General Program Information
The professional association for physical therapy, the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) provides detailed information about the profession on their official web site www.APTA.org. Information specifically geared for potential physical therapy students can also be found at: www.APTA.org/ProspectiveStudents/.
UCF only offers a doctorate degree in physical therapy (DPT) after transitioning from a master’s program in 2008. Applicants must earn a baccalaureate or higher degree, prior to the start of the term for which the student is admitted, from a regionally accredited U.S. institution or from a recognized foreign institution.
The UCF DPT program does not require a specific undergraduate degree as a prerequisite for admission; however, there are some undergraduate majors that may better prepare students for DPT coursework and the profession as a whole. Some of the common majors of past applicants have included health sciences, exercise science, biology/microbiology, athletic training, health services administration, kinesiology/exercise physiology, nursing and physical education/ exceptional education.
At this time, the DPT program is only offered on the main UCF campus in Orlando, FL. DPT program courses are primarily housed on the second floor of the HS I building.
While the DPT program does offer some courses online or mixed-mode, the majority of the curriculum is offered face-to-face in a lecture or lab format. The course work is taken in a prescribed sequence over nine semesters, as outlined in the Graduate Catalog, and all course work is required.
The Doctor of Physical Therapy program is a full-time, three (3) year graduate professional program composed of 112 credit hours offered over nine consecutive semesters.
Admissions decisions will be made only once per academic year. Incoming students will begin the program in the summer C semester. Check the UCF Academic Calendar for the specific date each year.
There are several ways you can speak with someone regarding the UCF Doctor of Physical Therapy Program.
- For General Questions about the Program: We recommend starting with our Webpage: https://healthprofessions.ucf.edu/physicaltherapy/ for general questions about the program. Admission information can also be found under the ‘Admissions’ tab. Stay informed by following our links to Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn, and Instagram. General questions about the program can also be provided by the DPT Academic Advising Coordinator via email at [email protected]. 26.2.19
- UCF Undergraduate Students: If you have questions regarding undergraduate advisement and enrollment in prerequisite courses, please visit the Undergraduate Student Services (Academic Advising) Office in HS II- Suite 115, call 407-823-0010. Additional advising services for pre-health students are available through the Office of Pre-Health & Pre-Law Advising in Ferrell Commons, Building 7G, room 203, email [email protected] or call 407-823-3033. If you have general questions about the UCF DPT program, you can also contact the CHPS Office of Graduate Services at 407-823-4025, [email protected].
- Questions on How to Apply: Admission advising is by appointment only. To schedule an appointment, or if you have general questions about admission to the UCF DPT program, please email [email protected]. The UCF Doctor of Physical Therapy program participates in the Physical Therapist Centralized Application Service, known as PTCAS. Applicants applying to the entry-level physical therapist education program will apply online using the PTCAS application. For questions regarding the PTCAS application system or materials submitted to PTCAS, please contact them directly at www.PTCAS.org or call 617-612-2040.
The application deadline for the 2022-2023 PTCAS cycle is October 17, 2022. Applications are only accepted for summer admission and applicants are encouraged to submit their completed applications early. The PTCAS application will open to applicants in June 2022. You must also submit an application to the UCF College of Graduate Studies by November 1, 2022 http://www.admissions.graduate.ucf.edu/
Yes, the Doctor of Physical Therapy program participates in the Physical Therapist Centralized Application Service, known as PTCAS. To learn more about the PTCAS application process, visit www.ptcas.org.
The DPT program requires a minimum 3.00 GPA in the last 60 credit hours of your undergraduate degree and a minimum 3.00 GPA or higher for prerequisite courses. Grades less than “C” (including C-) in the required prerequisite courses will not be accepted. The applicants admitted in the last cycle had an average of a 3.7 prerequisite GPA, and an average of a 3.7 GPA in the last 60 credit hours of their undergraduate degree. Meeting the minimum requirements does not guarantee an interview.
If I repeat a prerequisite course, will the Admissions Committee take the average of the two or is the highest grade accepted when calculating my prerequisite GPA?
If you elect to repeat any of the required prerequisite courses, the highest grade for that course will be calculated for your prerequisite GPA.
Yes, like many professional and graduate programs the UCF DPT program requires applicants to submit scores from the GRE within the last five years from the date of application. The UCF DPT program is highly competitive and the average scores earned on the GRE for students accepted into the program in past years are as follows:
- Verbal Reasoning Score: 155
- Quantitative Reasoning Score: 155
- Analytical Writing Score: 4
GRE scores must be sent directly to PTCAS using the UCF DPT program code: 3871.
We no longer require a biographical essay for admission, however PTCAS does require an essay portion that is also required by our program. For more information please refer to www.ptcas.org.
