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HLC Approves Doctor of Physical Therapy Program

The first cohort is scheduled for January 2024.


Press Release

January 26, 2023

Graceland University is launching a new hybrid, accelerated Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) program, the latest graduate program for the 127-year-old institution.

The Higher Learning Commission (HLC) formally approved the University’s doctoral program, which will be delivered as a hybrid, accelerated program, providing students with an innovative and collaborative learning environment.

“Approval from HLC is an exciting step,” said Graceland President Patricia H. Draves. “The team has been working hard to get our program to this point, and we are thrilled to launch this program.”

Students will experience an innovative, two-year curriculum and will graduate as movement system experts that can provide transformational care in a wide range of settings, including hospitals, outpatient clinics, homes, schools, sports and fitness facilities, workplaces, and nursing homes.  The hybrid format of instruction is provided through distance education and face-to-face onsite lab immersion sessions that allow students to live anywhere in the country. The program’s mission focuses on providing a learning community that reinforces justice, compassion, excellence, and a sense of belonging while adding to the diversity of the institution and profession of Physical Therapy.

The physical therapy field is growing rapidly, according to the 2021 Occupational Outlook from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Program Director Leigh Murray, PT, PhD, said, “We have worked hard to build a program that is innovative, accessible, and will attempt to contribute to improving the diversity of the profession. We feel this focus aligns tremendously well with Graceland’s initiatives.  I am so proud of the team we have put together so far, and I am looking forward to the future and how this program can positively contribute to the University!”

Graceland is hosting monthly informational webinars on the program, with the first one scheduled on January 31, 2023. For more information, visit the Graceland DPT page.

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