Demand is High for Physical Therapists

Welcome to the Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) program at the University of Saint Mary in Leavenworth, Kan.

USM trains students to become competent practicing physical therapists by developing their God-given potential while inspiring them to serve the needs of others. In keeping with the spirit of our founders, the Sisters of Charity of Leavenworth, we recognize society's ever-growing need for more and better-trained health care professionals—and we work to meet that need through dynamic, hands-on programs designed to help our students excel.

Meeting the Needs of an Ever-growing Population


According to the National Institute on Aging ( ), and the report: Older Americans, 2012,, the older population, age 65 and older, is growing rapidly.  In 2030 the older population is projected to grow to 72 million, about twice as large as the older population in the year 2000.  In addition, this population presents a variety of complex health needs.  For example, approximately 40% of people over the age of 65 are obese.

Physical therapy is a health care field qualified to meet the needs of the aging population.  Physical Therapy is a high demand, competitive field, and there are relatively few programs that feature USM's emphasis on developing core values and professional behaviors as an explicit part of the curriculum.  Upon graduation from the USM DPT program, our students will have the skills and mindset necessary to become entry-level physical therapy professionals, who are generalists that are fully perceptive and responsive to the needs of patients, colleagues, and the larger community, including the aging population.

USM's DPT Program - A First Class History In Motion



Graduates of USM's DPT program will practice physical therapy at entry-level competencies consistent with the Guide to Physical Therapist Practice and the American Physical Therapy Association's Standards of Practice, Code of Ethics, and Guide for Professional Conduct. USM graduates will also be committed to life-long excellence and will be reflective practitioners.

A Values-Driven Education

In an age when understanding people is paramount to maximizing helpful human interactions, service to others has become an essential element in the professional practice of aspiring doctors of physical therapy.

A values-driven education is one in which core values are made explicit in the curriculum so that students understand the direct link between what they value and their professional behaviors.  Understanding your values, and modifying them if necessary, will help clarify your professional career path and will guide your interactions with patients and clients.  The USM DPT program works to develop 10 key core values in our students as they evolve through their academic and clinical training:

  • community

  • justice

  • respect

  • excellence

  • compassion

  • accountability

  • professional responsibility 

  • integrity

  • altruism

  • tolerance

These values will ultimately shape our students professional lives as practitioners in the physical therapy realm, helping them meet the needs of their patients in the fullest way possible. The DPT program is in-step with the larger mission of the university: training students to serve others, developing God-given potential, and guiding students to create value-centered careers and lives.

Read more about our goals and outcomes.

Is it for You?

The Saint Mary DPT program will give you the critical skills necessary to succeed in the physical therapy profession.

Among other skills, USM DPT graduates will:

  • Think critically, identify and solve problems; and properly manage patients and clients.

  • Possess comprehensive knowledge and skills that are applied appropriately.

  • Demonstrate the utmost empathy.

  • Demonstrate professional maturity and exercise superlative communication strategies.

  • Understand and engage in research agendas and/or apply evidence-based concepts.

  • Display professional and ethical behaviors.

  • Be proficient educators.

  • Be committed to lifelong learning and professional development.

If you're ready to be inspired to realize your full potential, we want to hear from you.


We recommend that you submit your application materials no later than December, about 5 months prior to the start of physical therapy school at USM, with orientation scheduled each year during the last week of May.  You will apply to USM using the Physical Therapist Centralized Application Service (PTCAS) ( ). A good place to start is at the PTCAS application instructions ( ).

Effective May 2, 2012, the Doctor of Physical Therapy Program at the University of Saint Mary has been granted Candidate for Accreditation status by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education of the American Physical Therapy Association (1111 North Fairfax Street, Alexandria, VA, 22314; phone: 703-706-3245; email: Candidacy is not an accreditation status nor does it assure eventual accreditation. Candidate for Accreditation is a pre-accreditation status of affiliation with the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education that indicates the program is progressing toward accreditation.
USM DPT Program Student Outcomes
(As of 6/2014)
1.      Graduation Rate: The program earned Candidacy in May of 2012.  We will not be able to post a graduation rate until May of 2015, when we anticipate graduating our first class of students.
2.      Licensure Examination Pass Rate:  The program earned Candidacy in May of 2012. We will not be able to post a licensure examination pass rate until 2015, when we anticipate receiving that information from the Federation of State Boards of Physical Therapy.
3.      Employment Rate:  The program earned Candidacy in May of 2012. We will not be able to post an employment rate until late in 2015, approximately 6 months after graduation.