instructor demonstrates procedure for studentApplication Process

Application Deadlines

2023-2024 PTCAS Application Cycle

July 1, 2023 - November 1, 2023.

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, 2023, PTCAS will begin accepting applications. PTCAS applications must be completed and verified by November 1, 2023, for the class beginning in January 2025. Applicants should send all application materials directly to PTCAS. PTCAS will verify the application information and send completed applications to our program.

Following the program's receipt of the PTCAS application, the UAB Doctor of Physical Therapy Program admissions committee will review verified and complete applications. Based on the review, applicants are selected for acceptance to our program.

UAB will be offering an optional invitation only in-person welcome day session in January 2024 for accepted applicants and those applicants on the alternate list. Those that attend will get to meet the faculty, staff, and current DPT students and they will learn about the curriculum, clinical rotations, research, and other program details. This in-person Welcome Day will occur in the School of Health Professions. If invited, details regarding this event will be included in the invitation.

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:

    • PTCAS application must be complete and verified by PTCAS, by November 1, 2023.
    • 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 by November 1, 2023, must have 75% of prerequisite courses completed by the end of the fall of 2024.
    • The applicant must have a grade of C or better in all prerequisite courses.
    • Complete a required minimum of at least 20 hours of shadowing with a licensed physical therapist. Shadowing hours need to be verifiable by PTCAS. There is no required form for recording shadowing hours. Record the name, date/s worked, and contact information of the physical therapist with whom you shadowed, as well as the name and address of the facility at which you shadowed. This information must be uploaded into your PTCAS application.
    • Submit three letters of recommendation to PTCAS. UAB will only accept letters of recommendation from PTCAS. The requirements for the letters of recommendation has changed for the 2023-2024 admissions cycle. Three letters are required and the fourth letter is optional.
      Once you have saved an electronic reference, an email request will automatically be sent to the referrer on your behalf. Please advise your referrer to look for this email in their inbox, as well as their spam or junk-mail folder, as emails do occasionally get filtered out. Please note: All references submitted within this section of your application are program specific. If you choose to remove this program from your application, please understand your letters will be deleted along with the program.
      • Letter 1: Written by a professor that can attest to your academic ability in the classroom. A professor that has taught you in a college course.
      • Letters 2: Written by a licensed Physical Therapist with whom the applicant has shadowed/observed.
      • Letter 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 Behaviors, Response to Criticism, Responsibility, Stress Management, Team Skills, Time Management, Written Communication). The program recommends that this letter be completed by a licensed physical therapist, however, this is not a requirement.
      • Letter 4: OPTIONAL and can be written by anyone.
    • The UAB DPT Program will not require the GRE in the 2023-2024 admissions cycle. If you have taken the GRE, you may submit your test scores using school code 7801. Not submitting a GRE score will not negatively impact your application and the program will not consider GRE in decisions. If you are taking the GRE, take the general GRE test that includes three different sections: analytical writing, quantitative, and verbal.

    Our admissions committee makes decisions based on needs of the program and the current impact of COVID on our applicants. They always strive to put our applicant's current situation into consideration. As the pandemic continues to impact our country we will respond accordingly. Therefore, there are some changes that may be made during the admissions cycle. All changes will be posted on our website as soon as they are made.

  • 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 or BMD 310 (4 hours) (listed as Biology / Biological Science in PTCAS)
    • Physiology* (Human or Mammalian) - BY 116 (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 or HCM 350 (1-3 hours)
    • Physics* - PH 201/201L lab** (4 hours), PH 202/202L lab** (4 hours) (total 8 hours) or PH 221/221L lab** (4 hours), PH 222/222L lab** (4 hours) (total 8 hours)
    • Precalculus with Trigonometry - MA 106 (3 hours)
    • Statistics (must be taken in Math, Psychology, Sociology or Educational Psychology) - MA 180, PY 216, SOC 410, PUH 250 or EPR 214 (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 prerequisites, please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and provide the following details — the name of the Institution from which you took the course, include the city and state of the institution, the semester you took the course, the course number, the course syllabus, and include a transcript (unofficial is fine). If you have not taken the course yet, please reach out to that institution’s department and request the most current syllabus they can provide for that course. We will provide UAB equivalency. It may take up to two weeks to get a response.

  • 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

The UAB Department of Physical Therapy uses a holistic admissions approach congruent to our mission: “to prepare physical therapists who are evidence-based practitioners with the skills, knowledge and behaviors to deliver value-based physical therapy services, consultation, education, critical inquiry and administration, with a primary focus on clinical practice involving diverse populations.” Therefore, the admissions committee considers all aspects of the application submitted to PTCAS.

Applicants are evaluated on the following criteria:

  • Overall GPA, Prerequisite GPA, last 60 hours GPA.
  • Quality of answers to the essay questions in the PTCAS application.
  • Quality of KIRA Assessment. Please dress professionally and record in a quiet, neutral space.
  • Quality of letters of recommendation
  • Holistic Admissions Assessment (To be determined)

KIRA Assessment

pdfConfidentiality Agreement

The KIRA assessment is a series of video and written questions that will take the place of in-person interviews. The assessment is a required scored component of your application. If the assessment is incomplete, your application will not be considered for admissions.

This assessment will give you a set amount of time to prepare and a set amount of time to respond to each question. The KIRA assessment will be scored by multiple members of the UAB DPT faculty. The assessment should take less than 60minutes to complete, and can be done on your own time. We highly recommend applicants utilize the practice feature multiple times to get familiar with the format prior to completing the formal assessment. Each applicant only gets one chance to complete the formal KIRA assessment.

To improve your assessment please consider:

  • Background and camera angle
  • Attire should be professional 
  • Answer all components of the question
  • This assessment is your interview

All applicants will be rated on the following competency areas:

  • Innovative and entrepreneurial
  • Resilience and grit
  • Compassion, empathy, and emotional intelligence
  • Problem solving
  • Cultural humility

PTCAS Application Troubleshooting

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. The professional letter cannot be from a neighbor, friend or minister, unless you have worked with or for that individual.
  3. The PTCAS course matching service was retained, but the applicant did not ‘accept’ the courses they matched in their PTCAS application and thus your application is unable to be verified.

Admissions Process Timeline

  • July 1 – November 1, 2023 – Complete PTCAS application.
  • December – Students notified about admissions status.
  • January 2024 – Optional invitation only in-person Welcome Day.
  • January 8, 2025 – Program begins.

Our admissions committee makes decisions based on needs of the program and the current impact of COVID on our applicants. They always strive to put our applicant's current situation into consideration. As changes continue to happen across our country we will respond accordingly.

Virtual Tour

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), 3030 Potomac Ave., Suite 100, Alexandria, Virginia 22305-3085; 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.