DPT-Boston

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Admissions Overview

The Tufts University School of Medicine’s Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) programs accept applications through the Physical Therapist Centralized Application Service (PTCAS). To learn more about PTCAS, visit www.ptcas.org.

Application Deadline

The application window during which applicants can apply to the DPT program in Boston for the cohort beginning Summer 2023 is June 15, 2022 – February 15, 2023.

The deadline for submitting all materials, including all official transcripts, official GRE scores, and letters of recommendation, is February 15, 2023, at 11:59 PM ET. All application materials must be verified by the application deadline and no later. In order for all application materials to be verified by the deadline, it is recommended that applicants submit all material three to four weeks in advance. Applications that do not have all required materials verified by the deadline will not be considered for this application cycle. As we have limited seats available, we encourage applicants to apply early and not wait until the designated deadline date to submit.

Application Procedures

The Tufts University School of Medicine Doctor of Physical Therapy Program receives applications for admission exclusively through the Physical Therapist Centralized Application Service (PTCAS).

View admissions resources for prospective students.

    • Transcripts: Only official transcripts are accepted through the PTCAS application. Note that if you are offered admission and decide to enroll, you will be required to provide a final official transcript from your undergraduate institution, which includes a date of degree conferral. This must be on file no later than May 25 or the student will not be allowed to enroll. Transcripts for prerequisite courses taken internationally must be evaluated by World Education Services (WES). The WES evaluation MUST be sent to Tufts directly. An ICAP WES course-by-course evaluation of foreign transcripts is necessary ONLY is the applicant took a Tufts DPT program prerequisite course during their study abroad and if the credits and/or grades for these courses DO NOT appear on their undergraduate transcript.
    • Graduate Record Examination (GRE): Applicants must have Educational Testing Services (ETS) submit their official GRE scores using the Tufts Doctor of Physical Therapy PTCAS specific code 4891. Do not use any other codes and be aware that Tufts University has multiple graduate programs and CEEB codes, so make sure you select the correct one carefully.
    • Two Letters of Recommendation: Each evaluator will be able to submit their letter of recommendation electronically, via a secure link that will be sent to them directly.
    • Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or the International English Language Testing System (IELTS), if applicable: Applicants whose native language is not English are required to submit evidence of proficiency in one of three ways: 1.) official TOEFL scores, 2.) official IELTS scores (Our institution requires an minimum overall band score of 7.0. Tufts University’s DPT Program only accepts scores submitted electronically by the IELTS test center. No paper Test Report Forms will be accepted. An institutional code is NOT required. Submit IELTS scores by contacting the test center where you took the exam directly and request that your test scores be sent to the following e-download account: "Tufts University Doctor in Physical Therapy".), 3.) evidence of enrollment for two or more years (four or more semesters) in a degree-granting college or university located in the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Ireland, Australia, or New Zealand.
       
      Submit TOEFL scores with your application for admission by having ETS send your scores to code 5312 (American Physical Therapy Association).
  • The DPT Admissions Committee and faculty will review completed applications (e.g., application and all required materials) in the order of receipt on a rolling basis.

    Applicants are evaluated based on cumulative GPA, prerequisite GPA, GRE scores, observation hours, and references. Other factors considered, but not required, include relevant work experience and/or military experience. The DPT Admissions Committee will grant admission interviews by invitation only.

    Interview Process: The DPT Admissions Coordinator will coordinate interviews for all selected applicants. All interviews will be conducted using a web-based video platform. Applicants will video-record and upload their responses to interview questions in real-time for review by the DPT Admissions Committee.

    Selection Process: The DPT program will accept students based on a holistic evaluation of their application, supportive documents, and interview. All applicants will be notified by email regarding final selection decisions.

    The DPT Admissions Committee will use a combination of academic performance, personal references, essays, and interviews to ensure nondiscrimination and equal opportunity for all applicants.

Prerequisites

Tufts DPT Program Admissions Response to COVID-19

Due to the current COVID-19 pandemic, Tufts School of Medicine DPT program has made the following changes to the admissions requirements for the 2022-23 application cycle:

Observations: Tufts School of Medicine DPT program has decided to temporarily suspend the forty-hour observation requirement for applicants. If you have already completed observation or work hours with a physical therapist, we highly encourage you to upload proof of your observation hours while completing the DPT program application.

