FAQs - Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) Program


What is a physical therapist?

The American Physical Therapy Association describes physical therapists as “highly-educated, licensed health care professionals who can help patients reduce pain and improve or restore mobility.” ( Physical therapists diagnose and treat individuals of all ages to restore function and optimize movement, and they interact with consumers to overcome barriers to participation in society. 

Where do physical therapists work?

Physical therapists work in a variety of settings, including hospitals, outpatient clinics, sports medicine clinics, pediatric facilities, school systems, skilled nursing facilities, and home health. 

Are jobs available for physical therapists?

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects growth in employment of physical therapists of 34% from 2014 to 2024, much faster than the average for all occupations. Increasing demand for physical therapy services will likely continue due to an aging population and the obesity epidemic in the U.S.

How much do physical therapists make?

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the 2015 median salary for a physical therapist was $84,020 per year.  Salaries will vary depending upon region of the country, type of setting, and years of experience.

Is physical therapy a physically demanding profession?

Physical therapy is a demanding profession that requires a wide range of cognitive, sensory, and motor skills.  A physical therapist is expected to independently perform all aspects of the physical therapy role.  

Based upon the expectations and requirements of the profession, the DPT program has developed an Essential Functions Statement with a list of essential functions. The essential functions must be met, with or without accomodations, for entry into the DPT program and progression through the program. The Essential Functions Statement is located under Students (menu on the left), both in the DPT Student Handbook (Appendix A) and as a separate form.

Will I have to be licensed to be a physical therapist?

Graduates of a physical therapy program must become licensed in order to practice physical therapy.  The Texas Board of PT Examiners is responsible for licensing and regulating practitioners of physical therapy.  Individuals interested in pursuing a career in physical therapy who have been convicted of certain misdemeanors or felonies may not be eligible for a physical therapy license.  Information about the types of offenses that apply can be found at in Rules under §343.9. Licensure of Persons with Criminal Convictions. A criminal history evaluation letter can be requested from the board to determine eligibility prior to applying to a physical therapy educational program. 


Is UMHB’s program accredited?

The Doctor of Physical Therapy Program at University of Mary Hardin-Baylor is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE), 1111 North Fairfax Street, Alexandria, VA, 22314; telephone: 703-706-3245;; website:

What is the cost of the program?

The current tuition for doctoral level courses is $920/credit hour.  The university offers a $200/credit hour DPT scholarship for students enrolled in the program.  The estimated total cost for tuition and fees for the program is approximately $85,000 with the scholarship.

This estimate does not include books ($1000-$2000) or any costs related to clinical education. All costs associated with clinical experiences, including travel, food, lodging, health insurance, etc. are the responsibility of each student.   

Where will the courses be taught?

The DPT program is located in Hardy Hall on the UMHB campus. Hardy Hall has undergone extensive renovations to develop classrooms, labs, and office space to house the program. All DPT courses are taught in Hardy Hall except the Human Anatomy labs. Those labs are taught on the Baylor Scott & White campus in Temple in the Texas A&M Medical School cadaver lab.

Who teaches the courses in the program?

All faculty who teach in the DPT Program hold terminal degrees in their field and have demonstrated knowledge and expertise in the areas taught. 

When are the courses offered?

The courses are offered primarily during the day from Monday through Friday. A course may occasionally be offered in the evening or on Saturday, and students will be informed well in advance.  

How long will it take to complete the program?

The program is 28 months long and includes seven consecutive semesters. The program begins in August and should be completed two years later in December.   

Can I work and go to school too?

Enrollment in the physical therapy program is a full-time commitment, and employment during the academic year is not recommended. 


When does the program admit students?

The program admits students once a year in the Fall semester.

When is the deadline to apply for the program?

The application deadline is March 1, 2018.UMHB has joined PTCAS and is currently accepting applications. Well-qualified applicants will be invited to campus for an interview and completion of a 1-2 page essay. Seats in the Fall 2018 class may be offered after each interview date, and the number of seats available at each interview session is limited. Early applications are encouraged. 

