Admission and Application Process (2023)

How to Apply

COVID-19 NOTICE: Please scroll down to Temporary Policies.

Up to 36 students are admitted into the DPT Program through a competitive process, with a new class beginning each fall.

Applicants to the DPT Program choose one of three admission tracks:Individuals interested in Track I must submit applications through St. Ambrose University. Individuals interested in Track II or Track III must submit applications through the Physical Therapist Centralized Application Service.

Track I: High School Seniors – Application Deadline, December 1
Track I is exclusively for high school seniors planning to enroll at SAU. Each year, up to 15 high school seniors are granted placement in Track I conditionally reserving them a place in the DPT class that begins during their senior year at SAU.

Track II: College Juniors – Application Deadline, December 1
Track II allows undergraduates from both SAU or other institutions to apply their junior year for consideration of entry into the DPT class that begins during their senior year at SAU.

Track III: College Seniors and College Graduates – Application Deadline, December 1
Track III is the more traditional application process for individuals who are in their senior year of college or hold a bachelor's or graduate degree from an accredited four-year college or university.

Admission Philosophy

The St. Ambrose University Physical Therapy Department admits individuals who are committed to excellence, leadership, service to their community, seek equity and inclusion in our society, and are academically prepared for the rigors of graduate education. Students who enter our program with creativity, curiosity, persistence, strong communication skills, adaptability, a positive mindset, and a commitment to lifelong learning are best prepared for a successful career as a physical therapist. Because we believe our student body should reflect the diversity of the communities they will serve, we recruit students with a range of life experiences and backgrounds.

Begin your PTCAS Application Begin your application to St. Ambrose University


Applicants are not required to select a particular major in order to be eligible for admission to a physical therapy education program. Common undergraduate majors among DPT students at SAU are Exercise Science, Human Performance and Fitness, Sport Management, Psychology, and Biology.

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Applicants must complete these prerequisite courses before enrollment to the DPT Program:

Note: St. Ambrose University Physical Therapy Department will not accept online lab courses to satisfy prerequisite requirements. All lab courses must be taken on campus.

CourseSAU EquivalentCredits
General Biology (with labs)Biology 199 & 2008
Human Anatomy & Physiology I & II (w/ labs)*Biology 230 & 2328
General Chemistry (with labs)Chemistry 105 & 1068
College Physics (with labs)Physics 203 & 2048
Statistics/BiostatisticsStatistics 2133
Introduction to PsychologyPsychology 1053
Upper Level Psychology/Sociology electivePsychology 255**3

*At SAU, human physiology is combined with anatomy in a two-semester sequence of courses with labs. A human physiology course with labs fulfills this requirement.
**At SAU, any upper level psychology/sociology will meet this requirement. PSYCH 255 Brain and Behavior is strongly recommended.

CLEP Policy

The Physical Therapy Department will follow guidelines set forth by the St. Ambrose University Office of the Registrar for accepting College-Level Examination Program (CLEP) exam results towards prerequisite courses. For example, students can take the psychology CLEP exam and receive course equivalent for PSYC 105. This would count as meeting one of our psychology prerequisites.

While there is a CLEP exam for Biology, the Registrar's policy is to only give the equivalent of BIOL 101, which we do not accept as a biology prerequisite. The full list of Course Equivalents for CLEP exam can be found here.

Please see the SAU Course Catalog for policies on Transfer, Refunds, and Grading

Temporary Policies

2022-23 DPT Admissions Cycle Temporary Changes

During the pandemic, many undergraduate institutions closed campuses and moved courses to online instruction. Due to that fact, the SAU PT Department developed the following temporary policies.

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Online and/or distance learning courses: The SAU PT Department will accept online or distance learning prerequisite courses – including lab courses – only from the spring, summer, and fall of 2020, as well as spring and summer of 2021, to satisfy requirements.

Pass/Fail or Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory courses: The SAU PT Department will accept spring and summer of 2020 coursework that is graded on a Pass/Fail or Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory basis to fulfill a prerequisite course requirement.

