The Physical Therapy Profession

Physical therapy is “the science of healing and the art of caring”. It combines a solid knowledge of human anatomy with compassionate, individualized care. Physical therapists work with individuals of all ages to improve their health and functional performance: infants with birth defects; youth athletes who want to maximize their performance; seniors with arthritis, people with MS, etc. PTs examine each individual and diagnose the movement dysfunction. Then, PTs develop a treatment plan using techniques to promote the ability to move, to reduce pain, and to restore function.

A physical therapist needs to be patient, motivating and compassionate. PTs work with a variety of individuals—many of whom are in pain or who want to see immediate results. PTs are teachers—they need to clearly explain different techniques and exercises to patients so the patient can continue to perform at home. PTs make a positive difference in people’s lives.

Career Earnings & Future

Current salary information can be obtained from the U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics - Occupational Outlook Handbook. Physical Therapy has been named as one of the nation's 150 best recession-proof jobs. Physical Therapist ranks in CNN Money's 2013 Top 100 Jobs in America, and PT is included in their 10 Booming Jobs, with the growth over the next 10 years at 30%. The Department of Workforce Services of Utah gives Physical Therapy a 5 Star Rating.

Professional Associations for Physical Therapists

The American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) is the professional organization for physical therapists. You can access career information, education options, current professional issues , employment opportunities and much more by visiting their website: www.apta.org You can also access information about physical therapy from the patient’s perspective by visiting the APTA consumer site: Move Forward: www.moveforwardpt.com

The Utah Physical Therapy Association is the state physical therapy organization. Click here to learn more about physical therapy in the state of Utah.

Physical Therapy at the University of Utah

Our program in physical therapy has been preparing students to be highly competent and compassionate professionals for nearly 50 years. We take pride in bringing together the most advanced educational philosophies and the most current research together with the finest faculty to create an effective and supportive learning environment.

Proof of our success is the fact that we have a 99% first-time pass rate on the national licensure examination.


PT Information Sessions

The Department hosts PT Information Sessions each month.

PT Information Sessions provide valuable information for the prospective student: physical therapy as a career; pre-requisites necessary for application to the program; and admission procedures. Most prospective students find their questions are answered during a session. All are welcome to attend.  

Info Sessions are held monthly at the Dumke Health Professions Education Bldg (HPEB) home of the physical therapy department. HPEB is located in Research Park, at 520 Wakara Way. It is a small building, nestled between the University Orthopaedic Center and the Marriott Park Hotel. Use the bridge to the main entrance and follow the sign posted on the front door to the correct classroom. Check the calendar and register for a session under the admissions tab of this website. 

Prospective students who live within a reasonable distance should attend a PT Info Session prior to seeking an individual advising appointment with the Academic Advisor.


Pre-PT Club

The Pre-Physical Therapy (Pre-PT) Club is a student-run organization with quasi-affiliation with the Department of Physical Therapy. Membership in the Pre-PT Club promotes camaraderie between persons interested in pursuing a career in physical therapy and provides opportunities for members to learn about the profession. The Club acts as a voice for physical therapy on campus, promotes interest in physical therapy and provides service to the community. Meetings are for members only; there is a one-time membership fee. The club is open to anyone interested in physical therapy.

To join, pay online with a credit card here. Or you can make a cash payment during your first attendance.

For additional information, visit our website www.uofupreptclub.weebly.com

For questions, email us at utahprept@gmail.com, or visit our FB page https://www.facebook.com/groups/UofUPrePT/

Admissions Application Information

Updated May 2016

  • The 2016-2017 PTCAS application instructions and directory pages are now available at http://www.ptcas.org/ The new 2016-17 application will open by 5:00 pm ET on June 30. Do not start your application or send materials to PTCAS until then.

  • PTCAS and School Specific Essay Questions are available. Scroll to the bottom of the page to review.

  • CPR Certification
    1. CPR Certification  is not necessary at time of application and does not require completion as college coursework. TheAmerican Heart Association (AHA)Basic Life Support (BLS) for Healthcare Providers1 & 2-Rescuer CPR and AED for adult, child and infant is universally accepted and is now the is the only CPR program accepted for the University of Utah Department of Physical Therapy. The Skills practice and Skills testing portion must be done in the classroom, NOT online. Proof of current certification is required prior to the start of the DPT program. 

    2. First Aid Certification is not necessary at time of application and does not require completion as college coursework. Certification from all providers will be accepted for First Aid.

