Physical Therapy Department

25 West Independence Way, Suite J, Kingston, RI 02881

Clinic: 401.874.2006Administrative staff: 401.874.5001

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Questions about the Application

How can I apply to the doctorate of physical therapy program?
Visit the Admission/Application section of this website for information on getting started. The application deadline for a DPT class entering in a given year is in the fall of the preceding year. All application materials need to be submitted through PTCAS (; in addition, an application to the University of Rhode Island’s Graduate School needs to be submitted. Specific deadlines are posted on our website each year during the application period.

Do I have to wait until after I complete my undergraduate degree program before applying?
No. About half of our applicants apply during the fall of their final undergraduate year, and the other half have already graduated at the time of application. However, admission will only be granted upon the contingency of completing all prerequisite requirements prior to matriculation into the program.

If a prerequisite course is repeated, which grade is considered? If the GRE is retaken, which scores are used?
If a course is repeated, we calculate GPA using the higher grade. If the GREs are retaken, we will consider the highest obtained scores for each section, regardless of how many times you took the GRE exam.

What is URI’s PTCAS GRE code?

How many hours of observation do I need?
30 hours of observation are required. Applicants are highly encouraged to observe physical therapy practices in more than one clinical setting. Respectfully contact physical therapy clinics, hospitals, long-term care facilities (e.g., nursing homes), and other healthcare settings in your area to find observation opportunities.

How many pre-requisites may be in-progress when I submit my application?
We do not have a limit on prerequisite courses that can be in-progress at the time of application. However, if you are accepted in the program, you will need to complete all the prerequisite courses before starting the DPT curriculum. All prerequisite courses must be passed at a level of C (2.00) or better. Also, please realize that each prerequisite course in-progress will be a question mark on your application because we have no way of knowing how well you will do in that course. When comparing applicants, you can understand that we will be concerned about applications with many incomplete prerequisites.

Is it possible to take a pre-requisite course after the DPT program has commenced?
No, all prerequisite courses need to be done before you start. Offers of admission are contingent on completing the prerequisites.

I am having difficulty finding a Human Anatomy and/or a Human Physiology course. Can you provide additional information on what is acceptable?
The Human Anatomy and Human Physiology courses need to be 4 credit courses with labs. Often these are either separate courses, or are combined to form Human Anatomy and Physiology 1 and Human Anatomy and Physiology 2. Applicants cannot mix the format from the first course taken to the second. For example, if you have taken a Human Anatomy course, you must take a Human Physiology course; or if you have taken Human Anatomy and Physiology 1, you must take Human Anatomy and Physiology 2.

Will any two Chemistry courses or any two Physics courses suffice?
The Chemistry and Physics courses need to be lab courses that are designed for science majors, and need to include an introduction and second level course. Often these are offered as Physics 1 and Physics 2; General Chemistry 1 and General Chemistry 2. Many applicants have taken Introduction to Chemistry and Organic Chemistry which also satisfies the chemistry requirement.

Will any two Psychology courses suffice?
As with the Chemistry and Physics requirement, an introductory and an upper level psychology content course are required. Developmental Psychology, Abnormal Psychology, Social, Adolescent, and Experimental Psychology are examples of upper level psychology content courses. Please note: Statistics offered by a Psychology Department does not count as a content course in Psychology. Other courses offered with ‘psychology’ in the title but offered by a non-Psychology Department (Sports Psychology offered by an Exercise Science Department) are considered on a case-by-case basis.

I’m applying and have AP credit for a prerequisite course; will you accept these credits?
Yes, we accept AP credit if your college/university transcript has given you credit on your transcript for a specific course. It must be on your transcript, and you must have received credit for the specific course (e.g., Math 110 – AP credit) and not accepted it as elective credits.

Does it help to be a Physical Therapist Assistant (PTA) first?
The physical therapist assistant (PTA) programs are NOT considered to be a stepping-stone to a professional physical therapist (PT) program. The PTA curriculum differs from that of the physical therapist and does NOT provide the needed prerequisites required for a physical therapist education.

How many years back will you accept courses on a transcript?
The prerequisite courses must have been taken in the last 10 years to be acceptable.

Do you accept transfer courses in the DPT curriculum that can count toward the total of 109 credits?
While it is possible for an applicant to have taken coursework that is comparable to coursework in the University of Rhode Island DPT curriculum, it is extremely rare for this to occur due to the timing, depth, and content presentation of our curriculum. Those who would like to transfer courses into the DPT curriculum should prepare a document cross-matching content from the previous course to a specific URI DPT course and be prepared to justify any potential transfer. Transfer credit is not considered for partial courses.

How do I know if a course I took will be accepted?
In determining if a course is acceptable as a prerequisite, please look closely at the descriptions provided for the prerequisites. College level, undergraduate courses meet the associated prerequisites, although the science courses must be designed for science majors and include a lab. Advanced Placement credit is acceptable as long as, on the transcript, credit is given for a specific course at the home college/university. Coursework older than 10 years is not acceptable for prerequisites. If you still have a question about coursework acceptability, please contact the Admissions Committee Chair.

Do you require letters of recommendation?
Yes, two letters of recommendation are required. One letter must be from a licensed physical therapist. The other letter should be from someone who knows you well and can speak to your maturity, dependability, dedication, compassion, communication skills, leadership, and any hands-on experience in the field.

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