PT shadowing/observation hours: Some applicants may have difficulty obtaining or completing shadowing experiences as facilities adjust to providing care during this public health pandemic. Due to that fact, the SAU PT Department will recommend Track I-high school applicants to complete 10 observation hours and Track IB (Class of 2025)/II/III-college applicants to complete 25 observation hours in at least one setting (ideally two settings) for the 2022-23 admissions cycle. In-progress observations hours will be accepted until application deadline.

Applicants who encounter difficulty with meeting these recommendations are still encouraged to apply and be prepared to discuss alternative sources used to learn about the profession of physical therapy and the overall healthcare system.

Application Tracks

Track I – High School Seniors

Track I is a "3+2.5" plan of study (three years of undergraduate study plus 2.5 years in the DPT Program). It is exclusively for high school seniors who are enrolling as freshmen at St. Ambrose University.

Each year up to 15 high school students are granted placement in Track I positions conditionally reserving them a place in the DPT class that will commence with their senior year in college.

First year DPT courses are applied toward completion of the undergraduate degree, which must be awarded prior to the beginning of the second year of the DPT Program.

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Criteria for Admitted Track I Students

Students attending SAU and admitted into Track 1 as high school seniors are required to meet the following criteria in order to advance into the DPT Program the fall of their senior year at St. Ambrose University:

  • Submit a plan of student detailing how an undergraduate degree will be earned prior to the beginning of the second year of the DPT Program
  • Earn and maintain a cumulative grade point average of at least 3.30/4.00 and a prerequisite grade point average of at least 3.30/4.00 by the end of the fourth semester
  • Complete all prerequisite courses with a grade of "C" or above prior to entering the DPT Program
  • Complete a second application form for the PT Department
  • Complete the GRE, with a combined score of 295 or higher on the verbal and quantitative sections.
  • Submit document of 50 hours of observation with a licensed PT in two or more settings, to include inpatient and outpatient hours
  • Submit official transcripts from all undergraduate institutions attended
  • Submit two letters of reference, with one from an SAU faculty member
  • Complete an on-site personal interview with DPT faculty members
  • Complete all bachelor's degree requirements in major other than those to be completed in the first year of the DPT Program

Track I Application Criteria and Process

Track I: Application Criteria and Process

To apply for a Track I position, high school seniors will need to:

  • Complete theSt. Ambrose University online general application
  • Meet the entrance requirements of St. Ambrose University
  • Have completed the equivalent of one year each of high school biology and chemistry; One year of high school physics is strongly recommended
  • Attain a minimum of 3.5/4.0 unweighted high school GPA
  • Score a minimum of 24 on the ACT or 1160 on the SAT
  • Have completed and provided documentation (.docx) of at least 20 hours of observation with a licensed physical therapist in one or more physical therapy settings
  • Complete an acceptable on-site personal interview with DPT faculty members
  • Complete a PT Department Track I application(.docx)

Track II and III – College Juniors, Seniors, and Graduates

Track II: College Juniors

Track II is a "3+2.5" plan of study (three years of undergraduate study plus 2.5 years in the DPT Program). First year DPT courses are applied toward completion of the undergraduate degree, which must be awarded prior to the beginning of the second year of the DPT Program.

Students from SAU and other institutions may utilize Track II. Track II students must have completed all bachelor's degree requirements in their major other than those to be completed in the first year of the DPT Program. Students from institutions other than SAU will need a letter from the respective Registrar's Office indicating that the first year of DPT courses will be credited toward the bachelor's degree and that the bachelor's degree will be awarded prior to the start of the second year in the DPT Program.

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Track III: College Seniors and College Graduates

Track III is a "4+2.5" plan of study (four years of undergraduate study plus 2.5 years in the DPT Program). Individuals who are in their senior year of college, hold a bachelor's degree, or a graduate degree from an accredited four-year college or university may apply using Track III. The bachelor's degree must be awarded prior to the fall they anticipate entering the DPT Program.