How many students are accepted?

The program will admit 40 students every year. For the classes admitted in Fall 2015 and Fall 2016, the average acceptance rate was 56%, and of the students accepted, 73% entered the program.

What major should I choose for my Bachelor’s degree?

The program requires a Bachelor’s degree from an accredited university and completion of specific pre-requisite courses, but does not require a particular degree or field of study. UMHB’s physical therapy program includes prerequisites in chemistry, physics, biology, anatomy & physiology, algebra, statistics, psychology and medical terminology. The Pre-Physical Therapy major in Exercise Science degree at UMHB includes all of the prerequisites for the DPT program. 

Is the GRE required for admission?

The UMHB Graduate School does not require the GRE for admission to the Doctor of Physical Therapy Program.

What are the requirements for letters of recommendation?

The DPT program requires three completed recommendation forms as part of the application process.  Forms are completed through PTCAS.

Two of the recommendation forms must be completed by physical therapists (PT) from different facilities where you completed volunteer/observation hours. For example, if you completed observation hours in an outpatient clinic and a skilled nursing facility, you would need to ask one PT from the outpatient clinic and one PT from the skilled nursing facility to complete a recommendation form. If two recommendation forms are submitted by therapists in the same clinic, they will be considered as only one recommendation. The third recommendation form can be completed by a professor, supervisor, employer, pastor, or a physical therapist at a third facility. Recommendation forms from relatives will not be considered.  

Can I apply before I have completed all of my prerequisites?

Yes, you may apply before you have completed all of your prerequisites. However, you should have the majority of prerequisites completed at the time of application. In addition, you must be able to complete all of your prerequisites before beginning the program. If you are accepted into the program, your acceptance will be conditional upon completing all prerequisites prior to start of the program.

Can I apply before I complete my Bachelor’s degree?

Yes, you may apply before you complete your Bachelor’s degree. However, you must be able to complete your Bachelor’s degree prior to the beginning of the DPT program in order to be enrolled in the program. If you are accepted into the program, your acceptance will be conditional upon completing your Bachelor’s degree prior to the start of the program.

What does my GPA (grade point average) need to be for admission?

The minimum GPA to be considered for the program is a 3.20 GPA in the last 60 hours of a Bachelor's or relevant graduate degree. In addition, a minimum GPA of 3.0 is required for prerequisite courses. For the class admitted in Fall 2016, the average last-60-hours GPA was 3.55 and the average prerequisite GPA was 3.40. 

What can I do to improve my chances of being accepted?

One of the most important things to do is maintain a competitive GPA. You should complete as many of the prerequisites as possible before applying. Completing more than the minimum number of required volunteer hours, as well as volunteering in more than 2 settings, may also improve your chances. When completing your resume, be sure to include specifics about your extra-curricular, volunteer, and work experience. You should also be sure to include examples of leadership, if possible.   

What should I do if I have a complaint or concern about the DPT program?

The program will comply with university policies related to student complaints and concerns. If you are a UMHB student, the university has a one-stop online "REPORT IT" resource for students. Details can be found on the UMHB website and in the UMHB Student Handbook.

If you have a complaint that falls outside of due process (such as complaints from clinical sites, community employers, patients, and the general public), you should direct your complaint to the DPT Program Director. The DPT Program Director will notify the Dean of the Graduate School and other appropriate university administrators if necessary. Based on the nature of the complaint, the DPT Program Director (in consultation with other university administrators if needed) will determine a fair process by which to address the complaint or concern. Every effort will be made to resolve the complaint in a timely manner. If a complaint or concern involves the DPT Program Director, the complaint should be directed to the Dean of the Graduate School. 

If the nature of the complaint or concern falls under the program's accrediting body, you may contact the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE) at 1111 North Fairfax St, Alexandria, VA 22314; phone - 703-706-3245; email -  



The Doctor of Physical Therapy Program at University of Mary Hardin-Baylor is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE), 1111 North Fairfax Street, Alexandria, VA, 22314; telephone: 703-706-3245; email:; website: