Online tDPT photo

Credibility and high standards

The transitional Doctorate of Physical Therapy Degree (t-DPT) at the University of South Dakota is the first online doctoral program in the South Dakota Regental System. This program is remarkably affordable when compared to other t-DPT programs. The Doctor of Physical Therapy Degree is conferred upon completion of a structured 5 semester, 25 credit hour, online post-professional knowledge, skills and behaviors.

The program was designed to parallel the American Physical Therapy Association's Preferred Curricular Model for the Transitional Clinical Doctoral Program and Learner, as well as their Transitional Clinical Doctorate Competencies Document.

Please Note: The next cohort is scheduled to begin Fall 2016.  Complete applications will be reviewed for acceptance as they are received.

Program Eligibility

To be eligible for the Transitional Doctorate in Physical Therapy (t-DPT), applicants must meet the following requirements:

  1. Possess a current license to practice physical therapy
  2. Graduate from a Physical Therapy program accredited by the Commission on the Accreditation of Physical Therapist Education (CAPTE) or foreign trained with a current PT licensure in the United States (in good standing) or graduate from a Physical Therapy program accredited by the Physiotherapy Education Accreditation Canada (PEAT) with current PT licensure in Canada.  Foreign students who have passed the National Physical Therapy examination developed and administered by Federal State Board of Physical Therapy are not required to submit a TOEFL score.
  3. Possess a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.7
  4. Meet one of the following:
    1. Hold a Certificate in Physical Therapy plus a Bachelor’s degree in select field plus 20 years of experience in the field of PT
    2. Possess a Bachelor’s Degree in Physical Therapy plus 10 years experience in the field of PT
    3. Possess a Master’s Degree in Physical Therapy plus 2 years of experience in the field of PT

Admission Requirements

Application requirements can be found at Graduate School Admission Requirements and include:

  1. Completed Graduate Application
            Apply Online
  2. $35 application fee
  3. One official transcript verifying receipt of an undergraduate degree in biology, chemistry, or health science and previous graduate credit earned
  4. Two letters of recommendation
            Letter of Recommendation Form
  5. Statement of Purpose
  6. Resume/CV
  7. Copy of current Physical Therapy License
  8. Successful completion of criminal background check upon acceptance
  9. Additional requirements exist for international applicants.  For more information, visit International Admission Requirements

For more detailed admission requirements, please refer to Physical Therapy in the current graduate catalog.

For more information about the online Transitional Doctorate in Physical Therapy, contact USD Online at 800-233-7937 or by e-mail at cde@usd.edu.


Without question, obtaining my tDPT through USD was challenging, as I knew it would be; however, it was one of the most rewarding professional decisions I have ever made.  The caliber of the education I received was second to none and has greatly benefited me in all aspects of my career.   Also, the professors were always professional and personally engaged.  I am proud to be a Coyote for life! Scott Crabtree, PT, DPT, OCS USD '13, Augusta Health, Fishersville, Virginia