Track II and III Application Criteria and Process

PTCAS Regular Decision

Spring Decision Deadline: December 1

  • Complete all prerequisite courses with a grade of "C" or above prior to enrollment in the DPT Program.
    • Applicants who will not complete the prerequisites by the date of their application submission must provide a detailed plan for completion of the remaining courses found in the Supplemental Application portion of the PTCAS Application.
  • Attain a minimum 3.0/4.0 cumulative and prerequisite GPA in all undergraduate coursework or a minimum cumulative graduate GPA of 3.25 / 4.0 for 18 or more semester hours in an approved graduate science degree program.
  • Document at least 50 hours of observation with licensed physical therapists in two or more physical therapy settings to include inpatient and outpatient. All hours must be completed at the time of submitting application.
  • Complete the Graduate Record Exam (GRE) and submit official results to PTCAS.
  • Submit official transcripts from all undergraduate institutions attended through PTCAS.
  • Submit two references from individuals well acquainted with the applicant through PTCAS.
  • All international students are required to submit official results from the TOEFL exam and must score at least 600 (written), 250 (computerized) or 100 (internet).
  • International students are required to have their transcripts evaluated through the World Education Services (WES).
  • Submit an application to SAU through the Physical Therapist Centralized Application Service (PTCAS)
  • Complete an acceptable on-site personal interview with SAU DPT faculty members.

Physical Therapist Centralized Application Service (PTCAS)

SAU requires applications to be submitted through the Physical Therapist Centralized Application Service (PTCAS).

The following is submitted directly through PTCAS:

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  • Official transcripts from all institutions of higher education that you have attended. Do not send your transcripts to SAU.
  • Two references. A form will be provided by PTCAS for the persons providing the references to complete. Please note that if another school you are applying to requests more than two references, SAU will receive all the references submitted.
  • Personal essay. PTCAS will list the specific requirements of the essay.
  • Documentation of a minimum of 50 hours of clinical observation in two or more physical therapy practice settings, including inpatient and outpatient, with licensed physical therapists. The hours must be completed at the time of submission of the application.
  • Official results of the Graduate Record Examination (GRE). These must be sent directly from the Educational Testing Service to PTCAS (SAU code #7742).
  • PTCAS charges $155 for the first program you apply to and $60 for each additional program. SAU does not have an additional supplemental fee.

After applications are received and reviewed by SAU, a personal on-site interview will be scheduled for selected applicants. St. Ambrose participates in rolling admissions, the admissions officers begin assessing applications as they come in and are able to interview before the December 1 deadline.

Please note that due to the competitiveness of the program, not all applicants will be invited for an interview.

All requested information must be submitted to PTCAS by the SAU application deadline.


How do you answer Admission question? ›

Try to give detailed, thoughtful reasons, by mentioning the department's approach to your subject, or if it has particularly strong facilities for the course. Don't mention things like the nightlife or costs, and don't say anything that indicates you didn't really put much thought into your decision.

What is the admission process? ›

The admission process involves filling out an application form and being interviewed by the principal and teachers.

How do I pass an admissions interview? ›

How to Prepare For a University Admission Interview
  1. Consider the type of interview you can expect. ...
  2. Think about how you can stand out. ...
  3. Re-read your personal statement. ...
  4. Re-read the course information. ...
  5. Plan some answers to common university interview questions. ...
  6. Know your subject. ...
  7. Practice with a friend. ...
  8. Dress appropriately.

How long does it take for admissions to make a decision? ›

The average turnaround time for an admissions decision for schools with rolling admissions is four to six weeks, though in some cases students might have to wait longer. For regular decision candidates, the wait is more like eight to 12 weeks.

Why should we give you admission answers? ›

'Why Should We Admit You? ' You can use this question as an opportunity to make yourself look like the perfect candidate. Highlight your strengths, career goals, and what you can contribute to the school.

