DPT Admissions Process

The DPT Program will begin accepting applications for our next cohort (program starting in summer 2025, graduating in December 2027) through PTCAS on June 17, 2024.

Priority Deadline: October 1, 2024.

We encourage applicants to apply when ready and early in the cycle. The earlier an applicant submits their application, the earlier it will be verified, reviewed, and considered for our limited number of spots. Offers of acceptance are offered to qualified applicants throughout the admissions cycle, which may result in the class being full before the final application deadline. Verified applications will continue to be reviewed until the application deadline. 


DPT Admissions Requirements

COVID-19 Exceptions Noted in Bold

  • Bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited institution in the U.S. (must be conferred prior to the start of the program to be eligible for admission)
  • Recommended cumulative GPA of ≥3.0 and prerequisite GPA of ≥3.0
  • Two (2) letters of recommendation (recommend one letter from a licensed physical therapist and one letter from an academic professor)
  • Graduate Record Examination (GRE) taken within the last 5 years (see FAQs for additional score information and recommendations)
  • A recommended minimum of 50 hours of work/volunteer/observation in multiple physical therapy settings (see details below in the Work/Volunteer/Observation Experience section)
  • Completion of prerequisite courses listed below (all grades must be “C” or higher)
  • If you have been negatively impacted by COVID-19, a PTCAS feature has been added allowing students to write an additional essay detailing the impact that COVID-19 has had on their application. Applicants who have been adversely affected and/or may have extenuating circumstances on any admissions requirements are strongly encouraged to detail those circumstances within that optional essay.


  • All prerequisites must be completed no later than May 31, 2025 for matriculation in June 2025
  • All pre-professional academic work must be completed at a regionally accredited institution in the U.S.
  • Science prerequisite course work must be completed within the last 10 years
  • All prerequisite courses must have earned college credit hours
  • All prerequisite courses must have an earned grade of “C” or higher
    • NOTE: Due to COVID-19, pass/fail grades will be accepted for coursework taken in spring 2020, summer 2020, fall 2020, spring 2021, and summer 2021. A graded course is recommended if this option is available. Graded coursework is a requirement again as of fall 2021.

Prerequisite Courses

Prerequisite Courses

Minimum Semester Credit Hours


Biological Sciences – 2 courses

6 semester hours

Exercise Physiology may fulfill one of these courses

Chemistry – 2 courses with labs

8 semester hours

e.g., Chemistry I, Chemistry II

Human Anatomy and Physiology – 2 courses with labs

6 semester hours

May be taken as one course of Anatomy with Lab and one course of Physiology with Lab

Physics – 2 courses with labs

8 semester hours

e.g., Physics I, Physics II

Social Sciences

6 semester hours

Psychology or Sociology


3 semester hours


NOTE: Semester to Quarter Hour Conversions (8 semester hours = 12 quarter hours, 6 semester hours = 9 quarter hours, 3 semester hours ≈ 5 quarter hours)

Goals of the Admissions Process

The DPT program is committed to selecting applicants who have demonstrated academic success and strong critical thinking skills. In order to be an asset to the physical therapy profession, candidates should also possess integrity, compassion, empathy, flexibility, and the ability to multitask. The goals of the admissions process are:

  • To understand each applicant as a whole person
  • To evaluate the applicant’s potential for success in the DPT program
  • To assess the candidate’s commitment and aptitude as a future practicing physical therapist

Once a complete application is submitted it will be reviewed by the Admissions Committee. Qualified candidates will be invited to interview. Interviews are conducted virtually and on a rolling basis.


The interview is designed as a two-way exchange with the goals of discussing and understanding:

  • The Campbell University DPT Program
  • The physical therapy profession
  • Educational background
  • Communication skills
  • Problem-solving skills
  • Leadership, service, and/or organizational skills
  • Rural healthcare needs
  • Interprofessional collaboration
  • Work and personal experience

Following the interview process, applicants will be notified by the DPT program of an admissions decision through email and an official acceptance letter will be mailed. Applicants may be accepted into the program prior to completion of a bachelor’s degree or required prerequisite courses. However, all admissions requirements must be met prior to matriculation into the program.

Work/Volunteer/Observation Experience

The DPT program aims to attract students who demonstrate a well-rounded, contemporary knowledge of the physical therapy profession. In order to demonstrate this, it is recommended students complete a minimum of 50 hours in a variety of clinical settings. While we understand that participation in physical therapy as a patient can be a valuable and life-changing experience, experience as a patient would not be considered observation hours.  The hours submitted for your application are expected to be observation (e.g., shadowing a PT), volunteer, or work experience (e.g., as an aide). A diversity of experiences will be considered acceptable during the application process. Examples of appropriate experience can include:

Example Experience Facility Type
In-Patient facilities – Rehabilitation facility
– Acute care hospital
Outpatient facilities – Neurological rehabilitation
– Pediatric/children
– Industrial rehabilitation
– Orthopedic/sports medicine – Hospital based or Private practice
Home health  
Long-term care facilities – Skilled nursing facilities
– Assisted living

International Applicants

International applicants who have completed a bachelor’s degree and all prerequisite courses in a regionally accredited institution in the United States are eligible to apply to the program. International applicants may be asked to submit Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) score directly to the CPHS admissions office if English is a second language.

