Summer Discovery Program

Are you interested in the profession of Physical Therapy or related healthcare fields? If your answer is yes, then the Duke DPT Summer Discovery Program was created with you in mind!

2024 SDP Session: June 10–14, 2024

Apply today! | Deadline: March 31 at 11:59 p.m. EST 

The Program

The Summer Discovery Program is designed to expose undergraduate students with a keen interest in PT to the profession of physical therapy and to the Duke DPT experience. This program is for students interested in the profession of physical therapy, especially those from demographic communities that are currently underrepresented among licensed physical therapists.

This is an intensive week that will immerse participants completely in the profession of physical therapy. At the end of this week, participants will have gained exposure to multiple areas in the profession and have the information needed to be more competitive and to more effectively matriculate into Doctor of Physical Therapy programs.

Participants will have access to some of the top faculty in the profession of physical therapy and receive mentorship from current Duke DPT students, faculty, local clinicians, and admission specialists.

Click on the image below to watch a highlight video of SDP 2023. 

A collage of photos of the Summer Discovery program for undergraduate college students


     Participation in the Duke DPT Summer Discovery Program will provide engaged structured exposure to: 

  •       Physical therapy as a profession, including career tracks and specialties
  •       Duke DPT course content and learning opportunities
  •       Meaningful interactions with current students, faculty, alumni, and staff
  •       Mentorship as it relates to the DPT program, application and matriculation process 
  •       Continued mentorship after the conclusion of the program
A student and researcher in the K-Lab

"This week brought my drive back to ask many questions and even try new things more often,” Arieonne Lewis, a 2023 SDP attendee and senior in health science at Florida Agricultural & Mechanical University.


  1. Currently be enrolled in an accredited undergraduate institution as a Freshman, Sophomore, Junior, or Senior.
    * Students who have completed their undergraduate degree and/or are enrolled in graduate programs can apply, but SDP will prioritize students currently enrolled as undergraduates.
  2. Have an undergraduate cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher
  3. Fulfill one or more of the following: 
    • Underrepresented Minority
    • First-generation to go to college
    • Economically Disadvantaged
    • Interested in serving underserved populations
Shot of the SDP group at the Duke basketball floor arena

"Usually, I have a hard time connecting with people, but I feel like we all connected really well and super-fast. I am so glad that we are all friends now,” said Zariah Scales, a 2023 SDP attendee and a junior majoring in exercise science at the University of Virginia's College at Wise.