HPU's Doctor of Physical Therapy Program Achieves Accreditation Milestone

HPU's Doctor of Physical Therapy Program Achieves Accreditation Milestone

DPT Team

HPU's Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) Program was granted Candidate for Accreditation status by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE) on November 2, 2021. Candidate for Accreditation is a pre-accreditation status with CAPTE and a major milestone for the program, indicating the DPT program is progressing toward accreditation. CAPTE is nationally recognized by the U.S. Department of Education (USDE) and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) and grants specialized accreditation status to qualified entry-level education programs for physical therapists. 

“We’re thrilled to reach this exciting milestone,” said Dr. Tricia Catalino, DPT program director. “This is a big step on our way to welcoming students and bringing DPT education to Hawai‘i. We’ve been looking forward to this day and we are ready to help meet the health care needs of the people of Hawai‘i and beyond.” 

Admissions for the HPU DPT Program launched earlier this year to tremendous interest. The two-year, accelerated, hybrid program is the first of its kind in Hawai‘i. The program combines online education that students can complete from anywhere, hands-on lab immersions at HPU’s Honolulu campus, and 32 weeks of full-time clinical experiences completed at sites across the state and U.S. Students will benefit from interprofessional education, with planned collaboration opportunities with HPU's nursing, public health, psychology, and social work programs.

“Key to Hawaiʻi Pacific University's vision are the opportunities for graduate programs that meet the needs of evolving demographics in healthcare industries and the growing marketplace. We are excited and thankful to have the resources to offer an exceptional and innovative doctorate of physical therapy program that’s part of the universityʻs expansion and strategic initiatives,” said HPU President John Gotanda.

HPU’s DPT program is committed to building a professional ‘ohana of diverse and open-minded leaders who anticipate and respond to the needs of the global community. The deadline to apply for the inaugural cohort is May 16, 2021, and classes start July 1, 2022.

To learn more about the program and accreditation process click here.


Pictured from left to right are the leadership team of Hawai‘i Pacific University’s Doctor of Physical Therapy Program: Director of Curriculum and Assessment Kristen Johnson, Director of Clinical Education Jacob Melnick, DPT Program Director Tricia Catalino, Director of Admissions Brett Neilson, Director of Student Affairs Kayla Black.