Admission and Application
Up to 36 students are admitted into the DPT program through a competitive process, with a new class beginning each fall.
Individuals interested in Track II or Track III must submit applications through the Physical Therapist Centralized Application Service at www.ptcas.org.
- Early Decision Admission is available in the fall for Track II and III applicants with a minimum of 3.5/4.0 GPA, 50% of prerequisite coursework completed, and a 300 combined GRE. Deadline for Early Decision applications is August 15. On-site personal interviews are scheduled in September.
- Spring Admission deadline for all Track II and III applicants is December 1. On-site personal interviews for qualified applicants are scheduled in January and February. Acceptance decisions for this group are announced in writing during the spring semester.
- Selection Criteria include academic performance, standardized test scores, statement of educational and professional goals, individual on-site interview, references and knowledge of the profession.
High school seniors interested in Track 1 (Track 1 information below) should contact the SAU Admissions Office.
Track I is exclusively for high school seniors planning to enroll at St. Ambrose University. Each year up to 15 high school seniors are granted placement in Track I positions conditionally reserving them a place in the DPT class that begins with their senior year in college.
The application deadline for Track I is for students who will start their senior year August 2018 is October 1, 2018.
Track I students follow a "3+2.5" plan of study (three years of undergraduate work plus 2.5 years in the DPT program). Students accepted into Track I apply the first year DPT courses toward completion of their SAU undergraduate degree, which must be awarded prior to beginning the second year of the DPT program.
Acceptance as a Track I student is contingent upon completion of the Track I / Phase A prerequisites (below). The Track I student will be guaranteed admission into the DPT program if all Phase B requirements are met. Students who do not meet advancement criteria remain eligible to apply to the program through Track II or Track III.
Track I/Phase A - High School Prerequisites
To apply for Track I, high school seniors need to:
- Apply to the Track I program by the deadline of October 1. Click here for the application (.docx), for students starting their senior year of Fall 2018.
- Meet the entrance requirements of St. Ambrose University; the deadline to apply for admissions to SAU is also October 1.
- Have completed the equivalent of one year each of high school biology and chemistry (one year of high school physics is strongly recommended).
- Attain a minimum of 3.5/4.0 unweighted high school GPA.
- Score a minimum of 24 on the ACT or 1160 on the SAT.
- Have completed and provided documentation of at least 20 hours of observation with a licensed physical therapist (.docx) in one or more physical therapy settings.
- Complete an acceptable on-site personal interview with DPT faculty members. Due to the competitiveness of the program, not all applicants will be invited for an interview. Decisions on interviews will be based on a review of the completed application.
Track I/Phase B - College Requirements
Track I students are required to meet the following criteria in order to advance into the DPT program during their senior year. These students will need to:
- Complete all bachelor's degree requirements in their major other than those to be completed in the first year of the DPT program
- Complete all prerequisite courses with a grade of "C" or above prior to entering the DPT program. (Students in Track I who will not complete the prerequisites by the spring admissions deadline must provide a detailed written plan of study for completion of the remaining courses prior to final admission into the DPT program).
- Submit a plan of study (.docx) detailing how an undergraduate degree will be earned prior to the beginning of the second year of the DPT program.
- Earn and maintain a cumulative grade point average of at least 3.30/4.00 and a prerequisite grade point average of at least 3.30/4.00 by the end of their fourth semester at St. Ambrose.
- Complete a Track IB application form provided by the Physical Therapy Department.
- Complete the GRE, with a combined score of 295 or higher on the verbal and quantitative sections. Use GRE institution code 6617 and department code 0619.
- Document on this observation form (.docx) at least 50 hours of observation with a licensed physical therapist in two or more settings (may include the 20 hours completed for Phase A), to include inpatient and outpatient hours.
- Submit official transcripts from all undergraduate institutions attended.
- Provide two favorable references (.docx) to the Physical Therapy Department directly from the reference.
- Complete an acceptable on-site personal interview with DPT faculty members.
