Physical Therapy (DPT)


The degree offered by the department is the Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT), designed as a first-professional degree for students who want to enter the physical therapy profession.

The entry-level Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) program consists of eight consecutive semesters of full-time professional graduate study. The curriculum plan, by semester, of courses required once admitted to the DPT program can be found on the department website: The DPT is a clinical doctorate degree, not a research degree, and is awarded after successful completion of the prescribed sequence of 121 semester hours (listed below) including classroom and clinical laboratory coursework and 34 weeks of full-time physical therapy internships. As an entry- level program, the DPT is designed as a first PT degree and is not appropriate for students who already hold a PT degree. The goals and objectives of the program are guided by the criteria and guidelines set forth by the Evaluative Criteria for Accreditation of Educational Programs for the Preparation of Physical Therapists (Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education). Graduates of the program are eligible to take the National Physical Therapy Exam for licensure.

The program begins each year in the Fall semester. The application deadline for Fall semester is November 1st of the previous year. All applicants must apply through the Physical Therapy Centralized Application Service (PTCAS) and submit a supplemental application fee of $75 directly to the PT department. International Students should carefully review earlier deadlines and additional requirements listed after minimal requirements for all applicants (see below).

DPT Early Acceptance Program (DPTEAP)

The DPT Early Acceptance Program (DPTEAP) allows for some highly qualified high school seniors who meet the qualifications to gain early provisional acceptance to the graduate program prior to starting college. Details are described in the Early Acceptance Program section of the Office of Admissions website at

In addition, a link to the application for this program is also found on this webpage and the "Special Programs" section of the Office of Admissions Website. The application deadline for this program is February 1 of the senior year in high school.

Regular Graduate Applicants

It is required that applicants complete a bachelor's degree prior to starting the PT program. These applicants must hold a bachelor's degree (or be able to complete the degree prior to starting the PT program) in any field from a regionally accredited college or university and complete all prerequisites for regular graduate admission as listed below with a GPA > 3.00. These applicants may apply by November 1st if they will complete their bachelor's degrees before the upcoming Fall semester.

Minimum Requirements for All Applicants

  1. The applicant must meet all applicable requirements including prerequisites.
  2. Graduate Record Exam (GRE) scores must be officially reported to the University of South Alabama Office of Admissions by November 1st (You must use institution code 7799). The GRE must have been taken within the last 5 years. Verbal, Quantitative and Analytical Writing sections will be utilized.
  3. Regular Graduate applicants must have a minimum 3.0 (A=4.0) overall grade point average (GPA).
  4. All applicants must have a minimum grade of "C" in each of the prerequisite courses.
  5. Observation or work experience in Physical Therapy (50 hours minimum) under the supervision of a licensed Physical Therapist must be documented and submitted to PTCAS.
  6. Applicants may only have a maximum of 2 science course prerequisites remaining by the application deadline. The remaining prerequisites must be completed in the spring and summer prior to the start of the program.

International applicants must have a TOEFL score = 600 (250 on computer based or 100 on Internet based tests), TSE = 60 and TWE = 4.5 and must submit the following to the Department of Physical Therapy by September 15 of the year prior to admission: TOEFL score, official transcripts with certified translations of transcripts, supplemental application and non-refundable supplemental application processing fee of $75.00. In addition, international students must submit PTCAS application and official GRE scores by November 1st. Materials being sent by mail carrier must be postmarked no later than November 1st. This DPT program is not ideal for students who already have a physiotherapy degree.

Note: If selected for interview, the applicant must achieve a satisfactory interview score, and if accepted into the program, must submit a health form and physical examination which includes required immunizations.

Program Prerequisites1 (For Optimal Preparation, On-line Science Labs are Discouraged)

Prerequisites Required For All Applicants:

  • English Composition (2 courses)
  • Social Sciences (3 courses--at least two of which must be Psychology)
  • Precalculus Algebra/Trigonometry or Higher Mathematics (1 course)
  • Statistics (1 course)
  • College Physics - with labs (2 semester or 3 quarter sequence)
  • General Chemistry for science majors - with labs (2 semester or 3 quarter sequence)
  • General or Cell Biology for science majors - with labs2 (2 semester or 3 quarter sequence)
  • Human Physiology, or a course sequence in Anatomy and Physiology (minimum 6 credits). Human Physiology is preferred.

Electives should be concentrated in a back-up major of the student's choice.


For all prerequisite courses, credit older than ten years from the application deadline must be repeated or validated by examination or other appropriate mechanism.


