School of Physical Therapy

Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) - Pending Approval

Pacific Northwest University of Health Sciences (PNWU) is in the development phase for a Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) program. Peggy R Trueblood, PT, PhD accepted the founding program director position and will be working toward the necessary approvals from Washington Student Achievement Council (WSAC), the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU), and the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE). The program cannot begin recruiting students until all approvals are granted. With this page, we seek to inform stakeholders regarding our development and planning process and the timeline for the DPT program. You can also contact Dr. Trueblood directly at

Exploring the DPT at PNWU

The PNWU Board of Trustees authorized leadership to proceed with the planning for a DPT program including advertisement for the founding program director.

PNWU achieved regional accreditation in 2018 from NWCCU. This allowed PNWU to pursue the DPT program. The program submitted a Notice of Intent to Seek Accreditation of a DPT program to the CAPTE in December 2018. This notice includes a needs assessment that outlines why a DPT at PNWU is the right program at the right time.

In general, PNWU’s five-state NW region is underrepresented in PT programs with just seven programs out of 243 established programs and 17 in development (2017 CAPTE data). The programs in the Northwest represent just 2.7 percent of all programs in this five-state catchment area (and 2.8 percent when looking at current anticipated entering class sizes). The seven PT programs in the NW graduate 280 students each year, however the projected annual physical therapy job openings exceed that number. Physical Therapy is one of the fastest growing markets with a projection of 25% increase by 2026.

The Watson Building that will house the DPT program was completed in spring 2019.

Program Mission

The DPT program’s mission will be aligned with the university’s mission of educating and training health care professionals emphasizing service among rural and medically underserved communities throughout the Northwest.

Program Accreditation Information

Pacific Northwest University of Health Sciences is seeking accreditation of a new physical therapist education program from CAPTE. The program is planning to submit an Application for Candidacy, which is the formal application required in the pre-accreditation stage, on June. 1, 2021. 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.* * CAPTE Rules of Practice and Procedure 7.8 (f) Page 51 May 2019 Graduation from a physical therapist education program accredited by the CAPTE, 1111 North Fairfax Street, Alexandria, VA 22314; phone: 703-706-3245; is necessary for eligibility to sit for the licensure examination, which is required in all states.

If you have a complaint regarding the program at PNWU, please contact CAPTE.


Contact Information

Peggy Trueblood, PT, PhD
Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT)
Program Director
(509) 249 - 7709

For general questions about the DPT program, please email