Dec 07, 2023  
2013-2014 Catalog 
2013-2014 Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Physical Therapy, DPT

Return to {$returnto_text} Return to: School of Health Professions

Admission Requirements

To be considered for admission to the Doctor of Physical Therapy program (DPT), an applicant must have participated in the competitive admissions process and must hold a bachelor’s degree from a regionally-accredited U.S. or Canadian college or university which would be completed prior to matriculation to the Physical Therapy program. The minimum last 60 credit hour grade point average (GPA) required to be considered for admission is 3.0 on a 4.0 scale. All enrolled students must meet the program’s minimum Health and Technical Standards to participate in the program.

Prerequisite Coursework

The minimum prerequisite coursework requirements cannot be waived and must be completed or in progress by the posted application deadline(s) from a regionally-accredited U.S. college or university or Canadian equivalent. Exceptions are not permitted. Prerequisite coursework must be satisfied with a grade of “B” or higher (3.0 on a 4.0 scale). A single course cannot be used simultaneously to meet more than one course prerequisite. All coursework completed by the applicant will be considered in the admissions process.

General Course Requirements Hours
Psychology 6
Science Course Requirements  
Biology (with lab) 8
Chemistry (with lab) 8
Physics (with lab) 8

Coursework is converted to semester credit hours when determining if minimum prerequisite requirements have been met. Meeting the prerequisite requirements generally calls for completion of courses designed for science majors; courses offered for non-science majors do not typically satisfy the prerequisite requirements of biology, chemistry and physics. Credit for coursework obtained through distance learning or online courses will be recognized as meeting prerequisite requirements as long as course credit is awarded from a regionally-accredited U.S. college or university or Canadian equivalent.

Foreign Coursework

The program will not accept course work obtained at foreign institutions except Canada.


Official transcripts from each institution attended used for evaluation in the admissions process must be submitted to the School of Health Professions Admissions Office in order for the application to be considered complete.

Upon acceptance of an offer of admission, applicants must request that final official transcripts from each institution previously attended be sent directly to the School of Health Professions Admissions. Final transcripts must list all courses including those that were in progress between initial application and final matriculation into the program.

Prerequisite Coursework Substitution

Prospective applicants seeking substitution for prerequisite coursework should submit their request via e-mail to:

or by regular mail to:

University of North Texas Health Science Center
School of Health Professions
PT Admissions
3500 Camp Bowie Boulevard
Fort Worth, TX 76107-2699
Phone: (817) 735-2003 Fax: (817) 735-2518

A catalog course description or course syllabus from the college or university where the course was completed must be submitted with the request. If a catalog course description is not available, a letter from the academic department that offered the original course describing the content and nature of the course may be substituted. Coursework substitutions and content hours must be equivalent or comparable to the prerequisite. Substitutions are approved on an individual basis. The program reserves the right to approve or deny any prerequisite course substitution requests.

Important Dates

May 1, 2013 - Application Opens
October 1, 2013 - Priority deadline
Mid November 2013 - Early Interviews begin
January 15, 2014 - Application closes
November 1, 2013 - March 1, 2014 - Admission Interviews

Applicant Selection

In reviewing applications for interview selection and acceptance, many factors are taken into consideration. These factors include but are not limited to:

  • Academic background
  • PT mentorship/shadowing experiences
  • Understanding of the role of PT
  • Two letters of reference (or support)
  • Community Service
  • Honors, achievements and awards
  • Other life experiences and extracurricular activities;
  • Applicant’s personal interview.

Although an applicant’s entire academic record is considered, this alone does not ensure acceptance. While prior experience in a health care setting is not required, this experience is considered a beneficial attribute and viewed positively by the Admissions Committee. PT mentorship and shadowing experiences are not required, but are highly encouraged. Letters of reference from a physical therapist or physician are required. Evidence of personal integrity, maturity, motivation, communication skills, interpersonal skills, critical thinking skills, writing ability, dedication and the ability to work with others are additional factors that will be considered. These qualities are evaluated by several means, including letters of reference, the scope and nature of extracurricular activities (including work and volunteer experience), the scope and breadth of prior education and through the interview process.

