Physical therapists are integral members of the primary care team and are involved in the prevention of disability and promotion of positive health, and act as consultants in restorative care. Physical therapy practice today is based on a well-developed body of scientific and clinical knowledge. Physical therapists apply knowledge from the basic, behavioral, and social sciences.

Doctor of Physical Therapy Program Mission

The mission of Pacific's physical therapy program is to prepare lifelong learners who are skilled, reflective, autonomous practitioners. The program is committed to furthering the body of knowledge of physical therapy and providing leadership within the profession advocating for optimal health, wellness and performance for all members of society. We accomplish this through a concise program of study emphasizing evidence-based reasoning and creative skills grounded in the basic and clinical sciences. Our academic program is enhanced by a wide variety of innovative clinical experiences and involvement in professional societies.

Students in Pacific's Doctor of Physical Therapy program learn skills & techniques necessary for:

  • Examining and evaluating patients with health-related conditions, impairments, functional limitations, and disabilities in order to determine a diagnosis toward which the physical therapy intervention will be directed
  • Alleviating impairments and functional limitations by designing, implementing, and modifying therapeutic interventions
  • Preventing injury, impairments, functional limitations, and disability, including promoting and maintaining fitness, health, and quality of life in all age populations
  • Engaging in consultation, education, and research.

Physical therapists (PTs) are highly-educated, licensed health care professionals who can help patients reduce pain and improve or restore mobility — in many cases without expensive surgery and often reducing the need for long-term use of prescription medications and their side effects.

Physical therapists can teach patients how to prevent or manage their condition so that they will achieve long-term health benefits. PTs examine each individual and develop a plan, using treatment techniques to promote the ability to move, reduce pain, restore function, and prevent disability. In addition, PTs work with individuals to prevent the loss of mobility before it occurs by developing fitness- and wellness-oriented programs for healthier and more active lifestyles.

Physical therapists provide care for people in a variety of settings, including hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, home health agencies, schools, sports and fitness facilities, work settings, and nursing homes. State licensure is required in each state in which a physical therapist practices.

Although many physical therapists practice in hospitals, more than 80 percent practice in:

  • Outpatient clinics or offices
  • Inpatient rehabilitation facilities
  • Skilled nursing, extended care, or subacute facilities
  • Homes
  • Education or research centers
  • Schools
  • Hospices
  • Industrial, workplace, or other occupational environments
  • Fitness centers and sports training facilities

American Physical Therapy Association. Retrieved March 22, 2016 from http://www.apta.org/AboutPTs/.  

For more information, visit the American Physical Therapy Association and Move Forward.

See physical therapists in action on the YouTube video You Can Be Me -- A Career in Physical Therapy (APTA).

What is covered in PT education?

Why Pacific Physical Therapy?

  • Small class size (36) and faculty to student ratio 8:1.
  • Faculty and staff help students chart a course for success beginning with the application process, through graduation and licensure preparation.
  • Students have an active role in shaping their educational experience through student-run leadership and extra-curricular activities.
  • Applicant support
    • Two full-time staff available Monday-Friday to answer questions and concerns.
    • Monthly tours available.
    • Personal interviews: we want to get to know you , not just your academic rating. Our goal is to assemble a diverse class of student who will thrive in an environment where we integrate a solid scientific base with clinical sciences, professionalism, clinical skills, critical thinking, and compassion to foster the development of exceptional clinicians.
  • Annual Pacific PT Employer Showcase-exclusive event for Pacific DPT students to meet potential employers.

Fully accredited, accelerated 25-month program (year-round) including 30 weeks of full-time clinical education.

  • Preparing practice-ready physical therapists since 1985.
  • 24 dedicated faculty, 230 combined years of teaching experience, representing eight clinical specialties and sub-specialties.
  • Teaching is the top priority of our faculty through the translation of research for practical application.
  • Average of eight scholarly works produced annually by students with faculty mentorship.
  • Networking activities through Pacific Physical Therapy Alumni Association.
  • Four scholarships exclusively awarded to Pacific DPT students annually.

  • Students practice with modern clinical technology in state-of-the-art facilities.
  • Teaching techniques enhance learning and retention such as full-body, dissection-based anatomy with use of cadavers in subsequent courses.
  • Curriculum is integrated with APTA and legislative activities to promote comprehensive professional development.
  • Explore beyond the classroom in structured service-learning opportunities in Northern California, Latin America, and Africa.
  • Solidify theoretical learning through clinical practice beginning in first trimester.
  • Gain clinical confidence in on-campus pro bono physical therapy training clinic.
  • Complete the journey to professional competence through 30 weeks of full-time clinical experience in five different settings, with choices in over 350 sites nationwide.
  • Program-supported licensure preparation course in final trimester.

Program Quick Facts

Through the Pre-Physical Therapy Advantage Program students are provided with the opportunity to receive academic and pre-professional advising throughout their academic years as they prepare to apply for admission into the Doctor of Physical Therapy Program.

  • Students in the Pre-PT Advantage Program complete their undergraduate requirements at the same institution as their graduate-level physical therapy studies
  • Receive priority consideration to the Doctor of Physical Therapy program (with successful completion of an interview and all prerequisite requirements)

Pre-Physical Therapy Advantage Admission Requirements

Freshman

  • High School GPA of 3.5 (on a 4.0 scale)
  • ACT Composite Score of 25, or
  • SAT-1 combined score of 1100 with a minimum of 500 both verbal and math
  • Based on SAT scores prior to March 2016.

Sophomore

  • Cumulative College GPA of 3.2 (on a 4.0 scale)

More Information

For more information contact the Physical Therapy Department at physicaltherapy@pacific.edu.

