Frequently Asked Questions

Below are a number of questions that prospective students and applicants tend to have. For any additional questions, feel free to reach out to our admissions team at PT.Admissions@cuanschutz.edu


Frequently Asked Questions
General Program InformationResidential Pathway - CU Anschutz Medical Campus - Aurora, COHybrid Pathway - UCCS: Inaugural Cohort anticipated to start Summer 2024 through the 2023-2024 PTCAS cycle
Is there a difference in the number of students in a class cohort?Yes, the size of each residential pathway cohort will be between 68-74 students.

Yes, the size of each hybrid pathway cohort will not exceed 40 students. 

What are the physical locations of each campus?The Residential campus is located at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus (CU Anschutz) in Aurora, CO with faculty and staff from the CU School of Medicine. The primary DPT classrooms and lab spaces are based at CU Anschutz.The Hybrid campus is located at the University of Colorado, Colorado Springs (UCCS) with faculty and staff from the UCCS Helen and Arthur E. Johnson Beth-El College of Nursing and Health Sciences and the CU School of Medicine. The primary DPT lab spaces are based at the UCCS William J. Hybl Sports Medicine and Performance Center (Hybl Center).
 When do classes begin?Classes begin at the beginning of June of each year.
How long does it take to complete a DPT?Students complete the 116 credit-hour residential DPT pathway at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus in 2.5 years.Students complete the 116 credit-hour hybrid DPT pathway at UCCS in 2.5 years.
Can I use campus resources?Yes. Students in the residential pathway have access to the facilities and amenities on the Anschutz Medical campus.Yes. Students in the DPT hybrid pathway will have access to UCCS on-site facilities, amenities, and additional resources at UCCS during immersion sessions and other program-related visits to the campus.
Is the DPT degree offered by both campuses the same degree?Yes, the earned degree is a DPT degree from the University of Colorado Physical Therapy Program.  
 
CU Anschutz and UCCS are academic partners within the CU System who provide a unified academic curriculum offered at a residential campus in Aurora, CO and a hybrid campus in Colorado Springs, CO.
Application/PTCASResidential Pathway - CU Anschutz Medical CampusHybrid Pathway - UCCS: Inaugural Cohort anticipated to start Summer 2024 through the 2023-2024 PTCAS cycle
Is the PTCAS application the same for both the traditional and hybrid pathways?
Yes, beginning with the 2023-2024 PTCAS cycle, there will be one application for both pathways. Applicants will be asked to answer whether they want to only be considered for one pathway, or whether they prefer one but would consider either , within the University of Colorado Program Specific Questions. Based on the applicant’s choice they would then be directed to a slightly different essay question.
Are there differences in accreditation for the traditional and hybrid pathways?
Yes, in 2021, the Physical Therapy Program at University of Colorado was accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE) for the residential pathway (hybrid pathway not developed at that time). The accreditation status remains in effect for the full 10-year period until 2031 at which time the program will complete a self-study report and on-site review for re-accreditation. Yes, the Program has submitted documents for provisional accreditation of the hybrid pathway. We anticipate a decision by the Commission on Accreditation (CAPTE) in Physical Therapy by fall of 2022.
What degree do I need to have in order to enroll in either pathway? 
The degree requirements are the same for either pathway. A bachelor’s degree or higher in any field except physical therapy is needed to enroll. It is permissible to apply before the bachelor’s degree is completed, but enrollment in the program will not be allowed until the bachelor’s degree is awarded.
How does an applicant know if the PT Program has received the completed and verified application from PTCAS?
  • It is the applicants’ responsibility to make sure that all documents have been received by PTCAS. Therefore, applicants should occasionally check the status of their application, by accessing the PTCAS student portal. It takes PTCAS about 4-6 weeks to verify an application.
  • Once the PT program has received a verified application from PTCAS, an email will be sent to an applicant stating that the application has been received and is under review.
  • Please note that incomplete applications will not be reviewed.  Applications that have not been verified through PTCAS by the verification deadline (usually early/mid November) will not be considered.
Are interviews a required part of the application process for either pathway?

Yes, currently interviews  are a required part of the application process for either pathway. A portion of qualified applicants are invited for mandatory interviews, which typically take place in January. Class of 2025 Interviews will be held January 2023 (exact dates and format TBD). Applicants will complete two, one-on-on 20-25-minute interviews with a faculty member and/or clinical partner.

Prior to the interview, the application is thoroughly reviewed by our Admissions Committee. The interviews themselves are blinded, so the interviewer will know nothing about the applicant other than first and last name.  This gives the interviewer the opportunity to evaluate factors such as communication skills, critical thinking, and thoughtful answers without bias from the application.

