DPT Professional Degree


VCU's Department of Physical Therapy offers a three-year degree program leading to a Doctor of Physical Therapy. The DPT Program prepares students for entry into the profession by teaching them to evaluate and manage patients with physical therapy problems effectively and in accordance with ethical principles. It also provides students with strategies to continually define and meet their own educational needs in order to keep skills and knowledge current throughout their professional careers.

Accreditation:

The Doctor of Physical Therapy Program at VCU is accredited by the

Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education

3030 Potomac Ave., Suite 100

Alexandria, Virginia  22305-3085

telephone: 703-706-3245; email: accreditation@apta.org; website: http://www.capteonline.org.

Click this link for verification status: CAPTE

DPT Graduation Data (average of 2019-2020):

Graduation rate 100% 

Employment rate 100%

Licensure Examination first-time pass rate 96.9%

Licensure Examination overall pass rate 100%

 

Satisfactory performance in the experiences provided in the Doctor of Physical Therapy Program prepares the graduate to: 

  • Demonstrate professional behavior in a manner consistent with APTA Code of Ethics and APTA Core Values.
  • Adhere to legal practice standards, including all federal, state, and institutional regulations related to patient/client care and fiscal management.
  • Communicate effectively with all stakeholders, including patients/clients, family members, caregivers, practitioners, interprofessional team members, consumers, payers and policy makers.
  • Adapt delivery of physical therapy services with consideration for patients’ differences, values, preferences, and expressed needs in all professional activities.
  • Integrate basic principles of critical inquiry to evaluate, interpret and utilize professional literature in clinical practice, participate in clinical research activities, and critically analyze new concepts in the application of physical therapy practice.
  • Apply current knowledge, theory, and professional judgment, while considering the patient/client perspective, the environment and available resources.
  • Determine, with each patient encounter, the patient’s need for further examination or consultation by a physical therapist or referral to another health care professional.
  • Perform a physical therapy patient examination using evidenced-based tests and measures that are appropriate to the patient’s age, diagnosis and health status.
  • Evaluate data from the patient examination (history, systems review, and tests and measures) to determine a diagnosis, prognosis, client goals, and expected outcomes that guide future patient management.
  • Establish and manage a safe and effective physical therapy plan of care that is consistent with professional obligations, interprofessional collaborations, and administrative policies and procedures of the practice environment.
  • Perform physical therapy interventions in a competent manner to achieve patient/client goals and outcomes.
  • Educate others (patients, caregivers, staff, students, other health care providers, business and industry representatives, school systems) using relevant and effective teaching methods.
  • Produce accurate documentation that follows guidelines and specific documentation formats required by state practice acts, the practice setting, and other regulatory agencies.
  • Collect and analyze data from selected outcome measures in a manner that supports accurate analysis of individual patient and group outcomes.
  • Direct and supervise personnel to meet patient’s goals and expected outcomes according to legal standards and ethical guidelines.
  • Demonstrate a commitment to lifelong learning and the physical therapy profession by serving as an advocate for the profession and the healthcare needs of society.  

Applicants must meet the following requirements for entry into the Doctor of Physical Therapy Program:

  • A Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science degree from an accredited college or university. A grade of "D" in any required prerequisite course is not acceptable.
  • A minimum grade-point average of 2.7 (in a 4.0 system).
  • Complete required prerequisite courses
  • The Graduate Record Examination (GRE). The VCU DPT program uses a separate GRE Code from the VCU Graduate School.  Upon taking the GRE, students must put in the Code 4788 for their GRE scores to be transmitted correctly to PTCAS and scores must be submitted by the application deadline.
  • A completed application submitted through the Physical Therapy Central Application Services (PTCAS) including in part, three references (one from a Physical Therapist), one essay, and payment of a nonrefundable application fee to PTCAS.
  • A completed supplemental application packet with either an in-state application form or an out-of-state essay along with a $50.00 non-refundable application fee paid to VCU. The supplemental packet must be submitted through PTCAS.
  • For nonnative English-speaking applicants, regardless of immigration status, a Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) score of at least 600 (score of 250 on computerized exam). Scores should be reported directly to VCU.
  • A minimum total of 45 volunteer or paid tech hours in at least two different physical therapy practice settings. Practice settings may include outpatient orthopedics, acute care, inpatient rehabilitation, pediatrics, home health and long term care.
    • Disclaimer: For the 2020-2021 Admissions Cycle Only: Students can apply and be accepted with these observation hours pending - however they must be completed prior to matriculation into the program. If the hours cannot be achieved due to special student circumstances, (especially a second setting) contact us and it will be dealt with on a case by case basis.  In your application, please indicate your plan to complete any pending hours by the time you start the program.
  • Pass/Fail grade impact on Admission: We understand that these are unprecedented times and we will be flexible with students' grades for spring semester 2020.  We will accept P/F grades for both prerequisite and non-prerequisite coursework.  That said, we are recommending that students receive a grade for prerequisite courses if possible.