  • EXERCISE PHYSIOLOGY with associated  LAB is now a REQUIRED prerequisite and can be in progress at time of application.
  • Interview dates for 2017: Thursday & Friday, January 12 & 13. There are no alternate dates or phone interviews.
  • GRE  is required. Use the CAS code 0407. he GRE must be taken so that official scores are received with the application by the deadline (October 1st).   This will allow your GRE scores to be reported officially & directly to PTCAS.  GRE® Test scores are valid for five years after the testing year in which you tested (July 1–June 30).                 
  • You will  NOT need to complete the resume, letter of recommendation, statement of purpose or Post Submission sections on the University of Utah Supplemental Application. On the University of Utah Office of Admissions application (Supplemental or AY application), you may upload copies of ALL transcripts. These can be unofficial. If accepted into the program you will have to submit official transcripts. Deadline for submission and completion of the supplemental application is also October 3rd.

Hepatitis B for Incoming Students

Hepatitis B vaccination is a series of 3 time sensitive injections.  The 2nd injection is administered one month after the first, and the third injection is given 6 months after the second.  Therefore, students are advised to begin the series of vaccinations as soon as they begin the application process in order to complete the series before admission.  Most, if not all, PT programs require these immunizations so it is well worth the applicant’s time to get them completed regardless of where they are admitted. 


Admission Requirements

  1. An undergraduate Cumulative GPA  minimum of 3.0 based on all undergraduate work. 
  2. Prerequisite GPA minimum of 3.0; 3.2 or higher prerequisite and cumulative GPA is recommended to be competitive for admission.
  3. Work or volunteer Observation experience with licensed physical therapist; minimum 100 hours. Competitive applicants have 250+ hours.
  4. Completion of the Graduate Record Examination (GRE), results posted prior to application.
  5. Timely submission of complete and competitive applications. University of Utah Office of Admissions application AND PTCAS application.
  6. Competitive ranking during the department’s interview process.
  7. Bachelor's degree from a fully accredited college or university completed prior to the start of the program in May.

Below is a list of prerequisites for the Physical Therapy Program. The information is subject to change without written notice or obligation. Students are encouraged to make contact with the Academic Advisor prior to application.

Course Prerequisites

Coursework must be taken for a letter grade. Any coursework with a grade below C will not be considered toward fulfillment of the program's prerequisites.  C minus is NOT acceptable.

If a course is repeated, the Physical Therapy Department will calculate the highest grade achieved in the course when calculating the Prerequisite GPA.

The Office of Admission requires an undergraduate GPA of 3.00 or higher. The Office of Admissions calculates your Cumulative GPA. If your undergraduate GPA falls below 3.0, The Graduate School of Admissions will calculate the last 60 semester/90 quarter hours of your bachelor course work. No post bachelor course work is used to calculate your Cumulative GPA.

All prerequisite coursework must be completed by the end of spring semester/ PRIOR the start of the DPT program (Summer Semester; mid-May).

Courses listed with an asterisk (*) must be COMPLETED AND GRADED by the application deadline

  • Human Anatomy with lab* - one course taken within the past 7 years from
  • Human Physiology* - one course within the past 7 years from date of application; lab not required but strongly recommended
  • Physics with lab*- one year series of physics taken in the past 7 years from date of application.
  • Chemistry with lab*- one year series of chemistry taken in the past 7 years from date of application.

Applicants may have (2) of the pre-requisite courses listed below in progress at the time of application.

  • Exercise Physiology with lab- one course taken in the past 7 years from date of application
  • Trigonometry OR Calculus OR Pre-Calculus - one course taken in the past 10 years from date of application. (An AP test score of 4 or higher in Trigonometry or calculus can fulfill this requirement;  your score must be viewable on your application
  • General Psychology - (AP NOT ACCEPTED) one course within 10 years from date of application.  An additional upper division psychology course may be used in lieu of general psychology
  • Upper Division Psychology- one course within 10 years from the date of application. Must be taken through a Psych department. ESS Sports Psychology courses will NOT meet this requirement.
  • Statistics -(AP NOT ACCEPTED) one course taken in the past 10 years from date of application; NOT an introductory course. Statistics course must cover ANOVA (analysis of variation), correlation and regression testing.* (please submit course description and syllabus contact if you have questions) to d.darby-duffin@hsc.utah.edu

Prerequisite Courses at Regional Institutions:

Suggested classes for the University of Utah and other selected universities in the region, including: 

Additional Information

The advisor for the Department of Physical Therapy is Dee-Dee Darby-Duffin. Students should attend an information session PRIOR to individual advising. Email your specific questions or concerns to d.darby-duffin@hsc.utah.edu. Sending an email will guarantee the fastest response time. You may also book a telephone or in person appointment https://advisingam.utah.edu/amonline/default.aspx?AG=271

Students who do not live in state are encouraged to book a telephone appointment.