Technical Standards for Admission, Academic Progression, and Graduation

In accordance with Section 504 of the Vocational Rehabilitation Act of 1973, the administration and faculty of Campbell Universities Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) program have established the essential nonacademic functions for students to participate.

The admissions committee will consider applicants who demonstrate the ability to perform, or learn, the essential skills listed in this document. Campbell University must confirm patients are not placed in danger by students with impaired intellectual, physical, or emotional functions. Students will be evaluated in all the areas listed below to meet the requirements for admission, continuation, promotion, and graduation from the DPT program. The use of an intermediary, a person trained to perform essential skills on behalf of the student, is not permitted.

Upon admission, a student who discloses in writing a properly certified disability may receive reasonable accommodation, however, the student must be able to perform the essential functions within the curriculum and the described standards listed below. Formal disclosure should be made in the Office of Student Support Services, 227 Main Street, Buies Creek, North Carolina 27506.

Candidates for admission to and matriculation from the Campbell DPT program should possess, at a minimum, the following abilities:

Behavioral/Social Skills and Professionalism
Students in the Campbell University DPT program must demonstrate attributes of empathy, compassion, integrity, collegiality, high moral character, excellent interpersonal communication, listening, and self-motivation, and these qualities are assessed throughout the program. Students must exhibit sound judgment in the care of patients and academic inquiry along with developing appropriate and effective patient relations. Students should exhibit flexibility and cultural sensitivity must be ensured during times of indecision to reflect the expectations of clinical and academic settings. Additionally, students must be able to function in a collegial environment demonstrating proper levels of assertiveness, cooperation, mutual respect, and task delegation, along with organization and time management skills. Adequate emotional health is necessary to deal with strenuous environments and to work effectively in demanding situations. Students must maintain good general health and hygiene throughout the program and agree to abide by the American Physical Therapy Associations’ code of ethics and professional behavior.

Campbell University’s DPT Program integrates the ten Generic Abilities1 in our expected student professional behaviors. Faculty assess progression of professional behaviors from beginning level to entry level using identified criteria as a guide1. These essential behaviors are: Commitment to Learning, Interpersonal Skills, Communication Skills, Effective Use of Time and Resources and Resources, Use of Constructive Feedback, Problem-Solving, Professionalism, Responsibility, Critical Thinking, and Stress Management. Behaviors consistent with the APTA Core Values are essential for doctoral level professional behaviors in physical therapy and are expected of Campbell DPT students. These behaviors are: Accountability, Altruism, Compassion/Caring, Excellence, Integrity, Professional Duty, and Social Responsibility2.

1Developed by the Physical Therapy Program, University of Wisconsin-Madison, May, W., et al. Journal of Physical Therapy Education. 9:1, Spring 1995.
2American Physical Therapy Association (APTA): Core values; http://www.apta.org/Professionalism/

Intellectual/Conceptual, Integrative, and Qualitative Skills
Students in the Campbell University DPT program must demonstrate the ability to utilize computer technology. Students must be able to interpret and comprehend three-dimensional and spatial relationships of body structures. Proper reasoning requires students to measure, calculate, analyze, and synthesize information pertinent to solving and establishing a PT diagnosis. The aforementioned skills allow students to create proper assessments and sound judgment necessary for correct decisions in rehabilitative intervention and documentation of patient outcomes. Recognize the impact of disability and dysfunction while integrating the needs of patient/family into the plan of care.

Communication Skills
Students in the Campbell University DPT program must be able to communicate and comprehend the English language in written, oral, and electronic forms with faculty and classmates in academic settings along with members of health care team and patients in clinical/professional settings. Examples of communications skills may include speaking, writing, hearing, and reading. The ability to elicit information regarding mood/affect, alertness, activity, movement, function, and non-verbal behavior is essential.

Sensory/Observational Skills
Students in the Campbell University DPT program must be able to observe cadaveric dissection, wounds, burns, pelvis and perineum and other potentially unsettling tasks throughout the curriculum. Students must be able to observe patients to obtain a history directly from the patient or guardian. Such observation requires use of vision, hearing, and other somatosensory modalities.

Motor Skills
Students in the Campbell University DPT program must demonstrate adequate strength and endurance along with fine and gross motor skills to perform frequent lifting, twisting, bending, kneeling, pushing/pulling necessary with patient transfers, gait, assessment, and intervention. The ability to safely assist patients with ambulatory activities and stand for prolonged periods of time is essential. Candidates must have sufficient manual dexterity to write, type, grasp, pinch, hold, push, pull, lift, and palpate. Students must be able to ensure patient safety at all times. Students must be able to successfully perform dissection, debridement, auscultation, percussion, and wound/burn management along with performance of cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and use of an automated external defibrillator (AED). These actions require coordination of many sensory systems (vision, hearing, equilibrium, touch).