Technical Standards and Professional Behaviors

Technical standards refer to the physical and mental abilities, skills, attitudes and behaviors that comprise cognitive, psychomotor and affective domains of physical therapist practice. VCU physical therapy students must demonstrate safely and competently the technical standards described in this document.

Technical Standards for the Doctor of Physical Therapy (pdf)

In addition to a core of cognitive knowledge and psychomotor skills, it has been recognized by educators and practicing professionals that a repertoire of behaviors is required for success in any given profession. The intent of the Professional Behaviors Assessment Tool is to identify and describe the repertoire of professional behaviors deemed necessary for success in the practice of physical therapy.  This Professional Behaviors Assessment Tool is intended to represent and be applied to student growth and development in the classroom and the clinic.

Professional Behaviors for the 21st Century (PDF)

Guaranteed graduate admission for honors students

Qualified VCU undergraduate students participating in the University Honors Program may apply for guaranteed admission to the physical therapy program before matriculation at VCU or early in their undergraduate studies. For more information, contact the The Honors College at (804) 828-1803.

International student admission

In today’s increasingly interdependent world, it is essential that citizens of all nations understand that their well-being is vitally linked to the well-being of all world citizens. In this spirit, the Department of Physical Therapy encourages the enrollment of qualified international students in its program.

International application materials and information about English language proficiency, immigration and visa regulations may be obtained from:

Office of International Admissions
Virginia Commonwealth University
P.O. Box 843043
Richmond, Virginia 23284-3043
Phone: (804) 828-1829

Application Information

The American Physical Therapy Association launched a physical therapy centralized application service (PTCAS) in the summer of 2008 in an effort to better accommodate prospective physical therapy applicants. The VCU Department of Physical Therapy participates in this common application service. Therefore, all students interested in applying to VCU's Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) program will submit their application materials directly to PTCAS.  

Applicants who apply through PTCAS will submit a completed Web-based application comprised of biographical data, colleges and universities attended, academic course history, physical therapy observation hours, list of reference providers, work experience, extracurricular activities, honors, professional licenses and a personal essay. It is the applicant's responsibility to read and follow all PTCAS and program-specific instructions.

http://www.ptcas.org/home.aspx

Our application deadline is usually at the beginning of October each year. Please see the PTCAS website for the exact deadline date

 

GRE Information:

NEW FOR THE 2020 APPLICATION CYCLE! The VCU DPT program will use a separate GRE Code from the VCU Graduate School.  Upon taking the GRE, students must put in the Code 4788 for their GRE scores to be transmitted correctly to PTCAS.  

NEW: At Home Testing

ETS is launching the GRE® General Test at home test on March 23, 2020, in selected areas to meet the needs of students affected by test center closures. It's the same valid and reliable GRE General Test, delivered to test takers at home. Monitoring of the test will be conducted using live remote proctors by ProctorU®, the leading proctoring solution for online testing.  For more information, please go HERE and HERE. VCU will be accepting GRE At Home Testing while it is available.  

 

Supplemental Application Information:

In addition, students must submit supplemental materials for their application to be considered complete.  Only complete applications will be reviewed by the admissions committee.  All materials, including the supplemental application must be submitted through PTCAS.

A VCU supplemental application fee of $50 must be submitted here.

 

Early Decision:

NEW FOR THE 2020 APPLICATION CYCLE: The APTA has discontinued the Early Decision option for all applicants in PTCAS.

