University of Evansville

Physical Therapy

Students in UE’s Department of Physical Therapy work in the state-of-the-art Dunigan Movement Analysis Lab.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q. What classes should I take in high school?

A. It is important that you have a strong background in science to prepare you for the pre-professional requisite courses. Taking high school biology, chemistry, and physics is strongly advised. Courses in math and communication are also recommended.

Q. Does your program offer direct entry admission?

A. Yes, direct entry admission is possible for high school seniors who have displayed superior academic performance.

If you wish to be considered for direct entry, you must submit your application to the University by November 1 (deadline firm) and have a score of 27 or higher on the ACT or 1200 or higher on the math and critical reading portions of the SAT, or 1800 or higher on the three part SAT. A minimum score of 500 on each section of the SAT is required. If you meet the criteria, you will be invited for an on-campus interview, which will take place on Direct Entry Day, the Monday prior to Thanksgiving. For additional information on direct entry admission, please see the Requirements and Applications page of this site.

Q. If I am not direct entry, what are some of the advantages in attending UE for my bachelor’s degree?

A. There are many advantages for completing your bachelor's degree at UE.

  • UE provides a strong undergraduate curriculum and nurturing environment.
  • The average class size for undergraduate classes is 18, and the student to faculty ratio is 13:1.
  • You will have the opportunity to join the PT Club as a freshman.
  • You will be assigned a physical therapy advisor in addition to your undergraduate advisor.
  • You will receive extra points during the selection process for coursework completed at UE. The points will be added to your total score achieved during the selection process.
  • If you attend UE for both your bachelor’s and DPT degrees, you will receive your merit based scholarship for six or seven years.
  • You have the opportunity to study abroad at Harlaxton College for a full academic semester or a five week summer session depending on your selected undergraduate track.

Q. How many hours of physical therapy observation do I need?

A. If you are a high school student considering a career in physical therapy, we encourage you to increase your knowledge of the profession through independent exploration. This will help you decide if a career in physical therapy is right for you. As an undergraduate pre-professional student, you must complete a minimum of 40 hours of physical therapy observation if you are on the 3+3 track or 60 hours if you pursue the 4+3 track. At least two types of settings must be represented in the total hours. Keep records of your experiences in terms of the names of facilities, hours worked, dates, the names of the physical therapists observed, and the types of patients observed.

Q. What can I do to increase my chances of being admitted into the DPT program?

A. The selection committee is looking for well-rounded students who have exposure and understanding of the physical therapy profession, a strong academic background and good communication skills. Therefore, you should be involved in campus activities and organizations, obtain knowledge of the physical therapy profession through independent exploration and excel in the classroom.

Q. What is the average GPA for those students accepted into the PT program?

A. The average cumulative GPA is 3.74/4.0. The average prerequisite science and math GPA is 3.52/4.0.

Q. How many freshmen come to the University of Evansville for physical therapy?

A. Approximately 60 freshmen enter the University each year with the intent to pursue physical therapy.

Q. How many applications do you receive for the DPT Program?

A. Approximately 130 applications are received each year.

Q. How many students do you admit into the DPT Program each year?

A. We admit 40 students each year.

Q. How do you select students for the program?

A. The student's overall GPA, prerequisite science and math GPA, exposure to and understanding of the physical therapy profession, campus involvement, commitment to learning, history of leadership, letters of recommendation, and strong writing and interpersonal skills are taken into consideration by the selection committee when selecting students for the DPT program.

Q. Do I need to take the Graduate Records Exam (GRE)?

A. No, the GRE is not an admission requirement.

Q. What is an entry-level degree?

A. In a profession such as law, medicine or physical therapy, an entry-level degree is the first degree one must have to practice and be licensed in the profession.

Q. Where are UE's clinical sites, including international sites?

A. There are approximately 250 clinical sites in the U.S. International clinical experiences may be available in Argentina, Belize, England, Jamaica, Italy, Mexico, and the Netherlands. As immigration requirements change frequently, these opportunities may not be available on an annual basis.

Q. May I study abroad at Harlaxton College in England?

A. If you are on the 3+3 track (three years of undergraduate study, three years professional DPT program) you may have the opportunity to study at Harlaxton for a five week summer session. If you pursue the 4+3 track (four years undergraduate study, three years professional program) you may have the opportunity to study abroad for a full academic semester or a five week summer session. The Harlaxton study abroad opportunity is available to undergraduate students only. Study abroad clinical opportunities may be available to professional students.

Q. May I be in the athletic training program as well?

A. The University offers a Bachelor of Science in athletic training. A limited number of positions are available to physical therapy students who wish to pursue athletic training as their undergraduate major. Four years of undergraduate study is necessary to complete the athletic training program. Five years of undergraduate coursework will be necessary if you participate in Division I athletics.

Q. May I participate in Division I athletics?

A. The physical therapy faculty strongly recommend the 4+3 track (4 years of undergraduate study, 3 years of professional course work) if you plan to participate in Division I athletes. Five years of undergraduate coursework may be necessary for Athletic Training majors.

Q. What is the difference between PT and PTA in terms of the programs and the professional roles?

A. The physical therapist is the professional and makes the decisions relative to patient care. The assistant provides more of the hands-on care and is considered a paraprofessional.

Q. What is the difference between physical therapy and occupational therapy?

A. Physical therapists concentrate on the patient's ability to move and the movement dysfunctions which can develop after the body is injured. Occupational therapists help increase the patient's ability to perform activities of daily life such as returning to home or work after an injury.

Q. What are the areas of specialty within the field?

A. Areas of specialty include orthopedics, pediatrics, neurologic treatment, sports medicine, cardiopulmonary rehabilitation, biomechanics, and electrophysiology. The University prepares graduates for general practice. Specialization and advanced degrees are available for practicing clinicians.

Q. What is the job market like for physical therapists?

A. PT employment is expected to grow by 36% through 2022 (US Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2012).

Q. Where do physical therapists practice?

A. Physical therapists provide care for people in a variety of settings, including hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, home health agencies, schools, sports and fitness facilities, work settings, and nursing homes.

Q. Are college quarter hours transferable?

A. Yes, but we will recalculate to equate with the semester system.

Q. Can I complete the DPT program on a part-time basis?

A. The DPT Program is a three year full-time commitment. We do not offer a part-time option.