Questions about the Program (degree, accreditation, length, tuition)

Which degree does UTEP offer?
The Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) degree was approved by The Higher Education Coordinating Board (THECB) April 29, 2010, and is the only degree offered.

Is the program accredited?
The Doctor of Physical Therapy Program at the University of Texas at El Paso is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE), 1111 North Fairfax Street, Alexandria, Virginia 22314; telephone: 703-706-3245; email: CAPTE; the CAPTE website: CAPTE Website. Also The University of Texas at El Paso is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS). For more information on SACS, visit their website at SACS.

How long is the program, and when does the program start each year?
The UTEP DPT Program curriculum is delivered over nine consecutive semesters. There are 99 credit hours in the DPT curriculum. The incoming class that starts the day after Memorial Day will graduate three years later in May.

How much is tuition?
The cost of tuition, fees, and supplies/books are estimates. However, the current cost for the 9 semesters is approximately $33,000 for in-state students or $72,000 for out of state students.

The tuition cost will not increase from 8 to 9 semesters. However, there will be a one semester fee increase of approximately $625.

Visit: UTEP tuition and fees for more information about tuition and fees.

Be aware that the above estimates do NOT include living expenses, clinical education expenses, nor optional/recommended books and supplies. Expenses are subject to change each year.

Does the Program require a deposit?
If the UTEP DPT Program offers admission to an applicant, the applicant will be required to pay a non-refundable $200 deposit at the time of accepting an offer of admission to the UTEP DPT Program. The applicant must pay this non-refundable deposit to hold a spot in the incoming cohort of the UTEP DPT Program. The $200 will be applied toward the applicant’s first-semester (summer) tuition in the UTEP DPT Program. If the applicant withdraws from the UTEP DPT Program after paying the deposit, the $200 will be forfeited to the UTEP DPT Program. ​

How many students does the DPT Program admit per year?
Each cohort starting in May will include a maximum of 36 students.

What is a cohort program?
We admit one group of students each year, and those students take the same courses in the same order throughout the program.

Does the DPT Program require internships and will there be any expenses associated with them?
There are four (4) full-time clinical experiences included in the curriculum. The first three (3) are each eight (8) weeks in duration with the final clinical internship being twelve (12) weeks. These clinical experiences will be coordinated through the program’s Director of Clinical Education (DCE). Expenses associated with these clinical experiences are the responsibility of the student. There are some opportunities in El Paso, but the student should expect to go out of town for some clinical experiences.

Where can I find data on graduate outcomes such as licensure pass rate?
This information can be found at: UTEP DPT graduate outcomes

May I visit the UTEP Department of Physical Therapy, prior to applying?
Each year the UTEP DPT Program has planned an on campus visitation day on the second Saturday of September. Please watch our website for further information. Given the high number of potential applicants, we are unable to give individual tours.

A few photos are included on UTEP DPT photos

You can request a tour of UTEP main campus; at UTEP Tour Main Campus This tour does not include the DPT program or the building we are housed.

Here is a virtual tour of the UTEP campus: UTEP Campus Virtual Tour

Can you attend the DPT program part-time?
No. Due to the fixed sequence of the didactic curriculum, all students must enroll on a full-time basis.

Questions on where and how to apply

How do I apply to the DPT Program?
Apply through PTCAS at PTCAS Portal. Please, direct questions regarding the PTCAS application process to the PTCAS Customer Service Team.  PTCAS Customer Service.

What are the deadline dates for applications to the program?
Applicants must apply through PTCAS. The application is open beginning of July to beginning of November the year prior to the start of the program. (See actual deadlines on PTCAS.) Applicants do not apply directly to UTEP.

When does the DPT Program notify applicants of admission status?
Applicants will be notified through PTCAS email in January following the November deadline. If an applicant has not heard from the UTEP DPT Program by January 31, it is recommended that the applicant email UTEP DPT Admissions to inquire about his/her application.

May I apply to the program before I have all prerequisites completed?
Although it is recommended that all pre-requisites be completed prior to application, application to the program can be made before all prerequisite courses are completed. However, all prerequisite courses must be completed by May of the year of admission. Letters of recommendations, 50 hours of observation in a physical therapy setting, and GRE scores must be submitted to PTCAS by the admission deadline.

Do I need to perform an academic update in PTCAS? 
If you have outstanding coursework, have incomplete prerequisites or are still taking any additional classes that will go into your overall GPA, you MUST complete an academic update in December.

Questions about Requirements for Admissions

What is required before I apply?
Review our webpage UTEP DPT requirements for admission and Our PTCAS Directory site PTCAS UTEP Directory Page for the most up to date information.  You must meet the minimum admission requirements listed by the deadlines listed.  

What bachelor’s degree is required to apply?
There is not a specific bachelor’s degree the applicant will need to obtain.

