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Before You Enroll in the DPT Program at UNC-Chapel Hill

Applicants to the Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) program should understand the requirements expected of those admitted.

Technical Skills and Essential Functions – Link to Full Policy

To perform as a physical therapist, an individual must be able to meet certain Technical Standards and Essential Functions. Technical Standards are “skills and attributes [the Division] expects students to display; they are, by nature not academic or met solely through the acquisition of academic knowledge; however, some Technical Standards may be related to academic knowledge.” In addition to the skills and abilities that students possess upon entering the program, we expect students to demonstrate potential for achieving Essential Functions through continued maturation and learning in the program. Essential functions are “the knowledge, skills, and abilities that a student must demonstrate to continue to be ‘qualified’ once he or she is enrolled and to graduate.”


Each student must have a computer or laptop with a webcam for online exams with proctoring technology and other program requirements. Therefore, more than an iPad is required.

Clinical Education Immunization and Other Requirements – Link to Current Policies

Clinical sites require detailed documentation of student vaccination and disease history before beginning a rotation at their facility. For reasonable fees, UNC Campus Health Services provides these procedures during the regular semester. It is the responsibility of the student to be aware of these requirements and supply documentation to the program as required. If a clinical site has additional needs, it is the responsibility of the student to complete these requirements in a timely fashion before the clinical and to provide the documentation to the clinical site. The clinical education site offers more details. A brief list is provided below, followed by a year-by-year requirements table.

Immunizations –  below is a list of current requirements; see the link above for specifics.

  • Measles, Mumps & Rubella (MMR)
  • Tetanus, Diphtheria, & Pertussis (Tdap)
  • Varicella (Chicken Pox)
  • Hepatitis B
  • Influenza (Flu)
  • COVID-19 Vaccination – Although the program does not currently require the COVID-19 vaccine, many clinical sites do require the vaccine. Those not vaccinated for COVID-19 may not be able to complete program requirements and graduate.

Other Requirements (at the student’s cost)

  • Tuberculin Skin Test (TST): 2-step TST is required upon admission; a 1-step TST is needed annually.
  • CPR Certification – must be certified through the American Heart Association
  • Health Insurance – The University has a mandatory health insurance requirement.
  • Criminal Background Check – A state and federal background check is completed through a vendor we contract with called CastleBranch. This is repeated annually. A criminal history may prevent you from obtaining clinical rotations and meeting the requirements needed for graduation.
  • Physical Exams and Drug Screens – Some clinical sites also require medical physicals or drug screens completed at your cost before starting your clinical rotations.

Quick Guide to Clinical Education Requirements Each Year