The mission of the UCA Department of Physical Therapy is to develop outstanding physical therapy professionals who are practicing autonomously in the global clinical and research communities and to model excellence in education, research, and service.
 Professional Degree: Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT)
[2.1] Program Admission Requirements
Applications to the Professional DPT Program must be submitted using the Physical Therapist Centralized Application Service (PT-CAS) at www.ptcas.org.
In addition to meeting the general requirements of the Graduate School, the applicant must complete a supplemental application and a graduate application.
All applicants to the Professional DPT Program must submit the following:
- Evidence of a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.00 on a scale of 4.00 and a science GPA of 3.00 on a scale of 4.00 for all biology, chemistry, and physics course work.
- A score report for the Graduate Record Examinations (GRE).
- Documentation of 45 hours of PT observations at three different clinical settings (10-20 hours per facility).
- Any required application fee (if a fee is required, that information will be provided in the on-line application packet available at www.uca.edu/pt).
- Evidence of completion of the following courses or their equivalents:
Course(s) Credit Hours General Psychology (PSYC 1300) and a Psychology elective 6 Chemistry (CHEM 1402 and 2450 or 1450 and 1451; other courses such as CHEM 2401 and 3411 are available by approval) 8 Physics (PHYS 1410 and 1420; Physical Science not accepted) 8 Biology, including the following: 4 hours of Biology 1440 or equivalent, at least 8 hours of Human Anatomy and Physiology;, 3 hours of upper division, animal-based biology 15 Statistics (PSYC 2330, MATH 2311, SOC 2321, QMTH 2330) 3 Medical Terminology (H SC 3123) 1 Total Hours Required 48
- Documentation of completion of 22 of the 31 hours of science course work prior to the application deadline.
In addition, students accepted to the DPT program must submit two official transcripts from every college attended, including a transcript showing an earned baccalaureate degree from an accredited institution, to the UCA Graduate School. The degree must be awarded by the August enrollment date. (Students pursuing a baccalaureate degree at UCA may want to consider the BS in Health Sciences with a physical therapy emphasis.)
Students enrolled in the DPT program must perform certain essential functions in order to participate in and complete program requirements. A list of these essential functions and the departmental policy is available at www.uca.edu/pt.
All prospective students should review the document "Essential Functions of the Student in the DPT Program" and the departmental policy prior to applying for admission to the DPT Program.
[2.2] Options for Admission
The professional curriculum in physical therapy has enrollment limitations, and entry is by specific application and competitive admission. Two options exist for application to the professional DPT program.
[2.2.1] Freshman Admission
Application Deadline: Selection of this option should be confirmed with the pre-PT advisor by October 15 of the freshman year.
Students who begin study at UCA as a freshman and score at least a 30 on the ACT (from high school) or 1320 on SAT (verbal and math) will be accepted into the Professional DPT program. Specific performance standards must be met in order to maintain the position in the program. Actual enrollment into the professional program will occur after completion of the baccalaureate degree.
To maintain freshman admission:
- Take all coursework at UCA;
- Complete the GRE by DPT application deadline (Oct. 1);
- Attend three Pre-PT Club meetings each year (12 total in 4 years);
- Maintain a 3.70 cumulative GPA and a 3.50 science GPA for all undergraduate work;
- Complete 45 hours of observation at three different physical therapy clinics/facilities by application deadline;
- Be enrolled in 22nd hour of 31 required science hours in fall semester prior to the year of enrollment in the DPT program;
- Complete the baccalaureate degree and all required prerequisites by August of the year of enrollment in the DPT program;
No interview is required of applicants entering the program under Freshman Admission. Contact the UCA Pre-Physical Therapy Advisor for more details regarding Freshman Admission.
[2.2.3] Regular Admission
Those applicants not using the Freshman Admission must complete an application for Regular Admission. The deadline for Regular Admission is October 1 of the year prior to planned enrollment. Applications to the Professional DPT Program must be submitted using the Physical Therapist Centralized Application Service (PT-CAS) at www.ptcas.org.
In addition to meeting the general requirements of UCA's Graduate School, the applicant must complete the application using the Physical Therapist Centralized Application Service (www.ptcas.org) and a supplemental application (available on line at uca.edu/pt/)
To be eligible for Regular Admission, by the application deadline, the applicant must:
- Possess a cumulative GPA of at least a 3.0 based on a 4.0 scale;
- Possess a science GPA of at least 3.00 for all biology, chemistry, and physics course work;
- Have received a score on the Graduate Record Examination (GRE);
- Have completed a minimum of 22 hours of the 31 required hours of science prerequisites by the DPT application deadline;
- Have completed 45 hours of PT observation at 3 different clinical settings (10-20 hours per facility) by the application deadline.
All applications of candidates who meet qualifications for Regular Admission are reviewed by the DPT Admission Committee composed of physical therapy faculty, other departmental faculty, the Graduate Dean, and the Registrar. Applicants are ranked using a composite score derived from the cumulative grade point average (CGPA), the science grade point average (SGPA), points on extra science course work above the first year level, and scores on the GRE. Of the criteria, the SGPA is weighted most heavily. The top applicants are invited to a mandatory interview scheduled for early November. The DPT Admission Committee Chair will inform invited applicants of their interview time. The interview is used to assess such factors as the ability to present oneself professionally, to use verbal and non-verbal communication appropriately, to express knowledge about the profession of physical therapy, to function within the group for the interview, and to express ideas quickly and succinctly.
