There are a few on campus Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) programs in the state of Minnesota, including College of St. Scholastica, Concordia University St. Paul, Mayo Clinic School of Health Sciences, St. Catherine University, and University of Minnesota. Those who are looking for additional options to explore without leaving the state of Minnesota are in luck – there are also several online DPT programs that they can apply to. It can be hard to decide which kind of programs to apply to. This guide may help you decide which kinds of programs are best for you.

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Online DPT Programs vs On-Campus Programs in Minnesota

While you may decide to apply to both on campus and online DPT programs, it is good to start thinking about which type or program best suits your needs as you start the application process. A good place to start is to consider any limitations you have due to family, work, and other commitments. Do you have time to travel to and from campus? If not, you may want to focus more of your efforts on applying to online programs. Do you need to attend class at certain times of day? Look for programs that fit those needs. In terms of any flexibility added by online programs, some will meet at specific times while others may allow you to login and view classes on your own time.

After you rule out any programs that conflict with timing constraints that you have, you may want to consider your learning style. Some people may prefer the on campus experience as a way to naturally filter out any distractions that may arise at home. Others may prefer to learn in the comfort of their own homes, in which case an online DPT program may better suit them.

Last Updated 8/19/2021

Online DPT Programs in Minnesota

There is a certain amount of hands-on learning that is required in order to grasp some of the concepts taught during a DPT program. Because of this, online programs may require some visits to campus in order to complete lab work and other requirements, making the programs hybrid in nature. There may be not more than a few of these trips to campus per year, but applicants should keep this in mind as they consider what kinds of programs will work for them.

Class may be held in one of two ways during an online DPT program – asynchronously or synchronously. Asynchronous classes are prerecorded or delivered in some sort of non-live format so that they may be viewed on one’s own time. Synchronous courses are delivered live, through web streaming or other means, and thus require that students login at specific times for class. Some students may require the flexibility of asynchronous classes while others may benefit from the level of engagement and added professor and peer interaction offered by live streamed classes.

In addition to the on campus requirements discussed above, students will need to complete real world clinical experiences in order to earn their degrees, which requires reporting to clinical placement sites. With online DPT programs, you will want to ask whether you can be placed at a site local to where you live, and if you will receive help in securing a local placement.

On Campus DPT Programs in Minnesota

The classroom experience for on campus programs is familiar to many – students simply report to campus regularly for scheduled class times. Since everyone is local to campus, clinical experiences are often completed in the area local to the university.

How Long Do Minnesota DPT Programs Take to Complete?

A DPT program could take between two and a half and three years to complete. However this is not a hard and fast rule and program completion may take more or less time.

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

Typical Hybrid DPT Programs Available to Minnesota Students

The following hybrid Doctor of Physical Therapy programs are available to students in Minnesota.

School NameTypeLive ClassesOn-Campus RequirementsTime to Complete
Arcadia University (Sponsored)HybridYesUnspecified2 years
Baylor University HybridSomeTwice per semester2 years
Nova Southeastern University HybridSomeEvery 4th week4 years
South College HybridNoQuarterly2 years
Tufts UniversityHybridSomeEight visits2 years
University of Southern California (Sponsored)HybridYesUp to twice per semester3 years
University of St. Augustine HybridSomeTwice per month4 years

On Campus DPT Programs in Minnesota

The following DPT programs can be found on Minnesota campuses:

ProgramCityTime to CompleteGPA Requirement
College of St. ScholasticaDuluth3 years3.0
Concordia University St. PaulSt. Paul3 years3.0
Mayo Clinic School of Health SciencesRochester3 years3.0
St. Catherine UniversitySt. Paul3 years3.0
University of MinnesotaMinneapolis3 years3.0

General Tips on How to Become a Physical Therapist in Minnesota

To become a physical therapist in Minnesota, here are some common steps:

  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 likely need to get approval from both the Federation of State Boards of Physical Therapy (FSBPT) and the state of Minnesota.
  3. Get Licensed – You may want to make sure your NPTE score is set up to be transferred to the Minnesota State Board of Physical Therapy 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 Minnesota’s state board for exact requirements.