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Brooks College of Health

Doctor of Physical Therapy



Physical therapists are healthcare professionals who work with individuals in preventing, evaluating, and treating physical dysfunction and injury. An understanding of human movement serves as the foundation for the practice of physical therapy.

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:; website: If needing to contact the program/institution directly, please call 904-620-2248 or email

Clinical Rotations

The Doctor of Physical Therapy includes internship and practicum components, so it is important to determine State Authorization of Distance Education and if you will be able to do an internship in other states, if desired. Please see the UNF State Authorization Status website for more information and updates. State Authorization of Distance Education is a complex and dynamic environment.

Please review the Physical Therapy Clinical Education website for more details. 

Application Deadlines

Fall Term . . . . . . . . November 15

Admission Requirements

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

The UNF Graduate School's Website

  • Course Descriptions
    View the UNF Course Catalog for detailed descriptions of our graduate courses.
  • Admission Requirements

     The following are exceptions to admission requirements due to COVID-19 for the 2021-2022 admissions cycle. 

    • Online Courses/Labs: If your lab course was transitioned to an online format, during the Spring, Summer, Fall 2020 and/or Spring or Summer 2021 semesters, we will accept the coursework toward prerequisites without in person lab work. If, however, your Fall 2020, Spring 2021 or Summer 2021 courses offer a hybrid option whereby the lab portion is in-person, that is the preferred method of instruction. 
    • Pass/Fail coursework: We are encouraging all prospective applicants to opt for the letter grade option if that is available. Prerequisites for the DPT program taken as pass/fail during the Spring, Summer, Fall 2020 and/or Spring or Summer 2021 semesters will be accepted and will not negatively impact admissions decisions for prospective students. 
    • Observation Hours: Our program is waiving requirements for the minimum number of observation hours.  
    • GRE Testing: We will accept the new at-home GRE testing being offered by ETS for this admissions cycle. 

    Again, these exceptions are only for the 2021-2022 admissions cycle. Please check back for future updates for the 2022-2023 admissions cycle. 

    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:

    • A baccalaureate degree in any discipline from a regionally accredited college or university.
    • 3.0 GPA or higher in all work attempted as an upper-level student, normally the 60 semester hours taken during the last two years of undergraduate study, plus science prerequisite GPA and non-science prerequisite GPAs each of no less than 3.0. Please note that all attempts at a prerequisite course will be averaged together when calculating the prerequisite GPA score.
    • Completion of all science and math prerequisite coursework 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.
    • Six (6) of the eight (8) courses comprising the science GPA must be completed at the time of deadline (courses in progress are not considered completed).
    • Two (2) of the three (3) required courses comprising the non-science GPA must be completed at the time of deadline (courses in progress are not considered completed).
    • All prerequisites must be completed and final transcripts received prior to entering the program, if admitted.
    • 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).
    • GRE test scores within 5 years, including the analytical writing portion, are required.
      • Applicants with an analytical writing score below a 3.5 will be disqualified. The minimum acceptable score is a 3.5.
      • Competitive Verbal and Quantitative scores are generally in the 152 range. There is no minimum for these sections.
    • It is required that a minimum of 80 hours of observation under the direct supervision of physical therapists, in at least three types of settings, be completed before the application deadline. Verification documentation should be submitted directly to PTCAS. Do not submit these letters to the UNF Graduate School as you apply.
    • Two letters of recommendation are required using the PTCAS recommendation forms and should be submitted through the PTCAS evaluation system.                
    • To be relevant to the application process, the recommendation letters should come from the following individuals: 
      • At least one (1) from a course instructor/professor/assistant professor/associate professor/professor in your major, and identify the associated course you took. It is preferred the letter come 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 did Observation Hours. 

                    Letters submitted to the UNF Graduate School will not be considered.

    • 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.
    • An interview may be required for competitive candidates. Candidates selected for an interview will be assigned by the admissions chair.
  • 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. We only accept AP credits for first level science prerequisite courses. Introduction courses are not accepted in place of Chemistry I, Biology I, or Physics I.

    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) listed on the Important Dates page. We are not responsible for processing times so please plan accordingly.

    Applicants should follow each of the steps below. Please note there are TWO required applications, each requiring all documentation to be sent separately.

    • Complete the UNF online application for graduate admission;
    • Pay the UNF $30 application fee;
    • Submit official, sealed transcripts from all institutions at which you were ever enrolled (this includes AP, CLEP, IB, dual enrollment, transient enrollment, military, and foreign transcripts) to the Graduate School at the following address:
      1. University of North Florida, Attn: Graduate School, 1 UNF Drive, Jacksonville, FL 32224;
      2. Please contact the Graduate School directly for questions about the UNF application process -
    • Submit official GRE scores to the Graduate School (institution code is 5490); scores are only kept by ETS for a 5-year period.
      • The receipt of materials submitted to the UNF Graduate School may be confirmed online in the myWings< student portal or with the Graduate School at (904) 620-1360.
    • Complete the Physical Therapist Centralized Application Service (PTCAS) application and submit application fee at Submit all necessary items (in addition to the items submitted to the Graduate School) directly to PTCAS.
      • Materials submitted to PTCAS may be confirmed online at 
    • PTCAS material checklist:
      • All transcripts
      • 2 letters of recommendation
      • Completed PTCAS application
      • Observation hours
      • GRE scores (if you are applying to a school that requires them sent directly to PTCAS; UNF requires they are sent directly to UNF)

    Applicants who do not complete both UNF Graduate School and PTCAS applications will be disqualified.

    You are required to submit all transcripts to BOTH the UNF Graduate School and PTCAS.

    Do not submit any materials directly to the Physical Therapy program unless specifically directed to do so. Official transcripts sent to will not be reviewed. 

  • 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


    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.


    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 2018-2020

    Year Graduation Rate NPTE Pass Rate/First Time NPTE Pass Rate/Ultimate Employment Rate
    2018 87.5% 93.1% 100% 100%
    2019 100% 100% 100% 100%
    2020      100% 96.7% 100% 100%
    Three-Year Average 2018-2020 95.8% 96.6% 100% 100% (2018-2020)
  • 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