Doctor of Physical Therapy

Admission Requirements

Pre-Physical Therapy

Prior to admission, a minimum of 90 semester hours of credit from an approved college or university is required. Students should be broadly educated in the sciences and humanities. The Department of Physical Therapy recognizes that, since physical therapy deals with people, an understanding of literature, art, history, ethics, and philosophy is an adjunct to a physical therapist. Science and humanities are both viewed as necessary for the practice of physical therapy.

The following list of courses and credits indicates the core prerequisites all applicants must complete prior to admission to the physical therapy program. It is strongly recommended that students be computer literate prior to entering the professional program. Students may take additional electives from any field of study; however, the depth of the pre-physical therapy education should demonstrate that students have progressed from simple to complex studies in at least one content area. This requirement might typically be demonstrated by a discipline major, but in any case should demonstrate a basic comprehensiveness and integrity of study within a particular content area. This does not suggest that a separate undergraduate degree must be awarded; however, the breadth and depth in a discipline should be demonstrated. Course credits equivalent to a minor, i.e., approximately 20 credits at UND, in a particular discipline could accomplish this requirement. The prospective student should include eight (8) credits from upper level courses, i.e., 300 and/or 400 numbers.

  • Two semesters of General Biology (8 cr.)
  • Two semesters of General Chemistry (8 cr.)
  • Two semesters of General Physics (8 cr.)
  • Two semesters of Human Anatomy & Physiology (8 cr.)
  • One semester of Introductory Psychology (3 cr.)
  • One semester of Developmental Psychology (3 to 4 cr.)
  • One semester of Abnormal Psychology (3 cr.)
  • One semester of a Public Speaking course (3 cr.)
  • One semester of an undergraduate statistics course (3 cr.)
  • Essential Studies requirements

All of the prerequisite coursework must be completed before entering the professional program; however, the prospective student may be enrolled in pre-professional coursework at the time of application. All students must apply for the professional program through the PTCAS system. WICHE-eligible students should also apply through the WICHE certification process. Please refer to the UND-PT website at: for application details.

Admission Requirements

Acceptance is on a competitive basis, with the major determinant being the basic science grade point average. The basic science GPA is defined as: biology (eight semester credits), chemistry (eight semester credits), physics (eight semester credits), anatomy & physiology (eight semester credits), and psychology (seven semester credits). In addition to the science GPA, GRE score, and cumulative GPA, an interview and letters of reference will be considered in the admission process. Prospective students are expected to complete at least 60 hours of physical therapy observation prior to application.

The applicant must meet the School of Graduate Studies’ current minimum general admission requirements as published in the graduate catalog.

  1. Completion of the application for admission to the professional program and UND School of Graduate Studies application form.
  2. Submission of score from the Graduate Record Examination General Test.
  3. Satisfy the School of Graduate Studies’ English Language Proficiency requirements as published in the graduate catalog.
  4. Applicants who have received their bachelors or masters degree in the United States or English-speaking Canada are not required to submit the TOEFL or IELTS.

Early Assurance Admission:
Each academic year, a selected group of high school seniors will be accepted for early assurance into the UND Physical Therapy program. The exact number of individuals selected will be determined each year and will not exceed 20 students.

The criteria for consideration by the UND PT program for early assurance include:

  1. Acceptance into UND
  2. Declared pre-PT major
  3. 3.75 high school GPA

Once a student meets the above criteria, UND PT will reach out to the student for an offer to apply to the early assurance program.

The early assurance application process will include:

  1. Completed UND PT Early Assurance application
  2. Written essay responses
  3. Interview with Early Assurance Advisor
  4. Approval for early assurance acceptance by UND PT Committee of the whole

Once accepted into the early assurance program, the student will sign an agreement detailing specific requirements that must be maintained throughout undergraduate coursework to remain eligible for early assurance into the PT program.

