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Frequently Asked Questions


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What is the DPT program?

The DPT is an entry-level professional program leading to the Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) degree. It is designed for students who have a bachelor's degree and are seeking a professional degree in physical therapy.

How long is the program and when does it begin?

  • The DPT program is a three year, nine semester cohort program, which means that we admit a group of about 40 students each year and they take the same courses in the same order for the entire 3 years.
  • We enroll new students each summer beginning in June.
  • Applications are due each year by October 3rd.
  • Applications must be submitted through PTCAS

If I want to talk to someone about the program and my particular situation, what do I do?

  • Please call the PT Department at (512) 245-8351 to set up an advising appointment with a faculty member. Office hours are available throughout the week to meet with students.

Is the DPT Program accredited?

  • The DPT is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE). You can learn more about accreditation at www.capteonline.org.

Where are other PT programs in Texas?

9 public institutions:


   Angelo State University
   Texas State University
   Texas Tech University Health Science Center
   Texas Woman's University
   University of Texas at El Paso
   University of North Texas Health Science Center at Fort Worth
   University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas
   University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston
   University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio
  

4 private institutions:

   Hardin Simmons University
   University of Mary Hardin-Baylor
   University of St. Augustine
   University of Incarnate Word

1 military:

   US Army-Baylor University
 

How many applicants do you accept a year?

  • We accept 40-44 students each year. Unfortunately, not all students who apply are accepted.

When must pre-requisites be completed?

  • All pre-requisite courses must be completed by the time the student enrolls in the DPT program in the summer. Students must provide official transcripts indicating that remaining pre-requisite courses are completed.

Does it matter what my undergraduate degree is in?

  • We do not have a preferred undergraduate degree.
  • We suggest that the student major in a field of study that is of interest and that could be a choice should the student decide against graduate school after completion of the baccalaureate degree.

Is the program a full-time program or can it be taken part-time?

  • The program is a full-time program.
  • A part-time option is not available due to the nature of the sequencing of the curriculum.

What are the characteristics of an ideal candidate for your program?

  • Ideally, we are looking for individuals with good interpersonal (people) skills.
  • The individual should be well balanced – academically and personally.
  • We desire students who are creative thinkers with excellent problem solving skills, who are not afraid to take on challenges, and can do that with thought and tact.

 

What is the course load like each semester?

  • The course load ranges from 10 to 14 credit hours per semester. The first several semesters are very heavy in classroom time, while the later semesters have more "out of class" responsibilities for learning.
  • Additional course load is dependent on when clinical education assignments are made and how efficient projected completion is.

What are the strengths of your program?

  • The first strength is our on-site physical therapy clinic. Each student completes a clinical assignment working with our faculty as clinical instructors, evaluating and treating patients in our on-site clinical facility.
  • The second is the spiral design of the curriculum which allows course content to build each semester for a thorough understanding of critical concepts.
  • Our third strength is our faculty and the fact that many of the faculty are board certified specialists and maintain active clinical practice.
  • And finally, our students are one of our best strengths - they are talented and intellectually curious. They are motivated to become professionals. In support of our students, we have a limited number of graduate assistantships available each year.

What is the application process?

How do I obtain applications and what is the deadline for the applications?

  • Submit the ApplyTexas application at applytexas.org
  • After completion of the ApplyTexas application, you will receive an application ID (Up to 10 digits). 
  • Begin your PTCAS application at ptcas.org
  • Enter your ApplyTexas Application number to your PTCAS application. 
  • Complete the Prerequisite Form and submit to the Graduate College.
  • All materials must be submitted to PTCAS by the early October deadline.  (Deadline subject to change, please check our Admission page for current deadline).  Applications will be considered incomplete if all materials are not received by this date and applicants will be deemed ineligible for consideration for this cycle.

Do I really have to take the GRE?

  • Yes...this is a requirement of our department and your application will be considered incomplete if the GRE score is not received by the October 3rd deadline.
  • However, the GRE score alone will not prevent an applicant from being admitted.

When can I take the GRE? How much does it cost?

