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Brooks College of Health
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Doctor of Physical Therapy

Overview

The DPT program at UNF provides graduates with the knowledge and skills to become generalist practitioners of the highest caliber. Physical therapists are graduates of an accredited physical therapy program who have passed a licensure examination. UNF's DPT program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE), and graduates are eligible to take the national licensure examination. The professional curriculum, all of which takes place at the doctoral level, consists of approximately 104 credit hours taken over eight semesters. Applicants must comply with all requirements and procedures of the University of North Florida related to admission to graduate level programs.

The number of students admitted each year will be determined by the Brooks College of Health in consultation with DPT faculty and with consideration given to the resources available to the program, the quality and size of the applicant pool, and current market conditions. Students who meet minimum requirements are not guaranteed admission to the program. Normally, 30 students will be admitted to the program each year for the fall semester.

The Doctor of Physical Therapy Program at the University of North Florida is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE), 3030 Potomac Ave., Suite 100, Alexandria, Virginia 22305-3085; telephone: 703-706-3245; email: accreditation@apta.org; website: http://www.capteonline.org. If needing to contact the program/institution directly, please call 904-620-2248 or email s.paige@unf.edu

Upcoming Events

UNF DPT Open House

Hosted by the Student Physical Therapy Association (SPTA)

Location: UNF Campus, Brooks College of Health Bldg. 39, Room 1009
Date: Saturday, April 13th, 2024
Time: Doors open at 10:00 AM
RSVP's will CLOSE April 1st, 2024

Application Deadline

Fall Term . . . . . . . . November 15

Admission Requirements

For admission requirements and information on how to apply, please view the FAQ below or visit

The UNF Graduate School's Website

  • Course Descriptions
    View the UNF Course Catalog for detailed descriptions of our graduate courses. Please search using the following: Courses - Graduate, College - Brooks College of Health, Department - Physical Therapy.
  • Admission Requirements

    Prospective applicants are encouraged to review the important dates page for the program, as well as the FAQs page.

    For specific information about admissions statistics, you can look at the program Fast Facts. For additional application information please see our Frequently Asked Questions page.

    Admission Requirements

    Below you will find the basic requirements for admission to the Doctor of Physical Therapy Program at the University of North Florida. Please note that satisfaction of the below factors does not guarantee an interview or admission to the program as the application process is highly competitive. Applicants to the UNF DPT Program must have:

