UNC-Chapel Hill no longer requires GRE scores as part of the application process to our DPT program. Our mission is to develop and sustain a diverse student body and representative profession. We made this decision in response to evidence that requiring GRE scores may present a barrier to our goal of attracting the best candidates for our DPT program.
The Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) program at UNC-Chapel Hill is one of the nation’s highest ranked physical therapy programs. We welcome prospective students from a variety of backgrounds. Our goal is to develop and sustain a diverse student body who learn and work together with the faculty in a respectful, equitable, and inclusive environment. Please use the information on this site to develop your successful application to our DPT program.
The UNC-CH program uses the Physical Therapist Centralized Application Service (PTCAS) for applications to the 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 specific undergraduate major required to apply to our program and no major is more advantageous or disadvantageous for your application. Applicants should have a sufficient knowledge of the physical therapy profession to make an informed career choice.
Admission decisions are substantially influenced by the applicant’s ability to demonstrate personal characteristics considered consistent with the expectations of professional behavior and the equitable delivery of patient/client-centered services. Applicants must demonstrate success in academic and professional aspects of the program. Personal interviews are required for applicants who reach the final stage of the admission process. If two applications are essentially equal, preference will be given to the North Carolina resident.
Until further notice, the following are recommended but not required
- 100 hours of volunteer or job shadowing in physical therapy
- At least one of your three recommendations from a physical therapist
In addition, Pass/Fail science prerequisite credits are accepted during the semesters affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. However, we strongly encourage to opt for letter grade if available. P/F grades will be omitted from GPA calculations.
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.
- All application materials must have arrived at PTCAS by the application deadline date of September 15, 2021. This includes all transcripts and recommendation letters for the 2021-2022 cycle.
- The UNC-CH supplemental application and fee must be completed by September 22, 2021. This is separate and distinct from the PTCAS application.
The admissions requirements for consideration to our DPT program are detailed below. Please read them carefully. There are no exceptions to the requirements outlined below.
- Four-year degree or a senior on track to graduate from an accredited university or college with a minimum overall cumulative GPA of 3.0 or a cumulative GPA of 3.0 in the last 60 credit hours. Pass/Fail grades will be omitted from GPA calculations.
- All prerequisites must be complete with a minimum prerequisite GPA of 3.2. See section on Prerequisite Course & Requirements for more details regarding prerequisites.
- All application materials must be received by PTCAS by September 15, 2021 (tentative), at 11:59 p.m. This is a firm deadline with no exceptions. We recommend that you submit your application at least two weeks before this date.
- A minimum of three letters of recommendation must be submitted. It is recommended that one letter is submitted by a physical therapist, but not required.
- PTCAS will process your application and share it with us. It is your responsibility to ensure that all requirements components are completed or received by PTCAS. We recommend that you continually check your PTCAS application until you are certain all materials have been completed or received.
- Observation hours are recommended not required. We recommend 100 hours in at least three different settings.
- Please see the section on Supplemental Materials below.
To avoid disadvantaging prospective students who were affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, Pass/Fail science prerequisite credits are accepted during the semesters affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. However, for our program admissions, we strongly encourage our applicants to opt for letter grade if available. P/F grades cannot contribute to GPA calculations.
Semester equivalents of the following courses are required to be considered for admission. These courses can be taken online or in-person at any accredited four-year institution or community college. Courses 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.
- Applicants must plan to complete all prerequisite courses by the end of the fall semester of the year in which you apply. If you expect to apply during the summer/fall of 2021 for entry to fall 2022, you must have all prerequisite coursework completed by the end of fall 2021. There are no exceptions to this policy.
- At least nine prerequisite courses must be completed before the fall semester begins. Only two or fewer may be in progress during the fall semester in which you apply.
- It must be mathematically possible to obtain or maintain a cumulative prerequisite GPA of 3.2 if the applicant has courses in progress.
|Prerequisite||Credit Hours/Quarter Hours||UNC Equivalent||Community College Equivalent||Notes|
|Introductory Statistics||3/5||STOR 151|
|Statistics course in a major qualifies. For example, Research Statistics or Business Statistics qualify.|
|Principles of Biology I With Lab||4/6||BIOL 101 & 101L||BIO 111|
|Second Biology Course|
|Biology II Not Accepted|
|General Chemistry I with Lab||4/6||CHEM 101 & CHEM 101L||CHM 150+151|
|General Chemistry II With Lab||4/6||CHEM 102+102L|
|Organic chemistry will be accepted.|
|Human Anatomy with Lab||4/6||EXSS 175+275L||BIO 163|
|BIO 252 + 252L|
|Physiology||3/5||EXSS 276||BIO 175|
|General Psychology||3/5||PSYC 101||PSY 150|
|Exercise Physiology (Lab Optional)||3/5||EXSS 376||Offered Online At:
NC State: HESM 478
University of New Mexico: PT 351
American Public University: SPHE 314
|General Physics I with Lab||4/6||PHYS 114|
|Algebra Based is Preferred|
|General Physics II with Lab||4/6||PHYS 115|
|Algebra Based is Preferred|
Prerequisite courses must be completed at a regionally accredited school in the United States or Canada. This includes community colleges. Course descriptions here are to be used as guides and suggestions.
