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

Essential Technical Standards

The essential technical standards are pre-requisites for successful completion of the tDPT program at the UNE. Guidelines for reasonable accommodation are discussed. Please read this document carefully to determine whether you possess the abilities and skills reflected in the technical standards below.


1.      Physical Therapy is an intellectually, physically, and psychologically demanding profession.

2.      The obligation and mission of the UNE tDPT program is to produce effective and competent physical therapists that are best able to serve the needs of society. Therefore, all applicants, regardless of disability, will be held to the same admission standards. Once accepted, all tDPT degree candidates will be held to the same technical standards, with reasonable accommodations provided when necessary and appropriate.

3.      Individuals with documented disabilities applying to the UNE tDPT Program will be expected to have completed the same academic prerequisites as their non-disabled peers. No applicant is required to disclose the details of a disability and no otherwise qualified individual will be denied admission to the tDPT program based solely upon a disabling condition.

4.      Upon acceptance, the Westbrook College of Health Professions, under the law, is obligated to provide reasonable accommodations to tDPT candidates and students with documented disabilities who are registered with the University’s Disability Services while completing the academic and technical requirements for graduation from the program.

Reasonable accommodations:
Are provided to help offset the impact of the student’s disability, provide equal access to the University’s programs and services while upholding the academic and technical standards of the tDPT Program.

Are provided to assist the student in learning, performing and satisfying the fundamental standards, so long as the student provides comprehensive documentation establishing his/her disability status prior to the need for reasonable accommodation

Are provided only to the extent that such accommodation does not result in lowering the technical standards of the Department of Physical Therapy or interfering with the rights of other students

Do not exempt tDPT candidates from completing certain tasks deemed essential

Do not include reliance on an intermediary - When a candidate’s ability to function is compromised (with or without accommodation) the candidate must demonstrate alternative means and/or abilities to acquire essential information and demonstrate essential tasks without reliance upon another person to help perform that essential task.

Are determined by the UNE Student Access Center in consultation with tDPT faculty.

Candidate Declaration of abilities and skills*

Prior to the start of tDPT classes, matriculating students must indicate that they possess the abilities reflected in the technical standards described below, either with or without reasonable accommodation.

A tDPT candidate with a disability who wishes reasonable accommodation must contact:

Hahna Patterson, MA
Director of Disability Services
Phone: (207) 221-4418
Fax: (207) 523-1919

An offer of admission may be withdrawn or a tDPT candidate may be withdrawn from the program if it becomes apparent at any time that he or she cannot complete the technical standards even with accommodations, that the accommodations needed are not reasonable, or that fulfilling the functions would create a significant risk of harm to the health or safety of the student or others.

Technical Standards: Abilities and Skills

Matriculation into the DPT Program assumes certain essential cognitive, emotional, and technical skills. Reflected in the standards that follow are those abilities and skills that degree candidates must possess to engage safely and competently in required learning activities. The abilities and skills are described in five domains, including observation skills; communication skills; motor skills (fine and gross); intellectual-conceptual, integrative and quantitative abilities; and behavioral and social/emotional attributes.

I. Communication
Communication includes: speech, language, reading, writing and computer literacy. Candidates must be able to communicate quickly, effectively and efficiently in oral and written English. Candidates must be able to complete forms according to directions in a complete and timely fashion. The candidate must be able to demonstrate the ability to deliver and receive complex information in one-on-one and group settings, respond to questions from a variety of sources and respond appropriately to verbal and non-verbal communication, as well as explain complex information according to the listener’s needs and abilities, both formally and informally. A candidate must be able to complete paper and/or on-line forms and documentation according to directions in a timely fashion.

II. Intellectual-Conceptual, Integrative and Quantitative Abilities
To effectively solve problems, the candidate must be able to: measure, calculate, reason, analyze, comprehend, integrate and synthesize information.  The ability to incorporate new information from peers, teachers, and the medical literature is essential. The candidate must have the ability to use computers for searching, recording, storing, and retrieving information. The candidate must be able to understand theory, research literature, and principles that apply to physical therapy practice, and analyze and solve complex patient problems. The ability to use critical analysis to understand theory, research literature, and principles that apply to physical therapy practice and to apply inductive and deductive clinical reasoning to solve complex patient problems is necessary. The candidate must be able to effectively engage in self-assessment of performance, as well as provide objective and constructive assessments of peers and faculty.

III. Behavioral and Social/Emotional Attributes

The candidate must be: dependable, punctual, ethical, and reliable; maintain professional demeanor in all situations; recognize stressors and be able to seek assistance as needed. Candidates must possess the emotional health required for full utilization of their intellectual abilities. The candidate must demonstrate a commitment to learning by seeking new knowledge and understanding, formulating their own thoughts and ideas, and taking ownership of their educational advancement. Candidates must be able to tolerate taxing workloads and to function effectively under stress. They must be able to measure, calculate, reason, analyze and synthesize information effectively, while under stress, and in an environment in which other distractions may be present. The candidate must be able to abide by the APTA Code of Ethics, the Standards of Physical Therapy Practice and the Core Values, which can be found on the American Physical Therapy Association website at Candidates must demonstrate integrity and honesty in the academic environment, as well as being able to engage in respectful interactions with individuals from various lifestyles, cultures, races, socioeconomic classes and abilities. They must be able to develop and maintain respectful working relationships with peers, faculty, and professional colleagues. The candidate must be able to accept constructive feedback and respond with suitable action.

*Information and design from The Essential Standards and Technical Standards documents from the Graduate Program in Physical Therapy at Central Michigan and Sacramento State, and University of Buffalo’s Doctor of Physical Therapy Program, as well as the generic abilities developed by the physical therapy program at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.      

Academic Policy

Students are expected to abide by the academic policies and procedures and conduct code outlined in the University of New England (UNE) Student Handbook, the Department of Physical Therapy Student Handbook and the WCHP Graduate Program Progression Policies and Procedures. Failure to abide by these policies, procedures or codes 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.



We are no longer enrolling new students into the t-DPT program



All applicants to the 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 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.