instructor demonstrates procedure for studentApplication Process

Application Deadlines

2021 - 2022 PTCAS Application Cycle

July 1, 2021 - November 1, 2021

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, 2021, PTCAS began accepting applications. PTCAS applications must be completed and verified by November 1, 2021, for the class beginning in January 2023. 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 complete applications. Based on the review, applicants are selected for acceptance to our program.

UAB will be offering an optional invitation only open house session for accepted applicants and those applicants on the waitlist. Applicants will get to meet the faculty, staff, and current DPT students. Applicants will learn about the curriculum, clinical rotations, research, and other program details. This in-person open house will occur in the School of Health Professions on January 14, 2022. 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:

  • Complete the PTCAS application by November 1, 2021.
  • 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, 2021, must have 75% of prerequisite courses completed by the end of the fall of 2021.
  • 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. If possible, applicants are encouraged to shadow a licensed physical therapist. Applicants will have a chance to describe experiences in physical therapy in the application.
  • Documentation must be submitted to PTCAS by the November 1, 2021.
  • *Submit three letters of recommendation to PTCAS.
    Note: PTCAS only accepts 5 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 changed for the 2021-2022 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 Behaviors, 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 a requirement.
  • The UAB DPT Program will not require the GRE in the 2021-2022 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 for a future application cycle, take the general GRE test that includes three different sections: analytical writing, quantitative, and verbal.
  • If invited, complete a personal interview with the Department of Physical Therapy faculty. Interviews will be held on January 14 and January 21, 2022. The program will determine whether the interviews will be in person or virtual at a later date.

*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. Therefore, there are some changes that we have not made a decision regarding yet. 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 (4 hours) (listed as Biology / Biological Science in PTCAS)
  • 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)
  • Physiology (Human or Mammalian)* - BY 116 (4 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 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, and include a transcript (unofficial is fine). 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 on the PTCAS application.
  • Quality of interview.
  • Quality of letters of recommendation
  • Holistic Admissions Assessment (To be determined)

*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. Therefore, there are some changes that we have not made a decision regarding yet. All changes will be posted on our website as soon as they are made.

KIRA Assessment

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 1 – November 1, 2021 – Complete PTCAS application.
  • December - Students notified about admissions status.
  • January 14, 2022 – Optional invitation only in-person open house.
  • January 2023 – 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.