Frequently asked questions
1. What is a DPT?
The Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) is an entry-level post-baccalaureate degree conferred upon successful completion of a professional clinical doctoral education program. Refer to the official American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) web site www.apta.org for further information on DPT education and view the video You Can Be Me: A Career in Physical Therapy.
2. Is the DPT program at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga (UTC) accredited?
Yes. The DPT program is fully accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE), the organization responsible for the accreditation of all physical therapy education programs.
3. What is the length of the DPT program at UTC?
The length of our professional physical therapy program is 3 calendar years (8 straight semesters, including 2 summers). Our 4 + 3 program model accepts students after completing an undergraduate (UG) degree. Therefore, the total length of prerequisite and professional coursework is a minimum of 7 years (4 + 3).
4. Is there a desired major for my UG degree?
Certain majors give background support for a career in health sciences. At UTC the majority of our applicants pursue UG degrees in Biology, Health and Human Performance (Exercise Science, Movement Science), or Psychology. Please check the UTC UG catalog for specific requirements for each of these majors. Assuming you meet all DPT application requirements, however, an applicant may hold an UG degree in any major.
5. Can I be accepted before I have completed all of my prerequisite courses?
Yes, however, there are a certain number of specific prerequisite courses required at the time of application. On the application is a section for you to document how the remaining prerequisite coursework will be completed prior to the start of the professional program. Refer to the Admissions section of our PT web site for details.
6. If I have completed a PTA or other medically-based professional degree, will I still be required to complete your prerequisite courses?
Yes. The pre-PT prerequisite requirements for our program are typically different from PTA and other medical program coursework.
7. Does UTC routinely accept transfer courses from regionally accredited colleges and universities?
Yes. Courses with a grade of D or higher submitted for transfer credits are equated on a course-by-course basis with the awarding of equivalent or elective credit. Refer to the Equivalency Charts in our Advisement section of the PT web site for details. Please note, however, that an undergraduate degree is required for admission into the DPT program and all prerequisites require a grade of C or higher. In addition, ALL science prerequisite courses must be appropriate for majors in that discipline. While a course may transfer as an equivalent for the purposes of an undergraduate degree, undergraduate science courses that are designated as courses for non-majors are not accepted as prerequisites for entry into the DPT program. Please contact the department with questions regarding the appropriateness of courses if you have questions. You may also contact the department for equivalency information for specific schools.
8. When can I apply to your program?
The application cycle for Fall 2013 is now closed. The application for Fall 2014 will open July 2013. All program deadlines may be found on the UTC PTCAS Program Web Site. Early decision candidates must apply by the August deadline.
With a soft deadline you can still apply to the program after the deadline has passed. However we may give less or no consideration to applicants who apply after the soft deadline. It is possible that our program may move from a soft to a firm deadline at any point during the cycle.
Refer to the Admissions section of the PT web site for details regarding deadlines.
9. Is the GRE required?
10. How many students are accepted into your program each year?
Currently a maximum of 30 graduate students are accepted to begin the program at the start of each fall semester. Applicants are very competitive and have excelled in their undergraduate and prerequisite coursework.
11. How are students accepted for the program?
GRE scores along with science and cumulative GPAs are the primary factors used to determine admission. Our required minimum cumulative and science GPA is 3.2. However, the combined average GPAs for the classes of 2014 - 2016 were a 3.83 cumulative GPA and a 3.8 science GPA. There is no minimum GRE score required for regular decision applicants, but the combined average score for the classes of 2014 - 2016 was 313. We require a minimum analytical writing score of 3.0 and 3.5 for early decision applicants.
12. What are the program pre-requisites?
We require 44 semester hours of UG pre-requisite coursework to include: general biology 1 & 2 (8), anatomy & physiology (8), general chemistry 1 & 2 (8), general physics 1 & 2 (8), introductory psychology & a 200-level psychology (6), statistics (3), and exercise physiology (3). Additional requirements include the GRE and proof of first aid/CPT certification. One course (1-3 hours) in Medical Terminology is strongly recommended, but not required. Accepted applicants who have not completed medical terminology will be required to pass a test during the first week of classes. Please note that ALL science courses must be appropriate for majors in that discipline. While a course may transfer as an equivalent for the purposes of an undergraduate degree, undergraduate science courses that are designated as courses for non-majors are not accepted as prerequisites for entry into the DPT program. Please contact the department with questions regarding the appropriateness of courses if you have questions. You may also contact the department for equivalency information for specific schools.
13. How much does the program cost?
Please refer to the Prospective Student area of the UTC website www.utc.edu for graduate tuition and fees. There are a few additional costs associated with our program beyond UTC tuition and fees. These costs relate to travel and housing during clinical coursework, professional liability insurance, and professional organization fees.
14. How do UTC graduates perform on the PT state licensure exam?
Since the charter class graduated in 1992, the vast majority of UTC PT classes have exceeded the national pass rate average for all PT programs on the state licensure exam on their “first attempt.”
15. As a non-Tennessee resident, what are my chances of being admitted?
As a graduate program we routinely accept out-of-state students. All students must meet the same criteria for admissions.
16. What kinds of scholarships or financial aid are available?
There are scholarships and financial aid opportunities for pre-PT students. Please refer to those sections under the Prospective Student area of the official UTC web site. Graduate PT students are eligible to apply for Federal student assistance; however, the types of assistance available to graduate students are limited. Opportunities through internal and external funding sources are in the form of graduate assistantships and other scholarships. Refer to the UTC Financial Aid web page and the UTC Physical Therapy web page for further information.
17. Can I work while going to physical therapy school?
The program is designed to be completed on a full-time basis. Typically classes meet between 8:30 AM and 4:00 PM Monday-Friday. Working during the first year of the professional program is discouraged. Students with financial need, however, may choose to work part-time after classes.
18. What housing options are available to students?
UTC offers a variety of on-campus student housing for both unmarried and married students as noted on the UTC Housing web page. Many of our professional students, however, choose to live off-campus. There are numerous apartment complexes and rental properties within a 10-20 minute commute from campus.
19. What is the employment outlook for physical therapists?
The employment outlook for physical therapists is very bright. Our department receives job postings on a regular basis and our graduates have been successful in obtaining employment following receipt of their professional licensure. For more information please read the following article provided by the APTA: