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).  The curriculum includes 123 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 course 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 check-sheet for courses needed in order to apply to the UCA DPT Program.

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 Admission candidates must declare their major to be Bachelor of Science in Health Sciences – Physical Therapy Emphasis as a freshman at UCA.  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, maintain a 3.70 cumulative GPA and 3.50 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.

DPT Interviews

The DPT Application deadline is October 1.  Candidates who are selected for interviews will be notified.  Interviews for the October 1, 2017 application deadline will be held at UCA on Friday, December 2, 2016.

DPT Slideshow

UCA DPT Slideshow 1st slide

View our UCA PT Slideshow  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 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 5-7-2015)

Performance of UCA DPT graduates over the past three years (2012, 2013, 2014) is as follows:

  • Graduation Rate: 96%
  • Ultimate Pass Rate on the  National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE): 99.4%
  • Employment Rate: 100% (of students passing the NPTE)

In 2014, UCA DPT graduates achieved a 94.2% first time pass rate on the NPTE and an ultimate pass rate of 98.1%.


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 at three different physical therapy clinics or facilities where students must use the clinical observation form (see below) for documentation.  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 provides a complete description of the program and admission process.


The UCA Department of Physical Therapy application deadline is October 1st each year.   For 2017 Admissions, 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 2, 2016).

Documents and Links:

UCA DPT Brochure Program description and admission process, updated December 2015.
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 Course Sequence Beginning Fall 2016 Professional DPT Curriculum Sequence of Courses beginning Fall 2016 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 2015 tuition rates, the three year program is estimated to cost approximately $40,016.05 for an Arkansas resident (not including room/board or books). As of the Fall 2015 semester, GRADUATE tuition and hourly fees for Arkansas residents AND residents of states contiguous to Arkansas (Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Oklahoma, Tennessee, and Texas) total $243.04 per graduate semester hour. Out of state residents (of states non-contiguous to Arkansas) for Fall 2015 pay $486.08 per graduate semester hour. University fees paid per semester total $118.50, fees paid per hour total $57.81. 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 $5,535.95 for 2015 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 Admissions