PhD in Physical Therapy

Commencement December 2023

The PhD in Physical Therapy at the University of Central Arkansas is designed to prepare students to become scholars and leaders. The scholar not only discovers, integrates, and applies knowledge but also communicates and disseminates it.

The PhD graduate has the ability to make significant contributions to scholarship in physical therapy. Students in a PhD program are required to grasp complex intellectual issues in addition to the highly technical standards necessary for research and scholarship.  The UCA Department of Physical Therapy Research Page provides information regarding current projects and faculty interests.

PhD Admission Process

  • Review by the PhD Admissions Committee

The PhD Admissions Committee for the Department of Physical Therapy consists of three members of the UCA graduate faculty from the Department of Physical Therapy, and one member is a graduate faculty member from a Department other than Physical Therapy. Upon submission of the application materials, the PhD Admissions Committee will determine whether the applicant meets the criteria for average scores on the GRE and TOEFL (if required), and appropriate interest area and statement of purpose.

  • Interview

Applicants who meet the criteria are invited for an interview. An on-site interview at the University of  Central Arkansas is preferred, but a telephone interview may be conducted when extenuating circumstances prevail.

  • Application Process

Students wishing to pursue the Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) degree program in Physical Therapy will be admitted through a process involving a mutual decision between the graduate dean and the Department of Physical Therapy. Applicants must submit the application materials to the Gradate School including an application fee.   Contact the department for further information. The following materials must be submitted.

Links of Interest

Application_PhD_PT_UCA An application for Admission to program from the Department of Physical Therapy.

Admission to Graduate Study – An application and required application fee for admission to graduate study at the University of Central Arkansas.

GRE website – Scores of the Graduate Record Examination (GRE).  (Aptitude Test)

More Information

Practice experience as a physical therapist is suggested.  However, the Advanced Degree Admission Committee will consider applications from students having completed the requirements for the entry-level Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) degree.  Although applications are accepted at all times during the year, the preferred dates for receipt of applications are March 1 for summer and fall admission and October 1 for spring admission.

Possible PhD Sequence Odd Start Year

Department of Physical Therapy Course Descriptions

International Students

All international students must also complete an application for international admission through the UCA International Programs office.  Please refer to the International Engagement website and the International Admissions website for more information.  Among the requirements, international students must provide evidence of financial support for one academic year tuition.

PhD Program Graduate will Demonstrate:

  • Skill to conduct original research, providing evidence of an understanding of research designs and the ability to formulate, plan methodologies, conduct data gathering (qualitatively and quantitatively), draw conclusions, and effectively communicate research findings;
  • Commitment to engage in scholarship after graduation and to discover new knowledge and develop theoretical principles that advance the understanding of their chosen discipline;
  • Breadth of knowledge of the discipline and the research literature;
  • The ability to teach at beginning and advanced levels of instruction; and
  • Leadership traits that guide the profession in identifying and resolving important questions and problems.

For more information contact:

Mark Mennemeier, PhD

Coordinator, PhD Program

Office:  501-450-5557