University of North Dakota Department of Physical Therapy
Department of Physical Therapy School of Medicine and Health Sciences Grand Forks ND 58202-9037 United States
Phone+1 701.777.2831
CAPTE Accredited
Program Description

The University of North Dakota (UND) Physical Therapy Department 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 Physical Therapy Department moved into a new School of Medicine and Health Sciences building in 2016. The building has space for individual study, small group collaboration, and interprofessional learning communities. Students have after-hours access to the building, cadaver anatomy lab, and physical therapy skills lab using electronic door access key cards.

Founded by the Dakota Territorial Assembly in 1883, six years before statehood, 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 one of only 47 public universities in the nation with both accredited graduate schools of law and medicine. 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 15,000 students in over 225 fields of study from baccalaureate through doctoral and professional degrees. While 34% come from North Dakota; the rest represent all other states, eight Canadian provinces, and more than 60 countries.

The physical therapy program at UND was established in 1967, and was first accredited by the American Physical Therapy Association in 1970. The Department of Physical Therapy offers a six year curriculum leading to the Doctor of Physical Therapy (D.P.T.) 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, 1111 North Fairfax St., Alexandria, VA 22314.

The Physical Therapy Department has eleven full-time faculty, two part-time faculty and three 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, electrical stimulation, functional outcomes, pediatric intervention, 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. Prospective students are expected to complete at least 60 hours of observation prior to admission, 40 of which must be with a physical therapist. Interviews are granted on a competitive basis.

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 following completion of the pre-physical therapy entrance requirements. Students spend 37 weeks in clinical experiences. The experiences begin in the first professional year with a one week clinical experience. Subsequent clinical experiences are divided into 9 week blocks of time. Two of those blocks are completed during the first semester of year 02, and the remaining two blocks are completed during the last semester of year 03. 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 2020. 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. Traditional acceptance interviews will occur in early March 2021. Individuals with fully complete applications, verified transcripts and higher prerequisite science GPA's receive a scheduling preference for traditional interviews.
Is a Deposit Required for Accepted Applicants?
Total cumulative deposit
Additional Information about Deposit
The deposit is non-refundable and applied toward the students first semester tuition once the student begins courses in the professional physical therapy program.
Deposit Refundable?
Due Date of First Required Deposit
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 IN-STATE applicants accepted
% of WICHE (Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education) applicants accepted
% of OUT-OF-STATE (non-resident) U.S. applicants accepted
% Male
% Female 
% Hispanic 
% Asian
% 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.
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