Rehabilitation Sciences

Admission - Doctor of Physical Therapy

The Physical Therapy Program at Armstrong Atlantic State University is a full-time nine semester program that is comprised of academic coursework and three full-time clinical affiliations (with a minimum of 31 weeks of full-time clinical practice) in addition to other smaller clinical experiences. Upon completion of the program, all students are awarded a Doctor of Physical Therapy (D.P.T.) degree. All program graduates are eligible to take the National Physical Therapy Examination and apply for state licensure in all jurisdictions.  Admission is limited to 36 students per class.

Prerequisites and Application Process


Applicants must complete the requirements for a baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited institution. While any major field of study is acceptable, the degree and all prerequisite courses must be completed prior to matriculation. At least 5 of the 8 prerequisite science courses must be completed at the time of application.   (This applies to both early and regular decision candidates.)  In the event that courses are taken more than once, grades will be averaged.

Applicants need to demonstrate effective oral and written communication skills.

Applicants must demonstrate an understanding of the social, biological and physical sciences and mathematics so that they can comprehend and integrate physiological, pharmacological, behavioral and biomechanical principles into physical therapy practice.Minimal satisfaction of this criterion will include completion of:
  • A one-year sequence of basic (general, inorganic) chemistry with laboratories which are designed for science or health professions majors;
  • A one-year sequence of general physics with laboratories (both calculus or non-calculus physics are acceptable) which are for science or health professions majors and which include mechanics, electricity, magnetism and light;
  • A one-year sequence of anatomy and physiology with laboratories (either as two combined anatomy and physiology courses or with one course in physiology and one course in anatomy) which may be lower division human anatomy and physiology courses for health professions majors or upper division vertebrate or human physiology and comparative or developmental anatomy;
  • One general biology course with laboratory.   (Botany, ecology, and environmental science are not acceptable substitutes.)
  • One course in statistics (covering at a minimum measures of central tendency, probability distributions, linear regression).
  • Two courses in the social sciences are also required.  Abnormal psychology and human development are recommended. Applicants are also encouraged to take advanced human physiology and anatomy courses such as exercise physiology, neurophysiology, advanced human physiology, kinesiology and/or biomechanics.

Grade Point Average

Applicants must have no less than a 3.0 in the PTCAS (Physical) Science grade point average (GPA) and an overall grade point average of 3.0. No grade of D or F will be acceptable for satisfaction of the prerequisite courses. If a grade of D or F is earned in a prerequisite course, that course cannot be repeated more than one time. Only two prerequisite courses may be repeated. Applicants may repeat courses with grades of C or higher to improve their prerequisite course GPA, but repeated courses will be averaged in the calculation of the prerequisite GPA.

Graduate Record Exam

Applicants must achieve a score on the Graduate Record Exam (GRE) of no less than 146 on the verbal section and 144 on the quantitative section, with an overall total of at least 290 on these two sections combined.  These scores apply to results for tests taken in August, 2011 or later.  (For those whose scores are from earlier dates, the minimums are 400 for each section with an overall total of at least 900 on the two sections combined.  )  For students whose second language is English, a TOEFL score of at least 600 paper-based, 250 computer-based or 80 internet-web based may be substituted for the minimal verbal GRE score. The TOEFL score is not used in calculating a final application score during review of the applications as there is no mechanism for converting a TOEFL score into a GRE score. As a result, the applicant's application score may be lower than those of applicants who took the entire GRE.  (Note that when requesting to have GRE scores sent to AASU, the appropriate codes to be used are:  school code 7813, department code 5199.

Volunteer or Work Experience

Applicants need to demonstrate an understanding of physical therapy practice. This requirement can be achieved through work or volunteer experiences in a variety of physical therapy settings. It is recommended that the applicant work or volunteer in two or more different physical therapy settings for a total of 100 hours. It is also recommended that at least 20 of the 100 hours are obtained in an "inpatient" setting (acute care, inpatient rehabilitation or long-term care).


The following documents are required for admission to the Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) program:
  • Physical Therapist Centralized Application Service (PTCAS) application
  • college transcripts
  • GRE scores
  • three recommendation forms. One of the recommendations must be written by a physical therapist who has observed and supervised the applicant in a clinical setting.

ALL application documents will be collected by PTCAS.

All students are required to submit evidence of health insurance prior to participation in clinical experiences.

Meeting the minimum criteria for application does not guarantee admission to the Physical Therapy Program. It should be noted that the pool of applicants for the program includes many highly qualified persons, and the number of available positions is limited.

Admissions Process

Students selected for admission must formally accept the position and submit a non-refundable deposit. Students who matriculate in the DPT program at AASU will have their deposits refunded during the first week of classes.