2018-2019 Graduate Catalog 
    May 19, 2019  
2018-2019 Graduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Physical Therapy DPT

College: Health and Public Affairs Degree: DPT
Department: Health Professions Option: N/A
Program Websites: https://www.cohpa.ucf.edu/hp/physical-therapy-program/
Graduate Program Handbook

Program Description

The Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) program educates students to become competent, compassionate, and ethical practitioners in a variety of health care settings. Graduates will be highly dedicated professionals with excellent patient care, communication, critical thinking, patient education and advocacy, management and research skills.


The mission of the University of Central Florida’s Doctor of Physical Therapy Program is to cultivate excellence in physical therapist practice through comprehensive and focused doctoral education. The program fosters excellence through its dedication to foundational sciences, clinical skill proficiency, research and evidence-based practice, service and professional duty, and lifelong learning. The program is committed to the development and strengthening of the healthcare community in order to optimize patient care in the dynamic healthcare environment.


The Doctor of Physical Therapy Program at the University of Central Florida will be distinguished for:

  •  Its breadth, depth, and collaborative approach to physical therapist education
  •  Clinical excellence and advancement of clinical practice
  •  Scholarly achievements and professional recognition of students, faculty, and clinical partners
  •  Dedication to the health and well-being of the Central Florida community
  •  Professional commitment and advocacy
  •  Cultivation of professional development to advance the practice of physical therapy

The Doctor of Physical Therapy Program is a three-year (nine consecutive semesters) professional doctoral curriculum designed to prepare entry-level therapists to practice in a variety of clinical settings. The professional curriculum is a full-time “lock-step” program with no opportunity to take courses other than those prescribed by the program. The program includes multiple clinical practica and internships ranging from six weeks to twelve weeks long. Applicants need to note that one or more of the clinical practica may be assigned at a site sufficiently removed from the Orlando area and may require the student to provide transportation and housing.

Students who successfully complete the course of study will be granted the Doctor in Physical Therapy degree (DPT), enabling the graduate to take the national board examination leading to state licensure as a Physical Therapist. For information on how this program may prepare you for professional licensure, please visit here. The UCF Doctor of Physical Therapy program promotes lifelong learning and professional development, which is attained through active involvement in professional organizations such as the American Physical Therapy Association. UCF’s Doctor of Physical Therapy Program is fully accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Physical Therapy Education.


The Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) Program is a full-time professional doctoral program requiring completion of 112 credits beyond the bachelor’s degree. The course work is taken in a prescribed sequence over nine semesters as provided here and all course work is required. The program requires a total of 36 weeks of full-time clinical training. During the clinical affiliations, students work under the direct supervision of a licensed physical therapist.

Total Credit Hours Required: 112 Credit Hours Minimum beyond the Bachelor’s Degree


Each prerequisite course must be completed with a minimum grade of “C”. The overall GPA for all prerequisite courses must be a 3.00 or higher to be considered for admission. The program recommends all prerequisite courses be completed at the time of application. Candidates with all prerequisites completed at the time of application may be given preference over those still completing courses. No more than two prerequisite courses may be in progress the fall semester prior to the program’s start and no more than one course may be in progress during the spring semester prior to the program’s start. Courses older than seven years will not be accepted. Online courses are NOT accepted for the following prerequisites: anatomy courses, physiology courses, physics courses, or chemistry courses. Hybrid courses are only accepted for the prerequisite courses listed above if the lab component is delivered in a face-to-face format (submission of course description/syllabi may be required to verify course delivery mode). Email ptinfo@ucf.edu to request a prerequisite review.

Anatomy and Physiology - Two courses with labs and a minimum of 8 credit hours is required. One of two options must be met:
Option 1: One semester of Human Physiology with lab and one semester of Anatomy with lab.
Option 2: Two semesters of Anatomy/Physiology combined courses with labs.

Biology / Biological Studies - Two courses and a minimum of 6 credit hours is required. Labs are not required. Must be courses for science majors.

Chemistry - Two courses with labs and a minimum of 8 credit hours is required. Introduction and survey courses are NOT accepted. 

Physics - Two courses with labs and a minimum of 8 credit hours is required. General Physics and Physics with Calculus are both acceptable courses.

Psychology - One course (3 credit hours) is required. Any psychology course that is taken within the Psychology Department will meet this requirement.

Statistics - One course (3 credit hours) is required.

Required Courses

Year 1

Summer Term 1 (14 Credit Hours)

Fall Term 1 (17 Credit Hours)

Spring Term 1 (15 Credit Hours)

Year 2

Year 3

Summer Term 3 (6 Credit Hours)

Spring Term 3 (11 Credit Hours)


This program requires a final comprehensive examination on all course work in the program of study. Students are required to pass the comprehensive examination with an 80% proficiency. Students will be allowed to re-take the examination for a total of three (3) attempts. A student may not graduate from the Doctor of Physical Therapy program until the comprehensive examination is passed with an 80%. Failure to pass the examination after 3 attempts will result in a meeting with the Retention and Advancement Committee for the Doctor of Physical Therapy Program, where further action will be determined. In addition, comprehensive examinations may be required at the end of each year of the program. Participation and completion of a capstone (research) project is also required of each student prior to graduation.

Equipment Fee

Students in the Doctor of Physical Therapy program pay a $90 equipment fee each semester that they are enrolled.

