Doctor of Physical Therapy

DPT Program

The Professional Doctor of Physical Therapy program prepares individuals to become licensed physical therapists. Following a selective admission process, 56 students are invited each fall semester to begin study in the three year Professional DPT Program (see UCA DPT Brochure 2017-2018.  The curriculum includes 124 credits (graduate level) where students progress from foundation sciences and skills to application to patient care concluding with full-time clinical internship rotations at clinical education facilities in and out of the state.  The UCA DPT Sequence outlines professional program courses for each semester; a description of those courses can be viewed in the UCA Graduate Bulletin (see Physical Therapy courses).  See our prerequisite coursework checksheet for courses needed in addition to a bachelor’s degree in order to apply to the UCA DPT Program.

10:00 AM to 12:00 PM | PT Center | UCA

Open House Planned for April 14

The Department of Physical Therapy will host an Open House on Saturday, April 14, 2018 from 10:00 AM to 12:00 PM.  Guests may may drop-in between 10:00 and 12:00 to meet with faculty and tour the Physical Therapy Center to learn more about the programs offered by the University of Central Arkansas.


UCA Ranked #11 in Most Affordable DPT Programs30 MOST AFFORDABLE DOCTOR OF PHYSICAL THERAPY (DPT) DEGREES has published a listing of the most affordable in tuition cost for the Most Affordable Doctor of  Physical Therapy degree ranking.  UCA has been ranked #11 in the most affordable Doctor of Physical Therapy programs in the U.S. – see the link. Programs are programs evaluated based on publicly available information regarding accreditation, academic quality, student satisfaction, cost and estimated
length of study.

UCA ranked 3rd in Nation for PT

“The 2017 Top Graduate Program rankings represent graduate schools and programs all across the nation and are based on student reviews. Due to extremely high student satisfaction ratings, the University of Central Arkansas made the rankings at #3 in Physical Therapy degrees! The full rankings are available here:”


The Doctor of Physical Therapy Program at the University of Central Arkansas is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE), 1111 North Fairfax Street, Alexandria, Virginia 22314; telephone: 703-706-3245;; website:  Filing a complaint with CAPTE:  If you have a question about the department’s accreditation status or wish to express a concern about accreditation, you are encouraged to contact CAPTE.

Student Outcomes (updated 11-7-2017)

UCA DPT graduates of 2016 achieved a pass rate of 100% for the National Physical Therapy Exam (NPTE) and a first-time pass rate of 92.3%.   Performance of UCA DPT graduates over the past two years is as follows:

  • Graduation Rate = 95% (2015, 2016)
  • Pass Rate on the NPTE: =  100% (2015, 2016)
  • Employment Rate = 100% (2015, 2016)

Physical Therapy SlideshowUCA PT Slideshow pic

View our UCA PT Slideshow 2017 to learn more about the UCA Physical Therapy program including pictures of the Physical Therapy Center, the Gross Anatomy and Neuroscience lab, DPT Students in lab, presenting research and attending community outings as well as pictures of the UCA campus.


The professional DPT program requires a Baccalaureate degree as well as specific prerequisite coursework.  Students attending UCA for their undergraduate work may declare a BS Degree with a major in Health Sciences – Physical Therapy Emphasis.  Other requirements for admission to the program include a minimum overall GPA of 3.00 and GPA of 3.00 in sciences.  At the time of application a minimum of 22 of 31 hours of required prerequisite sciences must be successfully completed (before the application deadline).The Graduate Record Exam (GRE) must also be completed as well as 45 hours of observation of a physical therapist in three different physical therapy settings.  Some example settings could be:  an outpatient clinic, a pediatric facility, an inpatient rehabilitation hospital, an acute care hospital, or a skilled nursing facility, etc. 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 provided below.  The UCA DPT Brochure 2017-2018 provides a complete description of the program and admission process.

