This list has been compiled to assist you with your questions concerning admittance to the Doctor of Physical Therapy program at VCU. Hopefully, your questions can be answered by consulting the list. Further questions can be addressed to Melissa Lee.
Do you require a supplemental application?
Yes, the application can be found on the PTCAS Web site. Once there, follow Directory, List of PT Programs, PTCAS program pages and VCU. Then scroll down to supplemental requirements and follow the link from there.
What are the admission requirements?
All admission requirements are available in the admissions section under the DPT program.
What GPA do you accept or what is the required grade point average?
The minimum total GPA is 2.7 on a 4.0 scale to be considered for admission to the DPT program.
Are any standardized entrance exams required (e.g., GRE)?
We require the Graduate Record Examination and it must be taken within the last five years. We use the GRE scores available in the system when we receive your application. If you re-take the GRE and want to use the newer scores, you must contact us.
What are the minimum GRE scores?
We have no minimum GRE score. However, our program is very competitive and our average incoming student typically scores around the 50th percentile or above for both the verbal and quantitative sections. We select your best verbal and quantitative GRE scores even if they are from two different test dates.
How many observation hours must you have before entering our program?
An applicant must complete a minimum of 45 hours total of volunteer (or paid) work in two or more clinical settings with a physical therapist. The two practice settings should not both be outpatient orthopedics or sports medicine.
Can I still apply if I have not completed my 45 volunteer hours by the application deadline?
Yes, you can still apply. Just indicate your plan for completion of the hours in your application. If accepted, you will be given a provisional accept until you provide documentation of the completed hours.
How do we find places to get experience to fulfill your requirement of the 45 hours needed?
Clinical settings with physical therapists may be found in local hospitals, outpatient clinics, special education in school systems, nursing homes, private practices and home health agencies.
What types of financial aid do you offer to students?
Need-based financial aid is awarded by the university’s Office of Financial Aid and requires submission of the Free Application for Federal Student Aid. The deadline for mailing the FAFSA or Renewal FAFSA is April 15 of each year.
Do students have to live on campus?
Graduate dormitory space is available on the MCV Campus on a first-come, first-served basis. Most students live in the Fan, West End or Southside areas of Richmond. We provide local housing information to accepted students on notification of acceptance. For more information about housing opportunities at and around VCU, visit Residential Life and Housing or Off-Campus Student Services.
What criteria do you use to select students?
We use the total GPA, math/science GPA, GRE scores, references, essays, and life experiences to rank all applicants.
Do you accept credits from community colleges?
We accept credits from community colleges. However, unless you are a second career student returning to college to complete science prerequisites, we prefer to see the science credits taken at a four year university with a full course load. The science classes taken at a community college should transfer into VCU as Biology 151-152, Physics 201-202 and Chemistry 101-102 or higher.
How do you convert quarter hours to semester hours?
One-quarter hour is equal to 2/3-semester hour.
Do you accept anatomy and physiology credits from physical education departments?
We generally do not accept anatomy and physiology credits from physical education departments. An exercise physiology course is not an acceptable substitute for a human physiology course, taught in the biology department.
Do you accept science credits from departments such as Exercise Science, Kinesiology and Sports Medicine?
We do not accept science credits from these departments in our math/science GPA; however, credits from these departments are included in the total GPA.
Do you interview your applicants?
We do not interview applicants as a part of the decision-making process. We do provide pre-PT open houses with faculty members for potential applicants who have questions and want to visit the department. Please call the department at (804) 828-0234 to get a list of the dates.
Do you take out-of-state students?
We do accept out-of-state students. Each class is generally comprised of five to 10 out-of-state students.
Are VCU students given priority over other students?
We accept the most qualified students from all schools.
If I graduated several years ago, do I have to repeat courses?
We prefer that biology courses be completed in the last 10 years. Otherwise, we have no set expiration date for undergraduate courses.
Can you apply if you have not completed all the required prerequisites?
You may apply if your required prerequisites have not been completed. However, in your application you must document your plan for completion of these prerequisites prior to registration at VCU.
Is your program a four-year or three-year program?
Our program is a three-year program leading to the Doctor of Physical Therapy degree. Students graduate in May of their third year in the program. This is full-time program with no part-time options.
How is it decided where you will go for your clinical experiences?
Each student must complete five full time clinical experiences: one two-week integrated clinical experience in the spring of the first year, one eight-week clinical experience in the summer after the second year, and three eight-week clinical internships during the third year. Two of the four eight week internships must be in a specific practice setting. One internship is in outpatient orthopedics and the second is in an environment working with medically complex patients. The two remaining eight week clinicals enable students to select settings of their own choice. Our program has a large number of clinical sites. Most of these are located in the mid-Atlantic region; however, there are a few located throughout the U.S.
How much is your tuition?
The current tuition is listed on the VCU Student Accounting Web site. Look under tuition and fees, graduate students - MCV Campus. In addition, students pay a $1,000 fee each fall and spring semester.
How can I become a Virginia resident for tuition purposes?
The factors used to support a claim of entitlement to in-state privileges must have existed for a minimum of one year prior to the official start of classes. Factors considered when determining first residency: physical residence, state to which income taxes are filed, state to which income taxes are paid, driver's license, voter registration, motor vehicle registration and employment.
Will you help me figure out if the courses I have taken meet the prerequisite requirements?
If you have specific questions about a course, please call or e-mail us and we will advise you on individual courses. We do not review your transcript and plan out what courses you need to take.
Do you forgive grades if the course is repeated?
All graded course work is calculated in our total and math/science GPAs. Even if a course is repeated for a better grade, both grades will be included in the GPA.
Can my experience as an athletic trainer be used for the requirement of the 45 hours needed in a physical therapy setting?
If these hours as an athletic trainer were spent with a licensed physical therapist, then the work hours may be counted in the required 45 hours. Observation hours may be paid or volunteer.
If I did poorly the first year or first two years college but have consistently improved the last two years, will you take that into account when making decisions?
The faculty reviewer will read your total application to get a clear picture of your academic performance over your entire college career.
How many students are accepted into your program?
We accept 54 students into each class. Most are coming straight from undergraduate programs, but several each year are second career students who worked prior to joining our program.
When does the physical therapy program begin?
All students in the DPT program will begin classes around the middle of June. We admit only one group of students each academic year. Each class follows a set curriculum.
How many faculty do you have?
We have 13 full-time faculty members who are physical therapists in addition to having advanced degrees in a variety of fields.
Can I attend your program part time or at night?
Our program is only full time. Classes are held during the day.
Do you accept transfer students from other PT schools?
No, we do not accept transfer students.
How do VCU graduates do on the PT licensure exam?
All students in the 2013 and 2014 DPT graduating classes have passed the national licensure exam.
What is your acceptance rate for in-state and out-of-state students?
On average,we accept 20% of in-state applicants and 10% of out-of-state applicants.