Prospective Student Information Sessions: 

We host multiple Prospective Student Information Session dates throughout the semester.  In this session, the DPT Program Director and the Chair of the Admissions Committee will discuss in detail our curriculum and admissions process.  Please RSVP HERE (or click the link here: https://forms.gle/YwryuU4RDSqK8oxXA) for the date that works best for you.

More information

Sara Kohout, M.S.

Student Servvices Coordinator
Department of Physical Therapy
College of Health Professions
Virginia Commonwealth University
P.O. Box 980224
Richmond, Virginia 23298-0224
Email:  dptadmissions@vcu.edu

Supplemental VCU Requirements

In addition to the PTCAS application, all applicants must complete the following:

View application instructions »

Visit VCU's online bulletin for official university policies regarding the curriculum. For the official listing of course descriptions, visit the VCU online course database.

 

Doctor of Physical Therapy students complete a total of 34 full-time weeks of clinical education at Virginia Commonwealth University. The first full time clinical experience is two weeks in duration and occurs during the spring semester of the first academic year. The second clinical experience is eight weeks in duration and occurs during the summer after the completion of the second academic year. The 2 terminal 12 week clinical experiences occur during the fall and spring semester.

In addition to the full-time clinical education experiences students complete 80+ part-time clinical hours in academic courses throughout the curriculum.

VCU’s Department of Physical Therapy currently affiliates with approximately 210 clinical sites throughout the continental U.S. The majority of these sites are in the mid-Atlantic region, but interested students have limited opportunities to travel to other sites around the country. DPT students are required to complete clinical experiences in two areas:  outpatient orthopaedics and working with medically complex patients in acute care or rehabilitation settings. Opportunities also include specialty clinical experiences in areas such as pediatrics, women’s health, cancer rehabilitation and sports medicine. 1 of 12-week, full-time clinical experience must be out of the Greater Richmond area.

  Golf Tournament:

 

 

Pitt-Marquette Challenge:

Students sit around a table to celebrate winning

 

Intramural Volleyball:

 

Student Rafting Trip:

 

Casting Lab:

 

 

 

 

 

 

For first year students
For second year students
For third year students
Professional association awards

Visit VCU Business Services for a number of VCU scholarship opportunities.

First year DPT students awards/scholarships

Virginia-Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental Disabilities Program (Va-LEND) Participation

The Va-LEND program is an advanced level interdisciplinary leadership training program for health professionals and related disciplines in the field of childhood neurodevelopmental disabilities. The program is funded through a grant from the Maternal and Child Health Bureau to train future leaders to work with children with special needs and their families. Students who have a special interest in working with pediatric populations while completing their DPT degree are invited to apply to this program at the end of their first year in the DPT program. Students who are accepted and participate in the Va-LEND training are awarded a stipend/tuition assistance to defray some tuition costs in the second year of the DPT program. The stipend amount varies from year to year (approximately $5,000 for the last three years). Learn more.

Louis and Violet Childers Scholarship

In 2010, Janet and Lee Showalter endowed the Lewis and Violet Childers Scholarship in loving memory of her parents. Mr. and Mrs. Childers worked hard to earn the money that gave Janet the opportunity to study physical therapy at MCV (Class of 1958) and enter a profession. This annually renewable scholarship is awarded to a physical therapy student with strong academic credentials, a financial need, and the intent to practice in a rural setting.

Criteria:

  • Minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher in all courses taken before entry to the Physical Therapy program and current good academic standing in the Physical Therapy program (not on probation).
  • Satisfactory GRE scores and recommendations (admissions packet)
  • Financial need based on FAFSA determination
  • Preference is given to a Virginia student
  • Intent to practice in rural Virginia as described in an essay to be judged by the scholarship selection committee

Student must write an essay as part of the application and Faculty will select recipient

 

Second year DPT students awards/scholarships

 

Cindy Gouldin Memorial Scholarship

Dr. and Mrs. Gouldin have established this scholarship in memory of their daughter Cindy who died of complications of a brain tumor on May 22, 2003. Cindy Gouldin was a graduate of the VCU Physical Therapy program in 1987. She was a gentle, kind, sensitive young lady who believed in helping others and was a strong believer in volunteering. She volunteered throughout her life. Following her surgery and irradiation for her brain tumor at 32, she became a volunteer for the American Cancer Society driving patients to their doctor and lab appointments. The scholarship is available for one student in the second year entry-level DPT program and one student in the third year entry-level DPT program at VCU.

