Admission Requirements

PT Prereqs

In order to be eligible for admission, the applicant must complete a baccalaureate degree from an accredited institution, before starting the DPT program. Effective immediately, applications to the DPT program will only be accepted through the PTCAS website.  Note that 24 of the 33 required hours of pre-requisite courses (at least 8 of the prerequisite courses) must be completed by the application deadline. Admission to the program for students who have not completed all prerequisite courses will be conditional pending the completion of all prerequisite courses with a grade of “C” or better before matriculation.  The program has no required – or preferred – undergraduate major. UAMS recognizes that the study and practice of physical therapy is enriched by the presence of students from a variety of academic backgrounds. A demonstrated amount of academic rigor is required however, to ensure that applicants can succeed with the scholastic demands of the physical therapy curriculum.

To learn more about the admissions process, view our online admissions presentation, located on our Information Sessions and Tours page.

Primary Admission Requirements

*All of this information is detailed in the PTCAS website application.  All application information to the program should be uploaded to PTCAS.

  • Completed baccalaureate degree from an accredited institution by the planned start date in the program.
  • 24 of the 33 required hours of prerequisite courses (at least 8 of the prerequisite course) must be completed by the time of the application submission deadline. (see Prerequisite Coursework below)
    • Prerequisite coursework must be completed within 7 years prior to the date of the anticipated entry into the program.
    • No more than 25% of prerequisite credits can be from CLEP or AP credit and must be recognized on the granting University official transcript. Although accepted, CLEP and AP credits will not be considered in GPA calculations.
  • A minimum overall OR last 60 credit hours GPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale and a minimum prerequisite GPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale.
    • If the last 60 credit hours GPA is higher than the cumulative GPA, the last 60 Hours GPA will be weighted more heavily. If a prerequisite course was repeated, program uses the highest grade earned in prerequisite GPA calculations, but all course grades will remain in the cumulative GPA calculations.
  • Completion of the Graduate Record Exam (GRE) within the last five years is required for application to the program.  Submitted GRE scores will be used for program development purposes and may be used for making admissions decisions.  Although there is currently no minimum GRE score required, the program will consider the highest GRE taken in the last five years.
    • Use Institution Code 2121 for the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences PTCAS.
  • Completion of a minimum of 60 observation hours (paid or voluntary) in a variety of physical therapy settings with at least 20 hours in each of two separate settings such as outpatient, acute care, rehab/sub-acute rehab, extended care facility, nursing home, home health, wellness/prevention/fitness, industrial/occupational health, and school/preschool. Observation hours to be documented in PTCAS and verified by a physical therapist – electronically or by written signature.
  • A separate, formal resume uploaded to PTCAS in a Microsoft Word or Adobe PDF document.
  • CASPer Test – Computer-Based Assessment for Sampling Personal Characteristics: CASPer is an online test which assesses non-cognitive skills and interpersonal characteristics that we believe are important for successful students and graduates of our program, and will complement the other tools that we use for applicant screening. In implementing CASPer, we are trying to further enhance fairness and objectivity in our selection process. Applicants will need to register for the CASPer test at and choose the school code for UAMS Physical Therapy.  The last date to take the CASPer test is November 3rd.  Check the CASPer website for available test dates.
  • All applicants must complete an Online Admissions Application (OAA) to the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences College of Health Professions by the first Monday in October.
  • Two letters of recommendation (documented in PTCAS), one of which should be from a licensed physical therapist. The second may be from the table below.
  • Applicants for whom English is not their primary language must submit Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) scores.  See International Applicants in the Admissions/Academic Information section of the College of Health Professions catalog.
    • Note: At this time, the Physical Therapy program is unable to accept international students.