GRE Testing: ETS has created and launched the online GRE test that prospective applicants can complete remotely. We encourage all applicants who have not yet completed the GRE to visit the ETS website for additional information.

Prerequisites: Tufts School of Medicine DPT program is accepting prerequisite courses with a pass/fail grade only for the spring and summer semesters of 2020. Courses graded as pass/fail are otherwise not counted towards completion of prerequisite courses.

Recommendations: Due to Covid-19, a recommendation from a physical therapist will not be required for this current admissions cycle. However, a recommendation from a physical therapist is still highly recommended.

The Tufts University School of Medicine Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) Programs specifically target traditional and nontraditional students with the demonstrated potential to navigate the academic rigors of a seven-semester accelerated, hybrid model physical therapy curriculum. To be accepted into a Tufts DPT program, students must meet the following criteria.

  • Degree Requirements: Prospective students must have completed a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution. Tufts University School of Medicine DPT programs accept only degrees and courses from institutions accredited by agencies that are recognized by the U.S. Department of Education.

    Prerequisite Coursework: Applications will be accepted as long as courses are in progress. At the time of application submission, prospective students must have at least eight of the 12 required prerequisites completed in order to be considered for admission, as reflected by submitted transcripts. However, all 12 prerequisite courses must be completed with proof received by May 25 by way of an official transcript. Completion of the following prerequisite courses with a grade of C or higher is required. Credit awarded through AP exams may be used toward direct equivalent prerequisites if the AP credit was accepted by the prospective student’s undergraduate institution. All prerequisite courses will be assessed for fit on a case-by-case basis.

    • Applicants must have a minimum cumulative grade point average (GPA) and prerequisite course GPA of 3.00 or greater on a 4.00 scale.*
      • *For those applicants who may be considered as a disadvantaged applicant and identify as such on their application, the DPT admissions committee will consider the applicant’s self-reported background and how this may have resulted in a GPA below the minimum of 3.00.
    • Pass/fail courses are not accepted for required prerequisite courses. If applicants have repeated a prerequisite course, the applicable course with the most recent acceptable grade (C or better) will be used to calculate the applicant’s prerequisite GPA. Credit awarded through AP exams may be used toward direct equivalent prerequisites if the AP credit was accepted by the prospective student’s undergraduate institution.
    • Courses used to fulfill the Anatomy & Physiology I & II lecture and lab requirements must have been completed within 10 years of the admissions cycle year (e.g., If applying in 2022, then Anatomy & Physiology courses taken since January 2012 will be accepted). Courses used to fulfill the remaining 10 prerequisite courses do not have a specific expiration date and can be older than 10 years.
  • Prerequisite Courses Credit Hours Required Lab
    General Biology I 3 semester hours/4 quarter hours Yes
    General Biology II (may include an upper-level Biology course such as Genetics, Microbiology, or Neuroscience. One Biology requirement may be fulfilled by an Exercise Physiology course) 3 semester hours/4 quarter hours Yes
    General Chemistry I 4 semester hours/6 quarter hours Yes
    General Chemistry II 4 semester hours/6 quarter hours Yes
    General Physics I 4 semester hours/6 quarter hours Yes
    General Physics II 4 semester hours/6 quarter hours Yes
    Introductory Psychology 3 semester hours/4 quarter hours No
    Abnormal, Developmental, or Lifespan Psychology 3 semester hours/4 quarter hours No
    Human Anatomy and Physiology I (Vertebrate anatomy will also be accepted) 4 semester hours/6 quarter hours Yes
    Human Anatomy and Physiology II (Anatomy and Physiology sequence may be taken as a series of Human Anatomy and Human Physiology or as part of a 2-course A&P sequence) 4 semester hours/6 quarter hours Yes
    Statistics or Research Design 3 semester hours/4 quarter hours No
    English Composition or Writing 3 semester hours/4 quarter hours No

    Quarter System Courses: In MOST instances, completion of 3 quarters of Biology, Physics & Chemistry are required to fulfill the 2-semester requirement. These courses will be reviewed on an individual basis as institutions have different requirements and standards.

    Required Labs: Courses used to fulfill the Anatomy & Physiology I & II requirements must have a lab associated with them. For the remaining six courses with labs, at least four of these six must have labs associated with them.