How can I do well in admissions? ›

  1. Earn Good Grades in Challenging Courses. ...
  2. Get a High SAT/ACT Score. ...
  3. Write a Compelling Personal Statement. ...
  4. Demonstrate Interest. ...
  5. Secure Strong Letters of Recommendation. ...
  6. Apply to a Diverse Selection of Colleges. ...
  7. Opt for an Early Admission Plan. ...
  8. Manage Your Online Reputation.

What a admission means? ›

Admission is permission given to a person to enter a place, or permission given to a country to enter an organization. Admission is also the act of entering a place. Students apply for admission to a particular college. Synonyms: admittance, access, entry, introduction More Synonyms of admission. variable noun.

What is the purpose of admission? ›

Purpose. Admission notes document the reasons why a patient is being admitted for inpatient care to a hospital or other facility, the patient's baseline status, and the initial instructions for that patient's care.

What are the types of admissions? ›

They are divided into three categories: emergency, elective, and outpatient/daycare.

How long is an admission interview? ›

Most interviews run approximately 30 minutes to an hour. Students are sometimes told that the sign of a good interview is a long one.

What is the passing score in an interview? ›

It depends. The more you've hired for a role in the past, the higher the pass rate (30-50%), and the less you've hired for a position in the past, the lower the pass rate (10-30%). If you feel something is “off” in your interview process, the pass rate can be a good indicator of where the problem is.

What are the early signs that you have been accepted into a university? ›

College Sends Likely Letter. An acceptance letter and a denial letter — graduating high school students can receive any of these letters after the colleges and universities they applied to have made their decisions. Sometimes, a deferral letter may be sent their way, too, if they apply via an early admission plan.

Do universities tell you if you are rejected? ›

It could be a matter of days or months before you hear back from a university about your application, whether that's an offer, invitation to an interview or rejection (hopefully not). It all depends on when you applied and how that university course chooses to make offers.

When should I hear back from admissions? ›

When Do College Acceptance Letters Arrive, Generally?
Application DeadlineEstimated Decision Notification Date
November (Early Action/Early Decision I)Mid- or late December
January (Early Decision II)February
December, January, or February (Regular Decision)March or early April
24 Oct 2022

What qualities make you a good candidate? ›

Desired Candidate Attributes
  • Leadership. Even in entry-level positions, most employers look for evidence of leadership qualities. ...
  • Teamwork. ...
  • Communication and Interpersonal Skills. ...
  • Analytical Skills. ...
  • Dependability and a Strong Work Ethic. ...
  • Maturity and a Professional Attitude. ...
  • Adaptability and Flexibility. ...
  • Good Personality.

How do you answer why should we offer you a place at this university? ›

Talk about your academic achievements, how committed you are to continuing your studies in more depth, and your passion for the subject. Mention your chosen career path and how a gaining a degree is the best way to get on the career ladder.

How do you answer why should we accept you as a student? ›

I chose subjects that I genuinely enjoy and feel motivated to learn more about” – this shows that you're someone who's motivated by their own interests, suggesting that you'll be committed to your chosen degree subject as well.

How do you write a good admission essay? ›

Tips for a Stellar College Application Essay
  1. Write about something that's important to you. ...
  2. Don't just recount—reflect! ...
  3. Being funny is tough. ...
  4. Start early and write several drafts. ...
  5. No repeats. ...
  6. Answer the question being asked. ...
  7. Have at least one other person edit your essay. ...
  8. Test Your College Knowledge.

What is the most important factor when it comes to admissions? ›

Your Course Load and Grades

This is the most important factor for college admissions. It is also the one most parents are unaware of in the early years of a student's high school education.

How can admission process be improved? ›

9 ways to increase college admissions and enrolment
  1. Create situations for Prospects to react first. ...
  2. Create a story of your institution. ...
  3. Nurturing student interest. ...
  4. Create the hype in your graduates. ...
  5. Beat the response time through Automation. ...
  6. Active and flexible engagement strategy. ...
  7. Power your technology.
10 Jan 2022

What is a admission decision? ›

Colleges and universities base their decisions on the strength of your application as compared to their enrollment objectives and the overall pool of applicants competing for admission. Sometimes they are looking for people with specific demographics or skill sets.

