College 3 x 5: Physical Therapy Programs, Freshman Entry
Students with strong proficiency and motivation in science and math are perfect candidates for the rigor of a course of study that leads to the Doctor of Physical Therapy degree. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts strong job growth for physical therapists: an increase of 36% in the next decade, much stronger than most occupations. Most DPT programs report 100% employment within six months of passing the licensing exam. There are over two hundred accredited Doctor of Physical Therapy programs in the US, most of which require students to enter after finishing a Bachelor of Science degree. But there are a few colleges and universities that offer freshmen the chance to choose a path to the DPT degree in six years rather than seven. Those programs accept the most competitive applicants – those with solid grades in four years of high school math and science – and allow those students to complete all pre-requisite courses for the DPT in the first three undergraduate years, then enter the graduate program to finish the Bachelor of Science degree while working toward the Doctorate degree at the same institution. Here are five programs that offer freshman entry into a streamlined program of three undergrad years and three graduate years to earn the Doctor of Physical Therapy:
The Arcadia 3+3 path to the Doctor of Physical Therapy begins with three years as a Biology major, meeting all undergraduate prerequisites for the DPT degree plus fulfilling all liberal arts core requirements in the first three years.
Even with the rigorous requirements of the Pre-Physical Therapy program, students are encouraged to study abroad while fulfilling the biology major requirements.
By the numbers: 60% overall acceptance rate; SAT Mid-ranges: CR 500-600, M 500-580; ACT Mid-range: 22-27. Acceptance data for Physical Therapy 3+3 candidates vary.
Several undergraduate majors will provide the undergraduate prerequisite courses for the Doctor of Physical Therapy degree. At Marquette, the most popular pre-PT paths are Exercise Scienceand Athletic Training.
Admission to the professional program (DPT) is guaranteed as long as students maintain the minimum GPA required, must have 80 hours of related professional volunteer service, and will be able to finish the Bachelor’s degree requirements within the first five years of the program.
By the numbers: 57% overall acceptance rate; SAT Mid-ranges: CR 520-630, M 550-650; ACT Mid-range: 25-29. Acceptance data for Physical Therapy 3+3 candidates vary.
If chosen for the direct-entry path to the Doctor of Physical Therapy degree, students will be guaranteed a spot in the DPT program as long as minimum requirements are met.
DPT students run the Ace CAREclinic at the university, providing physical therapy services for uninsured clients from the surrounding communities.
By the numbers: 84% overall acceptance rate; SAT Mid-ranges: CR 490-600, M 500-620; ACT Mid-range: 23-29. Minimum scores to be considered for the direct-entry DPT program: minimum 27 on the ACT; 1200 on SAT Critical Reading and Math (minimum 500 on each section).
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