Physical Therapy, Transitional (tDPT)


University of New England
Office of Graduate and Professional Admissions
716 Stevens Avenue
Portland, ME 04103

207-221-4225 or 800-477-4863

Degree name
Transitional Doctor of Physical Therapy (tDPT)


The Department of Physical Therapy believes that optimal 21st century, person-centered health care is best delivered by well-educated, compassionate leaders who think critically, reason intelligently, collaborate inter-professionally, and who promote health and wellness. In this spirit, the department is dedicated to preparing students for contemporary physical therapy and advances the profession through its steadfast commitment to excellence in academics, clinical education, scholarship, research, and service. 

Program Description

The transitional DPT (tDPT) program culminates in the DPT degree and is “conferred upon completion of a structured transitional educational experience that results in the augmentation of knowledge, skills, and behaviors to a level consistent with the current professional (entry-level) DPT standards. The transitional DPT program enables the US-licensed physical therapist to attain degree parity with therapists who hold the professional DPT by 'filling in' any gaps between their professional baccalaureate or master's degree PT education and the current professional DPT degree education.”*  The tDPT program is a logical extension of curricular offerings from the Department serving the needs of our program graduates as well as graduates from other accredited baccalaureate or master’s degree programs

Program Goals

The tDPT program at the University of New England is designed to:

  • Offer physical therapists with a previously obtained baccalaureate or master’s degree the opportunity to update their knowledge base in areas within the profession that have been augmented over the past 10-15 years as reflected in the current DPT degree curriculum.
  • Enhance the student's current knowledge base in a variety of areas, including evidence-based practice, clinical decision-making, management sciences, pharmacology, prevention and wellness, and health care policy.
  • Provide an interactive and flexible distance education environment to meet the learning needs of today’s busy clinician.

¹Frequently Asked Questions: Doctor of Physical Therapy Program (Transitional)


The University of New England is accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges.

Curricular Requirements

The tDPT program is an on-line educational experience, requiring the successful completion of six courses totaling 18 credit hours. [Note: A minimum of 15 credits must be completed at the University of New England.] Courses may be completed in any sequence with the exception of the Capstone course, which must be taken after successful completion of all other courses.

Curriculum subject areas and credit hours are listed below:

PTH 730 - Pharmacology 3
PTH 732 - Management Sciences 3
PTH 734 - Clinical Reasoning and Evidence-Based Practice 3
PTH 736 - Prevention, Health Promotion and Wellness 3
PTH 738 - Legislation and Policy 3
PTH 740 - Capstone in Clinical Practice 3

Graduation Requirements

Conferring of the Doctor of Physical Therapy degree is contingent upon successful completion of the 18 credits of academic coursework in the tDPT curriculum.

Academic and Technical Standards

Students must complete, with a grade of “B” or higher, all academic courses in the tDPT curriculum. Students who earn a grade of “C+” or lower in any of these courses must re-take the course and earn a “B“ or better on the next attempt. If the student does not earn a “B“ or better in re-taking the course, the student will be dismissed from the tDPT program.

Course and instructor evaluations are one of the most important tools that we have for evaluating the quality of your education, and for providing meaningful feedback to course instructors on their teaching. In order to assure that the feedback is both comprehensive and precise, we need to receive it from everyone. Please note that course evaluations are a required element of every course; to receive grades at the end of the semester, students will need to complete the on-line course evaluations. In order to make this as convenient as possible, we will provide a two-week window for completion. If students have any questions regarding this requirement, they may contact the Westbrook College of Health Professions' Dean's Office.

Academic Policy

The University of New England (UNE) Student Handbook contains policies and procedures, including the University Conduct Code that applies to all students at the University. Students are also expected to abide by the American Physical Therapy Association’s (APTA) Guide for Professional Conduct and the APTA’s Code of Ethics.  You will note that many of the policies described in the UNE Student Handbook are congruent with the APTA’s Guide for Professional Conduct and Code of Ethics.  

Students will be expected to abide by additional course policies established by individual faculty members. Failure to abide by the conduct code described above, course policies or Department policies may result in disciplinary action. 


Registration for courses will be on a first-come, first-serve basis until maximum enrollment is met. Students will be able to register for classes only after matriculation into the program.


The tDPT curriculum must be completed within three years of starting the program.

Transfer Credit

Transfer Credit

Transfer credit for up to one course requirement may be granted by demonstration of course equivalency. The criteria for course equivalency include:

  • Successful completion (B or higher grade) of an equivalent graduate level course taken within the past five years prior to enrollment into the tDPT program.
  • Course completed must address the educational outcomes of the tDPT program course.
  • Work or other educational experiences may also be considered in addition to graduate coursework in determining course equivalency.
  • All requests for transfer credit will be reviewed ONLY at the time of matriculation to the program by the Department Admissions Committee.

Advanced Placement

No credit will be awarded for Advanced Placement.

Experiential Learning

No credit will be awarded to students for experiential learning.




All applicants to the Transitional Doctor of Physical Therapy (tDPT) program must meet the following criteria at the time of application:

  • Have completed a baccalaureate (BPT) or master (MPT) level degree in physical therapy from a Physical Therapy program accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy (CAPTE) or equivalent
  • Have a current license to practice, and be employed as a physical therapist in the United States


  • Applications for admission are submitted through UNE’s online application 
  • Applications for new students will only be reviewed for fall and spring terms. (Program courses are, however, offered in the summer, fall, and spring terms.) 
  • Admissions are rolling and applications are reviewed as they are received
  • Official transcripts from all previous colleges and universities must be submitted to the Office of Graduate and Professional Admissions as documentation of all coursework and degrees completed 
  • International applicants and applicants with international degrees must have transcripts evaluated for degree and grade equivalency to that of a regionally accredited US institution and CAPTE accredited Physical Therapy program.  See International Admissions
  • All applicants to UNE must be able to understand and communicate in English to be admitted to the university.  UNE accepts several methods of English Proficiency, see International Admissions. English Proficiency requirement must be completed at the time of application.

For additional information on the admissions process and requirements, please access the tDPT website.


The Transitional Doctor of Physical Therapy program and the tDPT Admissions Committee reserve the right to make exceptions to the admissions criteria and to make changes or exceptions to policies and procedures, on a case by case basis, when it deems such a decision is necessary and appropriate.

Financial Information

Tuition and Fees

Tuition and fees for subsequent years may vary. Other expenses include books and housing. For more information regarding tuition and fees, please consult the Financial Information section of this catalog.


All students are required to have access to high-speed internet service. It is recommended that students have their own computer with the capability of utilizing Blackboard or similar on-line education format.

Financial Aid

Detailed information and applications are available on request from the Financial Aid Office at the Biddeford Campus. Call 207-602-2342 or visit the Financial Aid website.