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Doctorate in Physical Therapy: FAQs

class 2014

  1. How can I get more information about the program? Is individual advisement available?
  2. What is the deadline for applying to the program? 
  3. How many students does the program accept each year?
  4. What is the average size of a DPT class?
  5. Do I have to take the GREs to apply to the program? How are scores from multiple GRE exams evaluated? What are the average GRE scores of admitted students?
  6. What type of First Aid and CPR is required and when does it need to be taken?
  7. Does the admissions process include an interview?
  8. Do I need a bachelor's degree to be admitted to your program?
  9. What are the course prerequisites for admission to the PT program?
  10. Can I still be taking classes at the time that I submit my application?
  11. Does my Statistics requirement have to be met through the Mathematics Department?
  12. Will Advanced Placement courses I took in high school be accepted?
  13. Can prerequisites be taken at a community college?
  14. Do all undergraduate science courses taken meet the admissions requirements?
  15. If I am a returning student who completed my undergraduate degree more than ten years ago, will those courses satisfy the prerequisites?
  16. What is the GPA requirement for admission to your program?
  17. My current GPA is 2.5. Is there any course of action I could take to become a qualified candidate for your program?
  18. Do my grades from the fall semester factor into my application?
  19. Do my grades from graduate courses or a graduate degree factor into my overall GPA?
  20. If a student completes a bachelor's degree and later returns to school to complete prerequisites for physical therapy, does the GPA from the bachelor's degree count toward the overall GPA?
  21. If a student returns to school for prerequisites and earns a very strong science cum (greater than 3.5), but has a low overall GPA due to a poor grades during the undergraduate experience, will he/she still be considered for an interview?
  22. Do two semesters of Anatomy and Physiology at a community college count for either of the two Biology prerequisites or only the first one?
  23. Do Stony Brook undergraduates get preferential admission to the program?
  24. Where can I get information about financial aid?
  25. Do I get to choose where I complete my clinical experiences?
  26. Where are classes held?
  27. When are classes held?
  28. Will I be able to work while attending classes?
  29. Are any of the courses offered online?
  30. How much time do I have to complete my degree?
  31. Do I need a computer for this program?
  32. What degree will I receive at graduation?
  33. What is the graduation rate?
  34. What is the employment rate of graduates? Do you have an employment placement service for graduates of the program?
  35. How do SBU PT students perform on the National Licensing Board Exam?
  36. What are the procedures for admission specific to international students?

Question #1: How can I get more information about the program? Is individual advisement available?
Answer: We encourage you to attend an onsite information session where you can learn about our program. These sessions also provide the opportunity for you to review your transcript(s) and receive individual advisement with a faculty member of the DPT Program. Specific dates, times, and directions for information sessions can be found at http://healthtechnology.stonybrookmedicine.edu/programs/pt/eldpt/infosessions  Additionally, individual phone advisement can be arranged by contacting Maryann Phelps at maryann.phelps@stonybrook.edu to schedule a phone appointment for advisement.
Question #2: What is the deadline for applying to the program? 
Answer: Applications can be started on PTCAS (www.ptcas.org) by July 5 of each calendar year. It is recommended that prospective students complete their application as soon as possible after the PTCAS portal opens in July as admission to the DPT program is via a rolling admissions process. The application deadline is November 1st for admission to the program the following June, but be advised that processing by PTCAS can take up to 4-5 weeks once all required material is submitted during the busy application period.


Question #3: How many students does the program accept each year?
Answer: The number of applications received has been steadily increasing. During the past admission cycle, over 900 applications were received. Of those applying, more than 200 students were interviewed and subequently offered admission to fill the 35 seats available at the Southampton campus and the 50 seats available at the Stony Brook campus.
Question #4: What is the average size of a DPT class?
Answer: In total, the PT Program will enroll 85 students across our two campuses; 35 students will attend Stony Brook's Physical Therapy Program at the Southampton campus and 50 students will attend in the Health Sciences Center at the Stony Brook campus.
Question #5: Do I have to take the GREs to apply to the program? How are scores from multiple GREs exams evaluated? What are the average GRE scores of admitted students?
Answer: Yes, GREs are a required and important component of the admissions process. GRE scores are submitted directly to PTCAS (see PTCAS for instructions), not to the PT Program. If a student takes the GREs more than once, the best verbal, quantitative and analytical writing scores from the various test dates will be utilized. There is currently no minimum required score; the average scaled scores for recently admitted students was 151 for verbal reasoning, 152 for quantitative reasoning and 4.0 for analytical writing.
Question #6: What type of CPR is required and when does it need to be taken?
