Our program in physical therapy has been preparing students to be highly competent and compassionate professionals for 50 years. We take pride in bringing together the most advanced educational philosophies and the most current research together with the finest faculty to create an effective and supportive learning environment. Proof of our success is the fact that we have a 99% first-time pass rate on the national licensure examination.
The physical therapy program at the University of Utah has a long-standing tradition of excellence dating back to the admission of its first class in 1969. This makes the University of Utah program in physical therapy one of the oldest in the region.
The University of Utah Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) program offers three options to accommodate every type of learner:
- In-person on the main campus in Salt Lake City
- In-person in St. George, Utah
- This innovative hybrid format
Admissions, prerequisites, and application requirements for each option are identical.
The Hybrid DPT program is accredited through the Commission on Accreditation for Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE).
This is a full-time program. We do not recommend that students hold other employment during their studies.
The hybrid online/on-campus DPT option gives students from across the nation the opportunity to earn their DPT from a top-ranked school of physical therapy, without having to relocate. This program combines engaging online learning with in-person immersion experiences at the University of Utah and clinical experiences near students’ communities, which enables students to learn in an intimate and innovative atmosphere while staying close to home.
The curriculum utilizes an innovative layered approach to active student learning. The program includes the following online, live, and in-person elements:
- Asynchronous Lessons: Didactic content and lab skills are introduced through recorded lessons that students complete online.
- Live Sessions: Each class holds weekly synchronous online meetings between students and faculty.
- Immersions: On-campus experiences consisting of physical learning and assessment. Immersions
are roughly 6-7 days in length and occur at the following times:
- During orientation at the beginning of the program (3-days)
- Twice during each fall and spring semester, with one toward the middle and one at the end of the semester. Summer semesters include one immersion only.
- Clinical Education: We leverage our rich network of clinical education sites and require 42 weeks of clinical education experiences. These are aimed to be as close to students’ communities as possible.
Doctor of Physical Therapy
Applicants must complete all prerequisite requirements to be admitted. This information is subject to change without written notice or obligation.
- All coursework must be taken for a letter grade. Any coursework with a grade below C will not be considered toward fulfillment of the program's prerequisites. C minus is NOT acceptable.
- If a course is repeated, the Physical Therapy Department will calculate the highest grade achieved in the course when calculating the Prerequisite GPA on your PTCAS application.
The following courses must be completed and graded prior to submitting your PTCAS application. These courses must be taken within 7 years from the date of application. No exceptions will be made.
- Human Anatomy with lab - one course with lab. Mammalian or vertebrate anatomy will not fulfill this requirement.
- Human Physiology - one course; lab not required but strongly recommended. Mammalian or vertebrate physiology will not fulfill this requirement.
- Physics series with associated labs- one-year series of physics.
- Chemistry series with associated labs- one-year series of chemistry.
In addition to the previously mentioned prerequisites, the following courses must be completed. Only two of the following courses can be in progress or planned for completion by mid-May prior to starting the DPT program.
- Exercise Physiology with lab- one course taken in the past 7 years from date of application
- Trigonometry OR Calculus OR Pre-Calculus - one course taken in the past 10 years from date of application. (An AP test score of 4 or higher in Trigonometry or calculus can fulfill this requirement; your score must be viewable on your application)
- General Psychology - (AP NOT ACCEPTED) one course within 10 years from date of application. An additional psychology course may be used in lieu of general psychology.
- Additional Psychology- one course within 10 years from the date of application. Must be taken through a Psych department. ESS/Kinesiology Sports Psychology courses will NOT meet this requirement.
- Statistics - (AP NOT ACCEPTED) one course taken in the past 10 years from date of application; NOT an introductory course. Statistics course must cover ANOVA (analysis of variation), correlation, and regression testing. (Please submit course description and syllabus if you have questions to firstname.lastname@example.org)
All prerequisite coursework must be completed by the end of spring semester, prior to the start of the DPT program (Summer Semester; mid-May).
ATTENTION LOCAL APPLICANTS:
Check the list of prerequisite courses from Utah institutions that satisfy University of Utah DPT program requirements.
The flat-rate cost for the full program is $95,000. For information on scholarship opportunities, click here.
Applicants to all of our campuses should apply via PTCAS. The Hybrid Salt Lake City Campus is a unique PTCAS application, listed under University of Utah - Hybrid Campus. If you would also like to apply to our Salt Lake City Residential Campus or our St. George Campus, you can do so through a different PTCAS application, listed under University of Utah - Residential Campus.
Each campus has the same application requirements and follows the same application processes, including a supplemental application for students who are invited to interview.
Current salary information can be obtained from the U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics - Occupational Outlook Handbook. Physical Therapy has been named as one of the nation's 150 best recession-proof jobs. Physical Therapist ranks in CNN Money's 2013 Top 100 Jobs in America, and PT is included in their 10 Booming Jobs, with the growth over the next 10 years at 30%. The Department of Workforce Services of Utah gives Physical Therapy a 5 Star Rating.
Hybrid Pathway FAQ
- Does the tuition differ based on my Utah residency status? No, we are pleased to offer the same flat rate tuition for both in-state and out-of-state students.
- Are lab immersion costs included in my tuition? While the costs for the required lab immersion classwork in Salt Lake City is included in your tuition, students are responsible for the costs associated with travel to and lodging during immersions. We will often provide lunch during lab immersions, but other meals will also be a cost you should plan for. Often students group together to make lodging more affordable. We will provide you with a list of dates for immersions so you can book airfare as early as possible.
- Can I keep my job and complete the hybrid pathway? While the hybrid pathway offers you the flexibility to live in your community and not have to relocate to Salt Lake City, we highly recommend that you do not work during this DPT program. Your schedule will be full of commitments, including live class sessions, office hours, guest lectures, and homework assignments. The DPT program is a rigorous full-time educational experience that requires approximately 40-60 hours/week.
- What are Live Sessions? These are weekly synchronous online learning experiences in groups of no larger than 15 students led by faculty. Each class has weekly live sessions and student attendance is required, as is their presence on camera. In addition to live sessions, faculty hold weekly online office hours.
- Do I have to move or relocate for my clinical experiences? We will make every effort to identify and secure clinical experiences near your community. That said, clinical site selection and placement is dependent on location availability and almost all of our students in every pathway will need to relocate temporarily for a portion of their clinical experiences.
- What happens if I move during the program? No problem! We simply ask that you notify our clinical education team as early as possible, as it could impact their ability to find a clinical education experience in your community
- How do I practice lab skills and techniques? Upon admission, we will recommend a list of equipment for you to purchase to help you be successful. This will include a physical therapy plinth. Your classes with lab techniques will have innovative ways to help you learn and refine your hands-on skills culminating in lab immersions. We encourage you to begin identifying a set of community partners (friends, family) who can be available for you to practice with. Some assignments, for example, might have you demonstrate a technique on your clinical partner and then submit a video of your demonstration for feedback.
- Are there technology requirements I need to plan for? We require students in the hybrid pathway to have a laptop with a forward-facing camera and a tablet. Stable, high-speed internet appropriate to stream Zoom web meetings is also required. Since you will be on camera often (required during live sessions) and submitting recordings of techniques, investing in some inexpensive lighting for web-meetings is also highly recommended. Additional information can be found on the University of Utah New Student Guide to Digital Resources page. Finally, we utilize Examplify from ExamSoft/TurnItIn, and your technology must meet their minimum system requirements.
- Can I change the pathway that I’m in during the DPT program? No, we do not permit students to change pathways, so you must complete the DPT degree in the pathway to which you were admitted.
If you still have questions about the DPT program, visit our General FAQ page.