Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) Program
Frequently Asked Questions
Utica College offers a Bachelor of Science degree in Health Studies, leading to a Doctor of Physical Therapy degree for qualified students who meet required continuation standards. This is considered a guaranteed freshman admission into the DPT program at Utica College; students accepted as freshman (designated HSPT) are guaranteed entry into the professional PT program pending successful completion of requirements.
Q. What options are available to students interested in applying to Utica College as freshmen with guaranteed continuation into the DPT program?
A. There are two options:
- The 4 + 3 program is the “regular” track that provides the opportunity for students to complete their baccalaureate degree prior to beginning the graduate DPT program.
- The 3 + 3 program is an “accelerated” track that provides the opportunity for students to earn their DPT degree from Utica College in six years while earning their baccalaureate degree along the way. This track is considered for those students having a strong background in math and science and who may have advanced placement or college credits.
A. Students admitted as freshmen accepted into Health Studies with recommended continuation into the DPT program must designate one of the two tracks noted above at the time of matriculation. Should a student find it necessary to change from the selected track, admission into the DPT program will not be guaranteed.
Q. Are there factors I should consider when making this decision?
A. Each student differs in the ability to succeed in a chosen academic pathway. As mentioned above, the 3 + 3 track is truly an “accelerated” track and the decision should not be made lightly. Some factors to consider when making this important decision include the following:
- Earned college credits or their equivalent
- Semester load
Full time load for financial eligibility is 12 credits/semester. For students who aspire to complete their undergraduate requirements in three years, semester course loads will be higher (typically16 credits/semester). Students may also opt to take coursework if available during the summer and winter sessions.
- Financial aid implications
Financial aid for graduate students is very different from financial aid for undergraduate students. The 3 + 3 accelerated track may result in students completing their undergraduate course requirements early, which may mean the loss of undergraduate aid.
- Planned participation in Division III athletic competition
- Planned work or additional responsibilities during academic semesters
A. Not all students are able to accomplish their academic requirements as originally planned, due to a number of reasons (personal responsibilities, academic difficulty, life circumstances, etc.). If you are unable to complete the work as required within the three years in a designated 3 + 3 track, you will NOT be eligible to matriculate into the DPT as an undergraduate. The option that remains is for you to complete your bachelor’s degree and apply through PTCAS (Physical Therapy Centralized Application Service) by January 15 of your senior year. You will be considered for admission along with the entire pool of applicants and if selected, would enter as a graduate student the subsequent fall. Students may be offered positions in the cohort based on space availability and qualifications. A preference may be given to Utica College students when they are competitive with other applicants. Further questions regarding the process for PTCAS are to be directed to the Office of Graduate Admissions.
Q. What options are available for students who are not accepted as freshmen?
A. Students interested in this option are advised to review the admission requirements including prerequisite courses. The only option for a student who was not accepted as a freshman is to complete the bachelor’s degree and required admission prerequisites and apply through PTCAS by January 15 of the senior year. These applicants will be considered for admission along with the pool of post-baccalaureate candidates. Information on this process can be found on the department website at www.utica.edu/academic, click on Doctor of Physical Therapy. Students may be offered positions in the cohort based on space availability and qualifications. Your continuous enrollment as a Utica College student will be given additional consideration, when competitive with other applicants. Further questions regarding the process for PTCAS are to be directed to the Office of Graduate Admissions.
Students work with their faculty advisors to complete the prerequisite coursework and core requirements for the Health Studies degree and admission requirements for continuation into the DPT program. Student progress, cumulative GPA and prerequisite work are reviewed each semester.
Q. What is required to maintain my status as a Health Studies student designated for continuation into the DPT program?
A. For students admitted into the program as of Fall 2012 and beyond, academic performance will be reviewed at the end of the fall semester, sophomore year. In order to maintain one's status as a Health Studies Physical Therapy (HSPT) major, you must have a cumulative GPA of 3.0 and earned grades of B or better in each required science course (BIO 101 & 102, CHE 211 & 263, PHY 151 & 152).
For students admitted into the program prior to fall 2012, academic performance will be reviewed at the end of the spring semester of your sophomore year (considered by the college as the time for a junior review). Eligibility to advance into the DPT program will be determined at that review. If you have not met criteria for continuation at the review, you will receive notification of a change in major. Your academic advisor can assist you in making any needed schedule adjustments to complete your undergraduate degree.
