Concordia University Wisconsin is one of only three universities in the nation to offer a Bridge DPT (Doctor of Physical Therapy) program. Applications for the next cycle open today!

Bridge DPT programs are designed to help those currently working as a physical therapist assistant (PTA) to transition to a licensed physical therapist. Concordia utilizes the Physical Therapist Centralized Application Service (PTCAS), a service of the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) to review and accept Bridge DPT applicants. The PTCAS application window for the next admissions cycle opens today!

Bridge DPT application window opens June 17

Bridge DPT vs. other routes

A common educational route for many of the nation’s current physical therapists is to earn a DPT in tandem with, or immediately after, earning an undergraduate degree. For some, however, this path isn’t always feasible, nor is it always the most beneficial route, depending on the individual.

For those latter individuals, Concordia University Wisconsin has designed a Bridge DPT program. It’s currently one of only three universities in the nation to offer this type of program. Highlights of CUW’s program include:

  • Online courses with on-campus didactic requirements occurring just once a month on weekends.
  • Designed for working individuals; coursework allows you to continue earning an income while pursuing your doctorate.
  • 103 credit hours may be completed in as few as 2.5 years.

All walks of life, from all over the nation

Concordia’s Bridge DPT program has historically drawn learners from across the nation. A currently enrolled out-of-stater is Steve Warren. Warren, who lives in Rhode Island, schedules monthly flights into Milwaukee to fulfill Concordia’s monthly onsite requirement. Because Concordia schedules these requirements on Fridays and Saturdays, he can participate without too much disruption to his work or home life. Other programs that Warren explored had more on-campus requirements than Concordia, he said.

“It’s very doable with how the program is set up,” said Warren.

Warren’s foray into the field began in the mid-2000s. He had just come off of a stint serving in the U.S. Navy and was looking for his next venture in life.

“At the time, I was working out pretty intensely, and a friend told me, ‘You know, you can get paid to do that.’”

Shortly after, Warren began to work as a physical trainer at a private studio. Eventually, he was encouraged to pursue a Physical Therapy Assistant degree. Earning his DPT has been the next step in his career trajectory.

“My experience in the military and with sports has taught me to always push my limits,” Warren said. “From a professional standpoint, I wanted to push myself further through this program.”

A second career or an alternate route

While Warren’s decision to become a physical therapist came later in life, some students opt for the Bridge DPT program early on, simply as an alternate route to their doctorate.

Click below to watch Jacqueline Poe’s story.