Doctor of Physical Therapy


  • Center City Campus
  • College of Rehabilitation Sciences

Degree Earned

  • Doctorate

Program Length

3 years

Program Type

  • On Campus

Term Start

Pre-Fall (May)


Learn more

Contact Admissions

Contact Number(s):


Name: Jane Fedorczyk, PT, PhD, CHT
  • Interim Chair, Department of Physical Therapy
  • Professor, Physical Therapy & Occupational Therapy
  • Director, Advance Practice Certificate in Hand & Upper Limb Rehabilitation
  • Director, Center of Hand & Upper Limb Health & Performance

Application Information

Our department partners with PTCAS, the Physical Therapy Centralized Application Service, to collect and manage applications to the Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) program.

Application Deadlines/Timeline

JULY 1, 2021 - PTCAS Application Open
DECEMBER 15, 2021 - General Application Deadline 
MAY 31, 2022 - Classes Begin

Decisions are granted on a rolling basis until the class is filled.

Students must complete their Bachelor’s degree at a regionally accredited institution before the start date of the program. A minimum 3.0 overall and 3.0 science prerequisite coursework GPA are required. 

56 semester credits from specific course areas. Prerequisite courses can be completed in an on-campus or hybrid format. 

Course Subject Credits
Anatomy & Physiology I w/Lab * 4
Anatomy and Physiology II w/Lab * 4
General Biology I w/Lab 4
General Biology II w/Lab 4
General Chemistry I w/Lab 4
General Chemistry II w/Lab 4
Physics I w/Lab ** 4
Physics II w/Lab ** 4
Statistics 3
Psychology *** 3
English Composition/Writing 3

* 8 credits of A&P I and II or 4 credits of Human Anatomy and 4 credits of Human Physiology. Labs must be included.
** Algebra or Calculus based
*** Any Statistics course
**** Any Psychology course

Additional Prerequisite Coursework Requirements Information:

  • There is no expiration date for prerequisite courses, with the exception of Anatomy & Physiology I & II, which must be completed within five years of application to Jefferson. Prerequisites courses can be completed in an on-campus, hybrid, or online format.
  • Courses must be completed with a grade of “C” or above to meet the prerequisite requirement. Admission to the program is competitive and we prefer to see a grade of “B” or better for admission.
  • Courses taken Spring 2020 only that were transitioned from a letter grade to Pass/Fail due to COVID-19 will be accepted with a "Pass" grade.
  • Credits are calculated on a semester scale; if courses are taken on a quarter scale, the credit hours will be converted to the semester credit scale.
  • Completion at a regionally accredited institution before you enter the program.
  • In order to qualify for review at least six of your eight science prerequisites must be fulfilled by the application deadline.    

The information below delineates the cognitive, affective and psychomotor skills deemed essential to complete the Physical Therapy degree programs at Thomas Jefferson University and to perform as a competent generalist physical therapist.

If a student cannot demonstrate the following skills and abilities, it is the responsibility of the student to request an appropriate accommodation. The University will provide reasonable accommodations, which may include accommodations that do not fundamentally alter the nature of the program offered and do not impose undue hardship, such as those that are unduly costly or are disruptive to the educational process.

The following requirements are based on skills identified in the Guide to Physical Therapist Practice, 2nd ed. Physical Therapy 2001; 81:9-744. Reviewed and adopted by the Physical Therapy Department, September 2006.

Cognitive Skills

Students must be able to:
  • Receive, interpret, remember, reproduce and use information in the cognitive, psychomotor, and affective domains of learning to solve problems and generate new ways of processing or categorizing information as listed in course objectives
  • Perform a physical therapy examination, including analysis of physiologic, biomechanical, behavioral, cultural and environmental factors, in a timely manner that is consistent with the norms of clinical settings
  • Use examination findings to execute a plan of care in a timely manner that is appropriate to the problems identified and consistent with the acceptable norms of clinical settings

Psychomotor Skills


Students must be able to:

  • Get to lecture, laboratory and clinical locations and move within rooms as necessary to change groups, partners and workstations
  • Physically maneuver in required clinical settings to accomplish assigned tasks
Manual Skills

Students must be able to:

  • Maneuver another person's body parts to perform examination and treatment techniques effectively
  • Manipulate common tools used for screening and examination tests (e.g. sphygmomanometer, goniometer, cotton balls, safety pins, reflex hammer)
  • Safely and effectively guide, facilitate, inhibit and resist movement and motor patterns through physical facilitation and inhibition techniques, including the ability to give urgent verbal feedback
  • Safely manipulate another person's body in transfers, gait, positioning, and exercise and mobilization techniques
  • Manipulate examination and intervention equipment and safely and accurately apply to patients
  • Manipulate bolsters, pillows, plinths, mats, gait assistive devices, and other supports or chairs to aid in positioning, moving or treating a patient safely and effectively
  • Competently perform and supervise cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) using guidelines issued by the American Heart Association or the American Red Cross
Fine Motor Skills

Students must be able to:

  • Legibly record/document examinations, patient care notes, referrals, etc. in standard medical charts in clinical settings in a timely manner and consistent with the acceptable norms of the clinical setting
  • Legibly record thoughts for written assignments and tests
  • Sense changes in an individual's muscle tone, skin quality, joint play, kinesthesia and temperature to gather accurate objective information in a timely manner, and sense that individual's response to environmental changes and treatment
  • Safely apply and adjust therapeutic modalities
  • Use a telephone
Visual Acuity

Students must be able to:

  • Receive visual information from classmates, faculty and patients regarding movement, posture, body mechanics and gait necessary for comparison to normal standards for purposes of examination and evaluation of movement dysfunctions
  • Receive visual information from the treatment environment, including but not limited to dials on modalities and monitors, assistive devices, furniture, flooring and structures

Students must be able to:

  • Effectively communicate with other students, faculty, patients, peers, staff and personnel to ask questions, explain conditions and procedures, teach home programs, and for safety in a timely manner and within the acceptable norms of academic and clinical settings
  • Receive and interpret written communication in both academic and clinical settings in a timely manner
  • Receive and send verbal communication in life threatening situations in a timely manner and within acceptable norms of clinical settings
Affective Skills
Students must be able to:
  • Demonstrate appropriate affective behaviors and mental attitudes in order not to jeopardize the emotional, physical, mental and behavioral safety of clients and other individuals with whom they interact in the academic and clinical settings
  • Comply with the ethical standards of the American Physical Therapy Association
  • Sustain the mental and emotional rigors of a demanding educational program in physical therapy, which includes academic and clinical components that occur within set time constraints
  • Acknowledge and respect individual values and opinions in order to foster harmonious working relationships with colleagues, peers and patients

Thomas Jefferson University’s PT Department requires students observe licensed PTs for a total of 50 hours in at least two different settings, preferably one outpatient and one inpatient. 

  • This requirement will be waived for applicants who were unable to complete any PT observation hours due to the COVID-19 pandemic for the 2021-2022 application cycle only. However, these observation hours will still be considered in the overall review process and are highly recommended.

Application Requirements

See below for instructions on how and where to submit your application materials.

**Please note: GRE scores are not required to apply to the program.

Complete an online application for admission through PTCAS. Pay attention to the instructions for application and requirements.

Submit all official transcripts to PTCAS using the Transcript Request Form (found on the PTCAS website). Send all official transcripts to:

PO Box 9112
Watertown, MA 02471

If your coursework was completed outside of the United States, you must submit a course-by-course evaluation from one of the following international evaluation agencies:

Complete your CV or resume on the PTCAS application in the "Extracurricular Activities, Honors, Work Experience and Licenses" section.

Use your own words to create a personal essay that responds to the essay found on the PTCAS application.

Two letters of recommendation are required to complete your application. One letter must come from a licensed physical therapist; the second letter must come from either an academic (e.g. advisor or professor who can speak to your potential academic success) or other professional source (e.g. supervisor who can speak to your professional attributes).

  • Applicants who were unable to complete any PT observation hours due to the COVID-19 pandemic may submit one academic and one professional letter of recommendation to meet these requirements for the 2021-2022 admission cycle only.

Submit your two letters of recommendation to PTCAS.

Inform the evaluators to expect an e-mail from PTCAS Messenger ( with instructions and login information for an online reference form. PTCAS will send this e-mail to your evaluators as soon as you save their information on your PTCAS application, regardless of whether you have e-submitted your final application.

Individuals submitting references should:

  • Watch for an e-mail from PTCAS Messenger and add to their e-mail address list
  • Check junk-mail/spam folders
  • Send you an email (or verbal) confirmation when they receive the e-mail from PTCAS

Please see our additional information for applying as an International Student.

TOEFL Requirements

Send official TOEFL scores (if applicable) to:

Jefferson University - Center City Campus
(formerly Thomas Jefferson University)
130 South 9th Street, Suite 100
Philadelphia, PA 19107
TOEFL code = 2903

All students who are offered admission are required to have a criminal background check and child abuse clearance. In addition, PT students who are offered admission are required to undergo a drug test. Some clinical sites may require health professions and pharmacy students to be fingerprinted and/or undergo a drug test. The Office of Admissions will provide you with the appropriate information to complete these requirements, as needed.

Clinical rotation and fieldwork sites that require a criminal background check, child abuse clearance and/or fingerprinting may deny a student’s participation in the clinical experience, rotation or fieldwork because of a felony or misdemeanor conviction or a record of child abuse. Clinical sites may also deny participation in clinical experiences for other reasons, such as failure of a required drug test, or inability to produce an appropriate health clearance. As participation in clinical experiences, rotations or fieldwork is a required part of the curriculum and a requirement for graduation, denial of participation by a clinical site may result in delay of graduation or the inability to graduate from the Program.

Regardless of whether or not a student graduates from Jefferson University, individuals who have been convicted of a felony or misdemeanor may be denied certification or licensure as a health professional. Information regarding individual eligibility may be obtained from the appropriate credentialing bodies.

Acceptance & Matriculation Information

  2017-2018 2018-2019 2019-2020
Acceptance Rate 11.5% 14.7% 18.6%
Matriculation Rate 46.4% 47.3% 39.7%