Program links

About the program

The following definition is provided by the American Physical Therapy Association. (APTA web site, 2000):

Post-professional educational programs: The "Post-professional" DPT is the degree conferred upon successful completion of a post-professional physical therapist education program. The "Post-professional" DPT is intended for practicing clinicians and typically offers a didactic and, in some cases, a clinical augmentation that is deemed necessary to meet current and future expectations for physical therapy practice.

Program format: The program is offered in a Tuesday and Thursday evening format from 5:00 to 10:20 p.m. This evening format enables practicing clinicians to continue employment while pursuing their advanced degree.


All candidates trained in the United States must have graduated from a CAPTE-accredited physical therapy program and have earned a master's degree to begin the program.  There is no GRE requirement for acceptance into this program.

The post-professional graduate committee will assess statistics, research, and computer competencies. If additional work is needed in one or more of the three areas, additional coursework at Loma Linda University may be required.

Candidates from international programs must have their coursework evaluated by an international evaluation service. The Post Professional Physical Therapy program does not accept IELTS. Candidates must have equivalent level of physical therapy education to US programs with final determination of equivalency and admission made by the post-professional graduate committee. A TOEFL score of 80 internet based (230 computer generated) is required for applicants whose first language is not English.

As of May 1, 2018, the Post Professional Physical Therapy Department will only accept International Evaluations prepared by Word Education Services. A “course-by-course” report will be required for this program. Please note that with World Educations Services, you will not be required to submit a set of transcripts directly from your university.

Frequently Asked Questions

Program outcomes

Each student is expected to develop a strong knowledge base relating to the full spectrum of the practice of physical therapy, including the following areas:

Diagnostic skills

Graduates from the post-professional doctor of physical therapy program are expected to develop their diagnostic skills to assist the team or physician in establishing an appropriate treatment plan. This includes understanding the significance of the findings and interpretation of radiographic reports.

Basic science

Graduates from the post-professional doctor of physical therapy program are expected to expand their knowledge base in the basic sciences and learn to synthesize this knowledge during the evaluation, assessment, and treatment of their patient populations.


Each graduate from the post-professional doctor of physical therapy program is expected to develop a thorough understanding of administration and management styles and how each style relates to their particular professional environment.

Clinical skills

Each graduate from the post-professional doctor of physical therapy program is expected to have developed a high level of clinical skills. These skills will be in harmony with and reflect a knowledge base resulting from current research and clinical trials.

Literature analysis

Each graduate from the post-professional doctor of physical therapy program is expected to become skillful in critical analysis of scientific literature. They are expected to develop the ability to glean from and synthesize scientific literature and the associated research findings.

How many years does it take to complete the PPDPT program?

The PPDPT program (prior Master's) is an eleven-month program (10 months if the student enrolls in a directed study during the program). The PPDPT (prior Bachelors) is a 18 month program. Full-time students will complete 12-quarter units (or more) per 10-week quarter.

Can I still work as a physical therapist during the program?

The answer to this question is a resounding yes. Not only may you work as a physical therapist, but it is strongly encouraged. The program is set up in a clinician-friendly manner. The classes meet Tuesday and Thursday evenings from 5:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. to allow for the participant to maintain part or full-time employment. However, international students on a student visa are not allowed to work off campus.

How many students do you accept in the program?

Since this program is a clinical-based program, we typically limit our enrollment to 25 students.

Is there a research component in the transitional DPT program?

No, for those students who desire a stronger research track, the Doctor of Philosophy in Physical Therapy (PhD) offers two years of didactic education plus a formal research project.

Can I get a doctorate degree if I have a bachelor's degree in physical therapy but have not completed a master's degree?

Yes. Many of our students with their highest degree being a bachelor in physical therapy have earned doctorate degrees. I am one of those individuals. These students would first need to apply to our post-professional Doctor of Physical Therapy (prior Bachelor's) DPT program that is also in an evening format. The PPDPT (prior Bachelor's) program is also 66-quarter units in length.

Message from the Program Director

Thank you for your interest in the post-professional doctor of physical therapy (PPDPT) program at Loma Linda University. Although Loma Linda University has been one of the premiere post-professional programs since 1994 with the post-professional master of physical therapy program, the first transitional DPT class graduated on June 10, 2001. A pre- and exit-questionnaire was given to each participant in the program. In all areas tested, the students' scores showed significant gains in competency. The areas tested included the following: 1) diagnostic skills, 2) basic science (including pharmacology), 3) administration, 4) clinical skills, and 5) literature analysis. We are very proud of our PPDPT program and our graduates. I hope this will serve to answer the majority of your questions. If you should have any additional questions please do not hesitate to contact me. Again let me express my delight that you are considering Loma Linda University. I wish you the best as you start your journey in post-professional education.

Everett B. Lohman III, DSc, PT, OCS

Assistant Dean of Graduate Academic Affairs -
SAHP Orthopaedic Track Coordinator –
Entry-level PT Programs
Director of Post-professional Physical Therapy Programs

Department of Physical Therapy
Loma Linda University
Loma Linda, California 92350
Phone: 909-558-4632 ext. 83171
Fax: 909-558-0995