  • You can take the GRE at any time. Call 1-800-473-2255 for information or visit their web site at www.gre.org.
  • The GRE web site or phone counselors can give you the exact costs for their services, including study guides.
  • Keep in mind that GRE scores take a while to process, so be sure to schedule your GRE exam with enough time to have your scores received by deadline.

What is the Texas State University code for the GRE?

The PTCAS GRE code for Texas State University is 7405.

 

If I am reapplying, what do I need to do?

  • Since the admissions process has changed this year, all application materials must be submitted through PTCAS.

How does the Department of Physical Therapy Admissions Committee decide who to admit?

  • The Student Selection Committee considers a number of factors to determine which applicants are most likely to succeed in the graduate physical therapy program.
  • We consider the previous college GPAs, the content and clarity of the applicant’s essays, the information contained in the recommendation checklists, the GRE score, and the applicant’s work and volunteer history. The Committee will interview a select number of qualified applicants for admission.

What are the entrance requirements for the Department of Physical Therapy?

  • Acceptance to the PT Program requires a baccalaureate degree.
  • We prefer the following GPA's:
    • a minimum of a 3.0 in the last 60 hours of baccalaureate degree
    • a minimum of a 3.0 in pre-requisite course work
    • a minimum of a 3.0 in all science course work (calculated using all biology, chemistry, and physics courses)
    • a GRE score of 295 or equivalent
  • All pre-requisite courses must be completed before entry into the program.

 

If my GPA is lower than 3.0, what can I do?

  • The last 60 hours GPA cannot be changed unless you complete another bachelor's degree. Applicant may also complete a master's degree. The higher GPA will replace the lower last 60 hour GPA.
  • Courses may be repeated to improve the pre-requisite course GPA or science GPA.
  • Courses that are repeated after completion of a degree will not change the last 60 hours GPA for the degree.

 

A 3.0 GPA is required in the sciences. What if I have a C in a course, do I need to repeat it?

  • A GPA is a grade point average - meaning that all courses are averaged to calculate the GPA. A course grade is just the grade you received in an individual course.

My GRE score is lower than the minimum. What can I do?

  • A GRE is designed to demonstrate the test-taker's potential for success in graduate studies.
  • An applicant can retake the GRE to raise the score. When the GRE is repeated, we will use the higher of each individual score. The score must be submitted to the Graduate College, and then it is forwarded to us to update your application file.
  • Visit the GRE website, or call for recommendations about study guides or courses.

What is the average GPA or profile for interviewed and admitted students?

Class of: 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017
Total DPT & Graduate College Applicants Received 362 370 355 341 453
Total Qualified Applicants 143 165 187 183 437
Total Applicants Interviewed 122 119 135 152 166
Gender of Applicants Interviewed Females = 79 Females = 53 Females = 76 Females = 97 Females = 95
Males = 43 Males = 66 Males = 59 Males = 55 Males = 71
Age Range 20 - 47 20 - 37 20 - 52 20 - 52 20-42
Percentage of Minorities 19% 33% 26% 16% 35%
GPA of Interviewed Applicants Last 60 Hours: 3.63 Last 60 Hours: 3.59 Last 60 Hours: 3.57 Last 60 Hours: 3.65 Last 60 Hours: 3.68
Science: 3.41 Science: 3.45 Science: 3.43 Science: 3.5 Science: 3.54
Pre-Reqs: 3.55 Pre-Reqs: 3.58 Pre-Reqs: 3.56 Pre-Reqs: 3.62 Pre-Reqs: 3.66
GRE Scores of Interviewed Applicants Total: 1065 Total: 1054 Total: 1085 Total: 1087/303 Total: 304
         
         
Total Applicants Accepted 40 40 42 41 40
Gender of Accepted Applicants Females = 27 Females = 21 Females = 18 Females = 25 Females = 19
Males = 13 Males = 19 Males = 24 Males = 16 Males = 21
GPA of Accepted Applicants Last 60 Hours: 3.66 Last 60 Hours: 3.59 Last 60 Hours: 3.56 Last 60 Hours: 3.62 Last 60 Hours: 3.7
Science: 3.41 Science: 3.46 Science: 3.36 Science: 3.54 Science: 3.53
Pre-Reqs: 3.58 Pre-Reqs: 3.58 Pre-Reqs: 3.5 Pre-Reqs: 3.64 Pre-Reqs: 3.67
GRE Scores of Accepted Applicants Total: 1075 Total: 1057 Total: 1060 Total: 1128/305 Total: 1020/300
Verbal: 471 Verbal: 448 Verbal: 449 Verbal: 507/152 Verbal: 480/155
Quantitative: 604 Quantitative: 610 Quantitative: 611 Quantitative: 622/153 Quantitative: 540/145

What is the overall cost of the program?