Freshman Admission

Students who begin at UCA as a freshman with a 30 or higher on the ACT (1320 on SAT in critical thinking and math) from high school are eligible for Freshman Admission to the DPT Program.  Freshman admit students who maintain the necessary requirements will be automatically admitted to the DPT program.   Actual enrollment will occur after completion of the baccalaureate degree. To maintain freshman admission status students must:  take all coursework at UCA, complete the GRE by October 1 of senior year (DPT application deadline), attend three Pre-PT Club meetings each year, by September 1 of application year hold a 3.70 cumulative GPA and 3.50 cumulative science GPA, complete 45 hours of observation of a physical therapist at 3 different physical therapy settings, complete 22 hours of required science by October 1 of senior year and complete the BS degree and all required prerequisites by August of the year of enrollment in the DPT program.  Students who are interested in freshman admission can contact Mr. Mike Hawkinson for more information by email at or by phone at (501) 450-5541.


The UCA Department of Physical Therapy application deadline is October 1st each year.   Application to the Professional DPT Program requires completing an on-line application at the Physical Therapist Centralized Application Service (PTCAS) website at The top applicants are invited to a mandatory interview scheduled for the first Friday in December (December 7, 2018).

DPT Interviews

The DPT Application deadline is October 1.  Candidates who are selected for interviews will be notified.  Interviews will be held at UCA on Friday, December 7, 2018.

Documents and Links:

UCA DPT Brochure 2017-2018 Program description and admission process, updated 6-16-2017.
UCA Post-Bac Checksheet List of DPT prerequisite courses required for admission.
Course Equivalencies Link DPT prerequisites and equivalent courses at Arkansas Four Year Colleges & Universities for transfer credit.
Arkansas Course Transfer System Link For UCA courses versus Arkansas two-year and four-year colleges and universities
PTCAS link Applications to the UCA DPT Program are processed on-line through the Physical Therapist Centralized Application Service (PTCAS)
UCA DPT Program Essential Functions List of essential functions that students enrolled in the DPT program must perform in order to participate in and complete program
UCA DPT Sequence Professional DPT Curriculum Sequence of Courses beginning Fall 2017 to present.

Estimated Cost of Program

Total costs for the three years of the UCA DPT program are below national average for public universities. When calculated with Fall 2017 tuition rates, the three year program is estimated to cost approximately $41,569.76 for an Arkansas resident (not including room/board or books). As of the Fall 2017 semester, GRADUATE tuition and hourly fees for Arkansas residents AND residents of states contiguous to Arkansas (Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Oklahoma, Tennessee, and Texas) total $335.24 per graduate semester hour. Out of state residents (of states non-contiguous to Arkansas) for Fall 2017 pay $602.29 per graduate semester hour.  In addition, the College of Health and Behavioral Sciences Fee is $14.00 per credit hour and the Lab Fee is $5.00 per credit hour. In example, students in the first semester of the DPT Program take 17 credit hours resulting in combined tuition and fees of $6002.08 for 2017 for an in-state student. Students seeking financial aid should make known in their application for aid the actual per semester hours in the DPT Program as noted in the curriculum sequence on page 7. Tuition and fees are subject to change at any time.

Upon enrollment in the Professional DPT Program students are required to have personal health insurance covering at minimum accidental injury. Upon enrollment students must also provide a copy of immunization records and complete an annual Tuberculosis (TB) skin test or chest x-ray. During the first year of the program, students will be instructed regarding completion of a national criminal background check and become certified in Healthcare Provider Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR). Depending on clinical education placements, students may possibly need to become certified in First Aid or complete a Child Maltreatment Registry Check, drug screen, physical exam, or update of immunizations. Students will be informed in advance and responsible for the costs of such items. Students should also anticipate potential expenses related to travel for clinical education experiences.

Information on tuition and fees is available from the UCA Student Accounts office at

International Students

All international students applying to the DPT program must also meet the requirements for international students (see below) and submit an application through the UCA International Affairs office (see below) in addition to their application to the DPT program through PTCAS.  Please note that World Education Services (WES) is the preferred foreign transcript evaluation service for PTCAS applicants with non-US coursework.  Only WES will be accepted beginning with the 2014-2015 application cycle.

UCA DPT International Applicant Information

UCA International Engagement

International Student Admission Information