    Please see the attached document for additional prerequisite details, including examples of specific courses to fulfill the requirements.

  • All applicants must take the general Graduate Record Examination (GRE) within five years of the admissions cycle year. No minimum required score has been established. For the GRE, the program considers Verbal Reasoning, Quantitative Reasoning, and Analytical Writing. Although not required, applicants are encouraged to have overall GRE scores above the 50th percentile. Scores will be used in conjunction with other data to consider applicants. The GRE is required even if an applicant holds a previous master's or doctorate degree. Test waivers for the GRE will not be available. Applicants must have Educational Testing Services (ETS) submit their official GRE scores using the Tufts Doctor of Physical Therapy PTCAS specific code 4891.

  • English proficiency must be demonstrated in one of the following three ways for non-native English speakers:

    1. Provide evidence of enrollment for two or more years (four or more semesters) in a degree-granting college or university located in the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Ireland, Australia or New Zealand.
    2. TOEFL: The Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) evaluates the ability of non-native speakers to understand and use English in an academic setting. Tufts University School of Medicine – like many other American universities, government agencies and businesses – requires candidates to submit their TOEFL scores. The TOEFL is REQUIRED if English is NOT the candidate's first language OR the candidate has a non-U.S. academic degree. Minimum TOEFL score required = 100 IBT. The USMLE will not be accepted.
    3. IELTS: The International English Language Testing System (IELTS) is a standardized test of English language proficiency for individuals who are not native English language speakers. The IELTS is an alternative option for applicants to demonstrate English language proficiency when applying to a DPT program. Minimum IELTS score required = 7.0.
  • Submission of two recommendations; one from a licensed physical therapist and one from someone of the applicant's choice. It is suggested, but not required, that the second recommendation be from a professor who had the student in classRecommendations cannot consist of family, friends, clergy, or politicians.

  • Completion of a minimum of 40 hours of observation, volunteer, or work experience with a licensed physical therapist is required. Evidence of hours must be uploaded electronically in the form of a document with a minimum of the applicant’s name and number of hours along with the supervising PT’s name, signature, and PT license number.

  • Applicants will be selected to complete and submit a short video-recorded interview based on a holistic review of the applicant’s application. Submission of all required application material does not guarantee an interview. Successful interview completion is required for admissions consideration but does not guarantee admissions to Tufts DPT program.

  • The Technical Standards of the Tufts University School of Medicine’s DPT program (non-academic prerequisites) define the essential functions that an applicant must be able to perform in order to be admitted to the DPT program, to progress satisfactorily, and to graduate.

    Essential functions refer to all non-academic criteria that are necessary to participate in the educational program. These include basic motor and communication skills, intellectual abilities, behavioral and social attributes, and other requirements. Listed below are considered minimum abilities required in the educational process of a physical therapist. Each person will be evaluated on an individual basis. Tufts University School of Medicine reaffirms its commitment to be flexible, innovative, and creative in trying to meet any special needs of students. The integrity of the curriculum must be maintained, and those elements deemed essential to the education of a physical therapist must be required and completed. In developing these criteria, the DPT program faculty affirm the following expectations of our admissions candidates:

    Observation: The candidate must be able to observe demonstrations and experiments in the basic sciences. A candidate must be able to observe a patient accurately. Observation necessitates the functional use of the sense of vision and somatic sensation. It is enhanced by the functional use of the sense of hearing and of smell.

    Communication: A candidate should be able to speak, to hear and to observe patients in order to elicit information, describe changes in mood, activity and posture, and perceive nonverbal communications. A candidate must be able to communicate effectively and sensitively with patients, families, peers, and faculty. Communication includes not only speech, but also reading and writing. The candidate must be able to communicate effectively and efficiently in oral and written form with all members of the health care team.

    Motor: Candidates should have sufficient motor function to elicit information from patients by palpation, auscultation, percussion, and other diagnostic maneuvers. A candidate should be able to execute motor activities reasonably required to provide general care, to perform diagnostic procedures and to provide emergency treatment to patients.