Award: $1,000
Criteria:

  • Service (described below)
  • Minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher
  • Financial need based on FAFSA determination

Student-judged criterion:
Evidence of service related activities within healthcare, in the community or world-at-large. Class presidents will solicit nominations in the first month of the fall semester. Nominees will be self-selected and will provide a list and details of service-related activities. This criterion will be judged by the students. Students will vote on candidates within their class based on depth and breadth of service. If the class president self-nominates, the vice-president will run the selection meeting. Students will vote by confidential ballot to select the 1st, 2nd and 3rd place nominees.

Faculty will determine that the nominees meet GPA and financial need criteria while students judge and rank service activity. The student judged by their class as making the greatest contribution in service-related activities will be given the award, assuming that student meets the other criteria. Preference will be given to non-awardees from the previous year.

 

A.D. Williams Awards

Adolph D. Williams was the youngest son of Thomas C. Williams Sr., tobacco manufacturer and founder of the School of Law at the University of Richmond. Early in his life, he was associated with his father’s firm, T.C. Williams & Company, as a buyer. When the firm was dissolved in the early 1900s, he retired from active business life and dedicated his life to philanthropies. His bequest to the Medical College of Virginia supports awards and scholarships.

Award: $500
Criteria:

  • Student in the second year DPT program at VCU
  • High scholastic attainment
  • High professional performance
  • Unusual promise and ability to contribute to the profession

Selection: Faculty selects recipient

 

M. Scott Sullivan Scholarship

Dr. M. Scott Sullivan, PT, Ph.D., associate professor and faculty member in the Department of Physical Therapy since 1990, passed away suddenly in December 1998. He taught, mentored and encouraged countless numbers of students in that time, many of whom are now practicing in Virginia. He was very active in the Virginia Physical Therapy Association, having served as chapter treasurer and delegate. Many therapists around the state had the opportunity to work with Scott either on a committee, in the classroom or lab or in clinical practice.  Dr. Sullivan’s contributions to our profession included research, teaching, serving as a role model for students, clinical practice and conveying a vision for the future of our profession. He could always be counted upon to pose the tough questions, challenge the status quo and make us look to the future as a challenge. After the work was done he would always encourage those he taught and worked with to laugh, talk about current issues and spend time enjoying life. He left behind colleagues, former students, friends and family that miss him.

Award: $1,000
Criteria:

  • Students in the second year DPT program at VCU
  • Need: based upon FAFSA (Federal application for financial student aid)
  • Minimum cumulative GPA of 3.30 (at end of the summer of first year)

Selection:Faculty selects recipient


Third year DPT students awards/scholarships

 

Cindy Gouldin Memorial Scholarship

Dr. and Mrs. Gouldin have established this scholarship in memory of their daughter Cindy who died of complications of a brain tumor on May 22, 2003. Cindy Gouldin was a graduate of the VCU Physical Therapy program in 1987. She was a gentle, kind, sensitive young lady who believed in helping others and was a strong believer in volunteering. She volunteered throughout her life. Following her surgery and irradiation for her brain tumor at 32, she became a volunteer for the American Cancer Society driving patients to their doctor and lab appointments. The scholarship is available for one student in the second year entry-level DPT program and one student in the third year entry-level DPT program at VCU.

Award: $1,000
Criteria:

  • Service (described below)
  • Minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher
  • Financial need based on FAFSA determination

Student-judged criterion:
Evidence of service related activities within healthcare, in the community or world-at-large. Class presidents will solicit nominations in the first month of the fall semester. Nominees will be self-selected and will provide a list and details of service-related activities. This criterion will be judged by the students. Students will vote on candidates within their class based on depth and breadth of service. If the class president self-nominates, the vice-president will run the selection meeting. Students will vote by confidential ballot to select the 1st, 2nd and 3rd place nominees.

Faculty will determine that the nominees meet GPA and financial need criteria while students judge and rank service activity. The student judged by their class as making the greatest contribution in service-related activities will be given the award, assuming that student meets the other criteria. Preference will be given to non-awardees from the previous year.

