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Frequently Asked Questions

General Questions about Physical Therapy
1. How can I learn more about physical therapy?
Read information on the American Physical Therapy Association website (, arrange to speak with a physical therapist in your area and spend time volunteering (or working as a physical therapy aide) in a physical therapy setting.

2. My GPA is low but I really want to be a physical therapist. What do you recommend?
Several things: Try to get A's in your prerequisite courses. Call different PT schools and, in addition to getting information about the GPA cut-offs, ask if exceptions are ever made to allow a student with a GPA lower than the cut-off to be admitted to the program.

3. What scholarships are available to support physical therapy education?
Information is available on the APTA website (

General Questions about the University of the Pacific's DPT Program
1. How can I learn more about the program?
Access to learn about the program.

2. What degree is earned after completion of the program?
The degree offered is the Doctor of Physical Therapy, or DPT.

3. Will I be eligible to sit for the National Physical Therapy Exam and apply for licensure when I complete the program?
The program has determined that its curriculum meets the state educational requirements for licensure or certification in all states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands secondary to its accreditation by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education based on the following: Accreditation of a physical therapist or physical therapist assistant program by the CAPTE satisfies state educational requirements in all states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Thus, students graduating from CAPTE-accredited physical therapist and physical therapist assistant educational programs are eligible to take the National Physical Therapy Examination and apply for licensure in all states, the District state qualifications and licensure requirements, please refer to the Federation of State Boards of Physical Therapy website at

4. How long is the program?
The program is 25 months long.

5. How much does it cost to attend Pacific's DPT program?
Request an updated cost sheet by emailing

6. What is the current class size?
Our class size is approximately 36 students.

7. Is it possible for me to come and see the campus and talk with an advisor?
You may make an appointment to attend an informational meeting and tour the PT Department by emailing

University of the Pacific Admission Questions
1. How do I apply to the DPT program?
You must apply through the Physical Therapy Centralized Application Service (PTCAS). Please visit PTCAS for application deadlines.

2. What are the admissions criteria?
Admissions criteria and cut-offs may change from year to year. The following cut-offs were recently used by the PT Admissions Committee to help determine which applicants were invited to an interview: overall GPA 3.0, GRE-analytic writing 3.5 and no C- or lower grades in prerequisite courses.

3. Do my courses meet the prerequisite requirements?
Prerequisite courses can be found by clicking here. If you have any questions regarding the prerequisites courses you have taken please contact the PT Admissions Committee:

4. Can an on-line medical terminology course satisfy the prerequisite requirement?
Yes. If you are unsure of the medical terminology course you have or will take, please mail a request for approval to: Generally, on-line medical terminology courses which are taken for credit at accredited colleges or universities are acceptable as long as the applicant has received a grade of C or better. Once the course is completed, applicants will need to obtain official transcripts verifying that this course has been taken. Courses offered by companies providing continuing education are usually not acceptable.

5. Where can I take exercise physiology?
We recommend that you search course catalogues from colleges and universities close to your location. It is preferable to take an exercise physiology course that includes laboratory experiences. Please note that online exercise physiology courses are not acceptable.

6. Can you explain what PT clinical observation/experience is required?
The minimum requirement is 50 hours, including at least 25 hours in acute care, in-hospital setting (NOTE: sub-acute and any other non-acute care settings do not satisfy this requirement). The Department encourages you to visit the APTA website for the definition of acute care and descriptions of that setting:

7. I am having trouble getting PT observation/experience hours in an acute care setting. Do you know whom I might contact?
Call your local hospital and ask to speak with someone in the Department of Rehabilitation or Department of Physical Therapy. (NOTE: sub-acute and any other non-acute care settings do not satisfy this requirement). 

8. When do my PT clinical observation/experience hours need to be completed?
Verification of completed PT observation/experience hours must be submitted to the Department of Physical Therapy no later than July 15 (prior to the start of the DPT program which begins in August).

9. Should I send the letters verifying my experience in a PT observation/experience to the university?
No. If completed prior to the application deadline, verification letters should be sent to PTCAS as part of the application. If they are completed after the application deadline, verification letters should be sent to the Department of Physical Therapy (no later than July 15 prior to the start of the DPT program which begins in August).

10. When should I take the GRE exam?
We recommend that the GRE be taken no later than August 1 by applicants wishing to apply for the following year. You need to take the GRE with enough time to get the results to PTCAS so it can be included in your application file.

USE GRE CODES FOR PT PROGRAMS: There is no GRE code for PTCAS. Instead you must arrange for the Educational Testing Service (ETS) to send your official GRE scores to the correct college code for each designated PT program. The GRE college code for a PT program often differs from the main university code. PTCAS will forward your official GRE scores to the designated program if you arrange for ETS to send the scores to that particular program's "PTCAS GRE code." Failure to send official GRE scores correctly may jeopardize your chances of admission into a PT program.

University of the Pacific, DPT Program, PTCAS GRE Code = 0211

11. My GRE exam score is low so I am going to take it again. How do you assess multiple GRE exam scores?
We use the highest GRE scores.

12. I have taken courses on a semester system and a quarter system. How do I convert from semester credits to quarter credits so that I might calculate my science GPA?
A 3 semester credit course is the equivalent of a 4.5 quarter credit course. To convert from quarter to semester credits, multiply quarter credits by 0.67. To convert from semester to quarter credits, multiply semester units by 1.5.

13. Who should write my letters of recommendation?
One letter must be from a college professor, one letter must be from a physical therapist, and the third letter is from an individual of your choosing (not a family member or friend).

14. I have submitted my application and am hoping to be invited for an interview. When are the interviews and when will I hear if I am invited? What happens during the interview?
Screening of applications will begin in late fall. Interviews will usually be scheduled on Fridays in early spring. Interview invitations will be made by telephone, usually beginning in December. The interview lasts two hours. Applicants will have an opportunity to speak with current students as well as the program chair and faculty. Each applicant will have an individual interview by an interview committee. Tours of the University of the Pacific Main Campus will be provided as well.

15. Do I have to complete all prerequisite courses before submitting my application?
No. All prerequisite courses must be completed before the first day of orientation in August.

16. How do I apply?
Application is completed through the Physical Therapy Centralized Application Service (PTCAS) by accessing Follow all instructions on PTCAS, including payment to University of the Pacific. Receipt number of the payment to University of the Pacific will be required to submit the application via PTCAS.