Prerequisite Course Questions

What are the prerequisites for the program?
A bachelor’s degree is required for admission to the UTEP DPT Program. There is not a specific bachelor’s degree the applicant will need to obtain; however, the specific course prerequisites can be found on this website under the Prospective Students section. The GRE is also required, along with 50 hours of observation in a physical therapy setting under the supervision of a PT, and 3 letters of recommendation.

How do I know which classes will count for prerequisites?
See Prerequisite Course Examples. UTEP DPT Prerequisite Course Examples It is the student’s responsibility to determine if transfer courses are equivalent.

What classes can I use for Biological sciences with labs?
Any courses that are fauna (courses that are human or animal) not flora (plant based courses) will be accepted.  This requirement means it must be a human or animal based class, not botany or biofuels, etc. Each class must include a lab. BIOL or ZOOL courses are normally what is required.  Microbiology is accepted as long as there is a lab.  Courses for science majors are strongly recommended.

What classes can I take for General Chemistry or General Physics?
Any two (2) (physics or chemistry) classes that include a lab may be used for this requirement.  They must be two different classes, not just the same class taken at two different colleges.  For example, if you take Chemistry 1 at one university and then take Chemistry 1 at another university, you cannot count that as both of your required course for chemistry. UTEP DPT recommends taking Chemistry and Physics for science majors.

What classes can I take for Anatomy and Physiology?
The anatomy and physiology course must be a science based course typically offered by the Science Department. Four semester credits with a lab of Anatomy AND Four semester credits with a lab of Physiology OR A&P I and II.  We do NOT accept Exercise Physiology for this requirement.

What classes count for Psychology prerequisite?
Any 3 credits of psychology will be accepted

Will the UTEP DPT Admissions Committee review my transcripts prior to submitting my application to help me determine if I have all the requirements?
No, the UTEP DPT Admissions Committee does not advise applicants nor review transcripts until an application is submitted. Applicants must check with their advising departments at their universities to ensure that they are meeting the prerequisite requirements.

May I use the highest grade for pre-requisite courses?
The applicant will enter all courses into PTCAS even if the courses do not fulfill a prerequisite course or were later repeated. Applicants indicate if the course fulfills a core PT prerequisite. The UTEP Admissions Committee will verify the courses you have selected.

How is the prerequisite GPA calculated?
UTEP DPT includes the highest grade of all prerequisite courses in the prerequisite GPA.

Are on-line courses acceptable to fulfill prerequisite requirements?
Yes, although it is strongly recommended that prerequisite science courses be completed in a traditional classroom setting.

Do you accept Advanced Placement (AP) credits and pass/no pass grades in lieu of college-level courses or a letter grade to fulfill science prerequisites?
We do accept AP credits as long as they are documented on the transcript. The applicant will have to include this when they input their grades into PTCAS. We will not accept pass/no pass (or fail) on pre-requisite course work. Grades from AP courses are not calculated in the GPA since they are just “for credit,” and this might hurt an applicant’s prerequisite GPA if there are 6 or more hours of AP credit.

Do prerequisite courses have an expiration date?
No. All letter-graded prerequisite coursework that has been taken from an accredited university or college is acceptable, no matter when the coursework was completed. However, it is highly recommended that students take refresher courses when needed to be prepared to take full advantage of the curriculum.

Can I take prerequisite courses at a community college?
Yes. If you are unable to take prerequisite courses at an accredited 4-year college or university for compelling reasons, courses taken at an accredited community college are acceptable.

Do you require English, Technical Writing, or Speech as a prerequisite?
We no longer require these prerequisites.

Are there recommended coures to take to help prepare for the program?
Recommended courses (not required for admission, but may contribute to success in physical therapy education):  Exercise Physiology, Medical Terminology, Public Speaking course (or participate in Toastmasters)

GPA Questions

How are GPAs calculated?
PTCAS calculates a standardized set of GPAs to help PT programs evaluate applicants using uniform criteria. PTCAS GPAs may differ from those calculated on the applicant’s transcripts due to the grade standardization process. PTCAS combines all coursework from undergraduate, post-baccalaureate, and graduate years for the Overall GPA. All failed or repeated courses are included, even if they are later repeated for a higher grade or excluded from the GPA on the transcript. See PTCAS FAQs for further answers.

How are classes that are not yet on the transcript calculated?
The UTEP DPT Program will review applications before Fall grades are received. Therefore, any grades received in the Fall semester during which the applicant applies to the UTEP DPT Program or the following Spring semester will not be calculated in your packet.

Should I re-take classes that are C or lower?
Each course taken will be calculated by PTCAS for the overall GPA. The UTEP DPT Program prefers that an applicant is successful in the first attempt of a course. However, if the applicant does poorly on a lower level course (Freshman/Sophomore), the applicant’s efforts are better directed toward successful completion of higher level courses to demonstrate academic capabilities better. The UTEP DPT Program prefers applicants successfully complete upper division science courses, but upper division courses are not required. Upper division courses may better prepare an applicant for the rigors of a doctoral program.

