Frequently Asked Questions

Preparation
Program Dates
Educational Costs
Where to Live
Job Opportunities and Salaries
Clinic
PT License


Preparation

Do I have to have all the prerequisite courses completed before I can apply?
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 1, 2014 must have 75% of prerequisite courses completed by the end of the fall semester 2014.
  • The applicant must have a grade of C or better in all prerequisite courses.


Should I repeat courses that I made C’s in?

You should only if you can't possibly improve your GPAs by taking additional coursework in a given subject area. If you retake a course, PTCAS will average the grades from the 2 courses to calculate the GPA. 

I didn't do well early in my scholastic career. Will that count against me?

When your record is evaluated, all grades you earned are noted and also when you made them. Trends of grades are important. Your last 60 hours GPA is an important criteria.

I graduated a long time ago, will I have to retake any course work?

The content of coursework completed in chemistry, physics and physiology more than 10 years prior to the application deadline will be accepted if validated by an appropriate mechanism determined by the Admissions Committee. This may be demonstrated in that the information has been used on a regular basis in your job or life related activities or by CLEP Exam or credit by examination.

Will the courses I've taken at another university transfer to UAB?

Credits received at a regionally accredited institution are accepted. Unless you are expecting to earn an undergraduate degree from UAB, the prerequisite courses earned elsewhere are not entered as part of your academic record at UAB. They are evaluated only by the Department of Physical Therapy to determine if they will adequately prepare you for success in this curriculum.

Does it matter where I went to school?

Not as long as it is a regionally accredited institution.

My school was very rigorous, so should my grades be worth more?

Because there is no measure of the quality of educational experiences offered in each program of each university, all programs are regarded as equal.

What is the best major?

You should major in whatever area of study you enjoy most. Allow yourself to explore a wide range of different interests early in your college career. When you find something you enjoy, chances are you will do well in it. Let your own curiosity be your guide.  No specific major is required. Students have entered with degrees in psychology, biology, chemistry, religion, rehabilitation counseling, ornamental horticulture, and agriculture to name only a few. This program and the profession will be stronger and more enriched by being made up of people with a wide variety of backgrounds.

If I am accepted into physical therapy school, can I major in sports medicine/pediatrics/geriatrics?

The entry level curriculum is designed to prepare you as a generalist. You will know enough about all of the areas of physical therapy to get started. If you wish to specialize in the future you may do so, either by taking continuing education courses or by enrolling in a post professional program at UAB or one of the many other colleges and universities offering such programs.

Do Alabama residents get preferential treatment?

If, during the final evaluation of candidates, two are equally qualified and one is from Alabama, the Alabama resident is offered the position.

How can I become an Alabama resident?

You must live in the state for one year immediately preceding the date of registration. You must show intent to stay in Alabama indefinitely and have more substantial connections with Alabama than any other state. For more information please visit the UAB Nonresident Tuition Policy.

How many hours of PT related observation are required?

You must document that you have completed at least 40 hours of observation or work in physical therapy. We want you to have experienced physical therapy in a variety of environments. You need to have explored as many aspects of the field as you can to get a feel for the profession. Is it really what you thought it was before you started experiencing it? Do you like the PT’s you've met? Would you look forward to going to work every day?

How many different places should I have had PT experience?

As many as possible. The more you experience the more you know, not only about the profession, but also about yourself.

Can I work while I'm in the PT program?

Working while pursuing your degree is discouraged. There is very little time available outside of class and study time. Students in the past who have worked have experienced difficulty keeping up with classroom responsibilities.

Can I attend the PT program part-time?

No. The entry-level professional curriculum is a full-time program and designed to be completed in nine terms.  



Program Dates

When does the program start?
The program begins in the Spring Term which usually starts the first week of January. The curriculum is a set curriculum and must be started and completed in a specified period of time (9 terms). If you need to drop out of the program for some reason, you may have to reapply for admission to the program and start the curriculum again.

When would I graduate?

The program lasts for three years consisting of nine terms. You will graduate at the end of fall semester (December) in the third year from your start date. 



Educational Costs

How much does it cost to obtain a PT degree at UAB?
Click Here for information regarding tuition rates at UAB and a detailed estimate of  educational costs (tuition, fees, and other) specifically for the UAB Physical Therapy Programs.

FEE SCHEDULE SUBJECT TO CHANGE BY THE BOARD OF TRUSTEES AT THE BEGINNING OF ANY TERM.

Are there scholarships available?

There are scholarships available through the Department of Physical Therapy. Additionally, you can contact the UAB Financial Aid office at (205) 934-8223 about other opportunities.

What about work study possibilities?

There are some possibilities for work study assistance. Contact the Financial Aid office at (205) 934-8223 for further information.



Where to Live

Where do students live?
Students live in apartments in the local area in either private or UAB complexes. Contact the UAB housing office at (205) 934-2092 for further information.

Can you help me find a roommate?

Students seeking roommates can ask that their name and address be on a list which is distributed to the whole class. Students then contact one another about arrangements.



Job Opportunities and Salaries

What are the prospects for employment upon graduation?

UAB DPT graduates easily find employment. The populations requiring physical therapy services are increasing and will continue to grow. For the latest information on how health care reform is affecting the profession of physical therapy, please visit the website for the American Physical Therapy Association

 
How much do Physical Therapists earn?

According to a 2010 survey by the APTA, median incomes ranged from $75,000 to $90,000, depending on location. In the east south central area (i.e. Alabama, Kentucky, Mississippi, Tennessee), the median salary was $84,000. The median income for physical therapists with 0-3 years of experience was $61,000.

Can I go into private practice?
Yes. There are opportunities for those wishing to open their own practice. Visit The American Physical Therapy Association's private practice section for more information.



Clinic

When do I go to clinic?
Clinical Education I begins during the final six weeks of the second term and consist of one day a week experiences. Clinical Education II and III are one day per week, for ten weeks during terms three and four. Clinical Education IV, V, and VI are full time rotations and occur in terms seven, eight, and nine respectively.

Where are the clinics located?
Students are placed in many facilities in the greater Birmingham area as well as across the state of Alabama. In addition, there are clinical sites throughout the southeast and a few in more distant states.

Who decides where I will go for clinic?
After consulting with you about your goals and needs, the Academic Coordinator of Clinical Education (ACCE) will make your clinical assignments. The ACCE will try to accommodate any special requests you make, but please remember, the ACCE is placing 150 students in clinics year round.

Are room and board provided at the far away clinical sites?
Some clinical sites are able to offer varying degrees of assistance to students; some offer room and board; some offer assistance in finding room and board; and some offer no assistance.


 
PT License

Do I have to be licensed to practice PT?

Yes, all states require Physical Therapists be licensed to practice.

Is there a licensure examination?
Yes, there is. It is a national examination used by all states. It is under the authority of the Federation of State Boards of Physical Therapy. Graduates may take the exam by appointment at any of the designated testing sites.