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Welcome to Clarke University! Together, we will cultivate new ways of delivering the Clarke experiences supporting each other and our community. We stand as One Clarke, One Community.

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.

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.


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 98.2% 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.

Clarke University Doctor of Physical Therapy student.

Program Details

  • Complete 124 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 Deadline for DPT Graduate Program – November 1 by 10:59 pm CT/11:59 pm ET 

NOTE – If COVID-19 has negatively impacted the ability to get observation hours, note it in your application essay and it will not be counted against you.  If you have observation hours scheduled but not yet completed, include that information as well. 

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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
Jennifer Mai, Ph.D.

Jennifer Mai, Ph.D.

Chair and Professor of Physical Therapy

Our lab-based courses allow students to interact with one another and learn in a ‘hands-on’ manner to reinforce ideas presented in lecture.

Bradley Kruse, DPT/Ed.D.

Bradley Kruse, DPT/Ed.D.

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.

Bill O'Dell, MBA/DHS

Bill O'Dell, MBA/DHS

Professor of Physical Therapy

Baseball values a five-tool player. I encourage students to become an all-around therapist in the same way including memorization of science facts, critical thinking, developing clinical skills, communicating, and having a compassionate heart.

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.

Britt Gosse, DPT

Britt Gosse, DPT

Assistant Professor of Physical Therapy & Assistant Director of Clinical Education

My goal is to help students create a union between their traits as individuals and the knowledge, skills, and experiences they’ve gained in the classroom. We, as a program, provide environments and experiences for students to build a foundation as young professionals leading to competence and confidence in the clinic.

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

Sam Francois

Sam Francois

Biology ‘15 Doctor of Physical Therapy‘17

The Physical Therapy program is extremely well rounded, preparing you for as much as possible in a world that is unpredictable.

Scott Schuessler

Scott Schuessler

Human Health Sciences ’00, Master’s in Physical Therapy ’01, Doctorate in Physical Therapy ’06

Clarke taught me not only how to treat patients, but also how to run a business.

Rebekah Harvey

Rebekah Harvey

Doctor of Physical Therapy '19

Being a part of Clarke’s DPT program has been one of the most rewarding challenges of my life. Each day I become more and more in awe of the human body and the future potential I have as a therapist. My ultimate goal is to help people.


100 %
Job placement

Percent job placement rate Clarke physical therapy graduates have.

$91,010

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. 

Accreditation

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: accreditation@apta.org; website: www.capteonline.org.

If needing to contact the program/institution directly, please call 563-588-6382 or email graduate@clarke.edu.

Experience Clarke Doctor of Physical Therapy for Yourself

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