Botany may not be used to satisfy this prerequisite.

Essential Functions

Core Performance Standards, which are fundamental tasks that must be performed to successfully complete the program, have been outlined and are available upon request from the program and on the department website.


Students admitted in the Physical Therapy program will be charged a matriculation deposit of $300 required to secure a seat in the entering class. This amount is not refundable but will be applied towards tuition expenses after registration (after Drop/Add period ends).

Students should be prepared for extra expenses (estimates available on the website) associated with professional studies including books, local travel to and from clinical facilities and for out-of-town travel and living expenses during the 34 weeks of clinical internship in the first year and the final year. Students are required to have a laptop computer (Windows or Mac only). A tablet, or iPad is not an acceptable device as Android, iOS, and Linux are not supported by ExamSoft. Special lab fees are assessed for the following courses:

Abbr Course Description Fee
PT 600 Human Anatomy $75.00
PT 601 Human Anatomy II $200.00
PT 603 Neuroscience $15.00
PT 612 Research Project $50.00
PT 621 Introductory PT Skills $20.00
PT 625 Therapeutic Intervention $20.00
PT 675 Comprehensive Capstone $81.00
PT 682 PT Internship I $83.00
PT 683 PT Internship II $83.00
PT 684 PT Internship III $83.00
PT 686 PT Internship IV $83.00

A Resource Fee of $169/semester is charged to all Allied Health Professions students.

A $25.00 professional liability fee is assessed annually ($12.00 each in fall and spring and $1.00 in summer).

A $16.00 program fee for the use of HealthStream will be charged each fall semester.


The Department of Physical Therapy currently has eight scholarships that are awarded to students in either their 2nd or 3rd year. Scholarships are awarded on a competitive basis and are listed on the department webpage.

Accreditation and Licensure

The entry-level Doctor of Physical Therapy program at the University of South Alabama is accredited by:

The Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE)
3030 Potomac Avenue, Suite 100
Alexandria, VA 22305-3085
Telephone: (703) 706-3245
Web site:

Graduates of the program are eligible to sit for the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) to gain licensure. Applicants are hereby informed that a history of felony conviction, use of drugs or intoxicating liquors, which affects professional competence, or narcotic law conviction may prevent physical therapy licensure.

See Alabama Board of Physical Therapy site:

Degree Plan

(119 Total Hours)

Plan of Study Grid
First Year
PT 600 Human Anatomy I 3
PT 601 Human Anatomy II 3
PT 610 Principles of Research & EBP 2
PT 621 Introductory PT Skills 4
PT 622 Clinical Exercise Physiology 4
PT 680 Professional PT Practice 2
PT 604 Pathophysiology I 2
PT 620 Clinical Kinesiology 3
PT 625 Therapeutic Intervention 4
PT 631 Musculoskeletal Disorders I 4
PT 632 Musculoskeletal Disorders II 3
PT 681 Clinical Practice Issues - W 2
PT 607 Pathophysiology II 2
PT 633 Musculoskeletal Disorders III 4
PT 682 PT Internship I 6
Second Year
PT 602 Life Span Human Development 2
PT 603 Neuroscience in Phys Therapy 3
PT 606 Pharmacology in Rehabilitation 2
PT 611 Research Proposal Development 2
PT 634 Musculoskeletal Disorders IV 3
PT 650 PT in Integumentary Disorders 4
PT 671 Clinical Case Studies I 1
PT 612 Research Project 2
PT 628 Mobility Ortho & Prosthetics 2
PT 640 Neuromusc PT Exam/Eval 4
PT 641 Ped Neuromusc PT Exam/Eval 2
PT 660 PT Cardio/Pulmonary Disorders 4
PT 672 Clinical Case Studies II 1
PT 687 Profess Topics in PT Practice 1
PT 627 Medical Screening 2
PT 635 Musculoskeletal Disorders V 2
PT 642 Neuromuscular PT Intervention 4
PT 673 Clinical Case Studies III 1
Third Year
PT 605 Human Learning 1
PT 644 PT Pediatric Interventions 2
PT 674 Clinical Synthesis & Pat Mgmt 1
PT 675 Comprehensive Capstone 1
PT 676 Advanced Topics in PT 1
PT 683 PT Internship II 8
PT 685 Management of PT Practice 3
PT 613 Clinical Case Report 2
PT 684 PT Internship III 6
PT 686 PT Internship IV 6
 Total Hours121