Compare Doctoral Programs

APU offers two doctoral programs in the areas of physical therapy and rehabilitation. Learn more about the distinctions between the Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) and PhD in Rehabilitation and Movement Science to see which degree aligns with your career goals. Have additional questions? Contact us to learn more.

Program Comparison
Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) PhD in Rehabilitation and Movement Science
Prerequisites to Application Bachelor’s degree including specific prerequisite courses Clinical professional degree at master’s or doctorate level (e.g., DPT, OTD, MSAT, MD, DO)
Program Focus Training students for clinical practice as a physical therapist. Preparing movement professionals (e.g., physical therapists, occupational therapists, athletic trainers, MD, DO) for a career in education or research.
Preparing Graduates to: Work in hospitals, clinics, or home health agencies as a physical therapist. Move into a career of research or higher education to prepare students for careers in rehabilitation and movement.
Research Requirements Students complete a clinical capstone project and a research course. Students complete a research dissertation with a successful defense and manuscript preparation.
Admission Annual admission in January; application through PTCAS Annual admission in August; application through Azusa Pacific University
Total Units 124 64
How Do I Choose Between the DPT and PhD?

Note: This information is current for the 2023-24 academic year; however, all stated academic information is subject to change. Refer to the current Academic Catalog for more information.

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