School of Health Professions Department of Physical Therapy DPT Admissions
Following the program's receipt of the PTCAS application, the UAB Doctor of Physical Therapy Program will review the packet. Completed applications are reviewed by members of the admissions committee. Based on the review, applicants are selected for interview. Interviews are held January-March. Admissions decisions are finalized by April.
Requirements for Admission:The applicant must hold a baccalaureate degree from an accredited college or university within the United States in a field other than physical therapy. Acceptance will be based on the student's academic ability and aptitude for a career as a physical therapist. The candidate is expected to satisfy the following requirements:
- Complete the PTCAS application by December 2, 2013.
Have a minimum 3.0 (A = 4.0) overall, prerequisite and last 60 semester hours grade point average.
- 75% of prerequisite courses must be completed by the end of the fall semester of the year of application.
- For example, applicants submitting their application on December 2, 2013 must have 75% of prerequisite courses completed by the end of the fall semester 2013.
The applicant must have a grade of C or better in all prerequisite courses.
- Complete at least 40 hours of documented observation of physical therapy in various settings (e.g., hospital, outpatient clinic, pediatric clinic).
- Documentation must be submitted to PTCAS by the December 2nd deadline.
- Submit three letters of recommendation to PTCAS. NOTE: PTCAS only accepts 4 total letters of recommendation. UAB will only accept letters of recommendation from PTCAS. A letter from a Physical Therapist Assistant will not be accepted in lieu of a letter from a Physical Therapist.
- Letter 1: Written by a physical therapist who has interacted with the applicant for at least 20 hours in a clinical setting.
- Letter 2: Written by a physical therapist who has interacted with the applicant for at least 20 hours in a clinical setting.
- Letter 3: Written by a professor with whom the applicant had significant interaction in an academic setting.
- Complete the GRE and have scores sent to PTCAS. The GRE code is 7801.
If invited, complete a personal interview with the Department of Physical Therapy faculty.
Program Prerequisites - UAB Equivalents
(Course requirements are listed in semester credit hours)
Arts and Humanities
English Composition - EH 101, 102 (6)
Social and Behavioral Sciences
Natural Sciences and Mathematics
Precalculus with Trigonometry - MA 106 (3)
Statistics (must be taken in Math, Psychology, or Sociology) - MA 180, PY 214, or SOC 110 (3-4)
Physics* - PH 201/211 lab, 202/212 lab or PH 221/231 lab, 222/232 lab** (8)
General Chemistry for science majors with labs* - CH 115/116 lab, 117/118 lab (8)
Biology including Human or Mammalian Physiology* - BY 116 or 309 (16)
Medical Terminology - AHS 350 (2-3), may be taken online
*For these prerequisite courses, credit older than ten years from the application deadline must be validated by examination or other appropriate mechanism.
**The physics course sequence must be designed for science majors and include laboratory sessions. A minimum of 8 semester hours is required. The following topics must be studied: mechanics, heat, electricity and magnetism, wave motion and sound, and light.
It is strongly recommended that applicants take the following courses: practical reasoning or logic course, biomechanics or kinesiology and upper level biology (physiology).
Applicants are evaluated on the following criteria:
• Overall GPA, Prerequisite GPA, last 60 hours GPA and GRE scores
• Quality of answers to the program specific essay questions on the PTCAS application.
• Quality of interview
June-December 1: Complete PTCAS application
By April: Admission decisions finalized and students notified
January: Program begins
Please avoid these common mistakes as you complete your PTCAS application:
1. All college transcripts were not sent to PTCAS. This includes all courses taken at community colleges, even during high school.
2. The proper letters of recommendation were not completed. The physical therapist letters must be from licensed physical therapists who have spent enough clinical time with you to attest to your work ethic, curiosity about the field and interactions with clients and other clinicians. The professor letter must be from a professor whose course you took as an undergraduate student and who can attest to your academic strengths.
3. Observation hours were not verified. At least 40 hours must be verified at the time of application. We will not accept a student who does not have this requirement completed.
Students who are accepted into the UAB Doctor of Physical Therapy program must:
• Complete the UAB Graduate School application to include the graduate school fee.
• Complete the UAB medical history questionnaire and physical.
• Provide proof of required immunizations, and receive satisfactory screening by the UAB Medical Center Student Health Service.
• Send all official transcripts to the UAB Graduate School.
• Complete a criminal background check and drug screen before the first semester as specified by the Department of Physical Therapy.
State law regulates the practice of Physical Therapy. Therefore, applicants are encouraged to review the non-academic eligibility requirements for licensure to practice physical therapy upon completion of the program. These may be obtained from each individual state's Board of Licensure for Physical Therapy.