Selected applicants will be invited to the UNT Health Science Center in Fort Worth for an admissions interview. Interviews generally take place on campus from November to April. Interviewing may end sooner if the class has been filled. Candidates who are invited to interview will be contacted by phone or email. Declining an invitation or failing to appear for a scheduled interview will result in a withdrawal of your application. Early submission of your application may increase your chances of interview selection. Interview results are confidential and are considered in the competitive selection processes.

Transfer Policy

The program does not admit transfer students from other physical therapy programs.


The Doctor of Physical Therapy Program at the University of North Texas Health Science Center is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE), 1111 North Fairfax Street, Alexandria, Virginia 22314; telephone: 703-706-3245; email:; website:


Program Admissions

The admissions process shall be designed in a manner that does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, sex, religion, creed, national origin, age, or handicap. All enrollees must meet the Health and Technical Standards for the program. Application screening shall be designed to validate that minimum admission requirements have been met and the applicant is eligible for admission. The Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) Program Admissions Committee may establish criteria for automatic invitation to interview. Recommendations for admission shall be based on an applicant’s qualifications according to published criteria. Only applicants who have completed an interview can be admitted. No single or compounded scores achieved during the application and interview process may be used as the sole determinant for admission, however committee members are permitted to use these when comparing like characteristics and selecting a candidate’s records to be reviewed in greater detail. Provisional admission offers may be made pending completion of admission requirements; however deferred matriculation is not permitted. No students can be admitted to the DPT program in a probationary status.


Students who have met all course requirements and been recommended for graduation may be awarded the Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) degree provided they meet all of the conditions listed below:

  1. Have satisfactorily completed all academic requirements of the program.*
  2. Have a baccalaureate degree from an accredited college or university and successfully complete the professional DPT curriculum at the University of North Texas Health Science Center at Fort Worth.
  3. Have complied with all legal and financial requirements of the University of North Texas Health Science Center at Fort Worth.
  4. Have exhibited the ethical, professional, behavioral, and personal characteristics necessary for practice as a DPT.
  5. Have completed and returned to the DPT Program or the Office of the Registrar, all graduation forms and paperwork required by the Program and the institution.
  6. Have met other time limits listed below:
    1. In the event the student withdraws and later re-enters the program, or if a student is granted an extension beyond 36 months, that student must meet the requirements listed for the class with whom he or she graduates.
    2. A student who has been dismissed due to poor academic progress, and later is readmitted to the program, has not more than thirty-six (36) months from date of re-entry to successfully pass any academic course, which was failed, and any subsequent incomplete courses.
    3. A student dismissed due to a failing grade in a clinical rotation, who later is readmitted to the program, has not more than twelve (12) months from their date of re-entry to successfully complete the rotation that was failed and any subsequent incomplete rotations.
    4. The maximum time limit for completing all graduation requirements is seventy-two (72) months.
    5. Rarely, students may be required to meet additional requirements in order to meet other health science center, state or national regulations.

* A student’s performance in individual courses as well as their cumulative performance will be reviewed on an annual basis. In order to satisfactorily complete all academic requirements of the program, students are expected to pass each course with a “C” or better and maintain a cumulative GPA at or above 3.0.

Health and Technical Standards

All candidates for the Doctor of Physical Therapy Studies program must meet health and technical standards to gain admission and participate in the Doctor of Physical Therapy Program at the University of North Texas Health Science Center. Because the Doctor of Physical Therapy degree signifies that an individual is prepared to sit for the National Physical Therapy Examination and is prepared for entry into the profession of physical therapy, it follows that the graduates must possess the knowledge and skills to function in a broad variety of clinical situations and be able to provide a wide spectrum of patient care.

A candidate for the Doctor of Physical Therapy degree must have abilities in the following areas: observation, communication, motor, conceptual, integrative, quantitative, behavioral and social. Reasonable accommodations will be made as required by law, however, the candidate must be able to meet all technical standards with or without reasonable accommodation. The use of a trained intermediary means that a candidate’s judgment must be mediated by someone else’s power of selection and observation and is not a permissible accommodation. The following standards must be met by all students admitted to the DPT program.


The candidate must be able to observe demonstrations and experiments in basic and applied sciences including, but not limited, to human anatomy and physiology, neuroscience, as well as in didactic courses in physical therapy theory and practice for normal and pathologic states. The candidate must be able to observe a patient accurately at a distance and close at hand. Observation requires the use of common sense, as well as the functional use of the senses of vision, audition, olfaction, and palpation.