    1. Application
      • Completion of PTCAS Application is required to be considered for admission. All required documents must be sent by the application deadline. We are not responsible for receiving and processing times so please plan accordingly.
      • Applicants who are admitted into the UNF DPT program will also be required to complete an admissions process with the UNF Graduate School to enroll. Information on how to complete this process will be provided upon acceptance into the DPT program.
    2. Degree
      • A baccalaureate degree in any discipline from a regionally accredited college or university.
      • All official transcripts must be received by PTCAS for grade verification by the application deadline.
    3. GPA
      • 3.0 Cumulative GPA or higher for all terms consisting of the last 60 credit hours of degree-earning course work (undergraduate and/or graduate) is required to be considered eligible for admission.
      • 3.0 GPA or higher in all work attempted toward Science prerequisite GPA
      • 3.0 GPA or higher in all work attempted toward Non-Science prerequisite GPA.
      • Please note that all attempts at a prerequisite course will be averaged together when calculating the prerequisite GPA score.
    4. GRE
      • An Analytical Writing Score of 3.5 or higher is required to be considered eligible for admission.
      • GRE test scores must be within 5 years of application submission.
      • GRE General Test scores, including the analytical writing portion, are required to be sent directly to PTCAS. GRE Designated Institution (DI) Code 0994
      • GRE scores must be received by PTCAS prior to the application deadline. Please take this into consideration when selecting your test date as it can take a minimum of 14 days for GRE scores to be received by the recipient institution. We strongly recommend you take the GRE no later than October of the year you plan to apply. Consult ETS (the testing agency administering the GRE) on the frequency limits of testing.
      • UNF DPT does not super-score the GRE.
      • Competitive Verbal and Quantitative scores are generally in the 151 range. There is no minimum for these sections.
    5. Observation Hours
      • It is highly recommended that a minimum of 40 hours of observation under the direct supervision of physical therapists be completed before the application deadline. It is recommended hours be in at least three types of settings.
      • Verification of observation hours should be submitted directly to PTCAS.
      • UNF DPT does not have a specific document to be signed for observation hours. Any verification documentation provided by the organization you are conducting observation hours with should be sufficient and will need to be uploaded to your PTCAS application.
    6. Recommendation Letters
      • Two (2) Letters of Recommendation are required using the PTCAS recommendation forms and should be submitted through the PTCAS evaluation system.
      • Recommendation letters should come from the following individuals:
        • At least one (1) from a Course Instructor/Professor/Assistant Professor/Associate Professor in your major and identify the associated course you took.
          • It is preferred if the letter comes from your instructor in one of the following courses: Anatomy & Physiology, Biology, Chemistry, or Physics.
        • At least one (1) from a Licensed Physical Therapist with whom you have worked with, received treatment from, or completed Observation Hours with. 
        • Letters submitted to the UNF DPT will not be considered.
      • Letters of recommendation are subject to our application deadline. Give your recommenders plenty of time to write and post the letter. We recommend you start working on this in the summer and ask for the letter to be submitted at least 2 weeks before the deadline.
      • Make sure you communicate to your recommenders that they need to respond to the following questions in the "Evaluator Information" section:
        • Evaluator Detail Occupation
        • Select the role that best describes your primary action with the applicant.
        • If the evaluator is any type of instructor (see acceptable categories above), they must include either the course title or course # in the space for "If you selected 'Professor' or 'Professor in Major'; above, list all courses in which you have had the applicant." It is also a good idea for evaluators to reference the course in their actual letter.
        • If the evaluator answers 'yes' to, "Are you a licensed Physical Therapist?", they need to enter their PT licensure number in the space provided.
    7. Essential Functions
      • Applicants are required to have the ability to perform, with or without reasonable accommodations, each of the physical therapy essential functions in order to fully participate in the program and successfully complete the degree requirements.
    8. Interview
      • An interview may be required for competitive candidates. Candidates selected for an interview will be assigned by the admissions chair.
    9. Prerequisite Course Work
      • Completion of all prerequisite coursework must be within 7 years prior to application.
      • We will accept online coursework from any 2 or 4 year U.S institution accredited by an accepted institutional accreditor, however we STRONGLY RECOMMEND completing science and lab courses in person and at a 4 year university.
      • Applications with pending (in-progress) prerequisite course work by the application deadline will be accepted under the following conditions:
        • No more than three (3) UNF DPT Prerequisite Courses can be pending (in-progress or to be taken in upcoming term) at the time of application deadline, with no more than two (2) of the pending (in-progress) courses coming from the UNF DPT Science Prerequisites.
        • Applicants who apply while still enrolled or plan to enroll in prerequisite courses may be admitted contingent upon successful completion of all courses with a grade of B or higher in each course (a grade of a B- is not acceptable).
      • Courses in progress are not considered completed and will not be calculated into your GPA during the application review.
      • All prerequisites must be completed, and final transcripts received prior to entering the program, if admitted.
      • Introduction courses are not accepted in place of any Science Prerequisite Courses.
      • We only accept Test Credits toward the first sequence prerequisite courses.
      • Courses need to be taken within the department of the corresponding prefix.
      • It is strongly encouraged to take courses of a sequence at the same institution.
  • Prerequisite Courses

    The requirements listed below are prerequisites for the Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT). The course numbers listed under each requirement are course numbers from the University of North Florida. Any substitutions to these requirements are made at the time of evaluation for admission into the DPT program. If you have a question regarding a possible prerequisite course substitution please reach out to ptadmissions@unf.edu

    Science Prerequisite Courses (32 credits):

    • CHM 2045/2045L General Chemistry I with Lab (4 credits)
    • CHM 2046/2046L General Chemistry II with Lab (4 credits)
    • PHY 2053/2053L Algebra-based Physics I with Lab (4 credits)
    • PHY 2054/2054L Algebra-based Physics II with Lab (4 credits)
    • BSC 2085C Anatomy and Physiology I with Lab (4 credits)
    • BSC 2086C Anatomy and Physiology II with Lab (4 credits)
      • We will accept Anatomy with Lab (4 credits) along with Physiology with Lab (4 credits) as a substitution for the Anatomy & Physiology courses.
    • BSC 1010C General Biology I with Lab (4 credits)
    • BSC1011C General Biology II with Lab (4 credits)

    Non-Science Prerequisite Courses (9-12 credits):

    • PSY 2012 Introduction to Psychology (3 credits)
    • DEP 3054 Lifespan Development Psychology or CLP4143 Abnormal Psychology (3 credits)
    • STA 2014 Elementary Statistics (3 credits)
    • HSC 3537 Medical Terminology (3 credits) (optional, but encouraged)
  • How to Apply

    To be considered for admission, students must submit all application materials following the below steps by the application deadline (received by). A complete PTCAS application is required to be considered for admission. Please note, if admitted into the DPT program a UNF Graduate School application will be required. Information regarding the UNF Graduate School application will be disclosed only to admitted applicants. We are not responsible for receiving and processing times so please plan accordingly.

