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Future applicants to the University of Utah Doctor of Physical Therapy program:

We are going through an unprecedented crisis with COVID-19.  Many of you have had interruptions to your daily life. We are aware and sensitive to these changes and hope that you and your families are safe during these difficult times.

For many at our undergraduate institutions, because of the transition to online learning, a Pass/Fail or Credit/No-Credit grading system has been adopted.

To accommodate these changes, anyone enrolled in Spring 2020 for a prerequisite to our DPT program is not required to earn a letter grade. Applicants will not be penalized for Pass/Fail or Credit/No-Credit marks on their transcripts in any classes taken Spring 2020. The Admissions Committee understands this change and will not hold it against individual applicants.

In turn, we are also closely monitoring the situation when it comes to our other criteria, including observation hours, shadowing experiences, community service, leadership ability, the GRE, etc. We will continue to work with our national and local partners including the American Council of Academic Physical Therapy (ACAPT), American Physical Therapy Association (APTA), PTCAS (Physical Therapy Centralized Application Service), and the Graduate Records Examination (GRE).

Thank you for your patience during these difficult times.

Application Information

We've compiled a guide to help you through the application process. We recommend checking back often as information may change.

PTCAS Application Deadline

Thursday, October 1st, 2020

Interview Date

Friday, January 22, 2021 There are no alternate dates. If invited, plan for inclement weather.

Admission Requirements

  1. An undergraduate Cumulative GPA minimum of 3.0 based on all undergraduate work.
  2. Prerequisite GPA minimum of 3.0; 3.2 or higher prerequisite and cumulative GPA is recommended to be competitive for admission.
  3. Work or volunteer Observation experience with a licensed physical therapist; minimum 100 hours. 
  4. On-time submission of complete and competitive PTCAS application.
  5. Competitive ranking during the department’s interview process.
  6. Bachelor's degree from a fully accredited college or university completed prior to the start of the program in May.

CPR Certification

CPR Certification is not necessary at time of application and does not require completion as college coursework, but is required upon acceptance and matriculation. The American Heart Association (AHA)Basic Life Support (BLS) for Healthcare Providers 1 & 2-Rescuer CPR and AED for adult, child and infant is universally accepted and is now the is the only CPR program accepted for the University of Utah Department of Physical Therapy. The Skills practice and Skills testing portion must be done in the classroom, NOT online. Proof of current certification is required prior to the start of the DPT program.

First Aid Certification is not necessary at time of application and does not require completion as college coursework, but is required upon acceptance and matriculation. Certification from all providers will be accepted for First Aid.

Hepatitis B for Incoming Students

Hepatitis B vaccination is a series of 3 time sensitive injections. The 2nd injection is administered one month after the first, and the third injection is given 6 months after the second. Therefore, students are advised to begin the series of vaccinations as soon as they begin the application process in order to complete the series before admission. Most, if not all, PT programs require these immunizations so it is well worth the applicant’s time to get them completed regardless of where they are admitted.

College of Health Commitment to Diversity Excellence in Admissions

The University of Utah College of Health strives to promote diversity and inclusion among its students, faculty, and staff with the realization that diverse perspectives and life experiences strengthen our academic community in multiple ways. By creating a welcoming and supportive environment that encourages academic excellence and diverse perspectives, we work toward the creation of opportunities for all to learn form one another by sharing our wealth of talents and histories. Each of our departments offer degrees in professions focused on health, wellness, and research. With the increasingly rich complexity of our population, we recognize the need for our graduates to reflect the diversity of our community. Furthermore, we also recognize the strong and positive impact a diverse collective of faculty, staff, students, and alumni can have on issues of health equity and the valuable role our College can play in reducing health disparities for all populations.

As a reflection of the College of Health's commitment to diversity, the University of Utah physical therapy program values the following in our admissions process: 

Life experiences volunteer, community service, experience with diverse populations, employment history, research activities, meaningful number of observation hours in various settings
Educational background undergraduate major, science and non-science related academic merit
Cultural background multicultural experiences, bilingual/multilingual, international experiences, rural background
Socioecomonic background first generation college graduate, self-supporting, medically underserved area

The Admissions Process

After the October deadline, application files are reviewed. A complete file must contain a PTCAS Application marked complete by deadline. If the file is complete, then the application is reviewed to determine eligibility, based upon completion of all prerequisite coursework with a “C” or better, a minimum GPA (both cumulative and prerequisite) of 3.0 and the progression of a bachelor’s degree to be completed by the start of our program.

Once eligibility is determined, each student's file will be audited, reviewed and scored on an individual basis by the Admissions Committee in the Department of Physical Therapy. The top 120 scores are invited to interview.

The interview process is a critical one; through the interview process, we gain an understanding of the candidate, his/her academic preparation and insight into his/her potential as a future PT. The interview process consists of two individual interviews and a group interview, spread over the course of 2 days. The individual interviews are between the candidate and a faculty member. The group interview consists of 3 candidates and a panel of 3 interviewers—1 faculty member, 1 PT from our local community and 1 current 2nd year DPT student. For admission to the program in May, candidate interviews typically will take place on Thursday & Friday, prior to the January MLK weekend. No alternate dates are available. Serious applicants must be willing to travel to campus for interviews on these dates!

Interview scores are then compiled and collated with the written review scores. Admission to the program is offered to the top candidates. Because there are a greater number of well-qualified applicants than the Department is able to accommodate, there is competition for the 50 seats available and although well-qualified, some applicants are not able to be admitted. Qualified applicants who do not receive an initial offer of admission may be offered an alternate spot. Alternates will be offered admission should a spot become available. We do not maintain a waiting list from year to year. If a student is not selected for admission, the student will need to reapply the following year.

The Department of Physical Therapy at the University of Utah is committed to policies of equal opportunity and nondiscrimination on the basis of race, national origin, sex, or age. No preference is given to in-state vs. out-of-state applicants, national vs international status, or student source of funding.

DPT Application Process

The actual acceptance of those students selected is contingent on the following:

  • Official acceptance by the University of Utah Office of Admissions.
  • Verification of completion of all course requirements, including prerequisite courses and bachelor’s degree.
  • Receipt of a non-refundable fee to hold class place. A portion of this fee is applied to Summer Semester tuition.
  • Completion of a criminal background check and a drug screen, the cost of which is the responsibility of the student.
  • Proof of First Aid and CPR certification.
  • Proof of immunizations.
  • Proof of health insurance coverage.

Advisor Information

The advisor for the Physical Therapy program is Christie Burley. Info sessions are encouraged PRIOR to scheduling individual advisingBook an appointment by sending an email to Christie. You may also email your specific questions or concerns to christie.burley@hsc.utah.edu. Sending an email will guarantee the fastest response time. 

Students needing general university advising for general education or bachelor degree requirements should contact University College at 801-581-5146 or visit their website.