Academics / Academic Programs

Bachelor of Science in Health Studies/Doctor of Physical Therapy (6-year accelerated)

Program Director:

Diane Heislein PT, DPT, MS, OCS617-353-7504

Boston University’s combined BS/DPT program will prepare you to become a licensed physical therapist in six years instead of seven. But it’s not just the accelerated time frame that sets it apart. At BU, you’ll get what you need to be a truly excellent practitioner: the widest possible range of experience, interaction, and inspiration.

Why do you need range? As a PT, you might treat a child with a brain disorder or a football player recovering from knee surgery. One day, you’ll evaluate an elderly woman who has suffered a stroke. The next, you’ll develop a treatment program for a war veteran who returned home with an amputation. You might administer programs, conduct research, teach, or consult. Your work setting could be anywhere from a hospital to a patient’s home.

87465BG_PT_103221109_wmThis program will give you the breadth you need to prepare for all these professional roles. While earning a health studies degree and a DPT degree, you’ll be exposed to a great diversity of patients, diagnoses, and work settings. You’ll interact with and be encouraged by professors and practitioners at the top of their fields. And for six years, you’ll be challenged, motivated, and exhilarated by some of the most rewarding experiences of your life.

We’re a small, inspiring school inside a large, exciting university.

The College of Health & Rehabilitation Sciences: Sargent College is a close-knit community and one of the most active at BU. Our programs rank among the best in the United States. Our faculty members—top professors and practitioners—love sharing their knowledge and collaborating with students. You’ll get to know them well in classes, clinical experiences, research projects, and your mentored academic practicum.

Learn more about our faculty’s work in Sargent College’s research labs in Special Edition Inside Sargent: Accomplishments in Physical Therapy.

At Sargent College, your education will extend beyond the traditional classroom. We offer didactic and practical learning opportunities in vibrant, state-of-the-art facilities – including our Physical Therapy and Athletic Training Lab and the Boston University Physical Therapy Center.

Beyond Sargent, there’s Boston University, a world-renowned liberal arts and research institution. Our urban campus is a hub of academic resources, student organizations, and activities, all energized by the  intellectual, scientific, and cultural life of Boston. When you want to work out, our state-of-the-art Fitness & Recreation Center is minutes away. And volunteer opportunities are all around you, from Health Leads to the student-run Community Service Center, which offers alternative spring break programs as well as year-round programs in the greater Boston community.

Your clinical experience starts early and never stops.

Beginning in the first year of your professional program (Year 4), supervised clinical experiences will be integrated into your coursework. Then you’ll spend 44 weeks completing three to four different full-time clinical affiliations. You can choose from 700 sites across the United States, plus some international options as far away as Australia.

You’ll work hard, doing amazing things.

The accelerated coursework makes this a rigorous program. Expect to be challenged by the material, the professors, your clinical training, and the caliber of your fellow students. Most of all, expect to have some unforgettable experiences.

For example, our students have helped produce a two-day course for physical therapists in Guatemala, created a business plan for a wheelchairs-only fitness center, and developed a diabetes screening tool and program for Native Americans in the Indian Health Service.

What will you do in the BS/DPT program? Learn from dozens of clinical experts about the area of physical therapy practice that interests you the most. Volunteer in and around Boston in community service projects you can choose from among our long list of outstanding programs. Pursue your own academic practicum project with a mentor of your choice. And gain confidence as well as competence to enter practice as a physical therapist.

Your BU degree will work hard for you, too.

Our graduates have an edge, both in passing the required National Physical Therapy Examination and in the job market. For the last five years, our first-time pass rate has been 100% (we are one of only 20 programs out of 210 in the country with this perfect pass rate). Afterward, 100% of our graduates seeking employment found jobs within six months.

You’ll apply just once for the entire program.

Once admitted as a freshman through Boston University’s regular admissions process, you’re admitted into the program with no separate application required. Then, if you continue to meet the program requirements, you’ll matriculate directly into the physical therapy graduate program.

Note: Students in the combined AT/DPT and BS/DPT programs are considered undergraduate students–and subject to applicable undergraduate financial aid policies and procedures–until the completion of their senior year when they are awarded their Bachelor of Science degree.

We invite you to read more about the BS/DPT program, career options, and the experiences of our students. If you have questions, please email us.