DPT Admissions

Entry to Profession Doctor of Physical Therapy (eDPT) Program

The Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) program is designed for those individuals with an undergraduate degree in a field other than physical therapy.  There is no set undergraduate major that you must have to apply to our program and no major is more advantageous for your application. Applicants should have a sufficient knowledge of the physical therapy profession to make an informed career choice. Applicants are encouraged to visit with and observe physical therapists in a variety of practice environments.

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) program application is now available through the Physical Therapist Centralized Application Service (PTCAS). Individuals wishing to apply to the UNC DPT program will need to use the PTCAS online application form. The PTCAS application is generally available by mid-July and can be found on the PTCAS website. The application deadline for the 2014-15 admissions cycle was Tuesday, October 15, 2013. Applications for 2015-16 will open in July of 2014 via PTCAS.

Admission decisions are substantially influenced by the applicant's ability to demonstrate personal characteristics considered consistent with the expectations of professional behavior and the delivery of patient/client centered services. To be successful, applicants also must demonstrate the ability to be successful in the academic and clinical program.

Exposure to the diversity of the profession is important in enabling applicants to make informed decisions about physical therapy as a career choice and to provide the applicant with meaningful information for the written application materials and during the interview process. The applicant should acquire as thorough an exposure to the physical therapy profession as possible.

Personal interviews are required for applicants who reach the final stage of the admission process. Preference is given to applicants who are North Carolina residents.  There are no exceptions to our admissions policies.

Information Sessions

The Division of Physical Therapy is not able to offer individual tours.  But we do  hold information sessions in the summer beginning in May.   All of our sessions for the remainder of the 2014 are full.   We will offer additional sessions beginning next May.  

Admission Requirements

(There are no exceptions to the policies and procedures outlined below)

  • Four-year degree or a senior on track to graduate from an accredited university or college with a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0
  • Completion of prerequisites with a minimum prerequisite GPA of 3.2
  • The last date to submit your application is October 15th at 11:59 pm.  This is a firm deadline with no exceptions.   You should submit your application at least 2 weeks before this date.
  • A minimum of three letters of recommendation and at least one must be from a physical therapist.
  • PTCAS will process your application and forward it to us - it is your responsibility to make sure that everything has been supplied.  
  • Completion of GRE exam with a minimum score at the 20th percentile or higher for EACH section of the GRE exam. The last date to take the GRE for 2015-16 admissions cycle is October 13, 2014. The UNC DPT GRE Institution Code is 7733. We will not accept GRE scores submitted to UNC's Graduate School (5816) nor those older than 5 years old.
  • Volunteer/ Job-shadowing experiences specifically involving Physical Therapy of between 50-100 hours are highly recommended.  Please read the instructions in PTCAS about how these hours will be electronically verified.
  • Please see the information about Supplemental Materials below.

Prerequisite Courses

Semester equivalents of the following courses are required to be considered for admission (see below).  These courses can be taken on-line or in-person at any accredited four-year institution or community college and are weighed equally.  For example, a physics course taken at a community college is not given less weight than a course taken at four-year college or university.

Quarter System Students:  Students at universities on the quarter system need to take extra care to complete enough quarter hours to meet the minimum semester hour requirements below. Quarter conversion to semester hours: Quarter credit hours x .667= Semester credit hours.

  1. Introductory Statistics (minimum 3.0 credit hours) (A statistics course taken as part of a major would meet this requirement)
  2. Principles of Biology I with Lab (or equivalent introductory course) (minimum combined 4.0 credit hours with course and lab)
  3. General Chemistry I with Lab (or equivalent introductory course) (minimum combined 4.0 credit hours with course and lab)
  4. Human Anatomy with Lab (minimum combined 4.0 credit hours with course and lab)
  5. Physiology (minimum 3.0 credit hours)
    A four-hour semester course with lab that combines anatomy and physiology will satisfy both the human anatomy and physiology requirements (e.g., UNC's BIOL 252) However, if you start a two-part series, you must complete both parts (Anatomy and Physiology I & II).
  6. General Psychology (or equivalent introductory course) (minimum 3.0 credit hours)
  7. Exercise Physiology (minimum 3.0 credit hours; the lab is recommended if offered but not required) Some schools do not offer this course, please see below for some online options.  "Intro to Kinesiology" or "Intro to Exercise Science" will not meet this requirement.
  8. General Physics I with Lab (algebra-based is preferred) (minimum combined 4.0 credit hours with course and lab)
  9. General Physics II with Lab (algebra-based is preferred) (minimum combined 4.0 credit hours with course and lab)

Note:  Course names vary from institution to institution.  For example, a "General Physics" course at one institution may be called "Physics 101", "College Physics 1", or "Introduction to Physics I" at another.   You do not need to submit a course evaluation for these.  Our prerequisite courses are all introductory courses; more advanced or specialized courses are not acceptable.

To Meet the Prerequisite Requirements

  • Applicants must plan to complete all prerequisite courses by the end of the Fall semester of the year in which you apply.  So, if you expect to apply for entry to Fall 2015, you must plan to have all of your prerequisite coursework done by the end of Fall 2014.
  • At least seven (7) prerequisite courses must be completed before the Fall semester begins (e.g., only two (2) or fewer may be in progress during that Fall semester.)
  • Must be mathematically possible to obtain or maintain a cumulative prerequisite GPA of 3.2 if you have courses in progress

Prerequisite courses must be completed at a regionally accredited school in the United States or Canada. This includes community colleges. Click here for a list of course descriptions that we've found to be acceptable. Please note that the course descriptions here are to be used as guides and suggestions. For further assistance with selecting the appropriate course, please contact your assigned advisor at your home university.

