After reviewing this page and the related sections of our web page, please feel free to contact the department with any additional questions you may have. If you have questions regarding admissions, please contact the program coordinator at



How do I apply?

We use PTCAS for our application process. Please visit the PTCAS links at the top of our page and the “How to Apply” section under “Admissions” on our website. For specific questions regarding your PTCAS application, please see the PTCAS FAQs page.


When can I apply?

The application cycle opens in July of each year for the following fall.  Assuming they meet the admission requirements, most students apply the summer before their senior year. All program deadlines may be found on the UTC PTCAS Program Web SiteEarly decision candidates must apply by the August deadline.


Is there an advantage to applying early decision?

Yes.  We admit a large percentage of our class via early decision each year. Based on the quality of early decision applicants for fall 2018, the program made the decision to admit a full class of 36 students via the Early Decision process. We anticipate that we may do the same for future classes. Therefore, we strongly encourage all applicants who wish to attend UTC to apply via Early Decision. If not selected during early decision, qualified applicants will be considered during the regular decision cycle if positions in the class remain open. We strongly advise applicants to apply early decision if UTC is their first choice.


Are there Spring or Summer admissions, too?

The admissions cycle for the entry-level program is once per year. There are no Spring or Summer admissions.


What are my chances of being accepted into the DPT program?

Our program accepts 36 students per academic year.  Applicants are very competitive and have excelled in their undergraduate and prerequisite coursework.


How many applications do you receive each year?

The number of applications varies each year. Previous admissions cycles had anywhere from just over 200 to almost 600 applicants.


How are students accepted for the program?

GRE scores (verbal, quantitative, and analytical writing) along with science and cumulative undergraduate GPAs are the primary factors used to determine admission- our program does not interview candidates.


What else affects the admissions decision?

GRE scores (verbal, quantitative, and analytical writing) along with science and cumulative GPAs are the primary factors used to determine admission.


Do you have interviews?

Our program does not interview candidates, but we do review references.


Do you accept transfer students from other PT programs?  

All students must apply to and complete the entire program, regardless of prior enrollment in a PT program. 


When are decisions made on applications?

Admission decisions for early decision candidates are made by late September. Regular admissions decisions are made after the admissions cycle closes for the year of application. Typically, students will be informed of admissions decisions by December.


Will I be updated on the status of my application?

To view the real-time progress of your file, login to your PTCAS application and select the status options on the right-hand side of the screen. Our program will contact you of status changes via e-mail.


Can family or friends inquire about my application status on my behalf?

If your family or friends have access to your login information to PTCAS, then they can check the status of your application online. Our program will not discuss an applicant’s application or status with anyone other than the applicant.


Do you recruit minorities?

The Department of Physical Therapy is committed to The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga’s strategic plan goal to embrace diversity and inclusion as a path to excellence and societal change. Therefore, the program welcomes and encourages applicants from diverse backgrounds including those who identify as underrepresented minorities.


Do you give preference to residents of Tennessee in admission to the DPT program?

No preference is given to Tennessee residents over the residents of other states; however, due to differences in in-state versus out-of-state tuition rates, the majority of our students are Tennessee residents (approximately 70%).


As a non-TN resident, what are my chances of being admitted?

As a graduate program we routinely accept out-of-state students.  You have the same chance of being admitted as any other qualified student, regardless of state of residence.   All students must meet the same criteria for admissions.


I have been out of school for five (5) years with a Bachelor of Science degree. Am I eligible to apply for your program?

As long as you meet the prerequisite requirements, yes. Your degree and prerequisite coursework do not expire.


Who can write my letters of recommendation?

Refer to the references section of our program profile for specific information regarding letters of recommendation. One must be a physical therapist (not a PTA).


How do my references submit recommendation letters online?

Refer to the PTCAS application for instructions on recommendation letter submission. We strongly encourage electronic submission for your references and observation hours.


Are criminal background checks and drug testing required?

Our Department requires criminal background checks and/or drug tests for all enrolled students in order to verify an individual’s suitability to participate in clinical experiences and to ensure patient safety. Do not complete a background check until you are requested to do so by the DPT program.


What can I do to enhance my chances of successful admission to a physical therapy program?

Make sure that your cumulative GPA, science prerequisite GPA, and GRE scores are as competitive as possible. You may take the GRE multiple times without penalty.


I was told I am on the alternate list.  Can I find out what place I am on the alternate list?

Initially, we put a large number of qualified candidates on the wait list in order to allow you the opportunity to retake the GRE and improve your GPAs with the academic update. We will make cuts to the alternate/wait list once all academic updates are processed in the spring.  After the cuts we can begin to give applicants an idea of where they fall on the list. Until that time, it will fluctuate too much with updates and applicants dropping off the list to give applicants an accurate representation.


If am not accepted this year, what should I do to reapply next year?

Re-submit your application via PTCAS for next year’s admission cycle. You should also contact the Program Coordinator now for specific advice regarding how you can strengthen your application for the next admissions cycle; do not wait until the next application cycle opens to contact us.