Program in Physical Therapy
500 College of Health Sciences
Phone: (915) 747-8207
PROGRAM COORDINATOR: Paul M. Nagel
GRADUATE FACULTY: Acosta, Bois, Bybee, Dillon, Ryberg
Physical Therapy is a health profession whose primary purpose is the promotion of optimal physical function. Physical therapists apply scientific principles to prevent and treat acute and chronic movement disorders. Physical therapy encompasses areas of specialization and includes the development of new approaches to more effectively meet existing and emerging health care needs.
The Physical Therapy Program offers a Masters Degree in Physical Therapy. While acceptance into the Masters Degree Program does not require completion of an undergraduate degree, the competitive nature of the admissions process makes it imperative that interested undergraduates follow a traditional undergraduate major (e.g., Biological Sciences, Health Sciences, Kinesiology, Chemistry) as they complete the program prerequisites and electives. In addition, undergraduates should be aware of the University Core Curriculum and its requirements as they plan a course of study that may lead to consideration for admission to the Masters Degree in Physical Therapy.
Acceptance into the program requires the completion of ninety prerequisite and elective undergraduate credit hours (see below) and selection after a competitive admissions process (see below). Twenty-four students are selected each year and begin their studies in the Fall. Successful completion of the academic and clinical components of the Masters Degree makes the graduate eligible to take the Texas (and other State) license examination in Physical Therapy. Successful completion of that examination allows the graduate to practice as a licensed physical therapist.
The program with its academic and clinical components is two and one-half calendar years in length (eight consecutive semesters). The semesters are sequential and require full-time attendance. Included in the program are a total of thirty (30) weeks of full-time clinical affiliations and a research project.
Before admission to the Physical Therapy program, students must meet all admission requirements as stated below.
At least 72 undergraduate hours must be completed prior to the formal application process and a minimum of 90 semester hours of undergraduate study must be completed prior to starting the program. When planning a course of study that may lead to consideration for the program, students must take courses that apply to the University Core Curriculum, meet requirements for a regular academic major, and satisfy specific program prerequisites. No more than 66 credit hours can be transferred from a community or junior college. All science (biology, chemistry, physics) and math courses must have been completed in the last 10 years.
Forty-nine semester hours are required prerequisite courses. These courses must meet specified conditions1 and include:
1 All prerequisites must be completed by the end of the Spring semester of the year you plan to matriculate. All prerequisites must be completed with a grade of "C" or better.
* Course meets University Core Curriculum requirement.
Forty-one semester hours are elective. However, some of these hours must be used to complete the University Core Curriculum. Students are urged to choose courses that complete an academic major, fulfill University Core requirements, and promote a well-rounded education.
University Core Curriculum
Physical Therapy Program prerequisite courses do not meet all the University Core Curriculum requirements. Courses must be selected to complete University Core Curriculum requirements in U.S. History (HIST 1301 and HIST 1302), Political Science (POLS 2310 and POLS 2311), Visual and Performing Arts (three credits), Humanities (three credits), and the Institutionally Designated Option (three credits).
Additional Requirements for Admission
- Completion of the University Core Curriculum prior to beginning the Masters Degree Program in Physical Therapy
- UTEP undergraduates without a degree must complete UTEP Core Curriculum requirements.
- Undergraduates without a degree from other Texas universities must document that they have completed the University Core Curriculum requirements from their home university.
- Students with a baccalaureate degree and undergraduates from non-Texas universities are exempt from the University Core Curriculum requirement.
- A minimum overall GPA of 3.0 (on a four point scale).
- A minimum GPA of 3.0 (on a four point scale) in math/science (biology, chemistry, physics).
- 150 clock hours of documented volunteer or paid work experience in a physical therapy setting (must be completed prior to December 1st of the application year).
- Three letters of recommendation-one of which must be from a physical therapist who supervised the work or volunteer experience.
- Graduate Record Examination (GRE).
- International students (when English is not the official or first language) must have a minimum score of 550 on TOEFL.
- Completed application for the Graduate School.
- Official transcripts (plus two copies) of all colleges or community colleges attended.
- Graduate application processing fee ($15 US for permanent residents, $65 International applicants).
- Completion of an official interview of all eligible candidates.
Completion of the above requirements makes a student eligible for selection but does NOT guarantee admission to the Physical Therapy Program. The final selection is competitive and based on academic course work and the other requirements.
All applications, supporting documentation, transcripts, and test scores should be sent to:
- Obtain an Application for Graduate Admission from the UTEP Graduate School.
- Complete at least 72 hours of required prerequisite work as an undergraduate student with a cumulative GPA of at least 3.0 and a math/science GPA of at least 3.0 by the end of the Fall semester for the following Fall admission.
- Submit an Application for Graduate Admission with the required fee and a written plan for prerequisite course completion by November 1st for the following Fall admission.
(The application packet including all necessary forms is available beginning August 1st.)
- Complete and submit, by December 1st, a minimum of 150 clock hours of voluntary or paid experience in a physical therapy setting supervised by a licensed physical therapist.
- Arrange to take the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) and have the official scores sent to the UTEP Graduate School by December 1st. International applicants must arrange for the TOEFL score to be sent to the Graduate School.
- Submit official transcripts of all course work and three confidential reference forms by December 1st.
- Submit transcripts of current Fall enrollment by January 1st.
- Interviews for qualified applicants will occur on the UTEP campus in February and early March.
- Letters of admission will be sent from the UTEP Graduate School beginning March 15 for Fall admission.
201 Administration Building
The University of Texas at El Paso
El Paso, Texas 79968
Inquires may be made to:
Physical Therapy Program
UTEP College of Health Sciences
1101 N. Campbell
El Paso, TX 79902-0581
See the Graduate Studies Catalog for more detailed information about the Physical Therapy Program.