 

A.D. Williams Awards

Adolph D. Williams was the youngest son of Thomas C. Williams Sr., tobacco manufacturer and founder of the School of Law at the University of Richmond. Early in his life, he was associated with his father’s firm, T.C. Williams & Company, as a buyer. When the firm was dissolved in the early 1900s, he retired from active business life and dedicated his life to philanthropies. His bequest to the Medical College of Virginia supports awards and scholarships.

Award: $500
Criteria:

  • Students in the third year DPT program at VCU
  • High scholastic attainment
  • High professional performance
  • Unusual promise and ability to contribute to the profession

Selection: Faculty selects recipient

 

Jules Rothstein Scholarship

Dr. Jules Rothstein served on the faculty in the Department of Physical Therapy at VCU from 1984 to 1991. During that time, he was known as a superb teacher, a mentor for graduate students and a strong advocate for students. He was an especially strong advocate for students who had to overcome difficult obstacles during their education. Dr. Rothstein was editor of the journal Physical Therapy from 1989 until his untimely death in 2005. His past students still comment about Dr. Rothstein’s abilities as a teacher and his passion for providing a stimulating learning environment for all students. Dr. Alan Jette, interim editor for Physical Therapy in 2005, summarized Dr. Rothstein’s contributions to the profession in an editor’s note. “Jules was instrumental in providing leadership at a critical time in our profession’s history and helped transform the role of scientific evidence in our field over the past 15 years.”

Award: $1,000
Criteria:

  • Students in the third year DPT program at VCU
  • Need: based upon FAFSA (Federal application for financial student aid)
  • Minimum cumulative GPA of 3.30 (at end of the summer of second year)

Selection: Faculty selects recipient

 

Marianne E. “Mac” McDonald Award

This award was instituted in 1991 to honor Marianne “Mac” McDonald, a faculty member in the Department of Physical Therapy from 1964 to 1992. During her 28 year tenure, Mac shared not only her special gift of teaching, but also her caring, understanding and compassion that guided many students through the physical therapy curriculum and into the profession. The award is presented to a member of the graduating class of the Professional Physical Therapy Program who demonstrates an unselfish commitment to assisting other students - both academically and personally, who has a caring and supportive influence on other members of the class and who has the personal factors necessary to succeed in physical therapy.

Award: $500
Criteria:

  • Student in the third year DPT program at VCU
  • Unselfish commitment to assisting other students academically and personally
  • Caring and supportive influence on other members of the class
  • Has personal factors necessary to succeed in PT

Selection: Classmates select a recipient of the award

 

Terry Wise Memorial Scholarship

Terry Wise was a 1963 graduate of the MCV physical therapy program who was a respected and well-loved private practitioner in the metropolitan Washington, D.C., area. He died in 1982 and his peers and friends established a memorial fund in his honor. An annual award is given to a graduating physical therapy student who demonstrates outstanding clinical competence, as shown by his or her performance beyond normal expectations in a variety of areas.

Award: $500
Criteria:

  • Student in the third year DPT program at VCU
  • Outstanding clinical competence

Selection: Faculty selects recipient from list of nominations provided by clinical instructors

 

Marjorie Champion Salamone Award

The Physical Therapy class of 2002 of VCU established this award to honor the memory of the mother of one of their fellow classmates. Mrs. Salamone died during the terrorist attack at the Pentagon on Sept. 11, 2001. This is an annual award given to a graduating physical therapy student who exemplifies values similar to those of the award namesake: love for profession, caring, compassion, concern for fellow man and willingness to give of one’s time and talent to the overall benefit of the individual and society. It is a character-based award.   

Award: Fee for the state licensure exam for physical therapy for the recipient
Criteria:

  • Student in the third year DPT program at VCU
  • Cumulative GPA greater than or equal to 3.0
  • Character: Love for profession, caring, compassion, concern for fellow man and willingness to give of one’s time and talent to overall benefit of the individual and society

Selection: Classmates select recipient

Professional association awards

American Physical Therapy Association Mary McMillan Scholarship Award

The American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) grants this award. The award is intended to honor outstanding physical therapy students. The scholarship program contributes to the growth of physical therapy as a profession by recognizing individuals with superior capabilities. Awards are given to physical therapist assistant students, professional physical therapy students, post-professional master degree students and doctoral students. An award of $3,000 is given to each professional physical therapy student recipient selected. The criteria for selection are superior scholastic performance, past productivity and evidence of potential contribution to physical therapy. The nominee must be an APTA member and must have completed one full year of study in the professional program. Only one nominee from each educational program is permitted. The faculty and the student body of the program in which the nominee is enrolled select the nominee.