GRE - Graduate Record Examination

GRE is required. The GRE must be taken so that official scores are received by the application deadline (October 1st).  Use the CAS code 0407. This will allow your GRE scores to be reported officially & directly to PTCAS.  GRE® test scores are valid for five years after the testing year in which you tested (July 1–June 30). Median GRE scores are: Verbal: 151; Quantitative: 153 Analytical: 4.0

TOEFL

If English is not the first language, applicants must take either the TOEFL or the IELTS, to determine English proficiency.
On the TOEFL, students must achieve a score of at least 90 (Internet based). You may contact the University of Utah Testing Center to take this test.
On the IELTS , students must achieve a score of at least 7.0.

Physical Therapy Observation Hours

As a part of the PTCAS application, students record their observation hours under a licensed clinical physical therapist (PT). PTCAS will then contact the PT for verification. We suggest a minimum of 100 hours, however competitive applicants have completed upwards of 250+ hours.



The Admissions Process

After the October deadline, application files are compiled and reviewed. A complete file must contain a University of Utah Office Admissions Application and a PTCAS Application- both marked complete by the October 3, 2016 deadline. (Please see the Application Instruction Sheet). If the file is complete, then the application is reviewed to determine eligibility, based upon completion of all prerequisite coursework with a “C” or better, a minimum GPA (both cumulative and prerequisite) of 3.0 and the progression of a bachelor’s degree to be completed by the start of our program.

Once eligibility is determined, each student's file will be audited, reviewed and scored on an individual basis by the Admissions Committee in the Department of Physical Therapy. The top 120 scores are invited to interview.

The interview process is a critical one; through the interview process, we gain an understanding of the candidate, his/her academic preparation and insight into his/her potential as a future PT. The interview process consists of two individual interviews and a group interview, spread over the course of 2 days. The individual interviews are between the candidate and a faculty member. The group interview consists of 3 candidates and a panel of 3 interviewers—1 faculty member, 1 PT from our local community and 1 current DPT student. For admission to the program in May 2017, candidate interviews will take place on Thursday & Friday, January 12 & 13 2017. No alternate dates are available  Serious applicants must be willing to travel to campus for interviews on these dates!

Interview scores are then compiled and collated with the written review scores. Admission to the program is offered to the top candidates. Because there are a greater number of well-qualified applicants than the Department is able to accommodate, there is competition for the 48 seats available and although well-qualified, some applicants are not able to be admitted. Qualified applicants who do not receive an initial offer of admission may be offered an alternate spot. Alternates will be offered admission should a spot become available. We do not maintain a waiting list from year to year. If a student is not selected for admission, the student will need to reapply the following year.

The Department of Physical Therapy at the University of Utah is committed to policies of equal opportunity and nondiscrimination on the basis of race, national origin, sex, or age. No preference is given to in-state vs. out-of-state applicants, national vs international status, or student source of funding.

The actual acceptance of those students selected is contingent on the following:

  • Official acceptance by the University of Utah Office of Admissions.
  • Verification of completion of all courses requirements, including prerequisite courses and bachelor’s degree
  • Receipt of a non-refundable fee to hold class place. This fee is applied to Summer Semester tuition.
  • Completion a criminal background check and a drug screen, the cost of which is the responsibility of the student.
  • Proof of First Aid and CPR certification
  • Proof of immunizations.
  • Proof of health insurance coverage.

DPT Application Instruction Sheet

Applicants applying to the Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) program will complete two applications - the University of Utah Graduate Admissions Application and the PTCAS Application. Both applications can be completed online. The deadline for both applications is October 3, 2016.  THE STATUS OF BOTH APPLICATIONS MUST BE MARKED COMPLETE BY THE OCT 3rd DEADLINE.  Please be aware that one set of transcripts from EACH college that you have attended, including concurrent enrollment during high school EVEN IF THE COURSE IS NOT A PREREQUISTE must be included.  Deadlines expires at Midnight (EST) Eatern Standard Time.

University of Utah Graduate Admissions - APPLICATION #1

Apply to the University of Utah Graduate School by October 3, 2017.  The Graduate Admissions Application and instructions are located at: https://app.applyyourself.com/AYApplicantLogin/fl_ApplicantLogin.asp?id=utahgrad. Transcripts can be uploaded to the University of Utah application site and can either be official or unofficial.  You can either scan a paper copy of your transcripts onto your personal computer, or if your institution allows, you can download transcripts electronically and save them onto your personal computer. This applies to ALL applicants, including those who attend the University of Utah as undergrads. Do NOT attach a DARS report nor a link to an electronic transcript, as the Graduate Admissions Office will NOT consider either.

