The Doctor of Physical Therapy Program at Georgia Southern University is a full-time, nine-semester program that is comprised of academic coursework and three full-time clinical affiliations (with a minimum of 31 weeks of full-time clinical practice), in addition to other smaller clinical experiences. Upon completion of the program, all students are awarded a Doctor of Physical Therapy (D.P.T.) degree. All program graduates are eligible to take the National Physical Therapy Examination and apply for state licensure in all jurisdictions. Admission is limited to 36 students per class.
Meeting the minimum criteria for application does not guarantee admission to the Physical Therapy program.
Applicants to the DPT program must complete the requirements for a baccalaureate degree and any additional prerequisite coursework at a regionally accredited institution. While any major field of study is acceptable, the degree and all prerequisite courses must be completed prior to matriculation.
- At least 5 of the 8 prerequisite science courses must be completed at the time of application. Applicants must have completed all of the requirements by the time of enrollment in the program.
- Prospective students must have earned a grade of C or higher in all of the prerequisite courses. In the event that courses are taken more than once, grades will be averaged (see below for more information about GPA calculations). For the 2020-21 admission cycle, prerequisite courses taken Pass/Fail during the spring or summer 2020 semesters will be accepted if a grade of Pass was earned.
- Online classes are accepted for fulfillment of prerequisite courses, including lab science courses.
- AP courses are accepted for fulfillment of prerequisite courses, but they will not be included in GPA calculations.
Applicants must demonstrate an understanding of the social, biological and physical sciences and mathematics, so that they can comprehend and integrate physiological, pharmacological, behavioral and biomechanical principles into physical therapy practice. Applicants must also demonstrate effective oral and written communication skills. At least 5 of the 8 prerequisite courses bulleted below must be completed at the time of application:
- A one-year sequence of basic (general, inorganic) chemistry with laboratories which are designed for science or health professions majors;
- A one-year sequence of general physics with laboratories (both calculus or non-calculus physics are acceptable), which are for science or health professions majors and which include mechanics, electricity, magnetism and light;
- A one-year sequence of anatomy and physiology with laboratories (either as two combined anatomy and physiology courses or with one course in physiology and one course in anatomy), which may be lower-division human anatomy and physiology courses for health professions majors or upper-division vertebrate or human physiology and comparative or developmental anatomy;
- One general biology course with laboratory. (Botany, ecology, and environmental science are not acceptable substitutes.)
- One course in statistics (covering at a minimum measures of central tendency, probability distributions, linear regression).
Two courses in the social sciences are also required. Abnormal psychology and human development are recommended.
Applicants are also encouraged to take advanced human physiology and anatomy courses such as exercise physiology, neurophysiology, advanced human physiology, kinesiology and/or biomechanics.
Grade Point Average (GPA)
GPAs are calculated by PTCAS during the application process. Applicants must meet the following GPA requirements in order for their application to be considered:
- Minimum overall GPA of 3.0
- Minimum physical science GPA of 3.0
Please refer to PTCAS for information about how GPAs are calculated and which courses are included in the Science GPA. Any coursework completed after an application is submitted will not be considered in the GPA calculations, since it will not be verified by PTCAS.
No grade of D or F will be acceptable for satisfaction of the prerequisite courses. If an applicant earns a grade of D or F in a prerequisite course, he/she may retake that course only one time. No more than two prerequisite courses may be repeated with the goal of earning a passing grade. Applicants may repeat courses with grades of C or higher to improve their GPA, but repeated courses will be averaged in the calculation of the applicable GPA.
As of early April 2020, PTCAS has not announced how classes taken Pass/Fail during the spring and summer 2020 semesters will be factored into GPA calculations. We will update our website once that is announced.
The following documents are required to apply for admission to the DPT program:
- Complete Physical Therapist Centralized Application Service (PTCAS) application
- Official transcripts from every college and university attended
- Official Graduate Record Examination score reports
- Completed reference forms
- PTCAS application fee
- CASPer test results
ALL application documents, with the exception of CASPer test results, will be collected by PTCAS. Applicants do not complete the Georgia Southern University Graduate Studies application.
Graduate Record Exam (GRE)
Applicants must meet the following GRE requirements in order for their application to be considered:
- Minimum score of 146 on the verbal reasoning section
- Minimum score of 144 on the quantitative reasoning section
When requesting to have GRE scores sent to Georgia Southern University-Armstrong Campus for your PTCAS application, the appropriate codes are:
School Code: 7813
Department Code: 0619
If you use any other school code, including 5253 (the general Georgia Southern University GRE code), your GRE scores will not be added to your PTCAS application.
For 2020-21 applicants: The GRE remains a requirement to apply to the DPT Program at Georgia Southern. We will accept GRE scores from tests taken through GRE at Home. The score reports will not differentiate between tests taken at testing centers and those taken at home.
For students whose second language is English, a TOEFL score of at least 600 paper-based, 250 computer-based or 80 Internet-Web based may be substituted for the minimal verbal GRE score. The TOEFL score is not used in calculating a final application score during review of the applications, as there is no mechanism for converting a TOEFL score into a GRE score. As a result, the applicant’s application score may be lower than those of applicants who took the entire GRE.
The CASPer Test
All applicants to the DPT Program at Georgia Southern University are required to complete an online assessment (CASPer), to assist with our selection process for the 2020-21 Application Cycle.
CASPer is an online test that assesses for non-cognitive skills and interpersonal characteristics that we believe are important for successful students and graduates of our program, and will complement the other tools that we use for applicant screening.
Please go to www.takeCASPer.com to sign up for the American Professional Health Sciences test (CSP10101) and reserve a test using your PTCAS ID and a piece of government-issued photo ID. You will be provided with a limited number of testing dates and times. Please note that these are the only testing dates available for your CASPer test. There will be no additional tests scheduled. Please use an email address that you check regularly; there may be updates to the test schedule.
The CASPer test is comprised of 12 sections of video and written scenarios. Following each scenario, you will be required to answer a set of probing questions under a time contract. The test typically takes between 75-90 minutes to complete. Each response is graded by a different rater, giving a very robust and reliable view of personal and professional characteristics important to our program. No studying is required for CASPer, although you may want to familiarize yourself with the test structure at takeCASPer.com, and ensure you have a quiet environment to take the test.
More information about the CASPer test is available at this LINK.
Physical Therapy Observation Hours
Applicants should have an understanding of the scope of physical therapy practice. This understanding is best developed through observation of physical therapists in multiple types of clinical practice.
For the 2020-21 admissions cycle, applicants are recommended to demonstrate a total of 75 hours of observation under a licensed physical therapist. We acknowledge the impact of COVID-19 on healthcare systems and applicants’ ability to complete observation hours. As a result, we have moved from requiring 75 observation hours to recommending them. These circumstances will be considered in the review of applications.
PT observation hours that have been completed or are planned should be included in the PTCAS application but do not need to be verified by a physical therapist in order to be submitted.
Applicants are required to submit 3 references, one of which must be written by a physical therapist who has observed and supervised the applicant in a clinical setting. All of the references must be included in the PTCAS application.
All potential and enrolled students in the Doctor of Physical Therapy program must meet intellectual, physical, and social competencies in order to provide safe patient care and successfully complete the program. Applicants must review the Core Performance Standards posted on the program website.
Applicants are required to review the Core Performance Standards and answer a question about this in the Supplemental Questions section of the PTCAS application.
No supplemental fee or supplemental institution application is required.
Last updated: 12/22/2020