  • We estimate that the student can spend as much as $15,000 per year in the program – including tuition and fees, books, lab supplies and equipment, travel, memberships, and other costs. This estimate is based on Texas residency. Out of state expenses will be higher based on current tuition and fees.
  • For questions about tuition and residency, please contact Financial Aid and Scholarships at 512-245-2315 or visit the website at www.finaid.txstate.edu.

How many hours of observation/work/volunteer experience do most of your applicants have?

  • Although we do not require a specific number of volunteer or observation hours, it is highly recommended that applicants have exposure to physical therapy prior to applying to the program.
  • Documentation of these hours is not required, but you will be asked to list those experiences on the application.

What are the pre-requisite courses for the DPT program?

Prior to enrollment in the DPT Program, the following courses (or the equivalent) must be completed at Texas State or another accredited institution:

BIO 2430 or
PT 3400

Human Physiology and Anatomy or
Human Structure and Function

4 hrs.*

BIO 3421 or
ESS 3317

Vertebrate Physiology or
The Physiology of Exercise

3-4 hrs.

CHEM 1341

General Chemistry I

3 hrs.****

CHEM 1141

General Chemistry I Laboratory

1 hr.

CHEM 1342

General Chemistry II

3 hrs.

CHEM 1142

General Chemistry II Laboratory

1 hr.

HIM 2360

Medical Terminology

3 hrs.**

HP 3302

Biostatistics (Statistics)

3 hrs.***

PHYS 1315/1115

General Physics I

4 hrs.

PHYS 1325/1125

General Physics II

4 hrs.

PSY 1300

Introduction to Psychology

3 hrs.

PSY 3300 or
PSY 3315

Lifespan Development or
Abnormal Psychology

3 hrs.

  • * Anatomy and Physiology: Requirement is for a one credit all-inclusive course. At many institutions, 2 semesters/8 hours of A & P 1 and A & P 2 are available or required. If it is offered as a two-course sequence, both courses must be completed in order to completely fulfill this pre-requisite. Anatomy and Physiology 2 will not fulfill the Exercise/Vertebrate Physiology pre-requisite.
  • ** Medical Terminology: courses can be 1, 2, or 3 credit-hour courses.
  • *** Statistics: Statistics coursework must include the study of analysis of variance (ANOVA) and can be a basic statistics course from any department.
  • **** Chemistry:  If Chemistry 1 and Chemistry 2 are taught with 3 hour lectures and a 2 hour combined lab for both Chemistry lectures, only one lab is required for a total of 8 hours of Chemistry.
  • All science courses listed on the pre-requisite table must be taken with lab sections.
  • The level of chemistry and physics courses should correspond to coursework needed for medical and dental schools' pre-requisites.

 

Does it matter when pre-requisite courses were taken? For example, do you accept courses taken over 10 years ago?

  • We do not have a time frame for when courses can be taken.
  • The applicant is responsible for the content information of the pre-requisite courses since they provide the foundation for the professional program. The applicant must be confident in his/her knowledge from these courses.
  • They do not need to be repeated for a more recent completion date.

I have taken Anatomy and Physiology 1. Do I need to take Anatomy and Physiology 2?

  • Yes, if it is a two course sequence, you will need to take both courses. 
  • In addition, you will also need the advanced physiology or exercise physiology course. The more solid a foundation you have in anatomy and physiology, the more prepared you will be for our program.

If I took Anatomy and Physiology 2, will this fulfill the Exercise or Vertebrate Physiology pre-requisite?

