The School of Physical Therapy is home to Northwest’s entry-level Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) degree program. This degree prepares students to sit for the national board exam and become a physical therapist.
Our doctoral students study in a hybrid format made up of online courses and immersive laboratory activities on campus. Cohorts come to our Kirkland campus six times during the two-year program for ten to twenty-one days of residential laboratory time. During the other off-campus times, students are taking part in online learning experiences or internships. The design of this full-time hybrid format allows students to live where they want and only come to campus for the designated lab times. This program is an accelerated format to get students out in the working world faster than a traditional three to three-and-a-half year program.
Mission, Vision, and Values
The Mission of Northwest University School of Physical Therapy is to advance the public well-being through Christian faith, innovative education, engagement, and leadership.
Motivated by our Christian faith and in the spirit of Northwest University's academic excellence and engagement with human needs, the Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) program will educate learners that mature into highly skilled practitioners, mindful critical thinkers, and empathetic communicators. We will nurture and mold practitioners who are competent in full-hearted collaborative care and professionalism as physical therapists. The innovative curriculum is designed to increase access and opportunities for diverse individuals who can serve societal and healthcare needs today and in the future.
The Vision of Northwest University School of Physical Therapy is to create a learning community that reflects a Christian worldview and develop leaders in physical therapy practice who demonstrate excellence in Heart, Head, and Hands to address ever-changing societal and community needs.
- Heart: As practitioners and leaders, they will leverage their compassion, social responsibility, and devoted service to others as a reflection of Christ's healing power, hope, and love to optimize community health.
- Head: As practitioners and leaders, they will engage in lifelong learning, display knowledge, righteous character, and aptitude in clinical reasoning across the health continuum and throughout the lifespan.
- Hands: As practitioners and leaders, they will implement evidence-based skills through healing touch and collaborative patient-centered care.
The Doctor of Physical Therapy program faculty recognizes that Clinical Education is an essential element in the development of a physical therapist, playing an important role for merging the knowledge gained in the academic environment to practice.
As an extension of the Mission of Northwest University School of Physical Therapy, the clinical education program recognizes its role in further developing student physical therapists within the clinical setting to practice full hearted collaborative care as they mature into highly skilled practitioners.
We will accomplish this mission by:
- Providing students with high quality clinical practice opportunities within varied settings providing experiences that cover the continuum of practice and patient lifespan.
- Recruiting and supporting clinical faculty (instructors) at clinical sites who will provide superior educational opportunities and who will be role models of excellent clinical practices and ethical behaviors.
- Providing regular evaluation of each clinical site and student affiliation utilizing proven evaluation techniques to maintain excellence.
- Leveraging students' ability to practice in a manner that demonstrates Christ healing power, hope, and love in their pursuit to serve societal needs.
Graduation from a physical therapist education program accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE), 3030 Potomac Ave., Suite 100, Alexandria, Virginia 22305-3085; phone; 703-706-3245; email@example.com is necessary for eligibility to sit for the licensure examination, which is required in all states.
Northwest University is seeking accreditation of a new physical therapist education program from CAPTE. The program is planning to submit an Application for Candidacy, which is the formal application required in the pre-accreditation stage, on December 1, 2023. Submission of this document does not assure that the program will be granted Candidate for Accreditation status. Achievement of Candidate for Accreditation status is required prior to implementation of the professional phase of the program; therefore, no students may be enrolled in professional courses until Candidate for Accreditation status has been achieved. Further, though achievement of Candidate for Accreditation status signifies satisfactory progress toward accreditation, it does not assure that the program will be granted accreditation.