The Alvernia University Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) program has been granted full Accreditation status by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE) (see statement below). The DPT program is a clinical post-graduate doctoral program that is 3 years in length that represents the required credential for the preparation of graduates to be eligible for licensure and employment as a physical therapist.
The DPT program is offered in a 4+3 year and 3+3 year curricular format. Prospective students with an earned bachelor’s degree from Alvernia or another four-year accredited institution are welcome to apply to the 4+3 year format. The 3+3 year format enables Alvernia students who are admitted into 1 of 4 majors to follow a curricular plan in that major with the intention to be admitted to the DPT program in their senior year, upon completion of all requirements.
Interested students should contact Dr. Christopher Wise, Physical Therapy Department Chair at email@example.com.
The processes and policies that govern admission into and progression through the DPT Program can be found at alvernia.edu/academics/graduate-programs/dpt-doctor-physical-therapy.
The DPT program is offered in a 4+3 year and 3+3 year curricular format. Prospective students with an earned bachelor’s degree from Alvernia or another four-year accredited institution are welcome to apply to the 4+3 year format. Transfer students are welcome to apply as well, following the policy and procedures as outlined below.
The 3+3 year format enables Alvernia students who are admitted into 1 of 4 majors (Biochemistry, Biology, Healthcare Science, or Psychology) to follow a curricular plan in that major with the intention to be admitted to the DPT program in his/her senior year, upon completion of all requirements.
Interested students should contact the Associate Director of Admissions for Graduate Education, who may refer the potential applicant to the Chairperson of the DPT Admissions Committee or Department Chair. The processes and policies that govern admission into and progression through the DPT Program can be found at alvernia.edu/academics/graduate/dpt/admission/index.html.
DPT Program admission requirement and the admissions procedures can be found at alvernia.edu/academics/graduate-programs/dpt-doctor-physical-therapy/dpt-admission-requirements.
Admission Criteria into the 4+3 Program
To be considered for general (4+3) admission into the DPT Program, the following admission requirements must be fulfilled:
- Completed Application for Admission through the Physical Therapy Centralized Application Service (PTCAS).
- Official transcript(s) from each college or university attended, demonstrating the achievement of a Bachelor’s degree, cumulative GPA of 3.25 or better, and a science and pre-requisite GPA of 3.0 or better.
- A minimum of 100 hours of observation, which includes experience in both outpatient and inpatient physical therapy settings. It is recommended that these observations be diverse, providing each applicant with perspective on the depth and breadth of physical therapy practice across setting and across the lifespan.
- Three letters of reference from a: licensed PT, a professor from a course they have completed, and another non-family member who can speak to character and attributes that will make the applicant successful in graduate study and as a Doctor of Physical Therapy.
** The licensed Physical Therapist should not be a member of the applicant’s family or a family friend.
** If more than three references are received, one from each category (a maximum of three) will be used for consideration and ranking.
- GRE scores taken within the past five years, with a minimum score of 150 on Verbal and Quantitative and 3.5 on Analytical (Alvernia Code 1619)
- One (1) written essay (4+3 and 3+3) 500 words or less, addressing the question as stated. Content, as well as spelling and grammar, are deemed to be important for readability and consideration by faculty.
- The following pre-requisite courses must be completed with a final grade of “C”, or better:
· Human Anatomy and Physiology I and II – 4 credits each with lab (4+3 and 3+3)
· Biology – 3-4 credits (4+3 and 3+3, excluding BIO 109, BIO 203, BIO 115/116)
· Chemistry I and II – 4 credits each with lab (4+3 and 3+3)
· Physics I and II – 4 credits each with lab (4+3 and 3+3)
· Social Sciences – 6-9 credits (psychology, sociology/anthropology, humanities) (4+3 and 3+3)
· Statistics – 3 credits (4+3 and 3+3)
· English Composition/Writing – 3 credits (4+3)
· All prerequisite courses must be completed within 10 years of application to the DPT Program.
· Advanced Placement (AP) courses taken in high school, if accepted by undergraduate admissions upon entrance into the university, will be accepted as fulfilling the pre-requisites for entrance into the DPT Program. These courses must appear on the undergraduate transcript.