The DPT program begins in May and you will need to indicate on the application that you are applying for Summer Term (May).

You do NOT need to complete the resume, letter of recommendation, statement of purpose or Post Submission sections on the University of Utah application

For re-applicants in the University of Utah application Apply Yourself system you must use a DIFFERENT email address than the email address you used during your first application cycle.

PTCAS - APPLICATION #2

PTCAS allows PT applicants to use a single Web-based application to apply to multiple PT programs. PTCAS is a service of the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) and is administered by Liaison International (LI), an education information technology company located in Watertown, Massachusetts.

Applicants can begin their PTCAS application July 2, 2016 at https://portal.ptcas.org/  Your PTCAS application must be marked COMPLETE by (OR BEFORE) October 3, 2016. Transcripts must be official and mailed to PTCAS from your registrars' office. START THIS PROCESS EARLY.

Definitions of application status can be found in the FAQ portal of the PTCAS website. No applications will be accepted past the October 3rd deadline.

PTCAS Applicant Support:

Application FAQs: https://portal.ptcas.org/ptcasHelpPages/frequently-asked-questions/

Application Instructions: https://portal.ptcas.org/ptcasHelpPages/instructions/general-instructions/

PTCAS has a team dedicated to helping applicants with the application process.  Please direct all applicants with questions about the PTCAS application to the PTCAS Customer Service Team. The Customer Service information is listed below.

Hours of Operation: Monday – Friday 9am-5pm ET

Phone Number: 617–612–2040

Email: ptcasinfo@ptcas.org.  When contacting via email, applicants should include their full name, PTCAS ID number and a detailed question.

  • When taking the GRE, use the University of Utah CAS code: 0407. ETS will then officially & directly report your GRE scores to PTCAS

PTCAS Essay Question 2016-17

1. What is professionalism in the context of being a student in a doctor of physical therapist degree program?

University of Utah School Specific Essay Question 2016-17

Describe a way that a patient interaction has impacted your broader life view/experience; provide an example of what you learned from the experience, and how that might affect your future practice.

**Repeat applicants must submit an additional essay:

If you have previously applied to the physical therapy program, what have you done to improve upon, or enhance, your application for this current cycle?

Academic Advising

The Department of Physical Therapy offers Information Sessions each month. During the Info Session, prospective students learn the Doctorate of Physical Therapy program at the University of Utah, prerequisite requirements and admissions procedures. Prospective students who live within a reasonable distance are encouraged to attend an Info Session prior to meeting with the advisor.

Info Sessions are held at the Physical Therapy Building located at 520 Wakara Way in Research Park. The building is on the north side of the street, nestled between the University Orthopaedic Center and the University Marriott Hotel. Our parking lot is a U/A parking lot. There are several pay meters, however, parking is limited.  Arrive early to find on street parking. Use the bridge to the main entrance and follow the sign posted on the front door to the correct classroom. PLEASE DO NOT PARK IN PATIENT PARKING at the bottom of the building

On-Campus Information Sessions: START TIME IS 4:00 PM 

Tuesday, June 14
Tuesday, July 12
Tuesday, August 2

Space is limited so please register your attendance. https://advisingam.utah.edu/amonline/default.aspx?AG=413

Area Institution Information Sessions

Information sessions are also held at area institutions throughout the year. Contact your campus Pre-PT or Health related organizations or check back here to see when we'll be in your neighborhood!

Regional Grad Fairs and Information Sessions

The Department participates in various Graduate School Fairs at universities around the West. Stop by your local Grad Fair and visit with the Academic Advisor.
  • Utah State University, Monday, September 19, 2016 - Taggart Student Center 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.
  • Weber State University, Tuesday, September 20, 2016, - WSU Shepherd Union Building 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.
  • Brigham Young University, Wednesday, September 21, 2016 - Wilkinson Student Center 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.
  • Utah Valley University, Thursday, September 22, 2016  - Grand Ballroom 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.
  • Dixie State University, Monday, September 26, 2016 - Ballroom 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.
  • University of Utah Majors Exploration, Wednesday, September 28, 2016 - Ray Olpin Union Building 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.

Advisor Information

The advisor for the Department of Physical Therapy is Dee-Dee Darby-Duffin. Students should attend an information session PRIOR to individual advising. Click here to schedule an appointment. Please indicate whether it is a Post Decision Application Review, requirement review or phone appointment. If conducting a phone appointment indicate in the notes which type.
https://advisingam.utah.edu/amonline/default.aspx?AG=271
Students needing general university advising for general education or bachelor degree requirements should contact University College at 801-581-5146 or visit their website http://www.sa.utah.edu/advise/.

