Technical Standards

Graduates from the Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) Program at The University of Iowa must possess and demonstrate the physical, cognitive, and emotional abilities required to provide physical therapy services in a broad variety of clinical situations and environments. All candidates in the DPT Program must perform with or without reasonable accommodation, the skills listed below in a safe, effective, and efficient manner and in compliance with legal and ethical standards as set forth by the APTA Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice.

  1. Communicate effectively through utilization of appropriate verbal, nonverbal, and written communication with patients, families, and others.
  2. Demonstrate ability to apply universal precautions.
  3. Utilize appropriate tests and measures in order to perform a physical therapy examination. Examples include, but are not limited to, the examination and evaluation of cognitive/mental status, vital signs, skin and vascular integrity, wound status, endurance, segmental length, girth, and volume, sensation, strength, tone, reflexes, movement patterns, coordination, balance, developmental stage, soft tissue, joint motion/play, cranial and peripheral nerve function, posture, gait, functional abilities, assistive devices fit/use, psychosocial needs, and the pulmonary system.
  4. Demonstrate ability to reach diagnostic and therapeutic judgments through analysis and synthesis of data gathered during patient/client examination in order to develop an appropriate plan of care.
  5. Perform fully or in a reasonably independent manner, physical therapy interventions appropriate to the patient's status and desired goals. These include but are not limited to, exercise and aerobic conditioning, functional training in self-care and home management, functional training in community and work integration activities, manual therapy techniques, prescription and application of appropriate prosthetic and orthotic devices, airway clearance techniques, wound management, physical agents and mechanical modalities, and cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR).
  6. Apply teaching/learning theories and methods in health care and community environments.
  7. Accept criticism and respond by appropriate modification of behavior.
  8. Possess the perseverance, diligence, and consistency to complete the physical therapy curriculum and enter the practice of physical therapy.

Applicants who because of a health condition or disability believe they need accommodation to meet the technical standards for graduation should contact The University of Iowa's Office of Student Disability Services at (319)335-1462.

Inquiries regarding admission to the Doctor of Physical Therapy Program should be addressed to:

Office of Admissions
115 Calvin Hall
The University of Iowa
Iowa City, Iowa 52242

For additional information about The University of Iowa, you may also visit the UI General Catalog.

Or you may contact the:

Department of Physical Therapy & Rehabilitation Sciences
The University of Iowa
1-252 Medical Education Building

Iowa City, Iowa 52242-1190
319/335-9791; Email: