DPT Direct Entry

DPT Direct Entry

Trine University offers first-year students a remarkable opportunity to gain “direct entry” to a doctoral degree in physical therapy after completing an approved* undergraduate plan of study in three years or the traditional four years path.

Select first-year students who have achieved superior academic performance in high school and have been officially admitted to an undergraduate major may apply for direct entry to Trine University’s Doctor of Physical Therapy program. Students must select a major in either biology or exercise science.

Direct entry can be achieved through selecting a 3+3 path, three years of accelerated undergraduate work followed by the three-year doctoral program, or the more traditional 4+3 path, four years of undergraduate work plus three years of the doctoral program in physical therapy.**

Direct Entry Admission Process

  1. Candidates must first apply and be admitted to an approved Trine University undergraduate program, which meets the requirements of the DPT Direct Entry program.
    • High school transcript showing minimum 3.50 GPA (4.0 scale)
    • A minimum ACT Composite of 25 or (old) SAT (R+M) 1150
    • Top 25 percent of high school graduating class
    • Select biology or exercise science as a major
  2. Once accepted to Trine University, a candidate will complete the below Application for Direct Entry into the DPT program (deadline: May 1)
    • Candidates will be contacted for an Interview with a Trine University doctoral program admission representative
  3. Submit the Technical Standards form.
  4. Once admitted to Direct Entry, a formal letter of admission from the Director of the Doctoral Program in Physical Therapy will be sent to the applicant. This will include a Letter of Intent, which must be signed, dated, and returned to the Trine University Doctor of Physical Therapy Program by June 1. If the letter is not returned by June 1, the next person on the waitlist will be admitted to Direct Entry.


Additional eligibility requirements will apply throughout your undergraduate experience; consult your advisor for details. Following successful completion of an approved* undergraduate plan of study and all DPT program admission requirements, direct entry candidates will confirm their guaranteed position in the DPT degree program.

* A plan of study that enables students to complete their undergraduate degree in 4 years or less while also meeting all DPT program admission requirements must be approved by the undergraduate program chair, and the DPT program director.

** Students in the Direct Admit degree program will not be eligible to receive any institutional scholarships during the years when they are considered a graduate student. (For 3+3 students, this is years four, five, and six. For 4+3 students, this is years five, six and seven.) Students are encouraged to investigate alternative funding opportunities to complete graduate school during these last years.


Application for Direct Entry: Doctor of Physical Therapy Program

The application process requires a brief essay (3100 character limit which is approximately 500 words) describing the extra-curricular and work activities in which you have been involved and personally contributed. Indicate how you believe these experiences have prepared you for a career in physical therapy.