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Nancy Kirsch, Doctorate of Physical Therapy program director

Program Director
Nancy Kirsch, DPT, Ph.D.
To learn more, email
our Newark
or Blackwood

Doctor of Physical Therapy

Highly Ranked DPT Program Offers Exceptional Clinical Education

Our highly ranked, entry-level Doctor of Physical Therapy program is a three-year, full-time degree program that prepares students for practice in physical therapy.

The long-established Doctor of Physical Therapy program – continuously accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education since 1980 – has relationships with clinical facilities throughout the United States and internationally where students can complete their clinical rotations.

Faculty are national and international leaders in the field of physical therapy. They are committed to offering students opportunities for scholarship, research, and professional leadership. Scholarly work by faculty and students is regularly accepted for dissemination at national and international conferences, and by top journals in our faculty members’ fields of expertise.

With a 100% employment rate among graduates, Rutgers DPT students are sought after for residency programs and clinical practice in every practice venue.

We have two locations, Blackwood and Newark.

  • Our Doctor of Physical Therapy programs are ranked nationally by U.S. News and World Report; the Newark and Blackwood programs also claimed the #1 and #2 spots respectively for the best PT schools in the Tristate area
  • Students assist faculty in research performed in four department laboratories, as well as in clinics and labs offsite
  • The DPT program supports organizations such as Special Olympics New Jersey (SONJ), with faculty and  student volunteers screening athletes for flexibility, balance and functional strength at the annual  SONJ Summer Games
  • Service learning opportunities include volunteering for a pro-bono, student-run clinic in Newark, and screening of migrant workers and children in Blackwood
  • The program in Newark also serves the community by providing physical and occupational therapy services to students with special needs in the surrounding urban and suburban school districts
  • Our three-year average pass rate on the licensure exam is 99.75%
  • 100% of Doctor of Physical Therapy graduates are employed within six months of licensure
The Doctor of Physical Therapy Program, in the School of Health Professions, at Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE), 1111 North Fairfax Street, Alexandria, Virginia 2231.

The program has been continuously accredited since its inception. It was recently re-accredited with a commendation, through Dec. 31, 2029.

Questions regarding the Doctorate in Physical Therapy program’s accreditation should be directed to the Program Director, Dr. Nancy Kirsch, or to the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE). The process for an individual to file a complaint with CAPTE for any accredited physical therapy education program is available on the CAPTE website.

Contact information for CAPTE:

phone: 703-706-3245 

CAPTE considers complaints about programs that are accredited, and complaints about CAPTE itself.

Employment of Physical Therapists is projected to grow 28 percent through 2026, much faster than the average for all occupations, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

DPT Outcomes Data


Graduation Rate Total Percentage of Students who took the NPTE licensure exam and passed Employment Rate within six months of licensure*
North South North South North South
2017 92.3%




100 100 100 100
2016 100%




98.5 100 100 100
2015 95.4%




100 100 100 100
Three Year Average 95.9% 83.4% 99.5 100 100 100

*Those seeking employment

*Those seeking employment

“Each professor possesses a depth of experience and knowledge in their respective field and is committed to facilitating student growth” – Mark Kimmel, Class of 2017.

“The versatile and rigorous curriculum builds a solid academic and clinical foundation that prepares students for success in clinical rotations” – Anthony Ng Class of 2016

Our DPT program is a full-time, three-year, day program. The program on the Newark campus begins in August; the Blackwood campus program begins in May. October 1 is the application deadline.

The following are routes of entry into each program:

Blackwood and Newark

  • Students with a bachelor’s degree in any major.
  • A 4+3 program with the Exercise Science Program at Rutgers New Brunswick.


  • A 3+3 program offered in affiliation with several state and private colleges/universities partners in the NJ/NY area.

Transfer students are generally not accepted.

Applicants are selected using the following criteria:

  • Competitive grade point average (A-B range)
  • Official GRE Score should be competitive on all three sections (verbal, quantitative and analytical). Note: scores are submitted via Newark Program code: 7636; Blackwood Program Code 6976. The GRE test must be taken within five (5) years prior to the application date.
  • Knowledge of the physical therapy profession demonstrated by employment or volunteer experience. There is no minimum number of required hours, but the experience needs to be long enough to obtain a favorable Physical Therapist recommendation.
  • Recommendations from three sources: (Newark) two from physical therapists and one from an employer, educational or professional acquaintance. (Blackwood) at least one letter must be from a licensed physical therapist, one letter is required from a college professor/instructor with whom the applicant has taken coursework, and the third letter of recommendation can be from any professional or academic source.  Personal letters of recommendation do not meet the reference requirement.
  • Evidence of community service and/or leadership.
  • A personal interview is required if selected for the next phase of the admissions process.