General Prerequisites

  • Bachelor's degree with a major of student's choice.
  • Successful completion of the listed prerequisite courses.
  • Prerequisite courses must be completed with a grade of "C" or above
  • Courses are taken on a graded basis; pass/fail courses are not acceptable.
  • Biological science, chemistry and physics courses must all include significant laboratory experiences.
  • It is recommended that prerequisite courses in Biology, Exercise Physiology, Anatomy and Physiology be taken within 10 years of applying to the program.
  • At least 50 hour of experience in physical therapy practice settings which includes at least 25 hours in acute care, in-hospital setting (NOTE: sub-acute and any other non-acute care settings do not satisfy this requirement). The Department encourages you to visit the APTA website for the definition of acute care and descriptions of that setting: http://www.apta.org/PTCareers/Overview/.
  • GRE test scores must be less than 5 years old at the time of application. Please contact the Graduate School if you have questions.
  • A personal interview at the invitation of the selection committee is required.
  • All prerequisite courses/labs must be completed at an accredited institution. All courses must have defined objectives, a course description, an objective grading system with a letter grade and meet the content expectations of the prerequisite. With the exception of Medical Terminology, the program does not accept on-line courses as fulfillment of prerequisite coursework.  Contact PTAdmissions@pacific.edu for prior approval for an online Medical Terminology course only.
  • Pacific will NOT accept AP courses to fulfill pre-requisites.

Prerequisite Courses (Approved 12/02/14)

  • General Biology with lab and another course in Biological sciences (not botany) with or without lab: 6 semester credits/9 quarter hours minimum.
  • Human Anatomy with Lab: 4 semester units/5 quarter hours minimum.
  • Human Physiology with Lab: 4 semester units/5 quarter hours minimum.
  • General Chemistry with lab: 8 semester units/12 quarter hours minimum.
  • General Physics with lab: 8 semester units/12 quarter hours minimum.
  • Abnormal Psychology: 3 semester units/4 quarter hours minimum.
  • Statistics: 3 semester units/4 quarter hours minimum.
  • Exercise Physiology: 3 semester units/4 quarter hours minimum.
  • Medical Terminology: 1-3 semester units/ 2-4 quarter hours minimum.

Additional Information

Contact PT Admissions
Voice: 209.946.2886

Pacific's doctor of physical therapy (DPT) program prepares lifelong learners who are skilled, reflective, autonomous practitioners. The program is committed to educating individuals who will be leaders within the profession advocating for optimal health, wellness and performance for all members of society.

We accomplish this through a concise program of study emphasizing evidence-based reasoning and creative skills grounded in the basic and clinical sciences. Pacific faculty are teacher-scholars whose areas of expertise encompass all major practice areas and who are committed to your success. Our academic program is enhanced by a wide variety of innovative clinical experiences and active involvement in professional societies.

Successful completion of an accredited program qualifies the graduate to take the licensing examination. Admission to the program is highly competitive and limited to 36 openings each year.

Applicants to Pacific's DPT program are strongly encouraged to attend an information session. Experience the campus and learn more about our DPT program. You will also have the opportunity to ask questions about our program and admissions process. For more information, contact PTAdmissions@pacific.edu or 209.946.2886. 
 

Special Notes for the 2020-2021 Admissions Cycle(for Fall 2021 start date)

Requirement for Face to Face Courses

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Department of Physical Therapy formally has made exceptions for the 2020-2021 admissions cycle only. Face to face courses are still preferred. Yet, we recognize that face to face courses are hard/impossible to find while social distancing policies are in effect. We will accept prerequisite courses that migrated to remote instruction (i.e., science courses with online/hybrid labs), which are taken from a regionally accredited institution for a grade.

Required Clinical Observation Hours

Although we recognize that clinic operations have been altered by public health orders during the COVID-19 pandemic, we have not yet made a determination about the clinical hours requirement for this admissions cycle. You are still able to submit your application without the clinical observation hours completed, and it would be a condition of admission to follow the relevant policy regarding their completion. We will continue to monitor the situation and keep you informed of the requirements.

Admission Requirements

Please visit the PTCAS website for more information and to apply.

  • PTCAS ApplicationOpens July 1, 2020
  • $50 Application Fee
  • Three (3) Letters of Recommendation — Completed through PTCAS
  • GRE General Test — Sent to PTCAS; University of the Pacific, DPT Program, PTCAS GRE Code — 0211
  • Official transcripts should be sent directly to PTCAS. Official transcripts need only be sent to University of the Pacific if admitted.
  • International Applicants ONLY: TOEFL Exam or IELTS Exam

Important Note About Applying

the deadline is a verified application deadline, meaning that your application must be complete, submitted, and verified by PTCAS by Nov. 1 in order to be considered.

Please plan ahead! We recommend you submit your application no later than Oct. 15. After submitting your application, please make sure to respond promptly to any information requests by PTCAS as they process your application.

INTERESTED IN LEARNING MORE?
Attend an Event

Applicants to Pacific's doctor of physical therapy (DPT) program are strongly encouraged to attend an information session. Experience the campus and learn more about our DPT program. You will also have the opportunity to ask questions about our program and admissions process. For more information, contact PTAdmissions@pacific.edu or 209.946.2886. 

Student Outcome Data

3-Year Average for Graduating Cohort Years 2016, 2017, 2018

Ready to get started?

We're here to help you navigate this journey and start the process. We strive to educate leaders in advancing the lifelong wellness of our communities.

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See what students, alumni and faculty are up to, plus stay up to date on the latest Pacific physical therapy news.

Read about the service-learning experiences of our DPT students at the Beyond Pacific blog.

Have questions?

Contact David Gillette at dgillette@pacific.edu

Contact Us

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School of Health Sciences
209.946.2886

3601 Pacific Ave.
Stockton, CA 95211