instructor demonstrates procedure for studentApplication Process

Application Deadlines:

July 1, 2020* - November 1, 2020

* There are components of the PTCAS application that will not be viewable until July 1, 2020. If you have already started your application, check again on, or after, July 1, 2020, for the additional components to the application.

Application Procedure:

This program participates in the Physical Therapist Centralized Application Service (PTCAS). For more information regarding specific PTCAS application requirements, procedures and fees, visit the PTCAS website.

On July 1, 2020, the PTCAS will begin accepting applications. The PTCAS application must be completed by November 1, 2020 for the class beginning in January 2022. Applicants should send all application materials directly to PTCAS. PTCAS will verify the application information and send completed applications to the program.

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 will be held on Friday, January 15 and Friday, January 22, 2021. Admissions decisions are finalized by April, 2021.

Transfer of Credit Policy:

The UAB DPT Program will not accept transfer credits from other DPT programs because of the lack of consistency among DPT curricula.


Admission Requirements

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 November 1, 2020.
  • Have a minimum 3.0 (A=4.0) for the following grade point averages: 1) cumulative, 2) prerequisite, and 3) last 60 semester hours.
  • The UAB Doctor of Physical Therapy Program recognizes students across many institutions were offered the pass/fail option due to the circumstances surrounding the COVID-19 altered education experience. An applicant’s choice of pass/fail for a prerequisite or other course will not negatively affect the application. UAB DPT admissions follows the PTCAS policy: for “pass” classes, the student receives credit for the course, but that course is not factored into their GPA. For “fail” classes, the student does not get credit for the class, and the class factors into their GPA as a failed class. Students are encouraged to make decisions that work best for their situation. Please see the PTCAS website for additional information.
  • 75% of prerequisite courses (i.e., 38 credits 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 November 1, 2020, must have 75% of prerequisite courses completed by the end of the fall of 2020.
  • The applicant must have a grade of C or better in all prerequisite courses.
  • The UAB DPT Program recognizes that due to COVID-19, applicants might have difficulty completing the required 40 hours of observation with a licensed physical therapist. Therefore, we are waiving this requirement for the 2020-2021 admissions cycle.
  • Documentation must be submitted to PTCAS by the November 1 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. Due to the circumstances surrounding the impact of COVID-19, the requirements for the letters of recommendation have changed for the 2020-2021 admissions cycle:
    • Letter 1: Written by a professor with whom the applicant had significant interaction in an academic setting.
    • Letters 2 & 3: Written by an individual with whom the applicant had interaction in a professional setting. The individual must be able to assess the applicant’s qualities as defined in the PTCAS recommendation form (e.g. Critical Thinking, Empathy, Ethics, Interpersonal Skills, Leadership, Oral Communication, Professional Demeanor, Response to Criticism, Responsibility, Stress Management, Team Skills, Time Management, Written Communication). The program recommends that the letters be completed by licensed physical therapists. However, this is not required for the 2020-2021 application cycle.
  • Due to the restrictions on testing centers at this time, the UAB DPT Program will not require the GRE in the admissions decisions for the 2020-2021 admissions cycle. *Students taking the GRE for a future admissions cycle should enter the school code 7801.
  • If invited, complete a personal interview with the Department of Physical Therapy faculty. Interviews will be held on January 15 and January 22, 2021.

Prerequisite Requirements

Course requirements are listed in semester credit hours.

Arts and Humanities

  • English Composition - EH 101, 102 (6 hours).

Social and Behavioral Sciences

  • Psychology (6 hours).

Natural Sciences and Mathematics

  • Anatomy - BY 115 (4 hours)
  • Biology - BY 123 (Biology I) and BY 124 (Biology II) (8 hours)
  • Chemistry for science majors, with labs* - CH 115/116 lab, CH 117/118 lab (8 hours)
  • Medical Terminology - AHS 350 (1-3)
  • Physics* - PH 201/201L lab, PH 202/202L lab or PH 221/221L lab, 222/222L lab** (8 hours)
  • Physiology (Human or Mammalian)* - BY 116 (4 hours)
  • Precalculus with Trigonometry - Math 106 (3 hours)
  • Statistics (must be taken in Math, Psychology, or Sociology) - MA 180, PY 216, or SOC 410 (3-4 hours)

*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).

To determine how your courses from other institutions equate to our pre-requisites, please go to:, click on ‘Domestic’, select the state in which your institution resides, select your institution, select the subject area, look for your course number (be sure to check the ‘Effective Term’ column, if the course is listed multiple times). The course information must be from the institution at which you took the course.

If the course is not listed, please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and provide them the following detail, the name of the Institution from which you took the course, the semester your took the course, the course number, and include a transcript (unofficial is fine). They will be able to provide UAB equivalency. It may take up to two weeks to get a response because they may need to contact the Department to receive an evaluation.

Essential Functions

Fundamental tasks, behaviors, and abilities necessary to successfully complete the academic and clinical requirements of the program and to satisfy licensure/certification requirements, are outlined here. Students requesting disability accommodations must do so by filing a disability accommodation request in writing with the UAB Disability Support Services Office.

Post-Acceptance Requirements

Students who are accepted into the UAB Doctor of Physical Therapy program must:

  • Complete the UAB Graduate School application and 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.
  • The UAB Doctor of Physical Therapy program will submit all transcripts that were submitted through PTCAS to the Graduate School; however, you will be responsible for sending any transcripts that were either not submitted or do not show degree awarded.
  • 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.

Evaluation Criteria

Applicants are evaluated on the following criteria:

  • Overall GPA, Prerequisite GPA, last 60 hours GPA and GRE scores.
  • Quality of answers to the essay questions on the PTCAS application.
  • Quality of interview.

PTCAS Application Recommendations

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 letters of recommendation were not completed. The professor letter must be from a professor whose course you took as an undergraduate student and who can attest to your academic strengths.

Admissions Process Timeline

  • July to November 1 – Complete PTCAS application.
  • December - Students notified about interview status.
  • January 15 and 22, 2021: Interviews.
  • By April - Admission decisions finalized and students notified.
  • January 2022 - Program begins.

Accreditation Statement

The Doctor of Physical Therapy program at the University of Alabama at Birmingham is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE), 1111 North Fairfax Street, Alexandria, Virginia 22314: telephone 703-706-3245 email: website: If needing to contact the program/institution directly, please call 205-934-3566 or email

CAPTE Accreditation Verified logo.