- What is a Doctor of Physical Therapy degree, and how does it differ from a Doctor of Philosophy degree (PhD) or Master of Physical Therapy degree?
- What prerequisite courses are required for the program?
- What happens if I am in the process of repeating a prerequisite course to raise my grade because it does not meet the minimum grade requirement, but the course is not completed by the November 1 deadline?
- What if I have a B- in a prerequisite? Does that mean I can't apply?
- How many hours of experience and exposure in the field of physical therapy are required for admission?
- Is a personal interview required as part of the application process?
- Which section of the GRE test do I take?
- When I apply, my GRE scores will be 5½ years old; are they acceptable?
- Can I have a health care professional other than a licensed physical therapist write my physical therapy recommendation?
- Can I submit more than three references with my application?
- Can I transfer physical therapy courses I have taken at another institution in for credit at University of Puget Sound?
- What is the profile of students admitted to a recent Puget Sound PT class?
- Is there any way of being admitted if my GPA does not meet the minimum requirements?
- What is the total tuition for the DPT?
- Is a background check required prior to entry in the program?
- When will I be notified about admission decisions?
- What is the deadline to submit application materials to PTCAS?
- Does the university accept online course work toward meeting prerequisite requirements?
- Who is the best resource for me to contact about the PT program?
The Doctor of Physical Therapy Degree
1. What is a Doctor of Physical Therapy degree, and how does it differ from a Doctor of Philosophy degree (PhD) or Master of Physical Therapy degree?
The Doctor of Physical Therapy degree is an entry-level, clinical degree. The Doctor of Physical Therapy qualifies a graduate to sit for the physical therapy licensure exam, and upon passing that exam, practice physical therapy. It is very different from a PhD (which some may confuse with it because of the name "doctor" in the title) because a PhD has a research emphasis rather than a clinical focus. While research procedures are part of physical therapy education at either the Master of Physical Therapy or the Doctor of Physical Therapy level, they are not the primary emphasis of the degree as they are for the PhD, and they are not covered in the depth necessary for the PhD. The Doctor of Physical Therapy differs from the Master of Physical Therapy in the level of clinical mastery expected of graduates, especially in knowledge related to preparation for practice in a direct access environment.
2. What prerequisite courses are required for the program?
Human, Comparative, or Vertebrate Anatomy & Physiology (with labs) (human preferred); one year series of Physics (with labs); one year series of Chemistry (with labs); Statistics, and Abnormal Behavior or introduction to Psychology, each with a minimum grade of "B" (3.0).
3. What happens if I am in the process of repeating a prerequisite course to raise my grade because it does not meet the minimum grade requirement, but the course is not completed by the November 1 deadline?
If you have submitted your PTCAS application by our deadline of November 1 and you included in your written plan course work for fall semester/quarter, your file will be evaluated after the academic update deadline set by PTCAS for posting fall grades.
4. What if I have a B- in a prerequisite? Does this mean I can’t apply?
If you have a B- (2.70) in a prerequisite course, you have not fulfilled our requirement of having passed all prerequisite courses with a minimum 3.0. Assuming you have a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or better and you plan to repeat the course prior to enrolling in our program, you can apply. You must indicate on your application that you have a plan to complete the prerequisite before entering our program. It is best if the repeat course is work in progress during fall term. This is similar to degree in progress, in which case you can apply and you can be admitted, but it will be a contingent admission. This means that if you do not successfully fulfill all contingencies, you will not be allowed to enroll with the class.
5. How many hours of experience and exposure in the field of physical therapy are required for admission?
The physical therapy admission committee does not have a specific hour requirement for experience and exposure in the field. The committee does encourage an applicant to obtain experience in a volunteer or paid position (which must be under the supervision of a licensed physical therapist) in many different physical therapy settings with different patient populations. A minimum of 100 contact hours is recommended. Most importantly, the applicant should be able to communicate an understanding of physical therapy to the admission committee through answers to the physical therapy essay questions contained in the application, which can be found on PTCAS. We do not require verification of hours completed.
6. Is a personal interview required as part of the application process?
No, decisions for admission are made on the application materials submitted and an applicant's college credentials. Students are strongly encouraged to visit the program and meet the faculty, but information from this visit is not recorded for admission decision purposes.
7. Which section of the GRE test do I take?
Take the general test. The committee looks at the scores from the verbal, quantitative, and analytical essay sections of the general test. The committee will make a judgment on applicant writing ability based on considering quality of writing on our application questions combined with your score on the GRE essay section. University of Puget Sound will accept the old test or the new revised GRE.
8. When I apply, my GRE scores will be 5½ years old; are they acceptable?
No, the GRE must be taken within five years prior to enrollment in the program. You will need to retake the GRE.
9. Can I have a health care professional other than a licensed physical therapist write my physical therapy recommendation?
No, the admission committee is looking for information specific to the physical therapy profession; therefore, the licensed physical therapist is the only acceptable professional for this reference. We recommend two physical therapist references.
PTCAS allows an applicant to submit a maximum of four references. The PT admissions committee requires a minimum of three references, one of which must be from a licensed physical therapist and one must be from a college professor from whom you have taken a class (recommendations from teaching assistants are not accepted).
11. Can I transfer physical therapy courses I have taken at another institution in for credit at University of Puget Sound?
No, the University of Puget Sound does not accept physical therapy courses from other institutions for credit toward the physical therapy degree. Courses in the Puget Sound program are all designed specially to function as an integrated curriculum.
12. What is the profile of students admitted to a recent Puget Sound PT class?
You can find the class profile for the most recent entering class online. In addition, successful applicants demonstrate strong writing skills in their application materials, and their recommenders must indicate that they possess excellent character traits.
The GRE test and test scores have changed effective August 2, 2011; please go to this link to understand this change: http://ets.org/gre/institutions/scores.
Due to changes in the GRE test and scores we are reporting the average percentages for our admitted students in our class profile.
13. Is there any way of being admitted if my GPA does not meet the minimum requirement?
The physical therapy curriculum requires full-time study in rigorous course work, and students must have a 3.0 average in this course work in order to graduate with a physical therapy degree. Thus, to be admitted to the program, students must have achieved at least a 3.0 GPA in undergraduate work and earn grades of "B" (3.0) or better in each prerequisite. If an applicant has completed a graduate degree (masters or doctorate), this more recent GPA will be used to qualify instead of the undergraduate GPA.
14. What is the total tuition for the DPT?
Puget Sound graduate students pay a "per/unit" tuition rate. You can find the most current information about tuition and expenses online. In general, you should plan for tuition rates to go up by some percentage every year at any school. Typical annual tuition increases at Puget Sound are two to three percent.
No; specifically, you do not need to register or pay for the Certiphi Screening background check as detailed in PTCAS. After admission to the program, students will be given specific information about background checks needed for clinical education.
We begin contacting applicants in late February and continue until all spaces in the program are filled.
November 1st is the firm deadline to e-submit your application to PTCAS. Do NOT wait for PTCAS to receive all of your materials (transcripts, references, etc.) before you submit your application. We suggest that you apply early as it can take up to 4-5 weeks for PTCAS to process your file once it is complete.
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The program accepts online or hybrid courses that have been taken as part of your undergraduate degree at your degree-granting institution. When completing a prerequisite course outside of your undergraduate degree, you are cautioned that the program may not accept non-traditional formatted courses. It is recommended that you have our transcript evaluator approve prior to enrollment (firstname.lastname@example.org).
During the summer or winter term breaks, it is best to contact email@example.com. During the academic year 2012-13, Roger Allen is the prospective student advisor. He can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 253.879.3525. For students beginning this fall your advisor is Danny McMillian.