Doctor of Philosophy in Physical Therapy (Ph.D.)

As one of six institutions in the nation and the only one in Texas to offer a Ph.D. in physical therapy, Texas Woman's University helped paved the way for physical therapists moving into academic and research roles.

The Ph.D. program is designed to develop future physical therapy educators and researchers with program emphasis on:

  • Cultivating a deeper understanding of the scientific basis for clinical practice
  • Working closely with a faculty mentor in the student’s area of clinical interest
PT student shares her research poster with others

TWU offers individualized programs for physical therapists looking to earn their Ph.D. in specialized areas. Working with students to accommodate specific clinical and/or research goals, TWU’s unique program offering includes:

  • Hybrid model includes on-site and online courses. On-site courses typically meet one to three weekends during a given semester
  • Ability to continue with clinical practice either part-time or full-time while in the Ph.D. program
  • Specialized areas of concentration are individually tailored to the student’s needs and developed through practicum experiences, independent study, dissertation and elective coursework
  • Outstanding faculty members with academic terminal degrees (Ph.D. or DSc) and many hold an advanced specialty clinical certifications from ABPTS 
  • On-site classes are offered at both the Dallas and Houston centers.
PT professor shows class the proper way to assess a patient

Admission requirements

Applications are accepted on a rolling basis from PTs with entry-level degrees that include a master’s level and clinical doctoral degrees. The applicant must be a physical therapist graduate from a CAPTE-accredited program or the equivalent.

Additional admission requirements can be found in the graduate course catalog under School of Physical Therapy admissions, near the bottom of the page.

Program requirements

The Ph.D. program requires a minimum of 60 semester credit hours beyond the master’s degree, including six semester credit hours for dissertation(some coursework from other accredited DPT schools may be applied to this minimum). A full listing of required courses for graduation is available in the Post Professional Student Handbook (the handbook content is correct, but the links are inaccurate. TWU is undergoing website changes and it is not yet reflected in the links in this document. Please be patient as we work to correct this) and in the course catalog.

In addition to the required coursework and research, there is also a residency requirement as well as a qualifying exam and an oral final exam. 


Visit the Frequently Asked Questions page for more information about the Ph.D. program. If you have additional questions, please contact the appropriate program campus lead below.  

Take the next step.

Apply for admission

Students interested in the Ph.D. program may apply at any time. Candidates for admission to the program must meet the general requirements for graduate admission. For a full list of admission requirements for the Ph.D. in Physical Therapy, see the Ph.D. in PT listing in the course catalog.

For application information, please contact:

Page last updated 9:03 AM, October 16, 2018