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Rasmussen University Announces New Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) Program

Accelerated, hybrid and competency-based education program prepares students to help meet growing demand in the field

Rasmussen University, a university accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC), announced today the launch of a new, accelerated Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) program. With the launch of this new program, Rasmussen University will work to prepare graduates for the world of healthcare and the physical therapist’s role in delivering patient-centered care, focusing on how to become a well-rounded physical therapist, health advocate and thought leader in our evolving healthcare system. The degree will be earned through a flexible and hybrid educational model that embraces learner, faculty and community collaboration and partnerships.

“Rasmussen University is strategically preparing students to meet the up-and-coming staffing needs of the healthcare industry at a pace and price that allows them to be in control of their education—all while learning from top-tier faculty members,” said Rasmussen University DPT program director Dr. Carl DeRosa, PT, PhD, FAPTA. “We are thrilled to launch a truly innovative, first-of-its-kind DPT program at Rasmussen that provides students access to dedicated, world-class faculty with a passion for teaching physical therapy students through competency-based education to better prepare them for the workforce.”

Students can complete the DPT program at Rasmussen in as few as 24 months by leveraging competency-based education and the University’s extensive experience in online learning. Students do not need to relocate for the program due to the hybrid design which combines the benefits of online and in-person learning with community-based clinical education. Students will travel five times to the Twin Cities, Minnesota, area for in-person learning experiences. During this time, students will refine their skills and practice hands-on care. Students will also participate in clinical experiences to prepare them for the workforce.

"The competency-based education design features an educational program that prepares graduates to contribute in the workplace as opposed to completing a program and then needing to learn or relearn what the workplace is all about,” said DeRosa. “Rasmussen graduates have the didactic, laboratory and clinical education needed to be successful and meet the growing demands of the healthcare industry into the future.”

The Rasmussen University DPT program is made up of seven prepared, supportive and experienced faculty ensuring students receive the highest level of instruction and support. Carl DeRosa, PT, DPT, PhD, FAPTA, serves as the program director, leading the team of core faculty in developing and implementing an innovative, competency-based curriculum – one of the first in the country. Faculty and staff supporting the program include:

  • Deborah Zagray, PT, DScPT, CMPT
  • Daniel Lee, PT, DPT, PhD, GCS, COMT
  • Karen Mueller, PT, DPT, PhD, NBC-HWC
  • Petra Williams, PT, PhD, NCS
  • Brett Windsor, PT, PhD, MPA
  • Ray VanWye, PT, DPT, PhD.

Together, this group of individuals bring forward experience in academics, healthcare, athletic training, management, and more.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the physical therapy occupation is projected to grow by 21 percent from 2020 to 2030, with the demand for physical therapists coming in part from the large number of aging baby boomers. Older adults are more likely to experience orthopedic, cardiovascular, and neurological injuries or changes in function affecting their mobility that require physical therapy for rehabilitation. The door for physical therapists is open to make a difference in healthcare with rapidly emerging industry and population health initiatives.

The DPT program is approved by the University’s accrediting body—HLC. Rasmussen is seeking accreditation by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE)*. Students can inquire about the new program immediately with the application period beginning in June 2022. Classes begin in January 2023. For more information about the DPT program please visit

*Graduation from a physical therapist education program accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE), 3030 Potomac Ave., Suite 100, Alexandria, Virginia, 22305-3085; phone; 703-706-3245; is necessary for eligibility to sit for the licensure examination, which is required in all states.


Rasmussen University-Graduate Studies North (MN) is seeking accreditation of a new physical therapist education program from CAPTE. On June 1, 2022, the program submitted an Application for Candidacy, which is the formal application required in the pre-accreditation stage. Submission of this document does not assure that the program will be granted Candidate for Accreditation status. Achievement of Candidate for Accreditation status is required prior to implementation of the professional phase of the program; therefore, no students may be enrolled in professional courses until Candidate for Accreditation status has been achieved. Further, though achievement of Candidate for Accreditation status signifies satisfactory progress toward accreditation, it does not assure that the program will be granted accreditation.


Rasmussen University, a university accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, is dedicated to changing lives and the communities it serves through innovative and flexible educational programs. As a pioneer in career-focused education since 1900, the University is defining a new generation of higher education that focuses on competency-based education, technology and transferrable skills. Rasmussen offers undergraduate and graduate programs online and in person at 23 campuses around the country. The University is designed to lift and support its students every step of the way, from each student’s first credential to their last. Rasmussen is dedicated to global enrichment, serving the underserved and meeting the evolving needs of diverse students, communities and economies. Rasmussen encourages its students, faculty and staff to strive for academic excellence, community enrichment and service to the public good. For more information about Rasmussen University, please visit


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