What are the 2 types of admission? ›

There are two major types of admissions, 1) elective and 2) emergency admissions, but there are some variations. The following is a brief description of the major and other admission types: Elective admission: You have a known medical condition or complaint that requires further workup, treatment, or surgery.

What are the three types of admissions? ›

Here are the types of college admissions: Regular Admission. Rolling Admission. Open Admission.

What happens during admission? ›

During your admission interview, you will talk with a nurse about your medical condition and your current health status. The nurse may conduct some basic tests, such as taking your temperature and blood pressure, and will ask questions about your health to make sure you are ready for surgery or treatment.

Why open admission is important? ›

There are some advantages to considering admission at an Open Enrollment school. For some students who had difficulty in high school and do not have the grades appropriate for a more selective admission, an Open Enrollment institution is an opportunity to prove that they can successfully undertake college level work.

What is admission acceptance? ›

Accepted for admission means that a student has completed the requirements for entry at an approved school, as documented by the approved school.

What is admission plan? ›

College admissions plans are structured plans for how colleges are going to admit your class. Depending on how selective the college is and how it makes admission decisions, your work and the application process will need to shift to meet the deadlines.

What is normal admission? ›

: a situation in which a customer pays a fee to get into an event (such as a concert or baseball game) but is not assigned to a specific seat. Reserved seating is $20; general admission is $10.

What are the main types of admissions essay questions? ›

Tackling the Common App Essay Prompts
  • Prompt #1: Share your story.
  • Prompt #2: Learning from obstacles.
  • Prompt #3: Challenging a belief.
  • Prompt #4: Solving a problem.
  • Prompt #5: Personal growth.
  • Prompt #6: What captivates you?
  • Prompt #7: Topic of your choice.
  • Describe a person you admire.

Do interviews affect admission? ›

They rarely hurt you, and in some cases, they can make up for lackluster GPA and test scores. Interviews not only demonstrate your interest in a college, which can boost your acceptance odds, but you also gain a competitive edge over other applicants who opted not to do an interview.

Do admissions officers look at every application? ›

Of course they are read! Essays give admission officers real insight into the applicant. You might wonder how a huge school would manage reading thousands of essays, but you can trust that they hire extra staff, if necessary, to make sure the entire application gets a close look.

How do you know if you fail an interview? ›

6 Signs of a Bad Interview that Mean You Didn't Land the Job
  1. The interviewer seemed uninterested in you. ...
  2. The interview was suddenly cut short. ...
  3. There was absolutely zero chemistry. ...
  4. That killer question stumped you. ...
  5. The interviewer didn't tell you about the role. ...
  6. You failed to ask any questions. ...
  7. Conclusion. ...
  8. Recommended Reading:

How many applicants actually get an interview? ›

On average, 118 candidates apply for one single job, of whom only 20% are interviewed. And, if you get an offer, you are among just 30.89 percent of interviewees to be selected.

Is a 30 minute interview good? ›

If your interview was 30 minutes long, then it was just long enough. Hiring managers will generally schedule about 30 minutes to interview a candidate for most position levels. If you lasted the full 30 minutes, you know that you answered the questions well.

How many questions is enough for an interview? ›

One question I get a lot is how many interview questions to ask when you're interviewing candidates. Five to six is about the right number, assuming your interview is about an hour long. 60 minutes is the median time that most interviews go right now.

Can you still get hired if you fail an assessment test? ›

Yes you can still get the job. If you failed the assessment, You should ask for a lower position , learn all that you can and move your way up. A lot of managers started as janitors or cashiers.

How many questions is acceptable in an interview? ›

Try to come up with at least four or five questions to ask the interviewer. That way, if one or two of them are answered during the earlier discussion, you have backups in place.

