Frequently Asked QuestionsAnswers to Frequently Asked Questions Regarding the Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) Degree Program at the University of South Florida, School of Physical Therapy & Rehabilitation Sciences
On October 21, 2004, the Florida Board of Governors granted implementation authority to the University of South Florida, Morsani College of Medicine, to offer the Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) degree. The charter DPT class began their studies in August 2005.
- Why change to a DPT program?
The nationwide transition from the baccalaureate degree to post-baccalaureate professional education has been ongoing in Physical Therapy education for almost two decades. Numerous changes within the US healthcare system have had a dramatic impact on the role and responsibilities of today's Physical Therapists and the scope of practice has greatly expanded in the past decade. Physical Therapists now assume leadership roles in rehabilitation services, prevention and health care maintenance programs, and community organizations. As of this date, more than 150 Physical Therapist professional education programs, including the University of South Florida, have transitioned to awarding the Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) degree, consistent with the American Physical Therapy Association's Vision 2020 Statement. Further information may be found on the APTA's website at www.apta.org.
- What is the "best" undergraduate major preparation for a student?
The "best" major of study is ANY area in which the student would enjoy working after receiving his or her undergraduate degree. The major should be selected based on the student's interests. The School of Physical Therapy & Rehabilitation Sciences does not have a preferred major area of study for the baccalaureate degree as long as prerequisite courses are completed. We encourage students to pursue the most academically challenging course of study to create an academically competitive application.
- What prerequisite courses are required for the DPT program?
Prior to enrollment in the DPT Program, students must have completed requirements for their baccalaureate degree. The following are the required prerequisite courses for program admission, which may be taken within the plan for the student's undergraduate degree or as electives:
- General Chemistry I & II (CHM 2045/46 and Laboratory CHM 2045L/46L)
- General Physics I & II (PHY 2053/54 and Laboratory PHY 2053L/54L)
- Psychological Science I (PSY 2012) and The Life Cycle (DEP 2004)
- Introductory Statistics (STA 2023)
- Biology I - Cellular Processes (BSC 2010 and Laboratory BSC 2010L)
- Human Anatomy and Physiology I & II (BSC 2093C/94C)
Note: It is the preference of the USF DPT Student Selection Committee that Students Complete the BSC 2093/94 Course Sequence; However BSC 2085/86 Sequence will be accepted.
Students must demonstrate proficiency in medical terminology upon entering the professional program. Students need to be competent writers and demonstrate computer literacy, including skill with e-mail, the Internet, database searches, spreadsheets and word processing.
In addition to prerequisite course work, students must complete a minimum of 20 hours of documented observational, volunteer or other work experience in both hospital inpatient and outpatient physical therapy settings in order to appreciate the differences in physical therapists' responsibilities in each setting.
THE SCHOOL OF PHYSICAL THERAPY & REHABILITATION SCIENCES WILL NOT GRANT WAIVERS FOR DEGREE COMPLETION OR COURSE PREREQUISITES REQUIREMENTS.
Recommended Elective Courses:
- Organic Chemistry and/or Biochemistry
- Medical Terminology
- Abnormal Psychology
- What GPA is required to apply to the DPT Program?
The minimum GPA required to apply to the DPT Degree Program is an overall GPA of 3.2 (out of 4.0) and a minimum 3.2 GPA (out of 4.0) in all upper division and all prerequisite courses.
- What additional materials are required with the DPT application?
The DPT application requires a written autobiographical statement identifying your personal values and the reasons why you wish to enroll in USF's DPT Degree Program.
- What is a competitive GPA for students applying to the DPT program?
Admission to the DPT Degree Program is highly competitive. Students selected for the DPT degree program over the past several years have averaged a 3.50 GPA.
- Is the GRE required to apply for entry into the DPT Program?
No, the GRE is not required to apply to the DPT Program.
- Is a dissertation required for the DPT Degree?
The Doctor of Physical Therapy degree is an entry-level professional degree. The program prepares students for the clinical practice of physical therapy. Dissertations are not a required component of the curriculum.
- How many students are admitted into the DPT Degree Program each year?
We may admit as many as 36 students annually.
- What semester does the DPT Degree Program begin and how long does it take to complete?
A new DPT class begins each August (fall semester) and completes the course of study in three academic years (including two summers). For example, students entering August 2009 will graduate in May 2012.
- Can the DPT Degree Program be completed on a part-time basis?
No. The curriculum is designed for completion on a full-time basis as each semester builds on the courses of the previous semester. As a professional degree program preparing individuals for practice, there are extensive out-of-classroom and clinical coursework assignments. Working while enrolled in the DPT Program is not possible due to the intense and time-consuming demands of clinical and class work.
- When can I apply?
We accept applications beginning September 1 through the middle of November. Qualified students - those with at least the minimum required GPA and either (a) having completed all degree and course requirements or (b) those with no more than two (2) course prerequisites and degree in progress (no exceptions) - are encouraged to apply for admission. Completed applications of qualified students with all required supporting documentation and application fee received by November 15, 2009 will be reviewed by the School of Physical Therapy & Rehabilitation Sciences DPT Student Selection Committee to select the 36 most qualified applicants for enrollment as a member of the DPT Class of 2013. Letters of Offer will be mailed to selected students on or about February 1, 2010. A waiting list will be maintained of otherwise qualified applicants in the event that a class opening should occur. Individuals on the waiting list will have the opportunity to roll over their application portfolio for priority consideration the following year.
Please contact the USF School of Physical Therapy & Rehabilitation Sciences Admissions Coordinator at (813) 974-3255 or email (email@example.com) if you have further questions.