Frequently Asked Questions | Physical Therapy

What type of degree does this program offer? Is the program accredited?

Upon the successful completion of the three-year program, graduates will receive a doctor of physical therapy degree.

Yes, the School of Physical Therapy offers education for entry into the profession and for advanced study. The doctor of physical therapy (DPT) is the degree granted to students who complete the entry-level program and to clinicians who complete the transition program. The school has been graduating professional physical therapists since 1977. The school is accredited through the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE).

Does Pacific University require the PTCAS application?

Yes, in order to apply to the School of Physical Therapy at Pacific University you will need to complete the PTCAS application in addition to the program-specific supplemental application. Learn more about how to apply.

Do I need a completed bachelor's degree to apply?

Yes, all prospective students applying to the program must have a completed bachelor's degree or be in process to complete a bachelor's degree by the start of the program, if admitted.

What type of experience qualifies for the minimum 100 hours of PT observation?

You must have a minimum of 100 hours of work, volunteer or observation experience completed at the time you submit your PTCAS application. These hours must be completed under the supervision of a current practicing licensed physical therapist. Students accepted into Pacific's PT program average between 300 and 500 hours at four different PT settings and observe six different patient populations.

Is there a time limitation on the required prerequisite coursework?

All science and statistics prerequisite coursework must have been taken within the last seven years. All other required prerequisite coursework in psychology, English/writing and social sciences/humanities may be completed at any time.

To ensure prerequisite coursework will fulfill our requirements, we recommend completing and submitting the prerequisite worksheet with a copy of your transcripts (official or unofficial) for review by the Graduate Admissions Counselor for the program. Learn more about required coursework and the prerequisite worksheet.

Does all of my prerequisite coursework and direct clinical patient care experience need to be completed by the time I apply to the program?

You can still apply if you have pending prerequisite coursework. Please be aware that due to the fall deadline for PT applications, grades from fall classes (courses taken during the application cycle) will not be used in the evaluation of the application, nor will they be used in the GPA calculations. It is recommended to have as many of the sciences prerequisites either started or completed when you apply. If admitted into the program, all pending prerequisite coursework must be completed with a “C” or higher grade before the start of the program in August.

A minimum of 100 hours of PT observation must be completed at the time of application. Planned or in-progress hours will not be counted towards satisfying the 100 hour minimum.

Do you require the GRE or MCAT to apply to the program? Will my application be more competitive if I take either of the tests?

No, our program does not require either test to apply. Rather we require the specific prerequisite coursework, hours of PT observation, and the minimum cumulative GPA requirement to apply to our program.

Do you require a minimum GPA to apply to the program?

We require a minimum cumulative, Core PT prerequisite and Last 45 semester credit GPA of a 3.0 (B average) or higher in order to apply. All three GPAs must be 3.0 at the time the PTCAS application is submitted for an application to be reviewed. The Core PT prerequisite includes general biology, anatomy, physiology, physics, chemistry, statistics and psychology, as well as the lab(s) for any of the listed science courses.

In addition, we require all prerequisite coursework to be completed at a “C” or higher grade in order for a course to be accepted. Most of our competitive applicants bring a “B+” average or higher in their prerequisite coursework.

Is there a difference in tuition if I am an in-state resident or an out-of-state resident?

Pacific University is a private liberal arts institution which does not require in-state residence or hold a preference for in-state candidates. Our tuition fees are the same for all applicants, in-state or out-of-state.

*International students must obtain a valid and current F-1 visa or have permanent residency in the United States to apply to our program.

If I am an internationally trained medical professional, what steps must I take to apply?

We require all international students to obtain a valid and current F-1 visa or have permanent residency in the United States to apply to our program. In addition, all international based education must be evaluated by either the World Education ServicesAcademic Credentials Evaluation Institute, or the Education Credential Evaluators. In addition, all international students must provide official TOEFL exam documentation. A minimum paper-based test score of 600 or an internet-based test score of 105 is required. International applicants whose primary speaking language is not English will need to demonstrate an advanced level of writing, speaking, spelling and comprehension in the English language to be admitted into the program.

What resources does the program provide for financial aid, housing, health insurance, student life, etc.?

We recommend completing a FAFSA application starting Jan. 1 for the academic year you intend to enroll in our program. The FASFA application can be completed online. Pacific University is a participant in the Federal Family Education Loan Program (FFELP) which provides subsidized and unsubsidized loans to students based on need. For more information, visit the Financial Aid Office.

In addition, the Pacific University School of Physical Therapy program offers a one-time First Year Student Scholarship to a select group of incoming students each year, based on academic and need base merit.

The Pacific University Division of Student Life provides a Housing Network for all students of Pacific University. Our graduate students generally reside in off-campus housing within the Hillsboro and surrounding communities. Once admitted into the program, internal resource networking and housing opportunities are shared amongst current students. 

The Office of Student Life offers a wide and comprehensive variety of resources including: health care and counseling services, learning support services, student government and outdoor recreational programs.