We do not accept substitutions for entry-level biology, chemistry, physics, and psychology courses as these entry-level courses 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 applicant 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 already taken or may take, email the course description to the registrar.
We are glad to help you navigate prerequisite course requirements. Please send requests only for those courses that do not clearly meet the noted requirement. Do not verify courses that meet the requirements. 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 I requirement.
The following supplemental materials are required:
- Complete the UNC-specific questions via PTCAS. These are questions that we ask each applicant to answer over and above the general questions posed by PTCAS. The UNC-specific questions will also be answered via PTCAS.
- Complete the UNC-CH supplemental application. The supplemental application consists of questions required by the NC General Assembly about military service, community standards, and residency (for those who wish to claim NC Residency for tuition purposes).
- The supplemental application and fee payment of $95 must be submitted to UNC-Chapel Hill by September 22, 2021. Specific directions related to the supplemental application and fee will be emailed to each applicant after their PTCAS application is submitted to PTCAS and routed to UNC-Chapel Hill. The supplemental fee and application are separate and distinct from the fees charged by PTCAS.
- You will be automatically emailed the link to complete the supplemental application within three to four business days of your application being sent to UNC-CH via PTCAS.
PTCAS has two additional questions that are asked of every applicant. Each applicant is asked to respond to an essay question in the “Supporting Information” section of the application. Questions are also asked about the impact of the COVID-19 outbreak. Finally, a question exists for re-applicants in the “Program Materials” section.
Observation hours with a physical therapist are currently recommended, but not required due to the challenges from the COVID-19 pandemic. The following guidelines are provided as a recommendation to confirm that physical therapy is the right career for you.
- Volunteer or shadow at several (at least three) different places that represent three different PT settings. We recommend exposure to at least three different practice settings, with the total number of hours being at least 100. Potential settings include, but are not limited to, large health systems, home health agencies, private practices, skilled nursing facilities, pediatric developmental centers, educational settings (schools), and sports medicine clinics.
- Physically observe the activities of the physical therapists if possible. 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.
- Variety in physical therapy experience is more valuable than total hours. Understand what you are observing so that you can speak knowledgeably about the discipline.
- We strongly encourage supervisors and recommendation providers to electronically submit the information requested electronically to PTCAS for verification of observation hours. Each applicant must keep accurate contact information so that they can enter the information into PTCAS. Applicants should inform supervisors and reference providers about when they plan to submit their application so that they can be prepared to receive the email and complete their necessary steps. All references and shadowing hour verifications are required to be completed and received by PTCAS by September 15, 2021. Do not wait a week before the deadline to complete these steps. Paper documents can sometimes be difficult to read and may not fully convey what you learned. PTCAS has designed the electronic verification process to be consistent and gather as much information as possible.
The UNC Office of Scholarships and Applicant Aid is the best source of information about applying for all forms of financial aid.
Through the generous donations of alumni and friends, the Division of Physical Therapy provides scholarships to some students. Prospective applicants 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 admission is offered. Learn more about departmental scholarships and awards.
Review the current per-semester tuition and fee information (page 6). Tuition information for the DPT program is under the heading of GRADUATES—Doctor of Audiology, Doctor of Physical Therapy…
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 be granted a waiver for the UNC-CH 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 number, to firstname.lastname@example.org.
We admit 30-32 applicants each fall for the Doctor of Physical Therapy program. Admission is highly competitive. No component of your application is more important than another. A holistic approach is used to consider all applications.
|YEAR||OVERALL GPA||PREREQUISITE GPA|
|Class of 2023|
(3.02 – 4.00)
(3.21 – 4.00)
|Class of 2022|
(3.22 – 3.99)
(3.21 – 4.00)
|Class of 2021|
(3.02 – 3.97)
(3.20 – 4.00)
|Class of 2020|
(3.12 – 4.00)
(3.22 – 4.00)
With the limited number of positions that can be offered to prospective physical therapy students, the program expects that students accepted to the Doctor of Physical Therapy degree program will enroll in the year in which they are accepted. The program’s policy on deferral of admissions is provided here.