University of North Dakota Department of Physical Therapy
School of Medicine and Health Sciences Department of Physical Therapy 1301 North Columbia Road Grand Forks ND 58203 United States
+1 701.777.2831 +1 701.777.4199
1967 500 to 3000

"This page is intended for college transfer students and graduates ONLY. High school students MUST contact the institution directly for information about the guaranteed freshman-entry program. Do not apply using PTCAS."

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Program Description

The University of North Dakota (UND) Department of Physical Therapy (PT) is located in the School of Medicine & Health Sciences (SMHS) and offers the Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) degree. The SMHS houses the Medical School, Basic Sciences and other Health Science Programs including Athletic Training, Cytotechnology, Medical Laboratory Science, Occupational Therapy, and the Physician Assistant Program. The PT department moved into a new SMHS building in 2016. The building has space for individual study, small group collaboration, and inter-professional learning communities. Students have after-hours access to the building, cadaver anatomy lab, and physical therapy skills lab using key cards for electronic door access.

Founded by the Dakota Territorial Assembly in 1883, UND was intended to be, and has remained, a university with a strong liberal arts foundation surrounded by a variety of professional and specialized programs. UND is the only college in the state with both an accredited law and medical school. It is admired for its spacious, beautiful campus and extensive resources. The University has earned an international reputation for its academic and research programs. UND enrolls approximately 14,000 students in over 250 fields of study from baccalaureate through doctoral and professional degrees. While 39% come from North Dakota; the remaining students represent all other states and 97 countries.

The physical therapy program at UND was established in 1967, and was first accredited by the American Physical Therapy Association in 1970. The PT department offers either a six year curriculum (3 years pre-professional and 3 years professional DPT) leading to the Doctor of Physical Therapy (D.P.T.) degree OR a three year professional D.P.T. curriculum for applicants holding a bachelor's degree. The Physical Therapy program at UND is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE) of the American Physical Therapy Association, 3030 Potomac Ave, Suite 100, Alexandria, VA 22305.

The Physical Therapy Department has eleven full-time faculty, two part-time faculty and two staff members. All of the faculty members are licensed physical therapists with advanced graduate training. Along with their teaching responsibilities, faculty members are involved in a combination of clinical practice, service and research activities. The faculty research activities include community programming for prevention and wellness, biomechanical motion analysis, electromyography, balance testing and training, muscle strengthening, functional outcomes, pediatric intervention, clinical education, and effectiveness of physical therapy interventions. As part of the curriculum, students are provided the opportunity to collaborate with faculty performing research. 

Acceptance into the program is on a competitive basis, with the major determinant being the basic science grade point average. The Physical Therapy program accepts 52 students per year. Although it varies from year to year, we generally receive 200 to 250 eligible candidate applications. Final acceptance into the professional physical therapy program is also dependent on cumulative GPA, GRE scores, reference letters, a personal interview, and other personal qualifications. Prior to COVID, prospective students were typically expected to complete at least 60 hours of observation prior to admission, 40 of which must be with a physical therapist. The COVID pandemic has limited opportunities for observation hours; therefore, candidates with less than 60 hours are encouraged to apply.  Interviews are granted on a competitive basis.  

Applicants with a bachelor's degree are eligible and encouraged to apply.  However, the physical therapy program does not require a bachelor's degree for admission. We do require at least 90 credits of college coursework, and 20 of those credits must be taken within a specific discipline or area of concentration. At least 8 of the 20 credits in the area of concentration must be from upper level courses (i.e. 300 and/or 400 numbers). All students entering the professional program enter the School of Graduate Studies at the beginning of the first professional year.

The professional education component of the D.P.T. requires three academic years and two summer sessions. Students spend 37 weeks in clinical experiences. The experiences begin in the first professional year with a one week clinical experience. Subsequent full time clinical experiences occur in the final year of the program. All students will be expected to complete clinical experiences in the areas of outpatient orthopedics, inpatient (e.g. acute care, LTC, TCU, rural acute) and neuro-rehabilitation as well as some time in clinical areas of special interest to the student. At present, we have contracts with over 200 clinical sites, the majority of which lie outside the greater Grand Forks area.

Program offers a guaranteed freshman admission pathway?
Dual Degrees
Will the professional (entry-level) PT program offer a satellite or branch campus to applicants during the upcoming admissions cycle?
Admission Interviews
Program conducts interviews as part of the admissions process?
Additional information about interviews

Early acceptance interviews will occur in September of 2022. Requirements include a complete application, prerequisite science GPA of 3.7 or higher, ND resident or all coursework from UND, and completion of all prerequisite coursework. Acceptance through Fall and Spring interviews will occur in both November 2022 and March 2023. Individuals with fully completed applications, verified transcripts and higher prerequisite science GPAs will be offered an interview for fall/spring interview dates.

Is a Deposit Required for Accepted Applicants?
Total cumulative deposit
Additional Information about Deposit
The deposit is non-refundable and applied toward the student's first semester tuition once the student begins courses in the professional physical therapy program.
Deposit Refundable?
Deposits collected on a rolling basis after offer of admission made?
Additional information about rolling deposits
Initial deposit is due by January 15 or upon acknowledgement of acceptance into the program.  
Total Cost of Education for In-State Students
Total Cost of Education for out of State Students
Incoming Class Profile
Anticipated Size of the Next Entering Class
Size of Most Recent Entering Class
% of students from IN-STATE
% of WICHE (Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education) students
% of students from OUT-OF-STATE
% of CANADIAN students
% of INTERNATIONAL (non-U.S/non-Canadian) students
% Male
% Female 
% Hispanic 
% American Indian/Alaskan Native
% Asian
% African-American/Black (Non-Hispanic)
% Hawaiian/Pacific Islander
% White (Not of Hispanic Origin) 
% Two or More Races 
Additional information about the class profile
Application to the program is open to both residents and non-residents of North Dakota.  As a state-funded institution, North Dakota residents are provided some preference during admissions.  

We accept applications from International students providing their pre-physical therapy coursework was completed at an accredited university and the transcripts were evaluated and accepted by the University of North Dakota.

The University of North Dakota Department of Physical Therapy is an associate member of the Western Interstate Commission on Higher Education (WICHE). As such, UND-PT is a recipient institution for WICHE-certified students from the states of Hawaii, Nevada, Wyoming and Alaska. Only WICHE-certified students are eligible for admissions through the WICHE process. The states that currently support physical therapy WICHE students are Wyoming, Nevada and Hawaii. Alaska students are offered loan support from Alaska. Interested WICHE applicants must be certified by their respective state. Applicants need to contact their respective WICHE certifying officer for details of the certification process. Non-WICHE-certified students may apply; however, they would apply as non-residents.
Minority-Serving Institution (MSI) Status
Program housed at a Minority-Serving Institution No
Employees500 to 3000