The following courses are recommended for students hoping to enter a physical therapy program (course numbers are specific to UCF). This list of courses may not be required for entry into a PT program, but simply a list of recommended courses that the DPT faculty believe will prepare a student for success in a graduate physical therapy program. It is strongly recommended to include some of these courses in your undergraduate degree program or as elective courses, if possible.
- APK 4134C Exercise Physiology II 3 hrs
- APK 4103 Kinetic Anatomy 3 hrs
- APK 4220C Applied Biomechanics 3 hrs
- ZOO 4704C Clinical Neuroanatomy & Neuroscience 4 hrs
- HSC 4730 Applied Health Research Methodology 3 hrs
- HSC 4555 Pathophysiology I 3 hrs
- HSC 4558 Pathophysiology II 3 hrs
- ZOO 3744 Neurobiology 3 hrs
- APK 3200 Motor Development & Learning 3 hrs
- APK 4119 Exercise Prescription for Special Populations 3 hrs
- APK 3321 Exercise is Medicine 3 hrs
- APK 4163 Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism 3 hrs
- HSC 4501 Epidemiology of Chronic Diseases 3 hrs
- ATR 4132 Human Injuries: Mechanisms & Prevention 3 hrs
- APK 4125C Assessment & Evaluation in Kinesiology 3 hrs
- APK 4134C Exercise Physiology I 3 hrs
Prerequisite Course Requirements
For an up-to-date list of the required prerequisite courses, please refer to the Doctor of Physical Therapy Program’s page in the current UCF Graduate Catalog, which can be found at the following link: https://healthprofessions.ucf.edu/catalog/PhysicalTherapyDPT
Courses older than ten (10) years will not be accepted.
The program recommends all prerequisite courses be completed at time of application and candidates with all prerequisites completed at time of application may be given preference over those still completing courses. No more than two (2) prerequisite courses may be in progress the fall semester and one (1) course the spring semester prior to the start of the program. To submit fall grades, PTCAS allows a one-time change to your application during the Academic Update time period (for specific dates, refer to www.ptcas.org). Any updates to fall grades must be received by PTCAS no later than January 15th of the application year to be considered as part of the program’s admissions decision making process. All prerequisite courses must be completed prior to entering the program in the summer. A final transcript will be required.
A maximum of three (3) prerequisite courses taken as AP, IB, CLEP credit will be accepted. Test credit for the prerequisite courses will only be accepted if the courses are documented on your transcripts and have been accepted by your accredited College or University. Test credits do not count towards prerequisite GPA.
As of the 2022-2023 cycle, online and hybrid courses are accepted for all prerequisite courses.
I already completed my undergraduate degree. How do I apply to take prerequisite courses as a non-degree seeking student?
To register for and complete any remaining prerequisite courses required by the program, you will need to apply to UCF’s College of Graduate Studies as a non-degree seeking student. Additional information regarding the application process should be directed to the College of Graduate Studies directly by calling 407-823-2766 or visiting their web page at www.graduate.ucf.edu. You may also complete prerequisite courses at another university or at a community or state college, if available.
PT Observation Hours
Documentation verifying a minimum of fifty (50) hours of observation/work experiences under the direct supervision of a licensed physical therapist in the field of physical therapy is recommended. PTCAS allows for two options for verification- electronic or paper-based. The electronic verification is strongly preferred, but if you already have hours verified on another form, follow the paper-based instructions. Please refer to www.PTCAS.org for further instructions.
The UCF Doctor of Physical Therapy program is unable to directly assist student in procuring sites for observation hours, however, candidates can search for physical therapy clinics in their area by visiting the “Find a PT” page on APTA.org.
Verifying fifty (50) hours of observation/work experiences under the direct supervision of a licensed physical therapist is recommended. Volunteering in various settings and interacting with diverse populations is a great way to learn more about the profession, strengthen your application to the program and further instill your desire to become a physical therapist. Beginning with the 2023-2024 application cycle, a minimum of 25 observation hours under a licensed physical therapist will be required.
Financial Aid & Assistance/Residency Information
For information regarding graduate fellowships please refer to the UCF College of Graduate Studies Fellowship web page at: http://www.admissions.graduate.ucf.edu/funding/fellowships/.
For all questions relating to financial assistance, please refer to the UCF Office of Student Financial Assistance by calling 407-823‐2827 or by visiting their web page at http://finaid.ucf.edu. All students must apply or reapply yearly for financial aid. Complete the online FAFSA, found at www.fafsa.ed.gov or on myUCF.
For all questions relating to residency for tuition purposes, please refer to the UCF College of Graduate Studies by calling 407-823-2766 or by visiting their web page at http://www.students.graduate.ucf.edu/Florida_Residency/.
**For the most complete, up-to-date degree and program requirements, see the official UCF Graduate Catalog at www.graduatecatalog.ucf.edu and look up “Physical Therapy”. The information contained in this document should not be used as a replacement for the Graduate Catalog.