American Physical Therapy Association Minority Scholarship Award for Academic Excellence

This is an annual award offered to minority physical therapist students by the Physical Therapy Fund, a non-profit organization supported by the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA). The award acknowledges and rewards demonstrated participation in minority affairs activities and services, the potential for superior achievements in physical therapy and academic excellence. The student must be enrolled in the final academic year of an accredited or developing professional physical therapist education program. The student must complete all degree requirements (clinical and didactic) and/or be eligible to graduate. Students interested in the scholarship must complete the application packet available through the Division of Minority/International Affairs of the APTA. The dollar amount associated with this award is determined annually.

Virginia Physical Therapy Association Physical Therapy Student Minority Scholarship

This award provides a physical therapy or physical therapist assistant student enrolled in an accredited Physical Therapy or Physical Therapist Assistant curriculum in Virginia a $1,000 scholarship. Applicants must be minority students as designated by current American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) guidelines and by higher education standards of admission in Virginia. They must be enrolled, in good academic standing, in the second or third year of their education in an accredited physical therapy or physical therapist assistant program in Virginia. Finally, applicants must be member in good standing of the APTA and the Virginia Physical Therapy Association (VPTA). Application information is available through the Student Relations Committee of the VPTA.

Virginia Physical Therapy Association Student Stipends

Virginia Physical Therapy Association (VPTA) Student Stipend Awards encourage physical therapy and physical therapist assistant students to become active participants in the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) at district, state and national levels and recognize participation and involvement of students in VPTA and APTA activities. Stipends are available for attendance at the VPTA annual meeting, the APTA National Student Conclave and the APTA Annual Conference. Information and applications for these stipends is available through the VPTA Student Relations Committee.

his list has been compiled to assist you with your questions concerning admittance to the Doctor of Physical Therapy program at VCU. Hopefully, your questions can be answered by consulting the list. Further questions can be addressed to Sara Kohout.

Do you require a supplemental application?

Yes, the application can be found on the PTCAS Web site. Once there, follow Directory, List of PT Programs, PTCAS program pages and VCU. Then scroll down to supplemental requirements and follow the link from there.

What are the admission requirements?

All admission requirements are available in the admissions section under the DPT program.

What GPA do you accept or what is the required grade point average?

The minimum total GPA is 2.7 on a 4.0 scale to be considered for admission to the DPT program.

Are any standardized entrance exams required (e.g., GRE)?

We require the Graduate Record Examination and it must be taken within the last five years. We use the GRE scores available in the system when we receive your application. If you re-take the GRE and want to use the newer scores, you must contact us.

What are the minimum GRE scores?

We have no minimum GRE score. However, our program is very competitive and our average incoming student typically scores around the 50th percentile or above for both the verbal and quantitative sections. We select your best verbal and quantitative GRE scores even if they are from two different test dates.

How many observation hours must you have before entering our program?

An applicant must complete a minimum of 45 hours total of volunteer (or paid) work in two or more clinical settings with a physical therapist.  The two practice settings should not both be outpatient orthopedics or sports medicine.

Can I still apply if I have not completed my 45 volunteer hours by the application deadline?

Yes, you can still apply. Just indicate your plan for completion of the hours in your application. If accepted, you will be given a provisional accept until you provide documentation of the completed hours.

How do we find places to get experience to fulfill your requirement of the 45 hours needed?

Clinical settings with physical therapists may be found in local hospitals, outpatient clinics, special education in school systems, nursing homes, private practices and home health agencies.

What types of financial aid do you offer to students?

Need-based financial aid is awarded by the university’s Office of Financial Aid and requires submission of the Free Application for Federal Student Aid. The deadline for mailing the FAFSA or Renewal FAFSA is April 15 of each year.

Do students have to live on campus?

Graduate dormitory space is available on the MCV Campus on a first-come, first-served basis. Most students live in the Fan, West End or Southside areas of Richmond. We provide local housing information to accepted students on notification of acceptance. For more information about housing opportunities at and around VCU, visit Residential Life and Housing or Off-Campus Student Services.

