Doctor of Physical Therapy program at NAU
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1. How do I apply? Accordion Closed
Fill out the online application at the Physical Therapist Centralized Application Service. You must also fill out the NAU online graduate application. Please visit our admissions page for more information.
2. How can I pay for school? Accordion Closed
The NAU DPT program does not have graduate assistant positions available. There are scholarships that students can apply for once they are in the program and many of our students work part-time. Please visit our Program Data page for more information on tuition and fees and the NAU financial aid page for further information.
3. What is the application deadline? Accordion Closed
The application period begins in early July each year and generally closes October 1st of that same year. Admission would be granted for August of the following calendar year.
4. Are there separate applications for the Flagstaff and Phoenix campus? Accordion Closed
No, the PTCAS application and NAU Graduate Application are used for both campuses.
5. Do I have to take the Graduate Record Examination (GRE)? Accordion Closed
Yes, the GRE is required, and official scores must be reported directly to PTCAS. Instructions are in PTCAS. Multiple retakes of the test are allowed and the program takes the top score in each category. You must meet the minimum requirement in each category, applicants who do not meet minimums will be declined.
6. Is admission competitive? Accordion Closed
Yes. NAU receives 1,300 and 1,700 applications a year for our 48 spots at the Flagstaff campus and 50 spots at the Phoenix campus.
7. Are the “minimums” for GRE scores and GPA flexible? Accordion Closed
No, they are not flexible. Applicants who do not meet minimum requirements are declined. In addition, we encourage you to visit our program data page to see the average scores of those accepted to the program. The program takes your top score in each category for the GRE if you take it multiple times.
8. How many hours of clinical observations, work, or volunteer experience do I need? Accordion Closed
100 observational hours are recommended but not required. They can be paid, volunteer, inpatient or outpatient but must be under the supervision of a licensed physical therapist. We recommend a breadth of experiences and settings rather than a depth of one experience. Please visit the PTCAS website for information on submitting your observational hours.
9. Do you accept out-of-state students? Accordion Closed
Yes. In accordance with the DPT program mission and goals, the program does give preference to applicants who indicate a high potential for remaining in the state of Arizona to work following graduation.
AZ residency for in-state tuition is not decided by the department. Students who are not automatically granted residency must file a petition. Visit the student service center for more information.
10. Do I get to choose the campus I attend? Accordion Closed
You are invited to provide a preference, but there is no guarantee that your request will be granted.
11. Do you interview? Accordion Closed
Yes. About 300 students are invited to interview with half randomly assigned to interview at Flagstaff and half at Phoenix. Interviews are usually held in November or December.
12. If I am admitted, will I have to travel to the other campus? Accordion Closed
Yes, but travel is limited. For example, you may be required to attend a 3-day course in the second year that may be on the other campus. The site of the course alternates year-to-year between campuses.
13. Can I visit the campuses? Accordion Closed
14. How many years is the DPT program? Accordion Closed
The program is 2.5 years long (7 semesters) with a December graduation.
15. Can I attend part-time or in the evenings? Accordion Closed
No, the program is full-time. Classes occasionally are scheduled in the evening or on weekends, but most are between 8 am and 5 pm Monday through Friday.
16. How much does the DPT program cost at NAU? Accordion Closed
Find tuition and fee information on the NAU admissions website.
17. What should I major in as an undergraduate? Accordion Closed
Many of our applicants have degrees in exercise science or kinesiology, but we do not require any particular major. The primary issue is that you must complete all of our prerequisites before beginning the program. You may only have 3 outstanding prerequisite requirements when you apply.
18. What are the prerequisites? Accordion Closed
19. Must I take the prerequisites at a 4-year college? Accordion Closed
No, you can take them from any 2- or 4-year accredited college or university.
20. Is there on-campus housing at the Flagstaff or Phoenix campus? Accordion Closed
There is some graduate student housing available at NAU in Flagstaff, but there is limited availability. There is none available in Phoenix. Our students live in apartments in surrounding neighborhoods.
21. When do classes begin? Accordion Closed
Classes begin around the 3rd week of August for Flagstaff students and mid-August for Phoenix students.
22. Where do students complete their clinical experiences? Accordion Closed
Students complete 30 weeks of clinical education work in the final year of the program. The goal of the program is to graduate the GENERALIST practitioner, and therefore the selection of clinical placements should reflect the widest possible exposure to diversity in practice setting, population, and age groups of clients. Our program primarily serves the State of Arizona. Close ties and familiarity with the local clinicians and facilities is essential for successful clinical education. Therefore, our predominant clinical opportunities are in the regional facilities of Northern Arizona, Phoenix and Tucson. Clinical assignments are arranged through collaboration between the students and the Directors of Clinical Education (DCE).
Students will have a role in the selection process, however the University and the DCE’s reserve the final authority in determining clinical experience placements. Due to the high volume of students seeking clinical experiences in the Phoenix metro/Flagstaff regions, there is an expectation that each student completes a clinical experience in a rural or out of area location.
Students are never allowed to solicit their own clinical placements. NAU maintains contracts with over six hundred clinical sites. These facilities include outpatient adult and pediatric clinics, hospitals, inpatient rehabilitation centers, skilled nursing facilities, school districts, and home health agencies, among others. Facilities may be urban or rural, and include specialties such as wound care, vestibular rehab, athletic venues, industrial rehabilitation, hand therapy, pelvic health and many other categories. There are also national and regional contracts which would allow a student to be placed out of state. Students may work with the DCE to determine if one of these affiliates would be an appropriate choice for one or more of their clinical rotations. Any student planning an out of state experience is strongly encouraged to investigate and plan for housing, travel, and other expenses that they will incur.
23. Are students required to get a background check? Accordion Closed
Applicants must have and maintain the statutory requirements that will be needed for licensure. While requirements vary from state to state, the NAU DPT program requires that students meet background clearance requirements of the State of Arizona to permit their participation in clinical experiences in AZ as part of the program. Applicants must be able to obtain a LEVEL 1 Fingerprint Clearance card from the state of AZ. For more information, please review the Arizona Statute. A criminal background check may also be requested depending on clinical site requirements or probable cause.
24. Are immunizations required? Accordion Closed
Yes, they are mandatory. Details will be provided upon admission.
25. Does the NAU DPT Program accept transfer credits? Accordion Closed
Transfer credits are not accepted. The entire Program of Study for the DPT must be completed at NAU.
26. PTCAS states there is a $600 non-refundable fee for the program. What is this for? Accordion Closed
We require a non-refundable deposit of $600 to hold your place in the program. This is applied to your fall tuition if you choose to enroll.
27. Can AP courses be considered when fulfilling prerequisite requirements? Accordion Closed
AP courses that appear on your college/university transcript may be used to fulfill a DPT prerequisite for NAU. Note that the AP course will not be used in calculating your prerequisite GPA.
28. How much is the application fee? Accordion Closed
In addition to the PTCAS fee, the NAU graduate application fee is $65. That fee is paid directly to NAU at the time you submit your online NAU application.
29. Do you accept online courses/labs? Accordion Closed
Yes, please visit our Admissions Requirements page for more information.
30. Is the TOEFL required for international students? Accordion Closed
Yes, the TOEFL is required for international students but is waived if you have earned a bachelor’s degree (or higher) from a U.S. university or college. Please visit the NAU Graduate College international graduate admissions page for more information.