DPT/MBA Program

Program Description

Mercer University’s College of Health Professions and the Stetson-Hatcher School of Business present the Doctor of Physical Therapy/ Master of Business Administration (DPT/MBA) combined degree program.  The role of the physical therapist in administrative and business aspects of practice is increasing.  Particularly in the private practice sector, clinic managers and directors have the responsibility for the administration and financial health of the practice. In addition, with doctoral level training, physical therapists are well positioned to assume administrative responsibilities in many health care organizations.  An MBA would greatly enhance the physical therapist’s ability to effectively perform these roles.

Graduates of this program will be empowered to serve the needs of individuals and society while being well positioned to understand the current administrative and leadership environment in which they will engage.  Sharing the goal of ethical business and practice, this combined degree program will strengthen the knowledge and ability of graduates to function in a global health care market.

Students admitted to the DPT/MBA program will complete both degrees in 4 years.

Program Outcomes

The outcomes and learning objectives for the MBA and DPT programs will remain unchanged, as the student will complete both programs in series, with only minor adaptations.

The student learning objectives for the DPT include developing practitioners who:

  • Provide effective and efficient patient/client-centered care to diverse populations across the lifespan.
  • Incorporate sound clinical reasoning and problem solving to make evidence-based practice decisions and recommendation in all aspects of patient/client management.
  • Adhere to professional and ethical standards of conduct in compliance with the APTA and to the laws and guidelines that regulate the practice of physical therapy.
  • Participate as providers and advocates for the health promotion, wellness and fitness of individuals and society.
  • Manage available human, financial, material, and/or technological resources in a variety of traditional and nontraditional settings.
  • Pursue lifelong professional development regarding clinical excellence, service, and scholarship.
  • Collaborate effectively as a member and leader of an interprofessional team to provide evidence based and patient-centered care.

The student learning objectives for the MBA include:

  • Students will understand the role of ethics in business decision making.
  • Students will demonstrate proficiency in communications, both oral and written.
  • Students will demonstrate a broad knowledge of business concepts.
  • Students will make decisions which demonstrate interdisciplinary business considerations.
  • Students can assess risks and opportunities in global markets.

Admission Requirements

Applicants must apply to each program according to the guidelines in the Admissions Process and Requirements section for the MBA and DPT programs.

After successful admission to the Doctor of Physical Therapy program, the student with a strong academic record and demonstrated interest in business management will apply to the MBA program.  The admissions requirements for the combined degree are the same as for each individual degree.

Program Requirements

The combined degree student will complete 27 credit hours of the 36-credit hour Specialized Master of Business Administration (MBA) in the Summer, Fall, and Spring of Year 1.  The remaining 9 credit hours of MBA coursework includes selected courses taken during the student’s time in the DPT program (Years 2-4).  Three courses, totaling 7 credit hours, in the DPT program (PT 632:  Leadership Development II: Health Policy; PT 702:  Leadership Development III:  Management; and PT 732:  Leadership Development IV: Lifelong Leadership), will apply toward the elective requirements in the MBA program. The additional two credit hours will come from business-related experiences and activities that occur within one of the three required physical therapy full-time clinical education courses (PT 669, PT 709, PT 739).

MBA Program Core Courses (Year 1)

  • BUS 601 Global Managerial Economics (3 hours)
  • BUS 603 Accounting for Managers (3 hours)
  • BUS 605 Marketing Decision Making (3 hours)
  • BUS 609 Financial Decision Making (3 hours)
  • BUS 602 Human Capital Management (3 hours)
  • BUS 613 Ethical Leadership (3 hours)
  • BUS 606 Decision Making and Decision Analysis (3 hours) OR BUS 611 Supply Chain and Logistics Management (3 hours)
  • BUS 699 Strategy/Capstone (3 hours)**

**The Capstone course provides students with the opportunity to correlate, integrate, and apply the concepts and principles that have been learned in the MBA program.  The course must be taken at Mercer after all other core courses have been successfully complete.  It is usually taken as the final course in the MBA program.

Students must also complete one of the following courses:

  • BUS 681 Legal Environment of Business and Management Law (3 hours)
  • BUS 682 Legal Environment of Business and Marketing Law (3 hours)
  • BUS 683 Legal Environment of Business and Finance Law (3 hours)
  • BUS 684 Legal Environment of Business and Healthcare Law (3 hours)

DPT Year 2 (DPT degree is 135 hours; all courses are required)


  • PT 500 Gross Anatomy I
  • PT 501 Applied Anatomy I
  • PT 502 Leadership Development I:  Professional Behaviors and Communication
  • PT 503 Research I: Methods and Assessment
  • PT 504 Health Promotion Across the Lifespan
  • PT 508 Service-Learning I
  • PT 510 Pharmacology and Systems Pathophysiology


  • PT 530 Gross Anatomy II
  • PT 531 Applied Anatomy II
  • PT 535 Management of Patients/Clients with Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Conditions
  • PT 536 Clinical Examination and Interventions I
  • PT 539 Integrated Clinical Experience I
  • PT 540 Foundational Musculoskeletal Sciences
  • PT 550 Neuroscience


  • PT 561 Movement Sciences
  • PT 563 Research II:  Evidence-Based Practice
  • PT 564 Psychosocial Considerations in Patient/Client Management
  • PT 565 Management of Patients/Clients with Integumentary Conditions
  • PT 566 Clinical Examination and Interventions II
  • PT 568 Service-Learning II
  • PT 571 Differential Diagnosis

DPT Year 3


  • PT 603 Research III: Critical Inquiry and Appraisal
  • PT 604 Geriatric Considerations in Patient/Client Management
  • PT 605 Management of Patients/Clients with Musculoskeletal Conditions I
  • PT 606 Interventions for Patients/Clients with Neuromusculoskeletal Conditions I
  • PT 609 Integrated Clinical Experience II
  • PT 615 Management of Patients/Clients with Neuromuscular Conditions I
  • PT 616 Interventions for Patients/Clients with Neuromusculoskeletal Conditions II: Prosthetics and Orthotics


  • PT 632 Leadership Development II:  Health Policy
  • PT 633 Research IV: Research Intensive
  • PT 634 Pediatric Considerations in Patient/Client Management
  • PT 635 Management of Patients/Clients with Musculoskeletal Conditions II
  • PT 636 Interventions for Patients/Clients with Neuromusculoskeletal Conditions III
  • PT 638 Service-Learning III
  • PT 645 Management of Patients/Clients with Neuromuscular Conditions II


  • PT 669 Full-time Clinical Education I (12 weeks)

DPT Year 4


  • PT 702 Leadership Development III: Management
  • PT 703 Research V: Translation
  • PT 709 Full-time Clinical Education II (12 weeks)


  • PT 732 Leadership Development IV: Life-Long Leadership
  • PT 739 Full-time Clinical Education III (12 Weeks)
  • PT 747 Physical Therapy Elective


Students will pay the MBA tuition for year 1 and DPT tuition for years 2-4.  Students may take advantage of block billing for the MBA pre-requisite courses.

Academic Advisement

Students participating in the DPT/ MBA Program will be assigned an academic advisor from both Programs.