The candidate must be able to elicit information from patients, describe changes in mood, activity and posture, and perceive and accurately report nonverbal communications. The candidate must be able to communicate effectively and sensitively with patients/clients and their families. Communication includes not only speech, but reading and writing. The candidate must be able to communicate effectively and efficiently with all members of the health care team in both immediate and recorded modes.


The candidate should have sufficient motor function to elicit information from patients/clients by palpation, auscultation, percussion, manual positioning of body segments and other evaluative procedures. The candidate should be able to do basic screening and examination (physiological measures such as HR and respiration), diagnostic procedures (palpation, manual muscle testing, goniometry, sensory evaluation, gait analysis, balance assessment), and evaluate EKGs and X-rays. The candidate should be able to execute motor movements reasonably required to provide general care and emergency treatment to patients. Examples of emergency treatment reasonably required of physical therapists are cardiopulmonary resuscitation, and application of pressure to stop bleeding. Additionally, candidates must be able to perform debridement of wounds and other physical assessment maneuvers, where such actions require coordination of both gross and fine muscular movements, equilibrium and functional use of the senses of touch and vision.

Conceptual-Integrative and Quantitative Analysis

These abilities include measurement, calculation, reasoning, analysis, synthesis, and retention of complex information. Problem solving, the critical skill demanded of physical therapist practitioners, requires all of these intellectual abilities. In addition, the candidate should be able to comprehend three-dimensional relationships and to understand the spatial relationships of structures.

Behavioral/Social Attitudes

The candidate must possess the emotional health required for full use of their intellectual abilities, the exercise of good judgment, the prompt completion of all responsibilities attendant to the evaluation, diagnosis and care of patients, and the development of mature, sensitive and effective relationships with patients. The candidate must be able to tolerate physically-taxing workloads and to function effectively under stress. They must be able to adapt to changing environments, display flexibility and learn to function in the face of uncertainties inherent in the clinical problems of many patients. Compassion, integrity, concern for others, interpersonal skills, interest and motivation are all personal qualities that are assessed during the admission and education processes.

Student Involvement on Clinical Activities

DPT students may not be given responsibility for clinical care that exceeds their capabilities as a student or that violates other legal restrictions. Students may not take the responsibility or place of qualified staff. Involvement in clinical care is permitted only when authorized by the preceptor or faculty member. Assigned clinical care activities should not exceed the student’s stage of learning or clinical knowledge. Under no circumstances should assigned activities exceed those which a graduate physical therapist would otherwise be directed to perform. While the program will consider the impact of personal and cultural values, ethics, and religious beliefs on students’ requirements to participate, in no instance will clinical care or the mission of the institution be compromised.

Transfer of Course Credit

The program does not admit transfer students or accept transfer of course credit from other physical therapy programs.


Any DPT student receiving less than a passing grade in a course must remedy that grade to passing or face dismissal from the DPT program. Remediation of a failing course grade is considered a privilege that must be earned by the student. The opportunity to remedy a failing course grade is subject to the approval of the Chair of the Department of Physical Therapy. Remediation may include repeating a series of courses/practica up to and including an entire semester or year. Students with pending remediation activities may be permitted to continue in the curriculum until remediation activities have been completed. In the event a required course is no longer offered, remediation may include returning to the program under graduation requirements listed for the class in the following year. Failed and remedied course grades will be posted on the student’s official transcript. The nature of any remediation opportunities is subject to approval of the Chair of the Physical Therapy Department. Remedied grades may not exceed the minimum grade originally required to pass the course. All remediated credit hours and grades are counted in computing a student’s cumulative grade point average.

Leave of Absence

A student seeking a leave of absence must first meet with the program chair. A student in good academic standing may request a leave of absence due to a medical or serious personal problem. Requests for leave of absence must be submitted in writing. Leave cannot be granted for reasons of poor academic standing. Requests for leave of absence submitted by a student on academic probation shall be considered on a case-by-case basis. A request for leave of absence due to medical reasons must be accompanied by documentation from a physician or licensed professional describing the nature of the disability and the estimated length of time for recovery. A request for leave of absence due to personal reasons may also require substantiating documentation. For more information on attendance policies, visit the policy website at


Return to {$returnto_text} Return to: School of Health Professions