    Intellectual-Conceptual, Integrative, and Quantitative Abilities: These abilities include measurement, calculation, reasoning, analysis, and synthesis. Problem solving, a critical skill demanded of physical therapists, requires all of these intellectual abilities. Candidates and students must be able independently to access and interpret medical histories or files, identify significant findings from history, physical examination, and laboratory data, provide a reasoned explanation for likely physical therapy diagnoses, and recall and retain information in an efficient and timely manner. The ability to incorporate new information from peers, teachers, and the medical literature in formulating physical diagnoses and plans is essential. Good judgment in patient assessment, diagnostic and therapeutic planning is crucial; students must be able to identify and communicate their knowledge to others when appropriate.

    Behavioral and Social Attributes: A candidate must possess the mental and emotional health required for full utilization of his/her intellectual abilities, the exercise of good judgment, the prompt completion of all responsibilities associated to the physical therapy diagnosis and care of patients, and the development of mature, sensitive and effective relationships with patients. Candidates must be able to tolerate physically taxing workloads and to function effectively under stress. They must be able to learn the clinical problems of many patients. Compassion, integrity, concern for others, interpersonal skills, interest and motivation are all personal qualities that should be assessed during the admissions and education process.

  • Background Checks

    All students will undergo criminal background checks before matriculation into the program. Some clinics may require additional checks prior to attending clinical experiences. Applicants should be aware that a prior criminal background could restrict the ability to obtain professional state licensure. Acceptance into the DPT program does not imply or guarantee that a student will be able to obtain such licensure.

    Online learning technology requirements

    Students are required to have a laptop computer and a mobile device for testing, and have installed Tufts' two-factor authentication. The program uses computer-based testing for many of our courses, and exams are conducted using ExamSoft, which has specific laptop requirements. Students are responsible for the maintenance of their approved personal devices and all necessary software for the program.

    See Learning Remotely for additional information about optimizing your online learning experience.

    Disability Support Services

    If you have documented learning or physical disabilities and will need accommodations for your classes, you will need to submit the Request for Disability Support Services to the Associate Dean of Public Health and Professional Degree Programs.

    State Authorization

    The State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement is an agreement among member states, districts, and territories that establishes comparable national standards for interstate offering of post-secondary distance education courses and programs. SARA covers all interstate placements in clinical or practical situations among SARA member states, no matter the nature of the main program. However, some placements may also be subject to the rules of professional licensing boards, in which case the placement must also meet such requirements. SARA does not supersede professional requirements imposed by such boards. State authorizations can be quite complex depending on the student's home state. Students interested in Tufts University School of Medicine’s DPT program should check this site for updates, but also follow-up with local licensing agencies to determine any potential concerns within their home state. Currently, all states with the exception of California are part of the SARA initiative.

    Professional Licensure

    You are considering an academic program that leads to a professional license in your state, it is highly recommended that you first seek guidance from the appropriate licensing agency in your home state, before beginning the academic program located outside of your state. It is the student's responsibility to contact the appropriate licensing board in his/her home state to confirm whether our DPT program, at Tufts University School of Medicine, will meet the requirements for licensure in that state.

Tuition & Financial Aid

Tuition & Fees

Tuition rates and fees provided here are effective for students enrolling in the program in June 2023.* Tuition information for currently enrolled students is available from the Office of Financial Aid.

Tuition

$16,672 per semester (flat-rate)**

Fees

$334 per semester (Fall and Spring only)

**Tuition rates and fees are effective as of July 2022. Note that program cost is set each DPT academic year (June to May) and typically increases a small amount from year-to-year. The Trustees of Tufts University reserve the right to change tuition rates or fees at their discretion.

Completion requirement is seven semesters total.

Note: The Commonwealth of Massachusetts and Tufts University Health Sciences Schools require all matriculated students of higher education to participate in a health insurance plan. Students may enroll in the student insurance plan offered by Tufts University, or maintain private coverage as long as it meets or exceeds the minimum state requirements set forth by the Commonwealth.

Applying for Financial Aid

The DPT program primarily provides financial assistance in the form of federal loans. We strongly encourage you to submit a financial aid application as early in the application process as possible to allow adequate time for the Office of Financial Aid to process your application. You should use the FAFSA that corresponds with your academic year (e.g., June of 2023, you should use the 2022-2023 FAFSA (School code: E00520)). Do not wait until you have submitted your application or receive an admissions decision to apply for aid, as this will delay your personal financial aid information. View more information on applying for aid.

Click here for more information regarding the specific accreditation status of each Tufts DPT program.