Is the PTCAS form required for references?
  • Yes, the PTCAS form must be completed by all references and submitted by the individual providing the reference through PTCAS.
  • We require two letters of recommendation.
  • Please review our reference requirements, and note that we do NOT accept letters from family, friends, or clergy.
What is required of international students as part of the admissions process?
  • Score of 80 on the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) internet-based test, for applicants for whom English is a second language, or a total score of 6.5 on the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) academic test.
  • Provide a World Education Services (WES)  transcript evaluation including the line-by-line course evaluation, cumulative GPA and the U.S. equivalent degree.
When is a World Evaluation Services (WES) Transcript evaluation required?International students or any U.S. citizen who has attended a university or received a degree at a college or university in another country must provide a WES transcript evaluation including the line-by-line course evaluation, cumulative GPA, and the U.S. equivalent degree (if applicable).
PrerequisitesResidential Pathway - CU Anschutz Medical CampusHybrid Pathway - UCCS: Inaugural Cohort anticipated to start Summer 2024 through the 2023-2024 PTCAS cycle
Are the prerequisites different?
No, prerequisites are the same for either pathway. See Course Prerequisite section of the website.
Is it possible to complete prerequisite courses at the campus?
No, the Anschutz Medical Campus offers only graduate level, health professional courses; however, the University of Colorado Denver Downtown campus offers the prerequisite courses if you are in the Denver area. We accept prerequisite courses from any institution that is regionally accredited.Yes. UCCS is one of many campuses that offer prerequisite courses. We only accept prerequisite courses from an institution that is regionally accredited.
Can prerequisite courses be taken at a community college?
Yes. Courses taken online or through a community college are acceptable, as long as the institution is regionally accredited.
If I retake a course is the highest grade considered?No, the highest grade is not considered in the GPA calculation. Some undergraduate institutions will exclude the first grade if a student has retaken a course and only calculate the higher, more recent grade. This is not the case for PTCAS, as they consider every grade for every course taken and therefore average your grades.

If you got a C in a course and an A when you retook it, it would effectively average into a B for your GPA calculations.
General AdmissionsResidential Pathway - CU Anschutz Medical CampusHybrid Pathway - UCCS: Inaugural Cohort anticipated to start Summer 2024 through the 2023-2024 PTCAS cycle
Do both programs use a holistic review?

Yes. In addition to academic metrics, the CU PT Program looks closely at an applicant’s experiences, personal attributes, and characteristics.  We are committed to selecting students who demonstrate dedication to their learning, commitment to the profession, involvement within their community through work or service, leadership potential, effective interpersonal skills and strong self-reflection.

Applicants are asked to indicate their preference for either in-person or virtual learning based on their experience, interest and success. 

Is there a rolling admission? No, all applicants are considered at the same time.
What is the minimum grade point average (GPA) for admission?

The minimum cumulative GPA is 3.0 (on a 4.0 scale). GPA is one of several important factors in admissions decisions and it is important to consider that the average cumulative GPA of admitted applicants is above 3.6. PTCAS combines all grades using transcripts from all institutions to calculate GPA’s . 

Applicants with a minimum GPA between 2.7 and 3.0 may still be considered for admission only when there is evidence of a significant positive trend in grades over time (evidenced by a last 60-credit GPA of greater than or equal to 3.5) AND strong grades in courses, such as anatomy, physiology, and upper-division sciences, biomechanics, exercise physiology, etc. 

We understand that a variety of factors may contribute to low academic performance in courses.  We certainly consider your GPA, but we will also consider the rigor of coursework, trend of grades and more. 

You can respond to the following question in the PTCAS application to provide context related to periods of lower academic performance: ‘Does my academic record accurately portray my capabilities?’

It may be useful to use a GPA calculator to calculate your cumulative GPA. It may also be useful to figure out how many courses you would need to take to boost your GPA.

Is the GRE required?No, the GRE is NOT required for admission.
Clinical EducationResidential Pathway - CU Anschutz Medical CampusHybrid Pathway - UCCS: Inaugural Cohort anticipated to start Summer 2024 through the 2023-2024 PTCAS cycle
Is clinical education the same in both the traditional and hybrid pathways?

Yes, both pathways will have the same number of weeks and general timing of clinical education experiences.  The Program affiliates with more than 500 clinical sites located throughout Colorado and across the United States.  

Student choice for clinical placements increases as they progress from year 1 to year 3.