Minimum Program Requirements
The minimum cumulative undergraduate and prerequisite GPA required is 3.0 (on a 4.0 scale) or a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.25 (on a 4.0 scale) for 18 or more semester hours in a science based graduate curriculum. Contact the PT Department at 563/333-6403 regarding acceptable graduate course.
Track II Specific Requirements
Track II is a "3+2.5" plan of study (three years of undergraduate study plus 2.5 years in the DPT Program). First year DPT courses are applied toward completion of the undergraduate degree, which must be awarded prior to the beginning of the second year of the DPT Program. Students from institutions other than SAU may also utilize Track II.
Track II students must have completed all bachelor's degree requirements in their major other than those to be completed in the first year of the DPT Program. Students from institutions other than SAU will need a letter from the respective Registrar's Office indicating that the first year of DPT courses will be credited toward the bachelor's degree and that the bachelor's degree will be awarded prior to the start of the second year in the DPT Program.
Track III Specific Requirements
Individuals who are in their senior year of college or hold a bachelor's degree may apply using Track III, the "4+2.5" plan of study (four years of undergraduate work plus 2.5 in the DPT Program). The bachelor's degree must be awarded prior to the fall they anticipate entering the DPT Program from an accredited four-year college or university.
Track II / III Eligibility Requirements
- Complete all prerequisite courses with a grade of "C" or above prior to enrollment in the DPT Program. Applicants who will not complete the prerequisites by the date of their application submission must provide a detailed plan for completion of the remaining courses found in the Supplemental Application portion of the PTCAS Application.
- Attain a minimum 3.0/4.0 cumulative and prerequisite GPA in all undergraduate coursework or a minimum cumulative graduate GPA of 3.25 / 4.0 for 18 or more semester hours in an approved graduate science degree program.
- Document at least 50 hours of observation with licensed physical therapists in two or more physical therapy settings to include inpatient and outpatient. All hours must be completed at the time of submitting application.
- Complete the Graduate Record Exam (GRE) and submitted official results to PTCAS.
- Submit an application to SAU through the Physical Therapist Centralized Application Service (PTCAS), www.ptcas.org
- Submit official transcripts from all undergraduate institutions attended through PTCAS.
- Submit two references from individuals well acquainted with the applicant through PTCAS.
- All international students are required to submit official results from the TOEFL exam and must score at least 600 (written), 250 (computerized) or 100 (internet).
- International students are required to have their transcripts evaluated through the World Education Services (WES).
- Complete an acceptable on-site personal interview with SAU DPT faculty members.
Deadlines for College Students
- Early Decision Deadline is August 15 - for persons with > 3.5 cumulative GPA, 300 combined GRE, & 50% of prerequisite course work completed
- Spring Decisions Deadline is December 1 - for persons with > 3.0 cumulative GPA
Students applying through Track II and III will use Physical Therapist Centralized Application Service (PTCAS). The application fee for PTCAS is $150 for the first program application and $55 for each additional program. All fees are collected through PTCAS.
The PTCAS allows students to complete a single application that is sent to programs the student has chosen to apply to (as long as that school participates in PTCAS).
Students send their transcripts to PTCAS for transcript analysis; references submit their forms through PTCAS.
- Visit www.ptcas.org to begin the application process. All requested information must be submitted to PTCAS by the SAU application deadline. Through PTCAS you will submit the following information:
- Official transcripts from all institutions of higher education that you have attended. Do not send your transcripts to SAU.
- Two references. A form will be provided by PTCAS for the persons providing the references to complete. Please note that if another school you are applying to requests more than two references, SAU will receive all the references submitted.
- Personal essay. PTCAS will list the specific requirements of the essay.
- Documentation of a minimum of 50 hours of clinical observation in two or more physical therapy practice settings, including inpatient and outpatient, with licensed physical therapists. The hours must be completed at the time of submission of the application.
- Official results of the Graduate Record Examination (GRE). These must be sent directly from the Educational Testing Service to PTCAS (SAU code #7742).
After applications are received and reviewed, a personal on-site interview will be scheduled for selected applicants.
Please note that due to the competitiveness of the program, not all applicants will be invited for an interview.