both the Federation of State Boards of Physical Therapy (FSBPT) and the state of DC.

Get Licensed – Make sure your NPTE score is set up to be transferred to the DC Health so that the state can issue your certification once you pass and check with the board to make sure you meet any additional requirements for licensure. This is a high-level overview, make sure to check out DC’s state board for exact requirements.