The clinical education team ensures that Program requirements for clinical education are met through the placement process for each clinical education experience. 

Students in the hybrid pathway may have the opportunity to complete some of their full-time clinical experiences near the student’s area of residence.

Are there international sites available for clinical education experiences?No. Although the Program appreciates the value of international experiences, international clinical education sites may not have the same physical therapy and licensing standards as those in the United States and cannot always meet the Program’s specific objectives for each clinical education experience. Therefore, all clinical experiences must be completed in the United States. Students may have other options for international experiences as an elective, as an optional activity through campus organizations, or after completion of their DPT degree.
CurriculumResidential Pathway - CU Anschutz Medical CampusHybrid Pathway - UCCS: Inaugural Cohort anticipated to start Summer 2024 through the 2023-2024 PTCAS cycle
Is the amount of lab and didactic time the same in both educational pathways?
Yes, the amount of lab and didactic contact hours will be the same with the same content covered, however, the format for delivery of the content will vary by pathway.
What is the format for the residential and hybrid pathways?

Classes are held in-person or in a virtual classroom depending on the course objectives.

Classes are typically 8:00 am-5:00 pm Monday through Friday, with some days starting late and other days ending early. Class time averages ~30 hours a week. 
Lectures are typically 2 hours in length with 10 minutes to transition to the next class session. Labs are anywhere from 2-4 hours in length.

All students will also complete 34 weeks of full-time clinical education and 4 weeks of integrated clinical education during the program within a variety of clinical education settings.

There is no part-time option.

All classes will be held in a virtual classroom. Students will have weekly live class times when they will meet with faculty and their fellow classmates to review material. On their own, students will watch videos, review case studies and read course material.

All students will be required to attend approximately 2 on-campus lab immersions (5 to 10 days in duration) per semester throughout the course of the program.

All students will also complete 34 weeks of full-time clinical education and 4 weeks of integrated clinical education during the program within a variety of clinical education settings.

There is no part-time option.

Will I be working with a human cadaver (donor) in Anatomy classes?Yes, our students take a 6-credit Clinical Anatomy I course in the first summer semester and a 3-credit Clinical Anatomy II course in the second summer semester.
Is there an opportunity for interprofessional interaction? The CU Anschutz Medical Campus was designed to facilitate interprofessional interaction. The education buildings and lecture halls/other classrooms are utilized by students from all the health professions represented on campus, including but not limited to: physical therapy, physician assistant, dental medicine, medicine, nursing, pharmacy and public health.  
 
Examples of interprofessional interaction include two didactic interprofessional courses, Interprofessional Collaborative Practice and Interprofessional Health Equity and Ethics, which are designed to investigate ethical patient care scenarios, and to integrate principles quality improvement through team collaboration.  At our simulation center, students investigate ethical and quality/safety factors impacting patient care within an interprofessional student team.
The UCCS Helen and Arthur E. Johnson Beth-El College of Nursing and Health Sciences is committed to interprofessional education (IPE). With two unique buildings designed for collaboration and our Simulation Center, students enrolled in the hybrid pathway will get the opportunity to work and learn with student from several different disciplines to support the health and wellbeing of diverse populations. 
  
For example, the UCCS William J. Hybl Sports Medicine and Performance Center (Hybl Center) features an outpatient PT clinic and state-of-the-art gym along with lecture halls, classrooms, and laboratories utilized by students from all the health sciences represented on campus, including but not limited to: physical therapy, nursing, exercise science, athletic training, health promotion, medicine, and nutrition.  

In addition, the Lane Center for Academic Health Sciences (Lane Center) houses eight different clinics which support the Colorado Springs Community by providing primary care, mental health services, nutrition counseling, in addition to innovative health promotion, chronic disease management, and resiliency programming. In this setting students will be able to work alongside providers, researchers and students from: health promotion, nutrition, nursing, psychology, and social work.
Are the policies/procedures the same?
Yes. Policies and Procedures Related to the Rights, Responsibilities, Safety, Privacy, and Dignity of Program Students are consistent across the pathways.
Are there full-time and part-time options for either pathway? No. The only option is the full-time, 2.5 year program.
Do students have the opportunity to participate in research?
Yes. Students can participate in research. Interested students are encouraged to reach out to faculty to explore potential opportunities.
DACA StudentsResidential Pathway - CU Anschutz Medical CampusHybrid Pathway - UCCS: Inaugural Cohort anticipated to start Summer 2024 through the 2023-2024 PTCAS cycle
Are DACA students eligible to apply?
Yes.
If I do not have verification of lawful presence in the US, am I able to obtain a PT license?Yes. Physical Therapist licensure in Colorado may be obtained without verification of lawful presence.
Financial QuestionsResidential Pathway - CU Anschutz Medical CampusHybrid Pathway - UCCS: Inaugural Cohort anticipated to start Summer 2024 through the 2023-2024 PTCAS cycle
What are the tuition and fees?Visit the residential pathway Tuition and Fees Page.Est. $705 per credit hour (vs. standard resident UCCS rate of $840.50; to be confirmed Fall semester 2022).
Why does the hybrid campus tuition differ from the residential campus tuition?While CU Anschutz and UCCS are academic partners within the CU System who provide a unified academic curriculum, each campus has separate infrastructure costs, academic unit support, administrative systems, and state support that varies with each School/Department.
Can I apply for in-state residency and thus in-state tuition? Residency status is initially determined by the information students provide on the Initial Residency Verification Form once fully admitted into the program. 
 
