Health Professions

Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) - Frequently Asked Questions

Academics/Program

Is the program a full-time program or can it be taken part-time?

The program is a full-time program. There are no part-time options.

Can I work while going to the DPT program?

The Physical Therapy program is a full-time endeavor. Some students choose to work part-time, and there are work study opportunities on campus. We recommend that students plan accordingly with their time-management skills, financial management, study time, and personal balance to ensure academic success.

What does the DPT class schedule look like?

All courses are only offered during normal business hours. Students are in class every day for four to eight hours, Monday through Friday.

How many applicants do you accept a year?

Typically, 50 candidates are accepted once a year.

How do I make myself more competitive?

The admissions committee evaluates application packet holistically. Therefore, the quality and quantity of academic preparation, strong letters of recommendation, shadowing experience, community service activities, leadership evidence, and awards are all a part of the evaluation process.

Does it matter what area I have my undergraduate degree?

The subject matter of the degree does not play a role in the admissions process. The degree should be in an area of interest to the student; however, science courses are very helpful in preparation for our DPT coursework.

Application Process

Do you interview candidates for your program and what is the format?

Yes - interviews are held in late November and mid-December.  Interviews consist of multiple stations in both a group and individual format during which applicants have the opportunity to interact with many of our faculty and clinical partners.

If I am re-applying, what do I need to do?

Students will be required to send in all new materials, transcripts, PTCAS application, fees, etc. Records of past applicants are not kept on file at UT Health Science Center at San Antonio or in PTCAS.

Where else can I get tips on applying?

We hold Physical Therapy Open House Workshops typically in late spring through summer leading up to the application cycle deadline. Questions will be answered at these workshops and tips on how to apply and strengthen your application will be shared.

To attend a workshop, please RSVP in advance.  The event is free and recommended for prospective applicants who are within two years of applying.

Please note that the Physical Therapy Department does an annual review of the admission requirements. Be sure to check our website for updated requirements, and information, and plan accordingly for the application cycle that you anticipate applying for. We recommend annual attendance to the Open House Workshop event in case there are changes in the application process from year to year.

Prerequisites & Requirements

Does it matter when prerequisite courses were taken? For example, do you accept courses taken over 10 years ago?

We do not have an expiration date for prerequisite courses. However, students are responsible for being prepared for the DPT curriculum.

Does it matter if I take my prerequisite courses at a two-year college instead of a four-year university?

The GPA is calculated the same way, whether it was taken at a community college or a four-year university.

No preference is given to courses taken at either institution. We understand the cost of education and want to have as many options as possible in obtaining the prerequisite courses required for our programs.

Please note that for your required DPT admission requirement academic coursework, vocational and/or technical courses will not satisfy these requirements.

What course can I take if my institution does not offer courses in “Human Anatomy” and “Human Physiology?”

If a combined Human Anatomy & Physiology course is taken, applicants must complete  both Anatomy & Physiology I and Anatomy & Physiology II with the appropriate laboratories.  Neither Anatomy & Physiology I nor II, alone, satisfies the Anatomy and Physiology requirements. Therefore, the prerequisite series of Anatomy and Physiology I and II may be taken in lieu of separate

Anatomy and Physiology courses (total of 8 semester credit hours).

What is considered acceptable for the developmental psychology, motor development, or human development prerequisite course requirement?

  • Pre-approved courses can be found on the Prerequisite Equivalency List for Physical Therapy.
  • If your institution is not listed or you are not sure, the key elements for consideration is that the course must be three semester credit hours and cover the lifespan of a human’s development.
  • If you need additional assistance, please see the instructions for “How can I find out if the prerequisite courses I took at my college/university meet the required prerequisites?” below.

What will be acceptable for the medical terminology course requirement?

Completion of a medical terminology course can be taken at an accredited community college, university, or through an online certification course. If you are completing an online medical terminology course, be sure to select a course which includes the certificate of your completed course.

Do you accept CLEP or AP courses for prerequisites?

We accept this type of credit as long as your courses have been recognized by your undergraduate institution and the credit is recorded on your college/university transcript.

How does the department calculate GPA?

We calculate two GPAs – the overall GPA of every college/university course ever taken and the math/science prerequisite GPA (this includes the biology, anatomy/physiology, physics, chemistry, and statistic courses). GPAs are calculated on a flat grade system (a C is counted as a C).

If I re-take a course, how does this affect my prerequisite GPA?

If an applicant re-takes a math/science prerequisite course, the program will use the higher grade in calculating the prerequisite GPA. If an applicant re-takes a non-science/math prerequisite course both the low score and high score are used in calculating the overall GPA.

Does my GRE score affect my application?

The GRE is a requirement for your application. All items in your application will be considered.

I noticed on the Admission Requirements Checklist for the DPT program that prerequisite hour requirements are listed in semester credit hours. What if I attended an institution where college credit is awarded in quarter hours?

Semester credit hours and quarter hours are not the same equivalent credit hours. Please refer to the quarter hour to semester hour equivalency chart below. If your quarter hours do not equate to the required semester credit hours, you will be missing the prerequisite requirement hours. 

Quarter Hour to Semester Hour Equivalency Chart

Quarter hours Semester hours credit equivalent
1 0.67
2 1.33
3 2.0
4 2.67
5 3.33
6 4.0
7 4.67
8 5.33
9 6.0
10 6.67

Observation Hours

Is there a preference for the types of observation hours attained?

We feel that a variety of hours is more important than quantity. An applicant with 50 hours in a variety of settings like pediatrics, geriatrics, hospital, outpatient orthopedics, neurologic rehabilitation, hospital, etc. is more competitive than an applicant with 1,000 hours in one area.