We do not accept substitutions for entry-level Biology, Chemistry, Physics, and Psychology courses as they are generally prerequisites for the higher level prerequisites. For example, "Abnormal Psychology" could not be used to replace the "General Psychology" requirement.  Understand that each prerequisite course has been established to ensure that every student has the basic foundation necessary to enter this program. Some courses are too narrow and others too broad in their focus and content, making them unacceptable substitutions. If you have questions about a course you've taken, click here to email the course description to the registrar.

Note:  We are glad to help you navigate prerequisite course requirements, but please do not send every course to us for review.   Prospective students should be able to match up their courses to meet the prerequisites.  For example if your school offers "General Chemistry I" or "Introduction to Chemistry I" then you can feel confident that it will meet our general chemistry requirement.

Application Deadline Information

All application materials, with the exception of GRE scores for the 2013-2014 admission cycle, must have arrived at PTCAS by the application deadline date, October 15, 2014. Applicants should, per PTCAS instruction, continue to monitor their application to ensure materials (transcripts, letters of recommendation, verified PT hours, etc.) have arrived at PTCAS. The character limit for UNC Supplemental Essay Questions is 2500 characters or approximately 1/2 page.

Supplemental Materials

Currently applications will be processed using PTCAS. To review application instructions and program information, click here. The application deadline is Tuesday, October 15, 2014. The application must be submitted and all transcripts and letters of recommendation must be received by this date. The application closes at 11:59pm EST.

The following supplemental materials are required:

  1. GRE scores (Institution code #7733). See UNC PTCAS page for specifics.
  2. Department of Allied Health Sciences, Division of Physical Therapy processing fee payment- $85 (all supplemental fees are non-refundable). Please note this fee is in addition to the PTCAS application fee.  
  3. UNC Supplemental Essay Questions. These questions can be found by designating UNC to receive your application. The character limit for UNC Supplemental Essay Questions is 2500 characters or approximately 1/2 page.
  4. Payment by Credit Card or Payment by Check/Money Order

*Please note that the supplemental fee is separate and distinct from the fees charged by PTCAS.  This fee is a separate processing fee paid to UNC Chapel Hill.

For payment by Check/Money Order:

  • Please use the name you used on your PTCAS application
  • Your PTCAS ID Number
  • Specifically identify the program for which you are applying (ex. eDPT)
  • Make check/money order payable to: the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill in the amount of $85.

To Pay By Visa or MasterCard Please Click Here:

Online Payment Option 

Again, please note that this supplemental fee is in addition to the fee paid to PTCAS.  Applications received without the required supplemental fee will not be processed.

Fee Waivers

A WAIVER for the DAHS supplemental fee is available to qualified individuals. If you applied for, and were granted, a fee waiver for the PTCAS application, you will automatically be granted a waiver for the UNC Department of Allied Health Sciences (UNC DPT) fee. Please send a brief note of confirmation regarding the PTCAS waiver and/or a copy of the PTCAS waiver confirmation, with your PTCAS ID #, to the above address.

Tuition, Fees, Scholarships, and Student Aid

The UNC Office of Scholarships and Student Aid is the best source of information about applying for all forms of student aid. Please visit their Web site http://studentaid.unc.edu/ for information about how to apply for student aid.

Through the generous donations of alumni and friends, the Division of Physical Therapy provides scholarships to students enrolled in the Physical Therapy program. Prospective students who are offered admission are automatically considered for all available scholarships and awards. Additional information about scholarships and financial aid will be made available at the time the offer for admission is made to the prospective student. For further information on departmental scholarships and awards, please click here.

To review tuition information, click here and proceed to page 5 of the pdf form. Tuition information for the DPT program is under the heading of GRADUATES—Doctor of Audiology, Doctor of Physical Therapy….

Admission Statistics

We admit 24-30 students each fall for the Doctor of Physical Therapy program. Admission is highly competitive for these seats. We received approximately 500 applications last year, and that number has progressively risen each year. To be considered, applicants need at least a 3.0 cumulative GPA and a prerequisite GPA of at least 3.2. Click here to review the admission statistics for the most recently admitted classes.  There is no one piece of your application that is more important than another, your entire application is considered when your apply.

Volunteer/ Job Shadowing

Volunteer work is a very big aspect of our Physical Therapy admissions. We are looking for those who can demonstrate a comprehensive understanding of the Physical Therapy field. We do not have a minimum number of hours that are required, but we recommend a minimum of 50. There are several key things to keep in mind while compiling these hours.

  1. Volunteer or shadow at several different places. Sometimes applicants will choose to only visit a local hospital. While the physical therapy department may be an excellent one, it may not represent the diversity that actually exists in the profession. In addition, the applicant should consider obtaining experience with home health agencies, private practices, skilled nursing facilities, pediatric developmental centers, educational settings (schools), and sports medicine clinics.
  2. Physically observe the activities of the Physical Therapists. If you volunteer, your activities may be limited unless you specifically request to shadow a physical therapist. It is also important to observe procedures for documentation, managerial support, business practices, etc.
  3. Know that variety in experience is more valuable than the hours. Understand what you are observing so that you can have a general conversation with a faculty member regarding Physical Therapy. A good general foundation with 50-100 hours will be more helpful than an internship with hundreds of hours but little experience.

For questions regarding Admissions contact the Division of Physical Therapy at .

Note:  please be sure to read this and the Frequently Asked Questions page thoroughly before contacting us.  A vast majority of questions are answered on those two pages.  Many students email us wanting "confirmation" that the information provided on these pages is accurate or asking questions that readily available.