Answer: The PT program accepts certification for basic CPR for adults from any of the following organizations: American Red Cross (www.redcross.org), American Heart Association (www.heart.org), or American Safety and Health Institute (www.hsi.com/cprtraining). AED training is optional. Certifications must be current upon summer entry into the PT program and maintained through graduation. Online courses are accepted, but in-class coursework is recommended.
Question #7: Does the admissions process include an interview?
Answer: Yes, all applications are carefully reviewed by the Physical Therapy Admissions Committee and applicants with the most competitive academic preparation are invited for a personal interview. The applicant pool is quite competitive, and not all qualified applicants will receive an interview. Candidates are evaluated on a variety of factors including, but not limited to, academic achievement, references, demonstrated concern for others, and commitment to the profession.
Question #8: Do I need a bachelor's degree to be admitted to your program?
Answer: Yes, a bachelor's degree in any discipline is required. There is no preferred major.
Question #9: What are the course prerequisites for admission to the PT program?
Answer: Specific information regarding the course prerequisites are listed on our website: http://healthtechnology.stonybrookmedicine.edu/programs/pt/eldpt/prospec...
Question #10: Can I still be taking classes at the time that I submit my application?
Answer: Yes, applicants may take courses through the spring semester of the year they plan to begin the PT program, but may not be taking more than two of the prerequisite science courses during the spring. Additionally, these two science courses may not be in the same subject. 
Question #11: Does my Statistics requirement have to be met through the Mathematics Department?
Answer: No, the Statistics requirement can be fulfilled through a variety of departments such as Psychology, Biology, Business, or Mathematics.
Question #12: Will Advanced Placement courses I took in high school be accepted?
Answer: Yes, Advanced Placement (AP) courses with grades of 4 or 5 on the AP exam are accepted.
Question #13: Can prerequisites be taken at a community college?
Answer: Yes, prerequisites are evaluated equally, whether they are taken at a community college or a four-year institution.
Question #14: Do all undergraduate science courses taken meet the admissions requirements?
Answer: No, science courses must be designated as courses for science majors and have been completed within the past ten years to meet Stony Brook’s requirements. Prerequisites can be taken at any accredited 2 or 4-year college. A representation of courses accepted from colleges in the geographic vicinity of Stony Brook is listed on our website at http://healthtechnology.stonybrookmedicine.edu/programs/pt/eldpt/prospec...
Question #15: If I am a returning student who completed my undergraduate degree more than ten years ago, will those courses satisfy the prerequisites?
Answer: A current working knowledge of basic science is necessary to provide an acceptable foundation for the PT program. Science knowledge changes at such a rapid pace that courses completed more than ten years ago often will not adequately prepare the student for the physical therapy curriculum unless the individual has been immersed in the sciences in their profession. Therefore, preference is given to applicants who have completed all science prerequisites within the past ten years. However, the other prerequisites (Arts and Humanities, English Composition, etc.) are acceptable even if from an early educational experience.
Question #16: What is the GPA requirement for admission to your program?
Answer: The minimum undergraduate overall GPA and for science/math coursework is 3.0.
Question #17: My current GPA is 2.5. Is there any course of action I could take to become a qualified candidate for your program?
Answer: You could take additional courses to raise your GPA to our minimum of 3.0, but statistically this might be very difficult to achieve. Before embarking on this path, be sure to determine how many courses and what grades you would have to earn to achieve the minimum 3.0 GPAs. Depending on how many credits you already have, this may not be a feasible option.
Question #18: Do my grades from the fall semester factor into my application?
Answer: Yes, candidates have an opportunity to submit fall semester grades through an "Academic Update" on PTCAS. Once the "Academic Update" is completed, PTCAS forwards the revised application to all of the candidate's designated PT programs.
Question #19: Do my grades from graduate courses or a graduate degree factor into my overall GPA?
Answer: No, although you may utilize some of these courses to meet the prerequisites, credits from a graduate program cannot be factored in with the undergraduate GPA.
Question #20: If a student completes a bachelor's degree, and later returns to school to complete prerequisites for physical therapy does the GPA from the bachelor's degree count toward the overall GPA?
Answer: Yes, all transcripts leading to the bachelor's degree are counted in the overall GPA since the degree itself is a prerequisite. However, if the student has attended several schools and there is a transcript that contains grades that are not needed for the undergraduate degree or for the preqrequisites, it will not factor into to the overall GPA .
Question #21: If a student returns to school for prerequisites and earns a very strong science cum (greater than 3.5), but has a low overall GPA due to a poor grades during the undergraduate experience, will he/she still be considered for an interview?
Answer: This very much depends on the circumstances. This would be a decision made by the PT Admissions Committee, and it would be based on the overall strength of the application.
