The Physical Therapy Program at Armstrong 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.
- 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 a minimum overall grade point average (GPA) and a minimum physical science GPA of 3.0, as calculated by PTCAS. No grade of D or F will be acceptable for satisfaction of the prerequisite courses. If an applicant earns a grade of D or F in a prerequisite course, he/she may retake that course only one time. No more than two prerequisite courses may be repeated with the goal of earning a passing grade. Applicants may repeat courses with grades of C or higher to improve their GPA, however repeated courses will be averaged in the calculation of the applicable GPA.
Graduate Record Exam
Applicants must achieve a score on the Graduate Record Exam (GRE) of no less than 146 on the verbal reasoning section and 144 on the quantitative reasoning section. 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 Armstrong, the appropriate codes to be used are: school code 7813, department code 5199.
Volunteer or Work Experience
Applicants should have an understanding of the scope of physical therapy practice. This understanding is best developed through observation of physical therapists in multiple types of clinical practice. Prior to the application deadline, applicants must have completed a minimum of 75 hours of observation in at least 3 different types of settings (with at least 10 hours in each). Observation hours must be documented and verified by the facility. Setting types include, but are not limited to: acute care, fitness/wellness, general adult outpatient, inpatient rehabilitation, outpatient adult orthopedics/sports, pediatric inpatient, pediatric outpatient, school systems, skilled nursing facilities, and wound care. Receiving physical therapy treatment or being a caregiver for someone with a physical disability can count toward one setting for purposes of this requirement.
- 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.
Information regarding the DPT application process may be obtained by clicking on the DPT Application Process link (on left).
Students selected for admission must formally accept the position and submit a non-refundable deposit. Students who matriculate in the DPT program at Armstrong will have their deposits refunded during the first week of classes.