  • No...Anatomy and Physiology 2 will not fulfill Exercise or Vertebrate Physiology. You will need an upper level (junior or senior) Exercise Physiology for that pre-requisite.

Do you accept CLEP or AP courses for pre-requisites?

  • As long as your courses have been recognized by your undergraduate institution as credit courses, we will accept.
  • However, note that those courses will not contribute to your GPA calculations.

What should I do to be a competitive candidate for your program?

  • Competitive candidates have maintained a good GPA throughout their undergraduate studies, have a good basic knowledge of the field of physical therapy, and can express themselves well in both writing and verbally.

Where will I complete my clinical experiences?

  • Each student will consult with the Director of Clinical Education to establish an individualized clinical education plan. Sometimes these experiences can be arranged close to home.  Other times, you may need to plan to travel. It is important that you work directly with the DCE to establish a plan that can meet your needs within the confines of availability and access to a quality experience.

What is the graduation rate for physical therapy students?

  • We have a graduation rate of 98% over the past twenty years.

What is the licensure pass rate for Texas State graduates?

  • Our ultimate pass rate is 100%; our first time pass rate is 96%.

What is the employment rate for Texas State graduates?

  • 100% of our graduates are employed within six months of graduation for those choosing to be employed.

What do I need to know before entering the DPT program if I have children?

Responses from former students:

  1. Have a strong support system (people you can call on to be there for your kids when you cannot, If you don’t have this you will not last very long! Feeling guilty about not being there for your kids is hard, but if you have someone you love and trust who is able to be with them when you are not, you will feel much better). 
  2. Know that it isn’t the end of the world if you don’t get a perfect grade on every little project and every little assignment,  don’t hold yourself to the same standard as other classmates who do not have children! This will stress you out and create a bigger problem for you. You have to find out what you are happy with and set a standard for yourself, if you feel like you are learning and obtaining the information you need, that is the most important thing as well as keeping your stress levels as low as you can. 
  3. Take time for yourself!! It tends to be hard to stop when you have a ton of homework and someone who always needs mom’s help, but if you don’t take time to yourself you will burn yourself thin really quickly. Even if you feel as though you have to be selfish in order to do this, it is ultimately going to help those around you that you took even an hour to yourself. Biggest challenge will be trying not to feel guilty about everything you need to be doing while you are taking that hour to yourself!

- SPT Class of 2017

  1. Transparency:
  • I learned very quickly that if I was going to succeed in both of these roles at the same time, I didn't have time to pretend like I knew it all.  I had to put pride on the back burner and reach out for help when I needed it.  There were countless times when either my wife or my classmates had to help me fill in the holes.  A humbling existence for sure, but one that ultimately brought me closer to all of them and reminded me that nothing that we do is a complete individual effort.  
  1. Timing
  • When you're balancing parenthood and PT school, time is the most valuable commodity you've got.  The time I spent in lecture and in lab directly related to how much time I had to spend with my family.  I couldn't afford to zone out during class and "make up for it" with last minute cramming.  There was a learning curve to be certain, but managing my time well allowed me to maximize my efforts.  Additionally, both PT school and parenthood seemed to have an ebb and a flow in terms of workload and stress.  Because I relied so heavily on my wife and my classmates, when one of these commitments wasn't at a critical juncture, I devoted more of my time and energy to the other and vice versa.  It was important for me to demonstrate to both groups that I wasn't taking advantage of their willingness to help and that their flexibility was sincerely appreciated.  Sometimes both were at critical junctures at the same time.  When this happened (and it did...many times), my family came first and I relied on what I learned during lecture and during previous study sessions (and a ton of prayers) to see me through.  My grades certainly weren't as good as they could have been...and that's OK.
  1. Trial & Error:  
  • Learning how to be a father and learning how to be a non-traditional PT student were both demanding roles that I had to learn how to navigate at the same time.  I had no previous experience to draw from in either role.  Errors on both fronts became commonplace and I had to learn to roll with the punches and improve on the fly.  Errors don't become mistakes until you refuse to correct them so actively reflecting on situations that resulted in less than desirable outcomes helped me make better decisions as time went on.  Another valuable lesson that I'm refining even today.  

-SPT Class of 2017