Iowa Universities Partner on DPT Program

Graceland and Drake sign a partnership agreement providing a track for Drake students to Graceland’s in-demand doctor of physical therapy program.

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Press Release

February 20, 2024 | Shane Adams

Graceland University President Patricia H. Draves, PhD, and Vice President for Academic Affairs Joel Shrock, PhD, signed a memorandum of understanding with Drake University to give Drake students an opportunity to enter two different tracks into Graceland’s innovative Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) program, which launched its first cohort in January of 2024.

Graceland’s DPT program will provide early acceptance to students from Drake’s College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences after students have been confirmed to meet minimum initial admissions standards associated with either the accelerated or normal track.

Graceland VP for Academic Affairs Joel Shrock, PhD, signs the partnership agreement with Drake

Graceland President Patricia H. Draves, PhD, shared her excitement about the agreement: “We are proud to partner with Drake here in our home state of Iowa. We created our hybrid DPT program to equip students across the country, but particularly in our own backyard where we know the need for physical therapists is increasing rapidly.”

Accelerated 3+2 Program

Students interested in the accelerated track will be provided identified courses in the DPT program’s first year that will transfer to Drake. Upon their completion and the receipt of their transcript from Graceland, students will be awarded their undergraduate degree in Bachelor of Health Science – Clinical and Medical Sciences from Drake. They will then complete the additional accelerated coursework in Graceland’s hybrid DPT program to receive their Doctor of Physical Therapy degree from Graceland.

Traditional 4+2 Program

Students joining the traditional track will complete their undergraduate degree at Drake and then will be admitted to the Graceland DPT to complete their Doctor of Physical Therapy degree within two years.

Drake Provost Sue Mattison, PhD, said, “This partnership with Graceland University is such a wonderful opportunity for Drake students interested in earning their physical therapy doctorate.  Students in the Graceland program have a wide variety of clinical placement opportunities across the country.”

Mattison continued: “Most importantly, our campuses share the same values, as evidenced by the Graceland DPT program mission, to ‘develop movement system experts who lead and serve their communities with justice, compassion, excellence, and a sense of belonging.’  I’m so pleased we have developed this opportunity for students and look forward to additional collaborations with our colleagues at Graceland University.”

Graceland will reserve ten seats for Drake students in each cohort.

“This is an exciting development for our program,” said Graceland Director of Doctor of Physical Therapy Leigh Murray, PhD. “Our team is passionate about creating a program that will help students become compassionate practitioners and helping patients in underserved communities to regain function.”

More information and admissions requirements can be found on the Graceland DPT page.

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