Non-science pre-requisites, (statistics, social science, psychology) may be completed on line. For science pre-requisites (biology, chemistry, physics, anatomy and physiology) may have the lecture portions taken online but the laboratory must be taken in a traditional laboratory setting.
July 1st: Applications open
January 15: Application deadline
March 1: Admission decisions are complete and applicants are notified
Admission Criteria into the Alvernia Accelerated 3+3 Program and Alvernia 4+3 Program
· Accelerated 3+3 Program Admission
Decisions regarding admission into the university will be made by the Office of Admissions. Admission into the DPT accelerated (3+3) program will be available to students who meet the criteria (3.5 high school GPA). Admission into the accelerated program will be determined by the Department of Physical Therapy admissions committee in accordance with the university undergraduate admissions policies. Upon timely completion of ALL admission criteria, applicants will be offered admission into the accelerated program upon entrance into the university and upon timely completion of ALL admission criteria will be offered conditional guaranteed admission into the graduate DPT Program, as determined by the maximum number of allotted seats in the program as determined by accreditation. Students within the accelerated (3+3) format will follow a curricular plan in one of four majors with “DPT” listed as the student’s second major. The majors include Biochemistry, Biology, Healthcare Science or Psychology. It is also highly recommended that the Alvernia 3+3 students take Neuroscience (BIO 208) and Kinesiology (BIO 211).
· Alvernia 4+3 Program Admission
Students who do not meet the admission criteria into the accelerated program upon entrance into the university may be offered conditional guaranteed entrance into the DPT program upon graduation as a 4+3 student upon completion of ALL criteria for admission. In addition, 4+3 students who have met ALL admission criteria prior to the completion of their junior year (with the exception of in-progress criteria that will be completed prior to admission into the DPT Program) will be offered the possibility of transitioning into the 3+3 accelerated track with admission into the graduate DPT Program in their senior year. Alvernia 4+3 applicants who desire conditional guaranteed admission into the DPT Program post graduation, or upon completion of their junior year, must meet all of the admission criteria, including the required GPA, of the 3+3 applicants (3.0 science GPA, 3.25 overall GPA, 3.0 pre-requisite GPA). Admission is also contingent upon successful completion of a formal interview with the DPT admissions committee. It is also highly recommended that the Alvernia 4+3 students take Neuroscience (BIO 208) and Kinesiology (BIO 211).
Accelerated 3+3 track applicants, Alvernia 4+3 applicants desiring conditional guaranteed admission, and applicants who desire to enter the program from another university through a formal matriculation agreement, must submit their application through the physical therapy centralized application service (PTCAS) by October 1 of the year prior to matriculation. Accelerated 3+3 and 4+3 students who have met all of the criteria, must achieve the required GPA for admission into the DPT program by January 15 of their junior year to progress into the graduate DPT program. Applicants will be notified of their acceptance status into the program by March 1.
Note: If the number of 3+3, Alvernia 4+3 applicants who desire conditional guaranteed admission, or applicants desiring to enter the program from another university through a matriculation agreement who meet all admission criteria exceeds the number of available seats in the program, as determined by the program’s accrediting agency, Alvernia 3+3 and 4+3 students will be given first preference followed by students entering within a matriculation agreement from another university. In such cases, Alvernia student applicants then matriculating student applicants will be rank ordered based on: 1. Science GPA, then 2. Overall GPA for final decisions related to admission.
In order to enter the DPT program within the Alvernia accelerated (3+3) format, students must complete the following pre-admission criteria:
- Achieve a cumulative GPA of 3.25, Science GPA of 3.0, pre-requisite GPA of 3.0
- Achieve a minimum grade of “C” in all pre-requisite courses
- All DPT prerequisite courses (listed below) must be taken at a four-year accredited institution. If taken at another institution, only courses in which the student achieved a grade of "B", or higher, will be transferred.
- All 3+3 students must follow the guidelines for applying to the program and submit all required documents through the Physical Therapy Centralized Application Service (PTCAS), which can be accessed through the DPT Program homepage. All decisions are contingent upon the applicant’s maintaining admission criteria throughout the final semester.
- A minimum of 100 hours of observation, which shall include experiences in a broad range of settings that include both outpatient and inpatient physical therapy settings. Recommended settings include: skilled nursing facilities, assisted living facilities, pediatric intervention settings, home health settings, acute or sub-acute inpatient rehabilitation settings, acute hospital settings, sports and orthopedic settings, and/or private practices.
