Program Description


Program Description

Designed for the working professional, the Ph.D. in physical therapy resonates with the University's motto, "To make man whole." Physical therapists who are currently practicing or teaching will benefit from a modern, evidence-based curriculum focused on caring for the whole person. Classes are typically held two evenings a week in a traditional (face-to-face), distance-education (online), or blended format to facilitate the balance of work, family, and study. Students may be required to physically come to campus one time during summer quarters of the first and second year for clinical laboratory training and competencies as well as written comprehensive examinations. Aligned closely with our core values, this program provides physical therapy graduates with the skills and experience necessary to pursue careers as researchers and educators.

As part of the School of Allied Health Professions (SAHP), Department of Physical Therapy, the PhD program begins with a distinctive core of classes. These fundamental courses align with the American Physical Therapy Association’s movement science agenda as well as with LLU’s Mission, “To continue the healing ministry of Jesus Christ”.


Program Objective

To prepare leaders in the profession of physical therapy who are capable of conducting research that will improve the lives of people through whole person care, to serve as client/patient advocates, and to serve as educators in entry-level and graduate physical therapy programs.

Program Completion Requirements

The total units required to complete the program will vary depending on your past level of education. Students entering the program with a Bachelor’s of Science in Physical Therapy (BSPT) and a master’s degree or a Master of Physical Therapy Degree (MPT) will be required to complete a minimum 83 quarter units.  Students matriculating with a Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) degree or a MPT degree plus another doctorate degree will need to complete a minimum of 69 units.  The curriculum is made up of a total of six domains: 1) Core, 2) Clinical & Applied Science, 3) Lifestyle Health & Wellness, 4) Education, Administration & Leadership, 5) Religion and 6) Research & Statistics.


Program Website  |  Catalog

Program Length

4 to 7 years

Possible Careers

Research, Administration, Teaching, Advanced clinical practice.

Application Deadlines

Quarter Application Open Priority Deadline Final Deadline
Autumn of 2023 Sep 30, 2022 Aug 1, 2023

Discipline Accrediting Agency

Loma Linda University is regionally accredited by Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC) Accrediting Commission for Senior Colleges and Universities.
Integrating faith and health
Loma Linda University educates and encourages a balanced life by living our values of humility, compassion, justice, integrity, excellence, freedom and self- control. You will be surrounded by faculty who are committed to healthcare innovation and research while engaging your spirituality.

Expected Cost of Attendance

Academic Year 2023-2024

Year of Program: Year 1 Year 2 Year 3 Year 4
Tuition $24,264 $23,590 $6,066 $6,066
Fees $2,940 $3,920 $3,920 $3,920
Books & Supplies $1,050
Misc (e.g., Boards, Licensing exam, Uniforms) $1,587 $216
Total $29,841 $27,726 $9,986 $9,986


Expected costs for the 2023-2024 academic year are based on full time attendance. From year to year, increases are anticipated consistent with inflation in the professional education sector.

Estimated Living Expenses

Academic Year 2023-2024, off campus, with a roommate

Year of Program: Year 1 Year 2 Year 3 Year 4
Months enrolled 9 12 12 12
Food and Housing $17,280 $23,040 $23,040
Transportation $3,150 $3,850 $4,200 $4,200
Miscellaneous Personal Costs $2,700 $2,750 $3,600 $3,600


  • Amounts are what a student can apply to borrow for the number of months shown in each academic year based on living off campus with a roommate and not with a relative.
  • International students need to calculate 12 months of living expenses based on the numbers listed here.
  • In general, to qualify for financial aid a student must be enrolled at least half time taking degree requirements. Half time is 6 units in a quarter for undergraduate programs and 4 units in a quarter for graduate programs.