Frequently Asked Questions

1. What type of university is Marshall University and how large is the university?
Marshall University a state-supported, interactive university that is considered a mid-size school. The university has approximately 14,000 students with 72% undergraduate and 28% graduate students enrolled in 68 baccalaureate programs and 52 graduate programs. Of the 14,000, approximately 4000 are graduate students, including those enrolled in the health sciences (medicine, nursing, communication disorders, dietetics, exercise science, health informatics, sports management and marketing and, soon to be, physical therapy). Marshall University is a member of the National Collegiate Athletic Association at the Division I-A level. (Marshall University Fast Facts)
The university’s health sciences programs are intimately involved with three local medical centers, St. Mary’s Medical Center, Cabell Huntington Hospital, and the Huntington Veterans Affairs Medical Center. In addition there are a large number of additional rehabilitation centers, outpatient private practices, long-term health facilities in the local and tri-state area with which the physical therapy program will be affiliated to provide short- and long-term clinical experiences for program students.

2. How do I apply to the Marshall DPT program?
The School of Physical Therapy at Marshall University participates in the Physical Therapist Centralized Application Service, known as PTCAS.  Applicants applying to the entry-level physical therapist education program will apply online using the PTCAS application. To learn more about the PTCAS application process for our DPT program, please visit the PTCAS website.

3. When is the application deadline?
Our PTCAS application deadline is mid-October every year. Please visit the PTCAS website for the related information.

4. Do I need to complete all my prerequisites before I apply?
No. For PTCAS general application, applicants will be allowed to have one or two courses in progress at the time of interview (early January); however, outstanding course(s) must be completed with the appropriate minimal grade, prior to commencing the DPT program in May of the year for which students are applying.  The equivalent prerequisite course list of selected colleges/universities in nearby states can be found at our website.

5. Can I take prerequisite courses at a community college?
Though most students try to obtain their prerequisites while completing their bachelor’s degree, you can complete them outside your bachelor’s degree at whatever higher learning institution you which to attend, including a community college. Remember that the science courses must be for science majors, and the institution must be accredited by a regional accredit or of institutions of higher learning. Although taking prerequisite courses from regionally accredited community colleges is acceptable, our program recommends our applicants to take the majority of science prerequisites at regionally accredited 4-yr universities/colleges, which can/will prepare our applicants better for future DPT study.

6. Is there a particular undergraduate degree that is required or is more recommended?
No. Though most applicants have undergraduate degrees in biology, health sciences, or some other related biological science, you can have an undergraduate degree in anything you would like. However, you must complete all prerequisite, including coursework, as stipulated in the Prerequisites section on this website.

7. How many students will be accepted into the program?
We expect to admit approximately 40 students each year. According to our accrediting body, CAPTE, the average class size among DPT programs in 2011 was 43 students. Physical therapy programs report an average of 357 applicants with 235 of those applicants meeting the program qualifications for admission, therefore, only about 18% of the qualified applicants are accepted and enrolled into the average program, consequently, we expect that admissions will be rather competitive. The latest acceptance data, including average GPAs and GRE, can be found on our website.

8. How long is the program and what is the curricular model on which the program is based?
The program is a 3-year, (9-semester) program with students entering the program in May each year and graduating in May, 3 years later. It is lock-step, modified case-based model, designed in a “builds on, leads to” manner, starting with educating students in the basic foundational sciences that inform the content of the field. It will be delivered in a full time, in-house format utilizing lecture, labs, small group discussion, case seminars, and clinical visits and internships. Evidence based practice is emphasized throughout the curriculum.
The curriculum is based upon mission of the university, college, and physical therapy program as well APTA documents such as the Normative Model of Professional Physical Therapy Education and Guide to Physical Therapist Practice, and is designed to prepare physical therapist professionals who are competent generalist practitioners.

9. May I attend the program part-time?
No. The program is a full-time program and there is no provision for part-time students.

10. What types of clinical education and training opportunities will I have as I proceed through the program?
Clinical education exposure/experiences are integrated into the first two years of the curriculum though case-based courses and seminars, and through clinic visits to local physical therapy facilities spread within the didactic course work, with the first full time clinical rotation/internship (8 weeks) occurring early in the second year of the program. These rotations continue in the 3rd year with two full-time clinical internships, for 27 weeks in the last two semesters of the program, totaling 35 weeks of long-term clinical rotations/internship in the entire DPT program. This series of clinical experiences assures that the graduate has the opportunity to develop skills in a variety of practice settings, working within a team approach to patient management, under the direct supervision of a clinical instructor who is a licensed physical therapist.

11. Can I work while I am in PT school?
Since this program is a full time program with a heavy course load which requires a significant number of out-of-class study hours, we do not recommend that students work while in the DPT program.

12. What is the cost for tuition and fees?
Please visit our Tuition website for the cost of study. (Note: There is no metro tuition rate offered for DPT students who reside within the tri-state area.)  There will be additional costs for conducting a background checks (approximately $120), APTA student membership due (approximately $80)  and of course, the costs of books (approximately $3,500-3,800 when buying all new). Students will be eligible to apply for financial aid.

13. What student services are available at Marshall?
A full range of services are outlined on the Marshall University website for current students, as well as future students. The Graduate College lists services available to current and future students such as: career services, childcare, counseling, disability resources, financial aid, health, Office of public housing, and test information.
In addition, there are unique services available such as:

a. The H.E.L.P. Center which provides educational support, remediation, and mentoring to individuals with a specific Learning Disability and/or Attention Deficient Disorder/Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder;
b. the Hearing Center which provides assistance to any Marshall Student or members of their immediate family who wants help with speech and hearing problems;
c. the Lesbian Gay Bisexual Outreach Center which works to create, sustain and strengthen an open, safe, and inclusive campus community for students, faculty, and staff of all sexual orientations and gender identities;
d. the Division of Multicultural Affairs which serves as a leader and advocate for awareness, acceptance and inclusion of all people;
e. Student Legal Aid– a neutral complaint handler who attempts to assure that all students are treated fairly and equitably within all areas of the university;
f. the Women’s Center that serves to foster the personal growth and development of women as independent, confident, and healthy individuals;
g. the Writing Center which is a free tutoring service to help students improve their writing at all levels of the writing process and in any discipline.

14. Are there any other requirements to practice PT after graduation?
A passing score on the physical therapy board examination administered by the Federation of State Boards of Physical Therapy (FSBPT) and attainment of licensure in the state in which you wish to practice are required to practice after graduation. Graduates of accredited physical therapy programs are eligible to take this licensure examination, and after passing the exam, can apply for licensure in the state of their choice (graduates must contact a specific state’s Board of Licensure for Physical therapy to obtain information on state’s eligibility requirements).


The Doctor of Physical Therapy Program at Marshall University is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE), 3030 Potomac Ave., Suite 100, Alexandria, VA 22305-3085; phone: 703-706-3245; email:; website:

CAPTE Accreditation Verification

Marshall University’s School of Physical Therapy is a proud member of the American Council of Academic Physical Therapy (ACAPT).
American Council of Academic Physical Therapy

Program Reciprocity Status

Students who graduate from the Marshall University SOPT and pass the National Physical Therapy Examination are eligible for Physical Therapy Licensure in all 50 states.