    Applicants should follow each of the steps below: 

    • Physical Therapist Centralized Application Service (PTCAS) Application
      • Complete the PTCAS application and submit the application fee at ptcas.org.
      • Submit all necessary items/documentation directly to PTCAS. Materials submitted to PTCAS may be confirmed online at ptcas.org. 
      • Submit official transcripts from all institutions at which you were ever enrolled (this includes AP, CLEP, IB, dual enrollment, grade forgiveness, transient enrollment, military, and foreign transcripts)to the PTCAS application.
      • Submit official GRE scores to the PTCAS application; scores are only kept by ETS for a 5-year period. GRE Designated Institution (DI) Code 0994
      • Submit Two (2) Letters of Recommendation using the PTCAS recommendation forms and should be submitted through the PTCAS evaluation system.   
      • Submit Observation Hours verification documentation provided by the organization to PTCAS application (if completed).
    • If you are having issues uploading materials to the PTCAS Application you will need to reach out to PTCAs Applicant Customer Support as they handle the background work for the PTCAS applications. You can reach them via phone or email: (617) 612-2040 or Ptcasinfo@ptcas.org
    • PTCAS Material Checklist:
      • All Official Transcripts
      • Official GRE Scores
      • 2 Letters of Recommendation
      • 40 Observation Hours (highly recommended)
      • Completed PTCAS Application

    Applicants who do not complete the PTCAS applications will be disqualified.

    All required documentation listed above must be submitted to the PTCAS application by the application deadline.

    Official GRE Scores should be submitted in applicants PTCAS application using GRE Designated Institution (DI) Code is 0994.

    Do not submit any materials directly to the UNF DPT program unless specifically directed to do so. Official transcripts sent here or to PTAdmissions@unf.edu will not be reviewed. 

    Be aware electronic submissions of information are not instantaneous and can often take 48 hours to populate.

    The following are exceptions to admission requirements due to COVID-19:

    • Pass/Fail coursework: Prerequisites for the DPT program taken as pass/fail during the Spring and/or Summer 2020 semesters will be accepted and will not negatively impact admissions decisions for prospective students.
    • GRE Testing: We will accept scores from GRE testing done remotely or on-site at a testing center.
  • What does the program cost?

    The DPT program will likely carry a tuition rate that differs from other UNF graduate programs. The 2022-2023 total tuition plus fees rate will be $522.64 per credit hour for in-state students and $1132.60 for out-of-state students. View the 2022-2023 information on tuition and fees can be viewed.

    Doctor of Physical Therapy Program Financial Fact Sheet 2022-2023

  • Scholarship Opportunities
    For Scholarship and Graduate Assistantship Opportunities please visit the BCH Scholarship Website.
  • Mission, Values, and Philosophy

    Mission

    The faculty of the Department of Physical Therapy at the University of North Florida is dedicated to preparing students for entry-level clinical practice through activities and coursework that provide guidance and instruction in current sciences and practice and stimulate critical inquiry into the same. To that end, the curriculum has, as one of its foundational elements, the Guide to Physical Therapist Practice. The goal is to prepare physical therapists to provide quality care, promote prevention and wellness, and contribute to evidence-based practice. The program is committed to life-long learning and seeks to provide opportunities for ongoing professional development for students in the program, as well as for professionals in the field.

    Values

    The Department of Physical Therapy creates a positive learning environment that supports an expectation of excellence through its commitment to openness, fairness, integrity, professionalism, diversity, tolerance, and concern for the health and well-being of oneself and others.

    Philosophy of the Program

    The Department faculty believe that students function best in an environment that fosters personal and professional growth. The learning environment is designed to challenge students to become confident, competent, and compassionate healthcare professionals able to practice autonomously and ethically within a changing healthcare environment. Students are encouraged to identify and accomplish goals within the areas of teaching/learning, research, and service. Opportunities for development are provided by program requirements and activities on campus and in the community.

    Faculty and students are encouraged to mutually foster intellectual and professional development. This stimulation requires the use of creative and interactive approaches to teaching and learning. Scientific inquiry and clinical research are essential to maintaining a dynamic Department that responds to the healthcare needs of society and contributes to the professional knowledge base that shapes physical therapy practice.