Requirements to maintain early assurance eligibility during undergraduate coursework include:

  1. One meeting per semester with UND PT Early Assurance Advisor
  2. Maintain a GPA of 3.25 for all undergraduate coursework
  3. Achieve a GPA of 3.40 for UND PT prerequisite coursework by the Fall prior to the anticipated year entering the program.
  4. Progress through prerequisite coursework for the UND PT program as determined by meetings with UND PT Early Assurance Advisor
  5. Fulfillment of UND essential studies requirements
  6. Attain 60 observation hours, 40 of which must be with a physical therapist
  7. One of the following:
    1. Bachelor’s degree
    2. > 90 semester credit hours with the equivalent of an identified minor in a selected discipline
    3. >90 semester credit hours with a cognate (i.e., area of concentration). The cognate requires at least 20 credit hours in one discipline, with 8 of those at the 300 and/or 400 level(s). 
  8. Students may only withdraw once from an individual course and may only have three total course withdrawals
  9. Students may only retake 2 UND PT prerequisite courses.
  10. Students are expected to comply with all elements of the UND Code of Student Life and interact with peers, faculty, and community members in a thoughtful, respectful manner.
  11. Pass a criminal background check prior to matriculation within the professional program.

Students who do not complete all requirements to maintain early assurance once at UND will forfeit the early assurance offer.  Students unable to complete all early assurance requirements are encouraged to apply to the PT Program through the traditional application pool and process.

Degree Requirements

  1. Students must be formally accepted into the professional education component of the DPT and endorsed by the Chair of Physical Therapy. NOTE: Acceptance by the UND Office of Admissions or the School of Graduate Studies does not constitute acceptance into the professional program in Physical Therapy.
  2. The professional education component of the DPT will require three academic years and two summer sessions following completion of the pre-physical therapy entrance requirements.
  3. No student will be allowed to remain in the program or complete the full-time clinical experiences unless he/she attains a letter grade of at least “C” in the major courses.
  4. To advance to candidacy, the student must successfully complete the initial comprehensive examination, and maintain a cumulative School of Graduate Studies GPA of ≥ 3.00 AND/OR a summer session GPA of ≥ 3.00. Students who fail to advance to candidacy during the first year will be dismissed from the professional program.
  5. After advancement to candidacy, the student is expected to maintain a cumulative GPA of ≥  3.00. The School of Graduate Studies will monitor the cumulative GPA, which must be ≥ 3.00. If the cumulative GPA is not ≥ 3.00, the School of Graduate Studies policies for probation and dismissal will govern the student’s status.
  6. Students in the professional program should be aware there are special requirements for clinical uniforms, professional liability insurance, medical insurance, immunizations, CPR certification, and completion of criminal background checks. These requirements must be met prior to any clinical contact with patients. The student will also be responsible for travel, housing, and food costs, in addition to the payment of tuition and fees, during the full-time clinical experience semesters. The majority of these experiences will be completed at geographical locations other than the City of Grand Forks.
  7. Prospective students should be aware that a felony conviction may affect a graduate’s ability to obtain a professional license to practice physical therapy.
  8. The faculty reserves the right to place on professional probation or to cancel the registration of any student in Physical Therapy whose performance in the classroom or the clinic is unsatisfactory.

Pre-Physical Therapy

ENGL 110College Composition I3
ENGL 130Composition II: Writing for Public Audiences3
COMM 110Fundamentals of Public Speaking3
Fine Arts and Humanities *9
Social Science3
PSYC 111Introduction to Psychology3
PSYC 250Developmental Psychology4
PSYC 270Abnormal Psychology3
Science Courses
BIOL 150
General Biology I
and General Biology I Laboratory
BIOL 151
General Biology II
and General Biology II Laboratory
CHEM 121
General Chemistry I
and General Chemistry I Laboratory
CHEM 122
General Chemistry II
and General Chemistry II Laboratory
PHYS 161Introductory College Physics I4
PHYS 162Introductory College Physics II4
BIMD 220
Human Anatomy Physiology I
and Human Anatomy Physiology I Lab
BIMD 221
Human Anatomy Physiology II
and Human Anatomy Physiology II Lab
Cognate/Minor (required)
Electives (required, minimum of 20 with emphasis in a single discipline)

Courses should contribute to completion of Essential Studies requirements.

Bachelor of General Studies Degree with Health Studies Option

This degree will be available to Physical Therapy students who:

  1. do not already have a baccalaureate degree,
  2. have completed at least 30 of the 90 pre-Physical Therapy credits at UND before beginning Professional Year One,
  3. have successfully completed fall, spring and summer semesters of Professional Year One.

The BGS degree would normally then be awarded at the end of the summer semester of Professional Year One if the student has completed all general UND graduation requirements:

  1. 120 total credits,
  2. 30 credits from UND,
  3. 36 upper-level credits,
  4. all essential studies requirements.