Tuition Rates

The Board of Regents and the University of Utah Administration have designated the Physical Therapy program as one of the programs with differential tuition for all students.

Students will be required to pay differential tuition in addition to graduate tuition. These monies will be earmarked to come specifically to the Department of Physical Therapy to help support our programs and curriculum.

View tuition rates. Scroll down to Physical Therapy. Click on the applicable residency to see the current rates.

View academic year 2015 rates

Residency Requirements

Tuition at the University of Utah is charged at differential rates for residents versus non-residents. If you are admitted as a non-resident, we strongly recommend that you read the University’s Institutional Policy on residency reclassification which may be found here:
http://admissions.utah.edu/apply/residency

WICHE

The DPT Program at the University of Utah has been approved by the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education (WICHE) as a participant of the Professional Student Exchange Program (PSEP) The program enables students in Alaska, Hawai'i, and Wyoming to attend graduate school in Utah at the resident rate. For more information, please visit: http://www.wiche.edu/psep

Course Descriptions

First Year

Summer Semester

CourseTitleCredits
PH TH 6010 Professional Practice I 1
PH TH 6040 6040 Anatomy 5
PH TH 6060 6060 Pathophysiology 5

Fall Semester

CourseTitleCredits
PH TH 7070 Tests and Measures 5
PH TH 6080 Pathokinesiology 5
PH TH 6090 Research and Evidence Based Practice 4
PH TH 7100 Teaching and Learning I Service-Learning 1
PH TH 6800 Clinical Experience I 1

Spring Semester

CourseTitleCredits
PH TH 7050 Neuroanatomy 5
PH TH 7110 Intervention I: Physical Agents 3
PH TH 7120 Intervention II: Therapeutic Exercise 4
PH TH 6140 Diagnostic Testing and Imaging for Physical Therapists 2
PH TH 7910 Doctoral Seminar I 1
PH TH 6820 Clinical Experience II (optional) 1

Second Year

Summer Semester

CourseTitleCredits
PH TH 7810 Internship I 9
PH TH 6820 Clinical Experience II (optional) 1
PH TH 6830 Clinical Experience III (optional) 1

Fall Semester

CourseTitleCredits
PH TH 7200 Motor Control 4
PH TH 7280 Physical Therapy Topics I
(Rheumatology, Infectious disease, Oncology, etc.)
2
PH TH 7290 Cardiovascular/Pulmonary Mgmt 4
PH TH 6130 Pharmacotherapeutics 2
PH TH 7230 Integumentary Mgmt 2
PH TH 7920 Doctoral Seminar II 1
PH TH 6025 Professional Practice II 1
PH TH 6820 Clinical Experience II (optional) 1
PH TH 6830 Clinical Experience III (optional) 1
PH TH 6850 Clinical Experience IV (optional) 1

Spring Semester

CourseTitleDescription
PH MD 6300 Adjusting to Disability 3
PHTH 7240 Musculoskeletal Mgmt 5
PHTH 7250 Mgmt in Pediatrics 3
PHTH 7260 Mgmt in Geriatrics 2
PHTH 7270 Teaching and Learning II Service-Learning 2
PHTH 7930 Doctoral Seminar III 1
PHTH 6820 Clinical Experience II (optional) 1
PHTH 6830 Clinical Experience III (optional) 1
PHTH 6850 Clinical Experience IV (optional) 1

Third Year

Summer Semester

CourseTitleCredits
PH TH 7840 Internship II 9
PH TH 6820 Clinical Experience II (optional) 1
PH TH 6830 Clinical Experience III (optional) 1
PH TH 6850 Clinical Experience IV (optional) 1

Fall Semester

CourseTitleCredits
PH TH 7220 Intervention III: Advanced Techniques 2
PH TH 7300 Neuromuscular Mgmt 5
PH TH 7310 Administration in Physical Therapy 3
PH TH 7330 Physical Therapy Topics II
(men's and women's health, wellness, etc.)
2
PH TH 7940 Doctoral Seminar IV 1
PH TH 6820 Clinical Experience II (optional) 1
PH TH 6830 Clinical Experience III (optional) 1
PH TH 6850 Clinical Experience IV (optional) 1

Spring Semester

CourseTitleCredits
PH TH 7860 Internship III 6
PH TH 7880 Internship IV 6

Electives

CourseTitleDescription
PH TH 7960 Independent Study 1-5
PH TH 7980 Faculty Consultation 1-3