How to Apply to the Doctor of Physical Therapy Program
To apply for admission, applicants must have the following:
- A bachelor’s degree from a United States-based accredited college or university.
- A minimum overall GPA of 3.24 (highest grade of repeat coursework will be calculated).
- Required Contact with Profession Hours (Observation/Work): 40hrs cumulative. These hours are to be completed in 2 different specialty settings for a cumulative total of the 40 hours required.
- Prerequisite minimum GPA 3.3 (most recent attempt used)
- Anatomy with Lab
- Physiology with Lab
- Psychology (general)
- Additional Psychology Course (i.e., abnormal or development psychology)
- Biology I or equivalent (human biology) with Lab
- Physics I with Lab (content should include units, vectors, Newton's laws, work and kinetic energy, momentum, dynamics of motion, and potential energy)
- Statistics I or equivalent (Biostats preferred)
Prerequisites Not Required
- GRE, Bio II, Physics II, or Chemistry courses.
- Students are expected to be up to date on all required immunizations (MMR, TB, T-DAP, HEP A and B, Polio Series, Flu) and boosters including COVID-19 and Influenza. No exemptions are granted. Immunization requirements are subject to change at program’s discretion.
- Medically oriented terminology course/certificate
- Criminal Background check done upon acceptance into program. The cost associated with this comprehensive background check is $77.75 and is carried out by a third party that will directly contact each candidate.
- Computer literacy
- Access to reliable internet service
- English proficiency
- Active membership in the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) and respective State Chapter throughout the entirety of the program. This membership is at the student’s own expense.
- Ability to travel to Washington for lab immersion weeks
- Ability to fulfill all technical standards such as sufficient visual acuity, physical performance skills such as lifting 50 pounds independently and any other essential functions carried out in the NU DPT program.
- Reliable transportation to and from all clinical rotations
- Professionalism: as part of the culture of excellence of the NU DPT program, it is expected that all physical therapy learners will conduct themselves accordingly, in behaviors that reflect this. These include but are not limited to, an ability to manage all responsibilities with timeliness, demonstrate consistent preparedness and attendance at all courses, in-person lab immersions and professional clinical rotations.
- As this is a full-time program, students must be able to dedicate various times during the week for synchronous set meeting times for classes and asynchronous times for studying and group work throughout the week. Due to the time commitments for the didactic and clinical components, outside activities and commitments are expected to be minimal or non-existent for successful completion of the program.
Northwest University’s School of Physical Therapy operates on a rolling admission basis. NU admits a cohort of 24 every 6 months. Therefore, depending on which start date you are interested in there are deadlines to keep in mind to be considered for either the July or the January start date.
For the July start date, completed applications must be received by December of the year prior.
For the January start date, completed applications must be received by June of the prior year.
The Northwest University Doctor of Physical Therapy program admissions committee utilizes a holistic approach in the selection of physical therapy student candidates. The committee is looking for overall well-rounded applicants who bring strengths in all areas of their application and align with the mission and vision of the program. This approach allows the admissions committee to select a well-rounded applicant pool for each cohort with a diverse make-up of previous academic, health care, and life experiences.
To begin an application, register an account on the Physical Therapist Centralized Application Service (PTCAS) portal. If you have questions about the PTCAS portal, please contact PTCAS directly. They offer assistance with the application process and technical support as well. If there are specific questions that relate to the application process as it relates to NU’s program, please contact us or attend one of our info sessions where we'll gladly answer your questions.
Application fees are currently $164 for the first application and $65 for each additional school applied to, and all application fees are submitted directly to PTCAS. Northwest University does not collect any fees related to the PTCAS application. For more information on fees or refunds, please contact PTCAS directly.
A few tips when completing the application via PTCAS:
- Transcripts: have all your coursework on hand because you will need to manually enter your coursework. Note that PTCAS does offer a paid service to input your transcripts for you if you find this to be helpful. All official transcripts must be submitted through PTCAS and will be received to the program in that manner. Do not send official transcripts to Northwest University.
- Transcript verification: PTCAS verifies all transcripts submitted. Make sure to monitor your application status on the PTCAS portal to ensure verification has been completed and that all supplemental material required has been properly uploaded.
- Professional contact hours: Ensure you have correctly documented the professional contact hours required for NU's application. The hours must be from two (2) different settings for a total of 40 hours.
- Email: Apply with an email address you actively monitor because it will be associated with all of your applications and notifications will be sent there.
Once the deadline has passed, applications received will be reviewed to ensure admission requirements have been met, transcripts have been verified and the application is complete.
Candidates who have met all the requirements and submitted complete and verified applications will undergo a ranking process that takes into consideration additional experiences, qualities and preferences NU DPT program has determined are essential to complement academic backgrounds and allow for the holistic admissions process that is part of the NU DPT program Mission, Vision and Values.
Highest ranked applicants will be selected and invited, via electronic communication, to participate in the interview portion of the application process.
Part A: Virtual interviews that were required as part of the NU PTCAS application will then be reviewed for the candidates selected to continue in the selection process. This virtual interview conducted by KIRA in the PTCAS platform will consist of four pre-determined questions where each candidate will have 30 minutes to record their responses. These interviews will be reviewed and graded by NU faculty and admissions committee members. It is highly recommended that each applicant completes this portion of the selection process entirely on their own. The highest-ranking applicants from this initial interview will then be selected for a "live" (asynchronous) virtual interview with the NU faculty panel.
Part B: "Live" (asynchronous) virtual interviews: Applicants selected for an in-person (live virtual) interview will be notified via electronic communication. Candidates will be provided with an opportunity to select the best available date and time. This interview will be conducted on an online meeting platform, for which each candidate will need to have reliable internet to complete. The in-person interview is a requirement to move forward in the selection process.
Upon completion of the interview process, candidates will be ranked based on the combined results of Stages 1–4. After final review by the admission committee and the dean of the NU DPT program, formal admissions offer will be extended to the top candidates.
Candidates who are not offered an initial seat will be notified and given one of the following results:
- Waitlist - High Alternate: This ranked list will be utilized first to fill any vacancies as they arise to ensure the complete cohort is filled. This list will remain active until the selected cohort has started the program. Once the cohort has begun, these applicants may be offered a seat in the next cohort.
- Waitlist - Alternate: This ranked list will be utilized second to fill any vacancies as they arise to ensure the complete cohort is filled. This list will remain active until the selected cohort has started the program. If no vacancy occurs, these applicants may either be offered a seat in the next cohort or may be asked to re-apply in the following application cycle.
- Denial: Candidates who are denied admission to the program will be notified by electronic communication from the NU DPT program. Candidates who were selected for an interview but denied admission will be invited to meet with the dean to review their application individually.
Graduation from a physical therapist education program accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE), 3030 Potomac Ave., Suite 100, Alexandria, Virginia 22305-3085; phone; 703-706-3245; firstname.lastname@example.org is necessary for eligibility to sit for the licensure examination, which is required in all states.
Northwest University is seeking accreditation of a new physical therapist education program from CAPTE. The program is planning to submit an Application for Candidacy, which is the formal application required in the pre-accreditation stage, on December 1, 2023. Submission of this document does not assure that the program will be granted Candidate for Accreditation status. Achievement of Candidate for Accreditation status is required prior to implementation of the professional phase of the program; therefore, no students may be enrolled in professional courses until Candidate for Accreditation status has been achieved. Further, though achievement of Candidate for Accreditation status signifies satisfactory progress toward accreditation, it does not assure that the program will be granted accreditation.Accreditation Information