The department of physical therapy will initiate a new curriculum in fall 2022.  Students currently in the professional program will complete the plan of study identified below.  Students admitted into the professional program to begin fall 2022 will complete the new curriculum.

Professional Program - Physical Therapy (admitted after Fall 2022)

Plan of Study Grid
Professional Year 1
PT 402 2
PT 420 Musculoskeletal System Examination 2
PT 422 Anatomy for Physical Therapy 5
PT 423 Neuroscience for Physical Therapy 4
PT 435 Introduction to Patient/Client Care and Interventions 4
PT 409 Clinical Pathology I 3
PT 412 Biomechanics and Kinesiology 4
PT 413 Exercise in Health and Disease 3
PT 415 Motor Control 3
PT 417 Clinical Exam and Evaluation I 4
PT 426 Manual Therapy I 2
PT 510 Each semester during year one, a small group of students will perform a learning event outside of the PT department. 0-1
PT 410 Clinical Pathology II 3
PT 512 Therapeutic Agents 3
PT 519 Electrotherapy and Electrodiagnosis 2
PT 584 2
PT 510 1
Professional Year 2
PT 514 Case Management I 2
PT 523 3
PT 524 Psychological Aspects of Disability 2
PT 526 2
PT 539 2
PT 540 2
PT 550 Interprofessional Health Care 1
Electives 0-3
PT 511 4
PT 522 3
PT 525 3
PT 541 3
PT 550 Interprofessional Health Care 1
PT 591 Research in Physical Therapy 2
Electives 1-3
PT 535 2
PT 544 Pharmacology for Physical Therapists 1
PT 545 2
PT 561 1
PT 592 Case Management II 2
Electives 1-2
Professional Year 3
PT 521 Critical Inquiry I 1
PT 527 Critical Inquiry II 2
PT 528 9
PT 529 9
PT 552 Clinical Education III 9
PT 553 Clinical Education IV 9
PT 995 Scholarly Project 1
 Total CreditsMinimum of 125 credits required

Professional Program - Physical Therapy (admitted after Fall 2022)

Plan of Study Grid
Professional Year 1
PT 602 Communication and Professionalism in Practice 2
PT 603 Applied Anatomy and Biomechanics I 2
PT 604 Gross Anatomy Lab I 2
PT 607 Pathophysiology for Physical Therapists I 3
PT 609 Neuroscience for Clinical Practice I 3
PT 611 Movement System Examination Evaluation I 3
PT 615 Movement System Intervention I 3
PT 617 Physical Therapy Case Application I 2
PT 605 Applied Anatomy and Biomechanics II 2
PT 606 Gross Anatomy Lab II 2
PT 608 Pathophysiology for Physical Therapists II 3
PT 610 Neuroscience for Clinical Practice II 3
PT 612 Movement System Examination and Evaluation II 3
PT 616 Movement System Intervention II 3
PT 618 Physical Therapy Case Application II 2
PT 620 Evidence Based Practice I 2
PT 622 Biophysical Agents 2
PT 625 Evidence Based Practice II 2
PT 627 Integrated Clinical Experience 4
PT 634 Acute Care Physical Therapy 1
Professional Year 2
PT 623 Management of the Pediatric Patient 3
PT 626 Management of the Musculoskeletal System I 2
PT 630 Foundations of Clinical Research 2-3
PT 631 Management of Neuromuscular Health Conditions 4
PT 632 Leadership in Physical Therapy 2
PT 640 Management of Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Systems 3
PT 550 Interprofessional Health Care 1
Electives 1-3
PT 635 Management of the Older Adult Patient 2
PT 641 Management of the Complex Patient 3
PT 642 Practice Management in Physical Therapy 3
PT 646 Management of the Musculoskeletal System II 2
PT 651 Clinical Immersion and Community Health 4
PT 659 Prevention, Wellness, and Health Promotion 2
PT 550 Interprofessional Health Care 1
Electives 1-3
PT 645 Medical Imaging for Physical Therapists 2
PT 650 Evidence Based Practice III 2
PT 660 Teaching in Physical Therapy Practice 1
PT 661 Professional Development 1
PT 692 Seminar in Physical Therapy 1
Professional Year 3
PT 652 Clinical Experience I 9
PT 653 Clinical Experience II 9
PT 995 Scholarly Project 1-2
PT 654 Clinical Experience III 12
PT 692 Seminar in Physical Therapy 1
PT 995 Scholarly Project 1
 Total CreditsMinimum of 125 credits required