What criteria do you use to select students?

We use the total GPA, math/science GPA, GRE scores, references, essays, and life experiences to rank all applicants. 

Do you accept credits from community colleges?

We accept credits from community colleges. However, unless you are a second career student returning to college to complete science prerequisites, we prefer to see the science credits taken at a four year university with a full course load. The science classes taken at a community college should transfer into VCU as Biology 151-152, Physics 201-202 and Chemistry 101-102 or higher.

How do you convert quarter hours to semester hours?

One-quarter hour is equal to 2/3-semester hour.

Do you accept anatomy and physiology credits from physical education departments?

We generally do not accept anatomy and physiology credits from physical education departments. An exercise physiology course is not an acceptable substitute for a human physiology course, taught in the biology department.

Do you accept science credits from departments such as Exercise Science, Kinesiology and Sports Medicine?

We do not accept science credits from these departments in our math/science GPA; however, credits from these departments are included in the total GPA.

Do you interview your applicants?

We do not interview applicants as a part of the decision-making process. We do provide pre-PT open houses with faculty members for potential applicants who have questions and want to visit the department. Please call the department at (804) 828-0234 to get a list of the dates.

Do you take out-of-state students?

We do accept out-of-state students. Each class is generally comprised of five to 10 out-of-state students.

Are VCU students given priority over other students?

We accept the most qualified students from all schools.

If I graduated several years ago, do I have to repeat courses?

We prefer that biology courses be completed in the last 5 years. Other courses are preferred to have been completed in the last 10 years

Can you apply if you have not completed all the required prerequisites?

You may apply if your required prerequisites have not been completed. However, in your application you must document your plan for completion of these prerequisites prior to registration at VCU.

Is your program a four-year or three-year program?

Our program is a three-year program leading to the Doctor of Physical Therapy degree. Students graduate in May of their third year in the program.  This is full-time program with no part-time options.

How is it decided where you will go for your clinical experiences?

Each student must complete four full time clinical experiences; one two-week integrated clinical experience in the spring of the first year, one eight-week clinical experience in the summer after the second year, and two twelve-week clinical experience during the third year. One full-time clinical experience must be completed in outpatient orthopedics and the other must be in an environment working with medically complex patients. Students may choose the setting for the third clinical experience. 

How much is your tuition?

The current tuition is listed on the VCU Student Accounting Web site. Look under tuition and fees, graduate students - MCV Campus. In addition, students pay a $1,000 fee each fall and spring semester. Fees are subject to change.

How can I become a Virginia resident for tuition purposes?

The factors used to support a claim of entitlement to in-state privileges must have existed for a minimum of one year prior to the official start of classes. Factors considered when determining first residency: physical residence, state to which income taxes are filed, state to which income taxes are paid, driver's license, voter registration, motor vehicle registration and employment.

Will you help me figure out if the courses I have taken meet the prerequisite requirements?

If you have specific questions about a course, please call or e-mail us and we will advise you on individual courses. We do not review your transcript and plan out what courses you need to take.

Do you forgive grades if the course is repeated?

All graded course work is calculated in our total and math/science GPAs. Even if a course is repeated for a better grade, both grades will be included in the GPA.

Can my experience as an athletic trainer be used for the requirement of the 45 hours needed in a physical therapy setting?

If these hours as an athletic trainer were spent with a licensed physical therapist, then the work hours may be counted in the required 45 hours. Observation hours may be paid or volunteer.

If I did poorly the first year or first two years college but have consistently improved the last two years, will you take that into account when making decisions?

The faculty reviewer will read your total application to get a clear picture of your academic performance over your entire college career.

How many students are accepted into your program?

We accept 54 students into each class. Most are coming straight from undergraduate programs, but several each year are second career students who worked prior to joining our program.

When does the physical therapy program begin?

All students in the DPT program will begin classes in early June. We admit only one group of students each academic year. Each class follows a set curriculum.

How many faculty do you have?

We have 13 full-time faculty members who are physical therapists in addition to having advanced degrees in a variety of fields.

Can I attend your program part time or at night?

Our program is only full time. Classes are held during the day.