Independent Learning

All students in the Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) program are required to engage in independent learning, a process in which individuals take the initiative, with or without help of others to attain knowledge, skills, and professional behaviors. Tangible assignments, such as “Grand Rounds” (i.e., patient case studies), research projects, scholarly reviews, and full-time clinical practica mandated by the program and provide important independent learning experiences giving students ample opportunities to develop and demonstrate independent learning skills as a result of self-inquiry and group dialogue.

Application Requirements

The Doctor of Physical Therapy program at UCF participates in the Physical Therapist Centralized Application Service, known as PTCAS. Prospective students applying to the entry-level physical therapist education program for the 2019 entering class must apply online using the PTCAS application. To learn more about the PTCAS application process, visit www.ptcas.org.

All application materials MUST be sent directly to PTCAS. Materials sent to the university or program and not to PTCAS will not be accepted. The following application materials must be received by PTCAS no later than November 1.

  • Completed PTCAS Application (www.ptcas.org), including all documents required by PTCAS.
  • One official transcript from each college/university attended.
  • Official GRE scores taken within last five years. Use GRE CODE for UCF PTCAS: 3871 (Do not use the “Institution Code” for GRE listed to the right.)
  • Prerequisite courses completed within seven (7) years of anticipated matriculation. 
  • A minimum of 30 hours of volunteer or work experience under the direct supervision of a licensed physical therapist. Hours must be verified through PTCAS by November 1st to be considered. A variety of settings is recommended.
  • Three (3) letters of recommendation with PTCAS recommendation forms, including one from a physical therapist.
  • Applicants who have attended a college/university outside the United States must also provide a course-by-course credential evaluation with GPA calculation through WES.
  • UCF Graduate Application (supplemental) must be submitted in addition to PTCAS application. Deadline to submit the supplemental application is December 1, 2018.

Incomplete applications will NOT be reviewed. 

Application requirements:

  • The bachelor’s degree may be in any discipline from a regionally accredited institution and may be in progress at the time of application. However, the degree must be awarded prior to the program’s start date in the Summer C semester (mid-May).
  • Minimum GPA of 3.00 (on 4.00 scale) in the last 60 credit hours of an undergraduate degree.
  • Minimum GPA of 3.00 (on 4.00 scale) for all prerequisite courses. Each prerequisite course grade must be a ‘C’ or higher.
  • Minimum GRE scores of 146 for verbal reasoning; 144 for quantitative reasoning; and 3 on the analytical writing portion.
  • An on-campus interview, by invitation only.
  • UCF Graduate Application (supplemental) MUST be completed by December 1, 2018, with supplemental application fee paid by ALL APPLICANTS.
  • A resume will only be required for students who are offered an interview by the program. Once requested, the applicant will email the resume directly to the program.

Applicants not meeting these minimum requirements will not be considered for admission. Meeting minimum requirements does not guarantee an applicant an interview or admission to the program. All applicants and admitted students to the Doctor of Physical Therapy program must perform certain Essential Functions in order to participate and complete program requirements.

PTCAS will begin accepting applications in July, however, the program will not begin reviewing applications until September.

Admissions decisions will be made only once per academic year. Incoming students must begin the program in the summer C semester (mid-May).

Thirty-eight (38) students are admitted to the program each year. The demographics of a recent class include an average age of 24 years and a grade point average of 3.77 (on a 4.0 scale) for both GPA of upper-division coursework and prerequisite courses and an average GRE scores of 156Q / 155V / 4WA.

Admission to the program is competitive based on the above criteria, the applicant’s abilities, past academic performance, work experience and match of the applicant with the program’s mission and goals.

Application Deadlines

Applications are only accepted for Summer admission. The application for this program can be found at www.ptcas.org.

Physical Therapy DPT *Fall Priority Fall Spring Summer
Domestic Applicants - - - Nov 1
International Applicants - - - Nov 1
*Applicants who plan to enroll full time in a degree program and who wish to be considered for university fellowships or assistantships should apply by the Fall Priority date.


Graduate students may receive financial assistance through fellowships, assistantships, tuition support, or loans. For more information, see the College of Graduate Studies Funding website, which describes the types of financial assistance available at UCF and provides general guidance in planning your graduate finances. The Financial Information  section of the Graduate Catalog is another key resource.


Fellowships are awarded based on academic merit to highly qualified students. They are paid to students through the Office of Student Financial Assistance, based on instructions provided by the College of Graduate Studies. Fellowships are given to support a student’s graduate study and do not have a work obligation. For more information, see UCF Graduate Fellowships, which includes descriptions of university fellowships and what you should do to be considered for a fellowship.

Contact Info

Graduate Program

Samantha Jackson
Telephone: 407-823-6026
HPA1 256

Patrick Pabian DPT
Telephone: 407-823-3470
HPA 1 256

Graduate Admissions

Jennifer Yuhas
Telephone: 407-823-2766
Millican Hall 230
Online Application
Graduate Admissions

Mailing Address

UCF College of Graduate Studies
Millican Hall 230
PO Box 160112
Orlando, FL 32816-0112

Institution Codes
GRE: 5233
TOEFL: 5233
ETS PPI: 5233

Graduate Fellowships

Grad Fellowships
Telephone: 407-823-0127

Graduate Financial Aid

UCF Student Financial Assistance
Millican Hall 120
Telephone: 407-823-2827
Appointment Line: 407-823-5285
Fax: 407-823-5241