There are three Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) programs offered in the state of North Dakota – at University of Jamestown, University of Mary, and University of North Dakota. If you are looking for other programs to enroll in to maximize your options, or if you do not live near one of these campuses, you may want to consider online DPT programs as well. This resource will help you understand the different kinds of programs that are available to you so that you can make a decision about what’s best for you.

Online DPT Programs vs On Campus Programs in North Dakota

A good place to start when deciding what kind of DPT programs to apply to is to start with your schedule and determine what options are nearby. If you need to take classes during the day, for example, don’t enroll in a program that offers classes mainly at night. North Dakota is a large state, meaning you may not necessarily be able to reasonably commute to any of its three DPT programs. If this is the case, you maywill want to focus on online options if you do not wish to move.

Anyone in need of additional flexibility – whether it is through shaving off commute time or attending class on your own time – shcould consider online DPT programs.

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Online DPT Programs in North Dakota

When talking about online DPT programs, typically the programs in question are actually considered to be hybrid programs. This is because an online DPT program will always require you to come to campus on occasion to do important skills learning or labs. There are just some things that need to be learned in person. Though campus visits are required, they are typically infrequent and coursework will still for the most part be on line, so that you can still benefit from the flexibility granted from online learning. Make sure to get a good understanding of what the expectations will be for you traveling to campus, so that you can decide if the distance and frequency of these visits are doable for you.

As with any online program, classes are taught either synchronously, asynchronously, or through a mixture of both of these delivery methods. Synchronous learning is anything that is live, such as students logging on to a professor’s class in real time. Synchronous learning allows for discussion and collaboration because everyone is present, and technology such as video allows for an engaging experience. Asynchronous learning is anything completed on one’s own time, such as a prerecorded lecture. Asynchronous may not be as collaborative, but it makes earning a DPT more accessible to those with busy schedules.

You will always need to complete clinical requirements in person at clinical placement sites. Online programs can often place you at sites close to home – check with the programs you are interested in to see what they can do to secure placement sites local to you.

On Campus DPT Programs in North Dakota

Much of the on campus DPT program experience should be familiar to anyone who has earned a bachelor’s degree on a college campus. Students will go to class, take exams, and complete projects or other requirements at school. In addition, they will report to clinical placement sites to get clinical experience, typically these experiences will be local to the university.

How Long Do North Dakota DPT Programs Take to Complete?

Earning a DPT could take around two and a half or three years to complete. Sometimes, it may take more or less time than that. Ask the programs you are interested in about how the curriculum is structured and what program length is.

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

Typical Hybrid DPT Programs Available to North Dakota Students

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

School NameTypeLive ClassesOn-Campus RequirementsTime to Complete
Allen CollegeHybridSomeTwice per term3 years
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 North Dakota

The following DPT programs can be found on North Dakota campuses:

ProgramCityTime to CompleteGPA Requirement
University of JamestownJamestown3 years3.0
University of MaryBismarck3 years2.75
University of North DakotaGrand Forks3 yearsN/A

General Tips on How to Become a Physical Therapist in North Dakota

To become a physical therapist in North Dakota, 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 North Dakota.
  3. Get Licensed – You may want to make sure your NPTE score is set up to be transferred to the state organization governing PTs 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 the North Dakota Board of Physical Therapy for exact requirements.