University of Utah

Information about Physical Therapist program at University of Utah




University of Utah (D6, F1, PU)

Last Updated by Program: 03/01/2005
Address:   Division of Physical Therapy
University of Utah
520 Wakara Way, Suite 302
Salt Lake City, UT 84108
Phone:   (801)581-8681
Fax:   (801)585-5629
Web Address:
Program E-mail:
R Scott Ward, PT, PhD
  Accreditor:   The Northwest Association of Schools and Colleges
  Carnegie Classification:   Research Universities (very high research activity)
  Date of Initial Accreditation:   Bachelor's degree, September 1971 (no longer offered) Master's degree, May 1996 (no longer admitting students) DPT degree, December 2004
  Current Accreditation Status:   Accreditation
  Next Visit   2008
  Five Year History:   Accreditation
DEGREE CONFERRED: Doctor of Physical Therapy
Students begin the three-year (9-semester) DPT program in the summer semester (mid-May to early August) and continue through fall semester (late August to early December) and spring semester (early January to early May). The second year begins with the first full-time clinical internship (10 weeks) during the summer term. Classes resume in fall and spring semester. Third-year students complete a second full-time (10-week) internship during summer semester, return for a final round of classes during the fall semester and finish their third (8-week) and fourth (8-week) full-time clinical internships during the spring semester prior to graduation in May. All academic semesters average 25 hours per week in class. There are ten core faculty and 35 adjunct faculty directly involved in educating the students. Full-time faculty include ABPTS specialists, master clinicians in neurological rehabilitation, orthopedic and sports, infectious disease, burns and wound care, and education. The Division houses two research laboratories: The Skeletal Muscle Exercise Research Facility and the Clinical Musculoskeletal Laboratory, and is affiliated with the University of Utah Health Sciences Center, a large regional tertiary care facility. In addition, the Rehabilitation and Wellness Clinic and a Balance and Falls Prevention Clinic are situated within the Division. The Division also has ties with the Intermountain Unit of the Shriners Hospital for Children and the Veterans Administration Medical Center.
Students will participate in 36 weeks of full-time clinical internships. The initial full-time internship for students commence in the summer term (10 weeks) of their second year in the program. A second 10-week, full-time internship occurs during the summer term of their third year. The final two full-time internships of 16 weeks (8 weeks each) are scheduled during the spring semester of their third year prior to graduation. Other clinical experiences are offered throughout the curriculum. Sites are available across the country. It is recommended that a student complete an experience in a general acute setting, a rehabilitation/extended care facility, and additionally may choose from a range of other options, such as sports physical therapy, pediatrics, burns, and neurology.
There are 10 core and 35 part-time faculty members. Of the core faculty 70% hold post-professional doctoral degrees, the remaining 30% hold post-professional master’s degree, three are certified as clinical specialists, and all are engaged in clinical practice. Over the past 3 years, the faculty has averaged 5.2 publications in peer-reviewed journals. The faculty-to-student ratio is 1:11.
The physical therapy program admits 40 students each year and has a student body of 120. The University has a total enrollment of 29,000 students representing every state and more than 111 foreign countries.
Students must have a bachelor’s degree, complete all the prerequisite course work and be admitted to the University of Utah Graduate School. Prerequisites include a minimum of 6 semester hours in biological sciences (one course in human anatomy and a separate course in human physiology); a minimum of 6 semester hours in exercise science (one course in exercise physiology and a separate course in biomechanics OR kinesiology); a minimum of 6 semester hours in each physics and chemistry (with associated labs); a minimum of 3 semester hours in psychology (one course in abnormal behavior); a minimum of 5 semesters hours in math (including trigonometry OR calculus, and a statistics course that includes analysis of variance, correlation and regression testing). Students must also be certified in advanced first aid and have experience working/volunteering with a licensed physical therapist. The grade point average for the most recent classes admitted was 3.45. If English is not the first language, an applicant must receive a score of 575 or higher on the written TOEFL test and a score of 233 or higher on the computer-based TOEFL test. Applications are available after August 1st. Completed applications received on or before the first part of November (dates vary each year) will be considered for early applicant interview (September, October, November). The deadline for Graduate School application is December 1st. The deadline for the Division of Physical Therapy application is the first part of January. Since this date varies year to year, check with the Division for exact deadline date.
98% of admitted students graduate from the program (3-year average). Pass rate on the licensure exam for first time takers is 94% (3-year average). Employment rates are 100% as reported by graduates actively seeking practice positions (3-year average).
The average yearly cost for tuition and fees for the 2004/05 academic year are estimated to be around $11,500 for Utah residents and approximately $22,000 for non-residents. Tuition and fees are subject to change without notice. Book costs average $600 per year. For more information, contact the Tuition Office at 801/581-7344. Approximately 45% of university students benefit from financial aid. Beyond other university-wide options, two emergency loan funds are currently available to physical therapy students enrolled in the program. Additionally, the Division awards 22 scholarships on a yearly basis.
The University of Utah, founded in 1850, is a flourishing 1,500-acre campus located in the high, mountain-rimmed Salt Lake Valley. The University of Utah is classified by the Carnegie Commission as one of 151 Doctoral/Research Universities-Extensive from among 3,941 U.S. institutions. Parking is available for a fee. City buses and light rail are also available for transportation. The campus is home to the State Arboretum, Museum of Fine Arts, and Museum of Natural History. There are several theater and musical groups on campus. Intercollegiate athletics include basketball, gymnastics, football, soccer, baseball, swimming, track, tennis, skiing, and golf. Campus life is complemented by its site just 10 minutes from downtown Salt Lake City. Dorms are available; however most students live off campus. The area is a haven for all those who love the outdoors. Skiing and other winter sports are available at eight world-class resorts, as well as year-round hiking, camping, climbing, biking, fishing, rafting and other pleasures in the mountains and canyons of numerous forests and wilderness areas. The “U” is within 20 minutes of the Salt Lake International Airport. Besides collegiate sports and cultural offerings, the university’s location allows access to professional ballet, symphony, modern dance, opera, theater and art galleries. A wide diversity of restaurants and cafes, nightlife, shopping and services are easy to get to. There are also opportunities to enjoy professional sports—including basketball, football, baseball, soccer and hockey.