Does it matter how many classes (or what classes) I take each semester?
Yes! The UTEP DPT Program not only looks at what the applicant's GPA is but how the GPA is earned. The applicant will be more competitive if 15-18 credit hours are taken per semester on a consistent basis including at least 2 science courses and challenging electives. The applicant is also more competitive if the applicant is working 15 hours or greater while taking at least 12 credit hours per semester. It is important to document this clearly on the PTCAS application.

Observation Questions

How many physical therapy observation hours are required? Do they have to be completed in a particular setting? Who arranges them?
The UTEP DPT Program requires 50 hours of observation prior to applying. The hours must be completed under a licensed physical therapist. The purposes of these observation hours are to 1) introduce the applicant to the profession of physical therapy, and 2) build a relationship with a physical therapist who can give the successful applicant a strong recommendation to the UTEP DPT Program. The Program does not require that these hours be completed in a particular physical therapy setting, but it is recommended that the applicant tries to observe physical therapy services being delivered in more than one setting (e.g. inpatient, outpatient, schools).

It is the responsibility of the applicant to find Physical Therapy Clinics that will allow observation hours.

Does it make me more competitive to have more hours of observation?
No, however, it will help the applicant gain a better letter of recommendation from someone who knows the applicant. It also allows the opportunity to learn more about the field of physical therapy while observing.

How are Observation hours logged?
The UTEP DPT Program prefers the applicant to use the electronic verification process. See PTCAS for instructions. However, if that is not possible, there are other ways the observation hours can be submitted. The PT signing off on observation hours can write a letter stating the hours that were worked, or a generic form can be created by the applicant and can be signed off by the therapist each day and scanned into PTCAS.

Can I complete all of my observation hours after my application is complete?
No, you will not have a complete application if you do not have at least 50 hours of observations verified by the due date on PTCAS.

GRE Questions

Is the Graduate Record Examinations (GRE) required for admission to the DPT Program and is there a required score?
The UTEP DPT Program requires the GRE as part of the application process. There is no minimum score, but the applicant’s score is factored into the overall evaluation of the application. For data on average GPA or GRE, visit the UTEP PTCAS Directory page at: UTEP PTCAS Directory page.

If I repeat my GRE what scores do you use?
We will take the highest score from each section

Other Questions about Requirements for Admissions

Does the DPT Program require an interview as part of the application process?
No, the UTEP DPT Program does not conduct interviews.

What are the requirements for international students?
Applicants may contact the international student office http://sa.utep.edu/oip/ for additional information on applying to the UTEP Graduate School.

Will having something on my student conduct or criminal record prevent me from getting accepted?
Usually not. If the applicant has a conduct issue or a misdemeanor, it does not automatically mean that the applicant will not be admitted. It is important that the applicant is always upfront about what happened, take responsibility for actions, and discuss what was learned from the experience. Some states will not issue professional licenses to convicted felons; therefore, if the applicant has a felony on their record, it is critical that the applicant checks with the physical therapy state board where the applicant may practice, to see their policies. The UTEP DPT Program requires a criminal background check prior to admission.

What are the characteristics/performance of an ideal candidate for your program?
Competition is very high! An ideal candidate must demonstrate that s/he has a strong work ethic and desire to enter the physical therapy profession. He or she will have a combination of life, work and academic experience that shows a capacity to perform under the demands of challenging academic and professional program.

Although 3.0 is the minimum overall and prerequisite GPA, it does not guarantee admittance. The higher the GPA, the better the chances; admitted applicants have an average of 3.5 on their overall, pre-requisite, and last 60 hours. The UTEP DPT Program also looks at the GRE scores. Although the UTEP DPT Program does not have a minimum score to be accepted, the applicant’s score is factored into the overall evaluation of the application. Last year, the average verbal and quantitative scores were ~150. The UTEP DPT Program wants to see the applicant as a whole, and so the UTEP DPT Program also looks at what other extracurricular activities the applicant is activiely involved in since high school. The UTEP DPT Program looks at the applicant’s leadership activities, engagement with research, and community service. Make sure this is documented well in PTCAS.


Who should I contact with questions about applying to the DPT Program at UTEP?
After reviewing this website, including the FAQs and PTCAS Directory site at: UTEP PTCAS Directory page if there are still questions, The DPT Program Admissions Committee can be reached through email at UTEP DPT Admissions. Allow 3 business days for a response to all inquiries.

Can I set up an appointment to discuss my transcripts or my chances of getting into the program with someone from the UTEP DPT Program?
Given the high number of potential applicants, we are unable to advise potential applicants in person or by phone. The UTEP DPT faculty do not advise applicants nor review transcripts until an application is submitted.

Who should I contact concerning PTCAS questions?
Please direct questions about the PTCAS application to the PTCAS Customer Service Team. The Customer Service information is listed below.

Phone Number: 617–612–2040

Email: PTCAS Customer Service. When contacting via email, applicants should include their full name, PTCAS ID number and a detailed question.

Application FAQs: PTCAS Appication FAQs

Application Instructions: PTCAS Application Instructions