Question #22: Do two semesters of Anatomy and Physiology at a community college count for either of the two Biology prerequisites or only the first one?
Answer: Anatomy and Physiology I and II taken at a community college for 8 credits can fulfill the pre-requisite for one Bio OR for Physiology, but not both. Applicants must fulfill both the Bio prerequisite and the physiology prerequisite.
Question #23: Do Stony Brook undergraduates get preferential admission to the program?
Answer: While the rigor of undergraduate education at Stony Brook is well recognized, all applicants to the program are given equal consideration with respect to admission to the program.
Question #24: Where can I get information about financial aid?
Answer: Financial aid advisors in the Health Sciences Center Office of Student Services at 631-444-2111 are experts in this area and make every attempt to assist students seeking financial aid.
Question #25: Do I get to choose where I complete my clinical experiences?
Answer: Students list their top choices for each of the four clinical internships from available sites. Student choices are entered into a computerized matching system for assignment. Students complete four full-time clinical internships for a total of 36 weeks. Students are required to experience three different settings over the course of the four clinical internships. Each student is also expected to complete at least one inpatient experience and one outpatient experience. The remaining experiences may be geared toward the student’s interests in specific settings or patient populations. We do work hard to arrange clinicals outside the tri-state area upon request.
Question #26: Where are the classes held?
Answer: Stony Brook University Physical Therapy is one program with two locations. As such, resources are sometimes shared between the two campuses. For students that are matriculated to the Stony Brook campus, most classes are held on Level 2 or 3 of the Health Sciences Center (HSC) in Stony Brook, Long Island. The HSC is located on the east side of the Stony Brook campus in close proximity to Stony Brook University Hospital. For students that are matriculated to the Southampton Campus, most classes are held in the physical therapy classrooms/labs in the Library building, Chancellors Hall and the Fine Arts Building. Throughout the curriculum, students will be required to attend some classes at the sister campus, as well as participate in off-site experiences and hybrid coursework. Students from both campuses complete their first summer courses in the HSC at the Stony Brook campus. 
Question #27: When are the classes held?
Answer: Typically, classes can be scheduled Monday through Friday from 8 AM to 7:30 PM. The schedule varies each semester depending on the courses offered.
Question #28: Will I be able to work while attending classes?
Answer: Yes, most of our students work on a part-time basis. However, the intensive nature of the PT curriculum and the class and study hours encompass much of a student’s time. The clinical experiences (6, 8, 10, 12 weeks) require full-time commitment to patient care plus preparation time, making it difficult to work during these periods.
Question #29: Are any of the courses offered online?
Answer: The curriculum is considered an onsite educational model, allowing students to interact as they learn together in the classroom. There are currently no courses offered completely online.
Question #30: How much time do I have to complete my degree?
Answer: The program is designed to be completed in three years of full time study, including summers.
Question #31: Do I need a computer for this program?
Answer: Yes, a computer is necessary for students as Blackboard is utilized in most courses and email communication with students is common.
Question #32: What degree will I receive at graduation?
Answer: Upon successful completion of the program, students are granted a Doctorate of Physical Therapy (DPT) degree and are eligible to sit for the Physical Therapist Licensing Exam. State licensure is required to practice in all 50 states and other national or international jurisdictions.
Question #33: What is the graduation rate?
Answer: Please click on this link for the most update information regarding graduation rate: https://healthtechnology.stonybrookmedicine.edu/programs/pt.
Question #34: What is the employment rate of graduates? Do you have an employment placement service for graduates of the program?
Answer: Many Stony Brook students are offered employment from contacts made during their clinical internships.  The PT Department posts job opportunities at the request of our clinical sites and alumni on our Facebook page, Stony Brook Physical Therapy.  Please click on this link for the most update information regarding employment rate: https://healthtechnology.stonybrookmedicine.edu/programs/pt.
Question #35: How do SBU PT students perform on the National Licensing Board Exam?
Answer:  Please click on this link for the most update information regarding pass rate on the National Physical Therapy Exam (NPTE): https://healthtechnology.stonybrookmedicine.edu/programs/pt.
Question #36: What are the procedures for admission specific to international students?
Answer: In addition to all standard admissions requirements, foreign applicants are required to provide the following:
  • Official copy of foreign transcript(s) that have been evaluated by an accredited credentialing agency such as World Education Services (WES). A course by course evaluation must be requested (www.wes.org).
  • Official TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language)report is required if English is not your first language. A minimum score of 90 is required.
  • Photocopy of F1 Visa document.
Applicants who are not United States citizens or who do not hold permanent resident status should contact the Office of Student Services at (631) 444-2111 before applying.