Applicants accepted for admission are notified of acceptance in late November. A ranked alternate list is also prepared. Individuals may be chosen from this list to replace applicants who decline their appointment at any time, up to the date of August 1. Ranking as an alternate is indicative of the Committee’s high opinion of a candidate’s potential, but does not assure placement in the class or in any future class. If class positions are not filled in the first application process, applications will be received until all class positions are filled or until August 1.
Students who do not meet the stated criteria for admission may appeal to the DPT Admission Committee. Requests for exceptions to the prerequisite course work and policies must be submitted to the DPT Admission Committee by the application deadline. Failure to be admitted does not prevent reapplying for a later year.
Grade Point Averages for recent course work (30 semester hours or 45 quarter hours): The GPA for recent course work may be considered by the DPT Admission Committee as a substitute for the cumulative GPA for admission purposes only. The substitution may be made if the GPA for the last 30 semester hours (45 quarter hour equivalent) is at least 10% higher than the cumulative GPA and includes 15 hours of appropriate science course work. A minimal 3.00 cumulative GPA requirement and a minimal 3.00 science GPA requirement must be met prior to utilizing this option. No more than 8 hours of the science course work may be repeated course work. The total hours for the recent college GPA are obtained by beginning with the last semester or quarter of course work and moving backwards chronologically on the transcript(s) until 30 semester hours or 45 quarter hour equivalents are obtained. All courses are included. No more than one-fourth of the non-science course work included in the recent course work GPA may be repeated course work. All other requirements still apply.
[2.3] Tuition and Fees
In addition to the general registration and other mandatory fees established by the university, a Health Sciences Fee of $14.00 per semester hour and a $5.00 per semester hour lab fee are required for physical therapy course work. Information on general registration and other mandatory fees is available from the Office of Student Accounts. No departmental fee is required during the full-time clinical work. Textbooks cost approximately $2,200 for the DPT curriculum, and other required fees total approximately $200. Fees are subject to change at any time.
[2.4] Simultaneous Admission to Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) Program
Students who are admitted to the Doctor of Physical Therapy program may be eligible for simultaneous admission to the Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) program in physical therapy. Admission to the PhD program requires a separate application process. Simultaneous enrollment in the DPT and PhD programs will allow students wishing to pursue the PhD to get a head start on the doctoral research and will provide an opportunity to complete the PhD degree in less time than if the two degrees were completed sequentially. See section 2.7 for details on which PhD courses will be integrated into the DPT curriculum.
[2.5] Accreditation Status
The Doctor of Physical Therapy (professional degree) is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE) of the APTA. Contact information for CAPTE is
1111 North Fairfax Street
Alexandria, VA 22314
phone: (800) 999-2782 or (703) 706-3245
[2.6] Professional Curriculum (123 hours)
PTHY 5403 Human Physiology
PTHY 5505 Gross Anatomy
PTHY 6104 Physical Therapy Research I
PTHY 6204 Physical Therapy Research II
PTHY 6250 Pharmacology in Physical Therapy
PTHY 6303 Patient Management and Documentation
PTHY 6307 Professional Development I
PTHY 6314 Neurophysiological Principles of Motor Control
PTHY 6401 Kinesiology I
PTHY 6402 Kinesiology II
PTHY 6403 Pathology
PTHY 6404 Clinical Foundations in Physical Therapy Practice
PTHY 6405 Therapeutic Exercise
PTHY 6424 Clinical Administration and Management
PTHY 6501 Neuroscience
PTHY 7103 Outcomes Assessment in Physical Therapy
PTHY 7104 Physical Therapy Research III
PTHY 7106 Educational Roles in Physical Therapy
PTHY 7204 Physical Therapy Research IV
PTHY 7209 Complex Patient Management in Physical Therapy
PTHY 7210 Integumentary System: Principles and Practice
PTHY 7228-7528 Clinical Education Practicum in Physical Therapy ***
PTHY 7307 Professional Development II
PTHY 7403 Physical Agents
PTHY 7404 Musculoskeletal Physical Therapy I
PTHY 7405 Musculoskeletal Physical Therapy II
PTHY 7406 Musculoskeletal Physical Therapy III
PTHY 7409 Clinical Reasoning and Differential Diagnosis
PTHY 7411 Physical Rehabilitation
PTHY 7515 Neurological Rehabilitation in Pediatrics
PTHY 7516 Adult Neurological Rehabilitation
PTHY 7520 Cardiopulmonary Principles and Practice
PTHY 7529 Clinical Education IV
PTHY 7530 Clinical Education V
[2.7] Curriculum Substitutions for DPT/Ph.D. Students
For students simultaneously enrolled in DPT and Ph.D. programs, the following substitutions in the DPT curriculum will be made:
* PTHY 6104, 6204, 7104, 7204 will be replaced with PSYC 6330 Advanced Psychological Statistics and PSYC 6331 Research Design
*** One of the 10 week clinical practica (PTHY 7528, 7529, OR 7530) may occur in a clinical research laboratory related to the student's doctoral research.
 Graduate Courses in Physical Therapy (PTHY)
Follow this link for Physical Therapy course descriptions: course link.