Learn more about the UAB Doctor of Physical Therapy program from our Frequently Asked Questions. If you have a question that is not listed here, please This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for an answer.

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  • 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, 2018 must have 75% of prerequisite courses completed by the end of the fall semester 2018.

    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?

    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. 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.

  • 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?
  • 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

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


  • When do I go to clinic?

    Students participate in integrated clinical education experiences each semester during their first two years in the program. During the summer of their second year, students complete a 5-week full-time clinical education experience. During third year of the program, students complete three, 10-week full-time clinical education experiences occurring each semester.

  • Where are the clinics located?

    Integrated clinical education experiences are located in the Birmingham area as students participate in on-campus courses concurrently. The full-time clinical experiences occur in clinical settings in Birmingham, Alabama, the Southeast, and nationally across the United States.

  • Who decides where I will go for clinic?

    The Director of Continuing Education and Community Outreach assigns students for the integrated clinical experiences. For full-time clinical education experiences, students provide input on their desired clinics along with their personal learning goals, interests and needs to the Director of Clinical Education (DCE). This information is considered when the DCE matches students to available clinical placements.

  • 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

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: accreditation@apta.org; website: http://www.capteonline.org. If needing to contact the program/institution directly, please call 205-934-3566 or email jbraswel@uab.edu.

CAPTE Accreditation Verified logo.