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Physical Therapy, D.P.T.

Arnold School of Public Health

Our DPT program will prepare you to become a movement expert to help people maximize their quality of life. You'll learn to provide compassionate, evidence-based care to optimize function and health across the lifespan.

We provide a curriculum that prepares you to excel as clinicians to meet the needs of health care in society. Through inquiry, innovation and integrity, we foster graduates and faculty who are exceptional practitioners, researchers and leaders in a dynamic field that requires lifelong learning, including developing and applying new knowledge.

Program Highlights

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    Personal Attention

    Enjoy small class sizes and interactions with faculty members who are exceptional practitioners, researchers and leaders.

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    Exam Success

    Study in a program whose first-time pass rate on the licensure exam ranked 13th out of 261 programs in the nation in 2021-22.

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    Real Preparation

    Complete 1,600 contact hours during four clinical rotations with our clinical partners and high-quality instructors.

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    Diverse Populations

    Provide care in a variety of settings like hospitals, outpatient clinics, home health agencies, schools and nursing homes.

What You’ll Study

Courses include human musculoskeletal and gross anatomy, cadaver dissection, mechanisms of motor skill performance, orthopedic and neurologic physical therapy, acute care, geriatrics, pain science, pediatrics, and evidence-based practice. Students have opportunities to develop teaching skills with support from faculty and complete a clinically relevant research project.

Building Skills

Gain the professional and personal intelligence it takes to have a successful career.

  • Empathy

    Understanding and sharing the feelings of others, and demonstrating compassion and support

    Problem Solving

    Identifying, analyzing and resolving problems or challenges using creative and effective strategies

    Interprofessional Collaboration

    Working with professionals from different disciplines to provide coordinated care or services

  • Interpersonal Skills

    Communicating and interacting effectively in a variety of social and professional situations


    Gathering and analyzing information to increase knowledge or solve problems

    Treat Injuries

    Providing medical care to individuals who have been injured or harmed

Using your degree

Make your college experience the foundation for a successful future.

Learn how alumni use degrees with outcome data from Gamecock GradStats, a service of the University of South Carolina Career Center.

Potential Careers

  • Physical Therapist

Job Titles of Alumni

  • Physical Therapist
  • Clinical Associate Professor

Average Alumni Salary

Five to 10 years after graduation without additional education $79,886

Workplace Settings

  • Hospitals
  • Private Practices
  • Outpatient Clinics
  • Sports and Fitness
  • Schools
  • Nursing Homes

Employers of Alumni

  • University of South Carolina
  • Ascent Total Performance
  • Atrium Health
  • Lexington Medical Center
  • Prisma Health

Advanced Degrees

Advance your career or options with post-graduate education.

The USC Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) program is awesome. It’s hard – you need a lot of dedication and resilience – but the faculty are so caring and helpful and will be there if you ask them. They’re also receptive to and supportive of new ideas.

Emma Mitsui
Portrait of Emma Mitsui

Is USC Right For You?

There are many reasons we could be your ideal university. There's the award-winning academics, the globally modeled student life, and abundance of study abroad and experiential learning options. Take a closer look at what USC could mean for you.

Degree content is provided for informational purposes only. The Academic Bulletin is the source of record for all degree information.