If students are able to establish residency, then they would pay in-state tuition for the second year and third half-year of the Program.
Are there scholarship opportunities available?  Yes. The University of Colorado Physical Therapy Program provides a variety of scholarships to both prospective and current students to make physical therapy education more financially feasible. 
 
The efforts of the Physical Therapy Scholarship and Endowment Board and the generosity of our donors allow us to provide scholarships in a variety of areas including diversity, rural, merit, and dance performance. The Scholarship and Awards Committee oversees the scholarship application and award processes.
Yes. UCCS and the Department of Health Sciences provide a variety of scholarships to both prospective and current students to make physical therapy education more financially feasible.
Student LifeResidential Pathway - CU Anschutz Medical CampusHybrid Pathway - UCCS: Inaugural Cohort anticipated to start Summer 2024 through the 2023-2024 PTCAS cycle
What housing options are available?Students live in Aurora, closer to downtown Denver, and even as far as Boulder. 
 
There are no residency halls or university sponsored housing. However, there are several private apartment complexes directly north of the Strauss Health Sciences Library. 
 
There are many other new and renovated apartments and houses just beyond the Anschutz Medical Campus in all directions.  
 
The Office of Campus Student Services has housing resources available to current students. This includes a database through which students may look for open properties and roommate opportunities.  
 
A Facebook group is also established for each class. This is where many students find roommates, housing, etc. 
 
Student service fees include a Regional Transportation District Fee (RTD) pass for commuting. There are two light rail stations close to campus and shuttles that run between campus buildings and the light rail station. The RTD pass also includes the RTD bus system, multiple bus lines run directly to the Anschutz campus.  
 
Several faculty, students and staff bike into work as well, with plenty of bike racks available. 
 
Parking is available, with the most affordable lot costing $14/month.
Students in the hybrid pathway will be encouraged to reside in the community they hope to practice in upon graduation. 
 
Students will be expected to make their own lodging and travel arrangements for the scheduled instructional periods in Colorado Springs. This may include hotels, AirBNBs, etc. UCCS does receive some discounted rates at select hotels located near campus.
 
Instructional immersion experiences dates are scheduled well in advance and will be available on the program’s academic calendar.
Are students able to work? Due to the academic rigor of the Physical Therapy Program, it is strongly recommended that you secure enough financial aid to support yourself through school. This is particularly important during the first year. The time commitment for a full-time DPT program is approximately 40 to 60 hours per week. Therefore, the decision to hold a job while pursuing the DPT should be carefully considered. However, opportunities may exist for part-time work-study jobs or remote work positions (2-10 hours per week) that may complement your studies and not impede your academic obligations.
What is your COVID vaccination policy?The University of Colorado policies require full COVID vaccination for students, faculty and staff on all four CU campuses. This requirement would need to be met at least 4 weeks prior to Orientation, at the start of the PT Program. (Read more about the CU requirement, and find FAQs, here.) There are NO waivers of any kind for students with specific religious convictions or beliefs. Waivers due to a medical condition require approval at the campus level and must adhere to a strict review process.

Footnote 2 of the Requirement and Compliance policy states “Currently, the only absolute contraindications to COVID-19 vaccination are i) severe immediate allergic reaction to previous dose or to a component of the COVID-19 vaccine, ii) immediate reaction of any severity to a previous dose or known (diagnosed) allergy to a component of the COVID-19 vaccine.”

In the event a student receives a waiver for a medical exemption, it should be noted that the waiver could impact the availability of placement in certain clinical sites, engagement in educational activities within close proximity of others (common in DPT lab skills courses), and overall progression in the educational curriculum with the cohort.