The DPT program is available for qualified individuals who have a desire to continue their academic career in the field of physical therapy. This program targets both traditional and nontraditional students who demonstrate strong potential to navigate the rigorous accelerated, hybrid model curriculum. Acceptance into the program will be granted on a rolling basis.

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Program Admission Requirements
  • Completion of a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited institution.
  • Minimum cumulative and prerequisite GPA of 3.0 or greater on a 4.0 scale.
    • If the Overall Cumulative GPA is below 3.0, an applicant may still be eligible for review if their GPA over the last 60 semester hours/90 quarter hours is 3.5 or above.
    • Grades Below “C-” (1.7) in prerequisite courses will not be accepted.
    • If a prerequisite course is repeated, the credit hours assigned to the course may be counted only once in fulfilling the required number of hours. The pre-requisite GPA will be determined using the highest course grade achieved; however, both grades will be calculated into the cumulative GPA category.
    • For non-U.S. (foreign/international) coursework, it is recommended to send the World Evaluation Services (WES) foreign transcript evaluation to PTCAS for consideration.
  • Two (2) professional references are required: one (1) from a licensed PT and one (1) from a person of the applicant’s choice from the following: another licensed PT, professor, academic, supervisor/employer, health care professional or co-worker.
  • Completion of a minimum of forty (40) hours of observation, volunteer, or work experience in a variety of practice settings with a licensed physical therapist. There should be a minimum of 20 hours in one practice setting.
  • For all applicants for whom English is not their first language, TOEFL (score of 62), IELTS (equivalent score of 6.0), or Duolingo (equivalent score of 90) exams will be required.
  • Two personal statements/supplemental essays.
  • Completion of an admissions online interview with the DPT Admissions Coordinator by submitting real-time responses to pre-recorded interview questions.
  • Completion of a criminal background check prior to matriculation.
  • The citizenship types eligible for admission are U.S. citizens and permanent residents.

Prerequisite Requirements

The program will require a broad spectrum of biological, physical, and behavioral science courses, as well as coursework in English composition to adequately prepare students for DPT graduate-level education. Prerequisite courses ensure that all students, regardless of academic major, have a basic knowledge and understanding of these foundational sciences. Additionally, standardized prerequisites provide the Admissions Committee with a consistent and equitable means to evaluate undergraduate performance and assess student readiness for DPT education. The following prerequisites are required:

  • Biology with laboratory (8 semester hours/12 quarter hours)*
  • Chemistry with laboratory (8 semester hours/12 quarter hours)*
  • General Physics with laboratory (8 semester hours/12 quarter hours)*
  • Human Anatomy and Physiology with laboratory (8 semester hours/12 quarter hours.) *
    • Applicants must complete Anatomy and Physiology courses within the last eight years, prior to application, or demonstrate ongoing work experiences that have kept this knowledge current (e.g., physical therapist assistant, athletic trainer, etc.)
  • Statistics (3 semester hours/4 quarter hours)
  • Any Psychology (3 semester hours/4 quarter hours)
  • Abnormal, Developmental, or Lifespan Psychology (3 semester hours/4 quarter hours)
  • English Composition or Writing (3 semester hours/4 quarter hours)

*Introductory-level science courses are not accepted. Read full course descriptions below.

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Prerequisite Course Descriptions
  • Biology course with lab: Cell biology, cellular structure, and function, energy metabolism, photosynthesis, membrane structure and function, DNA, RNA, and proteins. Cellular division (mitosis & meiosis) and classical genetics.
  • Biology course with lab: Cell biology, mechanisms of speciation and evolution, taxonomy, viruses, prokaryotes, and eukaryotes, including animals, plants, fungi, algae, and protozoans.
  • Chemistry course with lab: Atoms, molecules & ions, chemical reactions and stoichiometry, gas behavior, thermochemistry, atomic theory & quantum mechanics, and chemical bonds.
  • Chemistry course with lab: Chemical bonding, molecular geometry, solution chemistry, chemical kinetics, equilibrium, acid-base chemistry, complex ions, thermodynamic state functions, electrochemistry, and nuclear chemistry.
  • Physics course with lab: Gravitational forces, work, energy and momentum, simple harmonic motion, wave motion and sound; kinetic theory of matter, behavior of gases, calorimetry, and change of state.
  • Physics course with lab: Electricity and magnetism, light (reflection, refraction, interference, polarization); relativity; quantum mechanics.
  • Anatomy and Physiology courses with lab: Structure and function of all relevant human body systems including nervous, cardiovascular, respiratory, hematologic, musculoskeletal, gastrointestinal, genitourinary, reproductive, integumentary, and immunologic. May require 4-8 semester hours depending on if one course is comprehensive or if two sequential courses (A&P I & A&P II) are taken to satisfy this requirement. Animal physiology is NOT acceptable.
  • Psychology course: Perception, learning, research methods, mental disorders, psychotherapy, history, and systems of psychology.
  • Psychology course: Human development, lifespan issues focusing on growth and development, including personality, language, cognition, and intelligence. An alternative is abnormal psychology or cognitive neuropsychology.
  • Statistics: Theory of probability and statistics including frequency distribution, binomial distributions, normal distributions, means, variances, standard deviations, sampling, confidence limits, and testing of hypotheses with a parametric and nonparametric analyses.
  • English Composition or Writing: English writing skills, grammar, usage, and reading comprehension.

Note: Introductory-level science courses are not accepted.

Application Process

  1. Applicants will submit applications through the Physical Therapy Centralized Application System (PTCAS). In addition to the online application, applicants will be required to submit all academic transcripts, two (2) recommendation letters, written responses (essays), proof of observation hours, other supporting information, application fee, and TOEFL/IELTS/DuoLingo scores, if applicable.
  2. The DPT admissions committee will screen all submitted applications to determine the applicant’s eligibility based on program admissions requirements.
  3. All eligible applicants will be invited to complete the online interview. All interviews will be conducted using the Kira Talent web-based video platform. The interview must be completed for full consideration.
  4. The DPT admissions committee will use a holistic review process of each applicant including academic performance, personal references, essays, other supporting information, and interviews to assure non-discrimination and an equal opportunity for all applicants.

 

Advanced Credit or Transfer Credit 

The program will not grant transfer credits from another program or institution. All courses within the professional didactic and clinical curriculum are required. The program will only accept advanced placement courses towards direct equivalent prerequisites if the advanced placement credit was accepted by the applicant’s undergraduate institution.


Technical Standards/Essential Functions

The Technical Standards of Graceland University’s Doctor of Physical Therapy Program (non- academic prerequisites) define the essential functions that an applicant must be able to perform to be admitted to the DPT Program, to progress satisfactorily, and to graduate. Upon matriculation, students must attest to meeting the Technical Standards and Essential Functions of the physical therapist student.

Essential functions of the physical therapist student refer to all non-academic criteria that are necessary to participate in the educational program. These include basic motor and communication skills, intellectual abilities, behavioral and social attributes, and other requirements. Listed below are considered minimum abilities required in the educational process of a physical therapist. The integrity of the curriculum must be maintained, and those elements deemed essential to the education of a physical therapist must be required and completed. Find the full technical standards and essential functions.


Computer/Technology Requirements

Students are required to have a laptop computer and a mobile device in order to complete the online coursework. Find the full technology requirements.

Note: Microsoft Office 365 is available for free download from GU student email account.


Class Size

Enrollment will be limited to the planned class size (100 students). Acceptance will be granted on a rolling basis.

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Preferred Contact Method: Graduation Date: GPA: Desired Cohort: