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On-Campus vs. Hybrid Pathway

Choose between on-campus and hybrid pathways for completing the doctorate in physical therapy at the University of Kansas.

A nationally recognized leader in physical therapist education, KU’s program offers a comprehensive three-year, full-time curriculum that blends academic rigor, clinical expertise and hands-on experiences to prepare graduates for a dynamic health care environment and lifelong professional development.

woman manipulating spine with two studentsThe program is intentionally designed to help students develop and translate foundational physical therapy knowledge and skills into clinical practice through a combination of integrated clinical experiences and clinical simulations. Students are well prepared for a final academic year consisting of 36 weeks of full-time clinical experiences offered at more than 250 clinical sites throughout the United States and abroad.

KU’s physical therapy degree program offers traditional on-campus and hybrid pathway options. Both pathways share the same eligibility requirements, PTCAS application, curriculum, clinical experiences and degree requirements. You can request that your application be considered for the on-campus pathway only, the hybrid pathway only or for both pathways when completing your PTCAS application.

On-Campus Pathway

photo of health education buildingKU’s traditional, on-campus doctorate program in physical therapy has been continuously accredited since 1944 and is ranked #6 out of all public physical therapy programs by U.S. News & World Report. The program boasts excellent student outcomes, faculty with national reputations as leaders in education and research and integration with a world-class health system.

Students in the on-campus pathway engage in live, in-person lectures and labs as well as clinical simulations in the state-of-the-art Health Education Building and Zamierowski Institute for Experiential Learning. Students also take part in interprofessional activities, integrated clinical experiences and full-time clinical rotations as core elements of the curriculum.

Hybrid Pathway

The new hybrid pathway, launched in 2024, provides a unique, accessible approach to physical therapy education. Students in the hybrid pathway are empowered to remain invested in their local communities while benefitting from all the advantages associated with an established, top-ranked physical therapy program at a major academic health center campus.

The hybrid pathway features synchronous and asynchronous online instruction combined with up to two intensive, on-campus lab immersions at the University of Kansas Medical Center campus in Kansas City, Kansas, during each of the first seven semesters of the program. During on-campus lab immersions, students in the hybrid pathway have access to the same state-of-the-art facilities as students in the on-campus pathway.

Both pathways share the same eligibility requirements, PTCAS application, curriculum, clinical experiences and degree requirements.

On-Campus vs. Hybrid Pathway At a Glance

On Campus Hybrid
Effort Full Time, 50-60 hours/week Full Time, 50-60 hours/week
Class Size 60 students 30 students
Credit Hours 110 (minimum) 110 (minimum)
Program Length 9 consecutive semesters 9 consecutive semesters
Program Start Summer term Summer term
Instruction Method Synchronous, in person Synchronous and asynchronous, online
Laboratories On-campus labs Remote lab activities and on-campus lab immersions 2 times per semester*
Clinical Education 30 weeks, full time 36 weeks, full time
Estimated Costs See costs and financial aid page. See costs and financial aid page.

* Lab immersions occur only during the first seven semesters of didactic coursework.

A Note About Changing Pathways

Once you have accepted a position in one pathway, you are committed to that pathway and cannot switch to the other. Likewise, you cannot opt to change pathways at any point in the curriculum once you have enrolled in the program.


For a list of frequently asked questions about our program, please visit our FAQ. For additional information about this and other programs available through the Department of Physical Therapy, Rehabilitation Science, and Athletic Training, please explore our website or email us at

KU School of Health Professions

Physical Therapy, Rehabilitation Science, and Athletic Training
University of Kansas Medical Center
Mail Stop 2002
3901 Rainbow Blvd.
Kansas City, KS 66160