Newark Program Pre-requisites for 2018-2019 applicants  

Evidence of completion with a grade of C or better in the following classes. Science courses must be either pre-med or for science majors. Online labs are not accepted. Applicants cannot have more than 4 incomplete (in progress) prerequisite courses at the time of application. At least 2 of the 4 allowable incomplete courses must be taken during the Fall semester. All courses must be completed by June 1.

Anatomy and Physiology I & II 8 credits
General Biology I & II 8 credits
General Chemistry I & II 8 credits
General Physics I & II 8 credits
 Social Behavioral Sciences 6 credits
Statistics 3 credits

Blackwood Program Pre-requisites for 2018-2019 applicant

Evidence of completion with a grade of C or better in the following courses.  A grade of B or better in prerequisite courses is recommended. Science courses must be either pre-med or for science majors with a laboratory component. Science courses must be equivalent to a minimum of 4 semester credit hours.  Introductory courses for non-majors are not acceptable for the science prerequisite requirements.  Statistics and Social Behavioral Science courses must be equivalent to a minimum of 3 semester credit hours.

Students can have no more than two outstanding prerequisite courses at the time of application.  All coursework must be completed prior to the start of the program in May.

Anatomy and Physiology I & II 8 credits
General Biology I&II  8 credits
General Chemistry I & II 8 credits
General Physics I & II 8 credits
 Social/Behavioral Sciences 6 credits
Statistics 3 credits

* If Anatomy and Physiology I is taken then Anatomy and Physiology II is required.  If the anatomy requirement is met by a sole semester of human anatomy, a sole semester of human physiology is required.

Admission Forms:

Applicants applying to either the Newark Campus program or the Blackwood Campus program must apply through the Centralized Application Service for Admission (PTCAS).

PTCAS Entry-Level DPT Application

Tips for successful completion of the online application

  • Have a hard copy of your academic transcript in front of you when filling out the academic page of the application.
  • References must be transmitted electronically. Be sure to have the correct email address of the person you are requesting a reference from. Once you submit your application, an email and an electronic reference form will be sent immediately to the reference.
  • After submitting the PTCAS on-line application, the applicant must follow-up with PTCAS to confirm that all supporting paperwork has been received.
  • Official GRE scores and volunteer/work experiences should be completed prior to October 1 (Newark Program code: 7636; Blackwood Program Code 6976).

Student Immunization, Insurance, and Health Requirements

Students are required to meet all University insurance, health, and immunization requirements prior to beginning the program and throughout the period of enrollment. Immunization requirements can be found here.

For more information on the Newark Campus DPT please contact:

Doctor of Physical Therapy Program
Rutgers SHP, SSB, Room 720
65 Bergen Street, PO Box 1709
Newark, NJ 07107-1709

For more information on the Blackwood Campus DPT please contact:

Doctor of Physical Therapy Program
Rutgers School of Health Professions
Camden County College
200 College Drive-Jefferson Hall
Blackwood, NJ 08012

*The Rutgers SHP physical therapy program does not discriminate in admissions or access to its programs and activities on the basis of race/color, national origin, ethnicity, religion/creed, disability, age, marital status, sex, sexual orientation or veteran’s status

Our 110-credit DPT programs provide the entry level student with the didactic and clinical knowledge to be a safe, highly effective practitioner. Students learn to be good consumers of literature, to support evidence -based practice and gain a comprehensive knowledge of health care policy.

Clinical Education
Clinical education is essential to the development of the physical therapy student. Clinical experiences provide the student with the opportunity to integrate academic course work with practical experiences in the clinical setting. The clinical experience is where students practice the art and science of physical therapy.

There are four full-time clinical experiences scheduled throughout the curriculum. To attain a well-rounded experience, students affiliate at a variety of practice settings which include acute-care hospitals, long-term care facilities, outpatient facilities, private practices, rehabilitation hospitals, home health care, and school-based practices. The program affiliates with over 400 clinical facilities throughout the country, representing the breadth of Physical Therapy practice.

Newark program curriculum
Blackwood program curriculum

Doctorate in Physical Therapy Policy and Procedures:

All students are responsible to adhere to the program policies and procedures and the SHP Handbook.
Link to policy and procedure manual for all three classes.
Link to SHP handbook.

Essential functions:
The essential functions describe the physical and intellectual skills necessary for the academic program and the clinic. If a student has difficulty with any aspect of the essential