Q. What happens if I do not meet continuation requirements as stated above?
A. Should a student fail to meet these requirements, their major coding will change to Health Studies (HS) with no guarantee of acceptance into the graduate DPT program. The student is welcome to re-apply at a later date if all admission requirements have been met.
Q. When would I apply at a later date if I am no longer guaranteed acceptance into the DPT program?
A. Students who do not meet requirements as undergraduates have the option of applying by January 15 of their senior year by completing the process through PTCAS. These applicants will be considered for admission along with the pool of post-baccalaureate candidates. Information on this process can be found on the department website at www.utica.edu/academic, click on Doctor of Physical Therapy.
Q. Am I permitted to retake any prerequisite coursework?
A. Students who fail to earn a grade of B or better in a required science course may repeat that course to earn a satisfactory grade. However, a student may repeat no more than two science courses and any science course may be repeated only once.
Q. Can I take prerequisite courses at another institution?
A. In order to consider courses from another institution once a student is matriculated at Utica College, the student should first speak with their faculty advisor and discuss the process for approval to study at another institution.
If you wish to take a course at another institution that you have not previously taken at Utica College since matriculating, you must first complete the “Permission to Study at Another Institution” form and gain approval.
If a student wishes to retake a course previously completed at Utica College, the faculty advisor should first be consulted. To determine the impact a retake will have on a student’s academic profile, the following points can be considered:
- If a student’s overall GPA is greater than 3.0, a student may be allowed to take the course at another institution if permission is granted. The student must complete the “Permission to Study at Another Institution” and secure all signatures (advisor, dean, registrar) before enrolling in a course. If you retake a course previously taken for credit at Utica College, you must submit the official transcript to the Registrar at Utica College. Although the new grade will not impact your official GPA, the department will accept the grade as meeting program requirements if a B or better has been earned.
- If a student’s overall GPA is below a 3.0, a student is advised to retake the course at Utica College in order to impact the cumulative GPA.
A. AP credits in science courses count towards meeting prerequisites at Utica College if they have been accepted by the Registrar for the required courses and are equivalent in credit/content. Scores of 4 or 5 in AP science courses are required for consideration. General Biology does not satisfy course requirements of Human Anatomy and Physiology.
Matriculating into the DPT program
For HSPT students advancing within either the regular or accelerated track, required forms confirming intent to enter the graduate program are completed by each student in the fall semester of the junior year.
During the semester in which a student will graduate with their undergraduate degree, a form signifying change in status to graduate student will also be completed. For those in the 3 + 3 track, this typically occurs in the spring of the first year of the professional program. For those in the 4 + 3 track, this typically occurs in the spring of the senior year as an undergraduate.
Q. When am I considered a graduate student?
A. Students are considered graduate students ONCE they have satisfied all degree requirements for the undergraduate degree in Health Studies (Physical Therapy) track which includes both total number of credits (120) and specific course requirements. Based on the number of credits a student transfers in and the progression within the years at Utica College, this change may occur prior to the completion of the first year in the graduate DPT program.
Q. What are the implications of being a graduate student?
A. Once they move to graduate status, students are no longer eligible for undergraduate financial aid. Students are advised to speak with their SFS counselors early in their academic careers to establish the point at which they will become graduate students and the implications for financial aid.
Curriculum Changes: The College reserves the right to make changes in courses, regulations, curricula, and fees at any time. The Department of Physical Therapy is strongly considering a change in the academic schedule to include summer coursework for each of the three years of the graduate program.
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"I liked the amount of research involved in the problem-based learning approach. Problem-based learning really prepared me to look up what I needed to know once I was a professional physical therapist." "I liked the amount of research involved in the problem-based learning approach. Problem-based learning really prepared me to look up what I needed to know once I was a professional physical therapist."
Johns Hopkins Medical Center
Johns Hopkins Medical Center
DPT PROGRAM OUTCOMES
For information on graduation rate, licensure pass rate, and employment rate, click here.
Supplemental Items For PTCAS Applicants ALL DPT Applicants must download, read, sign, and date these three (3) forms:
- the Essential Functions of a Physical Therapist form
- the Disciplinary History form
- the Office of the Professions Statement form
- the Clinical Observation Form
...and return all three to:
Utica College Graduate Admissions
120 White Hall
1600 Burrstone Road
Utica, NY 13502
NOTE: Your application will NOT BE COMPLETE until these signed and dated forms are returned to the Graduate Admissions office.