What do colleges look at when admitting applicants? ›

Good grades, a challenging high school curriculum, standardized test scores, extracurriculars, and a strong essay are a few key factors admissions officers assess. Each university may emphasize different elements of the application process.

How do I know if I have been admitted? ›

Email Notification: Just like phone numbers, many schools equally do ask candidates to provide their email address while applying for admission. Admission notifications are equally sent to candidates via this medium. The unfortunate thing, however, is that many candidates hardly check their emails.

Do rejection letters come first? ›

Most commonly, no, colleges do not send rejection letters before sending acceptance letters. Acceptance, waitlist and rejection letters are usually sent to applicants around the same time.

Why do universities take so long to reply? ›

Every admissions team is different

Some courses receive more applications than others which can mean longer waiting times. How large a university's admissions team is will also dictate when you hear back. Each university has a different system for sorting through its applications.

How long does it take a university to process an application? ›

It really depends upon the school's application deadline and when they have committed to releasing their Early Decision admissions decisions. Typically the decisions are sent about 4-6 weeks or so after the deadline. Some schools have two Early Decision deadlines: Early Decision I and Early Decision II.

Can you get rejected after being accepted? ›

Although higher education institutions prefer not to and luckily rarely have to, it is important to known that it is possible for colleges to rescind their admissions offer even after an acceptance letter has been delivered.

How long does an admission letter take? ›

For regular decision applicants, it can be anywhere from two to three months after you applied. Most letters ship out in March and early April. However, some schools have “rolling admissions.” This means they accept applications from students year-round.

How long do admissions officers read applications? ›

Your application is read quickly

Admissions officers will often average less than 15 minutes to assess your entire application.

Can you get accepted after decision day? ›

Even if National College Decision Day is through, some colleges and universities that have sent you an acceptance letter might still accept you — for the most part, all you have to do is call the admissions office.

What is admission example? ›

For example, if a husband sues his wife for divorce on the grounds of adultery, and she states out of court that she has had affairs, her statement is an admission.

What does accept admission mean? ›

Admit. If you receive a fat envelope in the mail with an admit decision, congratulations – you've been accepted to the university! This is a no-strings-attached decision, meaning you don't need to meet any additional requirements or submit any additional information.

What are the types of admission? ›

The most common are Elective Admissions, Direct Admissions, Holding Admissions, and Emergency Admissions.

Can I reject admission after accepting? ›

To decline admission to a college after you've already accepted, contact the admissions office as soon as possible. Calls are best, since admissions staff are swamped with emails. Explain your situation honestly to the admissions staff and say what you want to happen.

What happens when you accept an admission? ›

When you accept an admissions offer, the college will likely communicate things you need to do to get ready to attend. From filling out housing preference forms to signing up for your orientation and classes, it's important to stay on top of these tasks from now until you move to campus.

Is admission the same as acceptance? ›

Yes, admission rate and acceptance rate are the same thing. The both refer to the percentage of applicants accepted (or admitted) into a certain college or university in a given year.

What is the importance of admission requirements? ›

The admissions requirements of an institution determine the percentage of applicants who are likely to be admitted, this will also indicates your child's chances of being accepted at an institution.

What admission chance means? ›

Admissions rates just tell you how many students were accepted out of everyone that applied. That can be useful if you want to see how selective a school is, but college admissions is not a lottery. Your individual chances will depend on your particular profile and how it stacks up with other applicants.

What are the 4 types of admission letters? ›

Read on to learn more about what each of these means and how they may impact your college applications:
  • (Single Choice/Restricted) Early Action (EA) Applying Early can be a strategic move that makes sense for some, though not all, students. ...
  • Early Decision (ED) ...
  • Early Decision II (ED II) ...
  • Regular Decision. ...
  • Rolling Admission.
30 May 2019

How long do universities take to respond to applications? ›

There's no set waiting time. Some students will hear back in three days and some three weeks. This is completely normal and not a reflection of your application. Try and stay calm.


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