    The faculty regard physical therapy as a health-care profession having as its primary role the responsibility to meet the needs of society through health and wellness promotion; and the use of scientific principles to identify, assess, correct, or alleviate disability, impairment, or movement dysfunction. The physical therapist promotes optimum health and function through the integration of elements of care that maximize patient outcomes. A constantly changing healthcare environment combined with a multiplicity of practice settings, professional commitment, and accountability creates the need for the physical therapist to withstand social transformation. In a dynamic healthcare environment, the physical therapist needs to respond to the diversity of healthcare consumers and the circumstances in which they seek care with empathy, compassion, and respect for the individual. This role for physical therapists requires critical and logical thinking and proficient problem-solving through the use of examination, evaluation, diagnosis, prognosis, and intervention strategies closely related to outcome management.

    In addition to providing services, the physical therapist's role is to advocate for the advancement of the profession, strengthen health care policy and standards of practice, and strive to ensure the availability, accessibility, and excellence in the delivery of physical therapy services. In addition to the examination and intervention of individuals with a physical disability, faculty and students endorse an important role for physical therapists in preventive health care. The Department of Physical Therapy seeks to develop leaders among faculty and students who will serve as agents and advocates for positive change.

  • DPT Student Learning Outcomes

    Graduates of the UNF Physical Therapy Program:

    • Demonstrate in-depth knowledge of the basic and clinical sciences relevant to physical therapy, both in fundamental context and in application to the discipline of physical therapy.
    • Understand, correlate, and apply theoretical foundations of knowledge to the practice of physical therapy, and evaluate and clarify new or evolving theories relevant to physical therapy.
    • Demonstrate the behaviors of the scholarly clinician by developing and utilizing the process of critical thinking and inquiry, particularly focused on the improvement of the practice of physical therapy and the delivery of healthcare.
    • Engage in reflective practice through sound clinical decision-making, critical self-assessment, and commitment to lifelong learning.
    • Demonstrate mastery of entry-level professional clinical skills. The provision of these services is based on the best available evidence and includes physical therapy examination, evaluation, diagnosis, prognosis, intervention, prevention activities, wellness initiatives, and appropriate healthcare utilization.
    • Are prepared to influence the development and enactment of ethical, humane healthcare regulations and policies that are consistent with the needs of the patient and society.
    • Demonstrate leadership, management, and interpersonal skills to effectively participate in physical therapy practice and the healthcare team.
    • Demonstrate the professional and social skills to adapt to changing healthcare environments to effectively provide physical therapy care.

    DPT Outcomes Data 2021-2022

    DPT Outcomes Data 2021-2022. Year 2021, Graduation Rate 96.6%, NPTE Pass Rate/First Time 89.7%, NPTE Pass Rate/Ultimate 100%, Employment Rate 100%. Year 2022, Graduation Rate 96.6%, NPTE Pass Rate/First Time 86.2%, NPTE Pass Rate/Ultimate 96.6%, Employment Rate 90%. Two-Year Average 2021-2022, Graduation Rate 96.6%, NPTE Pass Rate/First Time 88%, NPTE Pass Rate/Ultimate 98.3%, Employment Rate 95%.
    Year Graduation Rate NPTE Pass Rate/First Time NPTE Pass Rate/Ultimate Employment Rate
    2021 96.6% 89.7% 100% 100%
    2022 96.6% 86.2% 96.6% 90%
    Two-Year Average 2021-2022 96.6% 88% 98.3% 95%
  • Graduate Academic Learning Compact
    Visit the Office of Institutional Effectiveness's website to view the DPT Graduate Academic Learning Compact. 
  • Important Dates
    Students are encouraged to view the Important Dates website.

Contact Us

sherry pinkstaff headshot
 
 
 
Dr. Sherry Pinkstaff
Chair and Associate Professor
(904) 620-2841

Departmental Contacts

Department Title Contact
Chair, Department of Physical Therapy and Doctor of Physical Therapy Program Director

Dr. Sherry Pinkstaff, Associate Professor

Director of Student Success  Dr. Beven Livingston, Associate Professor
Director of Hicks Hall Research Laboratory Dr. Chitra Balasubramanian, Associate Professor
Director of Clinical Education Rob Robinson, Assistant Clinical Professor
Academic Support Coordinator  Stephanie Paige
Program Admissions
Please use this for all questions pertaining to the application and admissions processes
PTAdmissions@unf.edu