- Three letters of reference that shall include one each from a: licensed PT, professor, and other non-family member. Applicants should ensure that their chosen references have knowledge of and can speak to the qualities/attributes required of a doctorally prepared health professional and to their readiness to handle the academic rigor of doctoral study.
- Advanced Placement (AP) courses taken in high school, if accepted by undergraduate admissions upon entrance into the university, will be accepted as fulfilling the pre-requisites for entrance into the DPT Program. These courses must appear on the undergraduate transcript.
- Non-science pre-requisites (statistics, social science, psychology) may be completed online. For science pre-requisites (biology, chemistry, physics, anatomy and physiology), the lecture portion of each course may be taken online, but the laboratory portion of each course must be taken in a traditional laboratory setting.
DPT Prerequisite Courses
- Human Anatomy and Physiology I and II - 4 credits each with lab
- Biology – 3-4 credits (excluding BIO 109, BIO 203, BIO 115/116)
- Chemistry I and II - 4 credits each with lab
- Physics I and II - 4 credits each with lab
- Social Sciences – 6-9 credits (psychology, sociology/anthropology, humanities)
- Statistics - 3 credits
- English Composition/Writing - 3 credits
- Humanities/Communications - 3 credits (COM 103) OR Interpersonal Communication - 3 credits (COM 213)
The Program’s pre-requisite courses for admission are reflective of the position of the Academic Council of the APTA (Position: Standard Prerequisite Course for Admission in Entry Level Physical Therapist Education Programs). This motion was heard before the council in October of 2012. The council supports the standardization of prerequisite requirements for the purpose of assisting program applicants in achieving required courses as they apply to multiple programs and for the purpose of assisting pre-professional institutions with program development. The list of courses recommended by the council is consistent with information presented in the PTCAS Course Prerequisites Summary; 2011- 12 Admissions Cycle, APTA, August 27 2011 and the publication by Lake, et al1. Additional rationale for the choice of these pre-requisite courses was obtained following close analysis of the pre-admission course requirements of other accredited DPT Programs. This information is available through PTCAS.
1. Lake DA, Breckenridge W, Beverly M. Admission requirements for physical therapist education programs: an uDCate. The Advisor. 2012;3:30-37.
2. Hayward, L. M., & Blackmer, B. (2010). A model for teaching and assessing core values development in Doctor Of Physical Therapy students. Journal of Physical Therapy Education, 24(3), 16-26.
3. Jaschik, Scott. Popularity of Early Admission Grows and Grows. 2017, 2018, January 30, https://www.insidehighered.com/admissions/article/2017/12/11/despite-concerns-many-early-admissions-programs-continue-see-growing
Transfer into the Program
Students may transfer a maximum of two graduate courses (six graduate credits) from an accredited university with a CAPTE-accredited DPT Program. Courses that are to be transferred must have been taken within 1 calendar year. The student must have earned a minimum grade of “B” in each course to receive transfer credit. An official transcript indicating the grade received and a complete course description or syllabus must be forwarded to the Coordinator of Graduate Admissions and Student Services as well as the DPT Admissions Committee for review for equivalence.
Students wishing to enter the DPT Program must apply in the usual cycle of admissions and must meet all other requirements to gain entrance into the University. Transferred credits do not count towards the cumulative grade point average at Alvernia University.
Transfer of students who are currently enrolled in a DPT Program that has failed to achieve accreditation will be considered on an individual basis. This transfer policy will ensure that there are no gaps in the education of transfer students and that the curricular framework of the Program is preserved. Exceptions to the credit transfer policy will be considered by the DPT Admissions Committee on an individual basis.
Doctor of Physical Therapy Program at Alvernia University is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy (CAPTE), 3030 Potomac Avenue, Suite 100, Alexandria, Virginia 22305-3085; telephone: 703-706-3245; email: firstname.lastname@example.org; website: http://www.capteonline.org. If needing to contact the program/institution directly, please call 610-568-1546 or email email@example.com.
For more information regarding the process of accreditation, please contact the:
Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education
3030 Potomac Avenue, Suite 100
Alexandria, VA 22305-3085