IMPORTANT information about PTCAS and your application:

  • The PTCAS application, additional documents, the UAMS College of Health Professions supplemental application, and all other required documentation must be submitted by October 1, 2019
    • Required documentation are:  essays, letters of recommendation, official GRE scores, observation hours (must be verified by licensed Physical Therapist), and resume.
    • The UAMS College of Health Professions Online Admissions Application can be accessed at
      • Note:  If the Online Admissions Application is not complete, the candidate’s entire application will be considered incomplete.
  • We understand it may take time for PTCAS, evaluators, and physical therapists to verify different aspects of your application.  Therefore, we recommend that you apply early in order to meet verification deadlines.
  • NOTE – All applicant information must be received and verified in PTCAS by November 1, 2019.  Incomplete applications WILL NOT be reviewed.
    • All transcripts must be verified by PTCAS by this date.
    • All official GRE scores must be received in PTCAS by this date.
    • All observation hours must be verified by a licensed physical therapist by this date.
    • All letters of recommendation must also be received by this date.
  • All required materials should be uploaded to PTCAS.  Mailed copies will not be accepted.
  • Required documentation are:  letters of recommendation, official GRE scores, observation hours (must be verified by licensed Physical Therapist), and resume.
  • It is the responsibility of the applicant to check PTCAS frequently to ensure all your required information has been received and verified in PTCAS.
  • You must also update Fall grades in PTCAS per the Academic Update deadlines.
One required reference from this specific type of evaluatorSecond reference accepted from this type of evaluatorLetter of reference NOT accepted from this type of evaluator
Physical TherapistXX
Teaching AssistantX
Physical Therapist AssistantX
Pre-PT AdvisorX
Health Care ProfessionalX
Family MemberX

Prerequisite Coursework

A completed bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution by the start of the DPT program is required. In addition, the following 33 semester credits are required for admission. Labs are not required and will not be calculated in GPA unless they are within the full course (ie. if a lab and class grade are combined, the full grade will be used for that prerequisite; if a lab and class are separate, only the grade for the class will used for the prerequisite.)

Our Advisor’s Manual, a guide to taking these prerequisites at various institutions in Arkansas, is available by clicking the button below.

Download the Advisor's Manual for Physical Therapy
CourseworkSemester HoursComments
Human or Vertebrate Anatomy
Recommended focus on neuromuscular system
Course with human cadaver dissection lab preferred
Human or Vertebrate Physiology
Recommended topics include: Striated and cardiac muscle physiology, Physiology of Respiration, and Acid-Base Homeostasis
General and Specialized Courses
Recommended topics include: Histology, microbiology, immunology, developmental biology or neuroscience
Two semesters of general or specialized chemistry
Two semesters of general physics
Recommended topics include: light, heat, sound, electricity and mechanics
- One Biomechanics course may be accepted in lieu of a physics course
Recommended topics include: Biostatistics, Research Methods and Design, Hypothesis Testing, and Quantitative Analysis
General and Specialized Courses
Recommended topics include: Abnormal Psychology, Child Psychology, Developmental Psychology, and Psychology of Aging

Only grades of C or higher are acceptable for all prerequisite coursework.

No transfer credits are accepted from other degree programs or physical therapy programs.  There is no advanced standing permitted in the PT program.  Required prerequisite course work graded as Pass/Fail will not be accepted.  Prerequisite coursework must be completed within 7 years prior to the date of the anticipated entry into the program.  No more than 25% of prerequisite credits can be from CLEP or AP credit.  Although accepted, CLEP and AP credits will not be considered in GPA calculations.

All prerequisite course work must be obtained from a regionally accredited institution in the U.S.

All questions concerning course descriptions or substitutions should be submitted in writing via email to

Secondary Admission Factors*

  • UAMS recognizes that a diverse educational experience enhances the education for all students and results in additional expertise in providing care to an increasingly diverse patient population.
  • UAMS encourages applications from women, ethnic and racial minorities, veterans, rural, educationally disadvantaged, economically disadvantaged, and individuals who have prior careers outside of healthcare.
  • We value communication skills, leadership, initiative, community service, and clinical experience, as well as accomplishments in athletics, employment and research. Our goal is to recruit and educate a class which will serve the needs of a diverse patient population.
  • We consider factors not reflected in the academic record: evidence of exceptional extra-curricular achievement or work experience; evidence of having overcome social, economic or physical barriers; evidence of exceptional motivation, maturity or responsibility.
  • Extra credit given for applicants who have proficiency in a language other than English

* While these secondary factors will enhance the applicant’s competitiveness for admission, they are not, by themselves, sufficient to admit an applicant.  Incoming students must still meet primary admission requirements.

To learn more about the Accreditation Status of the Physical Therapy program, please CLICK HERE