Triangle Copy careerplus-badges careerplus-degree Created with Sketch. careerplus-employers Created with Sketch. careerplus-faq Created with Sketch. careerplus-individuals Created with Sketch. careerplus-local-experts Created with Sketch. careerplus-pricing careerplus-registration Created with Sketch. careerplus-responsive Created with Sketch. careerplus-self-paced Created with Sketch. careerplus-stackable Created with Sketch. + Facebook LinkedIn PinterestRSS Instagram Twitter Vine

Doctor of Physical Therapy

With Clarke’s Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) program, you will prepare for a career that improves the quality of life for patients through a focus on form and function. From toddlers early in their physical development, to athletes at the top of their game, to those maintaining their mobility and independence as they age, physical therapy plays an important role in individual health and wellness.

With Clarke’s DPT degree, you’ll have access to medical grade facilities your first semester, where you will develop the skills to examine and treat patients in real-world sessions under the guidance of experienced faculty and clinicians. With only 33 students admitted to the program each year, you’ll get the one-on-one attention and support Clarke is known for.

Through our extensive clinicals, you can serve patients who are your friends and neighbors, and get to know more about what the city and region have to offer. Plus, the Clarke Doctor of Physical Therapy program has partnerships with over 500 clinics and organizations nationwide, presenting you with opportunities to broaden your knowledge and network.

Clarke also offers a 3 + 3 program, meaning you can complete a bachelor’s and DPT degree in just 6 years, saving you time and money!

Thanks to the wide variety of experiences available through the DPT program, graduates have gone on to find success in hospitals, clinics, schools, sports medicine facilities, and even run their own private practices.

See the Doctor of Physical Therapy mission and outcomes.

Clarke University Doctor of Physical Therapy Tips for Incoming students.

Clarke University Doctor of Physical Therapy working on patient.

Nationally Recognized

Our DPT degree is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education and draws students from as far Texas and California — and for good reason. Students in the DPT program average a 100% pass rate on their licensure exams, and licensed graduates enjoy a 100% job placement rate. The program has also been recognized as one of the top 3 in the state of Iowa and has consistently appeared on US News and World Report’s rankings of Best DPT Schools.

What makes us stand out? It’s not just the small class sizes, expert faculty, and medical-grade facilities — we also provide options for students no matter what your path in life has been. Our 3+3 program is designed to transition students directly from their Clarke undergraduate experience in Biology; Chemistry; Health, Wellness, and Behavioral Sciences; or Psychology. For those coming to Clarke from another institution or with work experience, the DPT program provides the rigor you need to advance your career and meet your unique goals.

Learning in Action

As part of the DPT program, you will experience an incomparable, well-rounded education with an emphasis on hands-on learning and real-world application. This starts day one with access to our medical-grade cadaver lab. With a 4:1 cadaver ratio, you will work closely with your peers and instructor to understand the structure of the human body and your power to provide care and treatment for it. Your experience goes beyond the classroom, as all students complete 36 weeks of full-time clinical education in the field. Clarke has established a national network of over 500 clinical education experiences at some of the top clinics and medical centers in the country.

More information on clinical resources and practicum/patient referrals.

Clarke University Doctor of Physical Therapy Tips for Incoming students.

Program Details

  • Complete 127 Credits, including 36 weeks of clinical education experiences spread across the 3-year program 
  • Faculty are all licensed, practicing physical therapists in Dubuque and the greater community 
  • Class sizes are limited to 33, guaranteeing you one-on-one support and attention 
  • Hands-on experiences begin your second semester, including a medical-grade cadaver lab, clinicals, and more 
  • Interprofessional experience opportunities for collaboration and networking  
  • 100% of Clarke students receive financial aid of some kind 
Learn More

Admission to Clarke University

Entrance Avenues for Doctor Of Physical Therapy  

  • High School Students
    Use this entrance avenue if you are a:
    • A current high school student
  • 3+3 Options
    Use this entrance avenue if you are a:
    • A current Clarke undergraduate student
    • A current student at University of Northern Iowa, University of Wisconsin-Platteville, or Emmaus Bible College looking to enter the 3+3 program in the final year of your undergraduate studies.
  • Doctor of Physical Therapy
    Use this entrance avenue if you are a
    • A graduate student (who completed a bachelor’s degree or is about to graduate)

Application Deadlines for DPT Graduate Program

  • Priority Deadline – November 1 by 10:59 pm CT/11:59 pm ET
  • Final Deadline – December 2 by 10:59 pm CT/11:59 pm ET

NOTE: If you have observation hours scheduled but not yet completed, please include that information in your application.

Atrium Interior

Meet Our Faculty

When our DPT graduates speak about the Clarke moments that helped shape them, there’s always a professor in the story. That’s because being a faculty member at Clarke University requires a deep passion for educating, encouraging, and empowering students. Here, your professors will know you by your first name. They will push you to develop your full potential, and then they’ll ask for more. And, they’ll be right there to congratulate you when you exceed even your own expectations. Often, it’s a relationship that lasts a lifetime.

View Our Faculty & Staff
Bradley Kruse, DPT/Ed.D.

Bradley Kruse, DPT/Ed.D.

Chair and Associate Professor of Physical Therapy

I hope to foster a student’s desire to know; to help cultivate their intellectual curiosity. A continued desire to learn will impact our students and their future patients well after they have graduated.

Alecia Thiele, DPT/DCE

Alecia Thiele, DPT/DCE

Associate Professor of Physical Therapy and Director of Clinical Education

I encourage individuals to critically think in order to be able to make informed, knowledgeable, free, and independent choices to solve problems and ethical dilemmas.

Janis Kim

Janis Kim

Assistant Professor of Physical Therapy

I believe that the goal of education is to give people the skills and tools to build a life that is meaningful and empowering. I view education as more than the recall of facts but as a means to develop critical thinking skills that can apply acquired knowledge and synthesize new ideas for the rest of their lives.

Melinda Oxenford

Melinda Oxenford

Assistant Professor of Physical Therapy

Being successful in physical therapy and in life is not just about knowledge and skill, but also support and relationships. At Clarke, we are a community focused on each student and each employee. Compassion and success go hand in hand!

Clarke University's Biology Degree Program is housed in the Marie Miske Center for Science Inquiry

But don’t take our word for it…

Our Students & Alumni

Maria Teresa Ferrer

Maria Teresa Ferrer

'06 DPT

I will always remember how everyone went the extra mile to support me. From day one I received personalized guidance from my professors and other faculty members, which was especially helpful as English is my second language. As I now mentor interns, I can attest that Clarke students always come in the most prepared and trained.

Josh Hall

Josh Hall

'14, '16 DPT

Clarke did a fantastic job in preparing myself and my classmates for the working world with a focus on ethics, professionalism, and care. The staff, faculty, and everyone at Clarke gave this program heart and brought in amazing people.

Morgan Dunahoo

Morgan Dunahoo

'20, '22 DPT

My favorite part of my job and my drive to be the best clinician I can be comes from the satisfaction I get from helping someone from a low point in their life get back to doing something they love – whether that is living with no pain, playing a sport again, or even walking their child down the aisle.

100 %
Job placement

Percent job placement rate Clarke physical therapy graduates have.


The median annual wage for physical therapists in 2020, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

18 %
Job growth

Anticipated job growth is 18 percent from now to 2029 according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. 


The Physical Therapy Department at Clarke University is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE), 3030 Potomac Ave., Suite 100, Alexandria, VA 22305-3085; telephone: 703-706-3245; email:; website:

If needing to contact the program/institution directly, please call 563-588-6382 or email

Experience Clarke Doctor of Physical Therapy for Yourself

Atrium Interior