DPT Direct Entry

Class models

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 is a highly selective programs and seats are limited to 30 students each year on a first come first serve basis.**

Direct Entry Admission Process

  1. Candidates must first complete an application 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 SAT (R+M) 1210
  • Select biology or exercise science as a major
  • Once accepted to Trine University, a candidate will complete the Application for Direct Entry into the DPT program and also agree to the Technical Standards (deadline: May 1)
    • Included in the application, the candidate must complete a brief essay describing how any extra-curricular activities or work related experiences may have prepared you for a career in physical therapy.
    • Candidates will be contacted for an Interview with a Trine University doctoral program admission representative
  • 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.

To maintain your eligibility in the Doctor of Physical Therapy Direct Entry Program during your undergraduate years, the following criteria must be met:

  • Maintain a 3.5 cumulative GPA in all undergraduate course work.
  • Maintain a 3.5 cumulative GPA in all undergraduate prerequisite course work.
    • Advanced Placement (AP) credits with a transcript-documented grade of 4 or 5 may be used to fulfill prerequisite requirements
  • Incoming undergraduate Freshman Direct Entry students will not be required to take the GRE, but are required to satisfy all other entry requirements prior to formal admission to the graduate professional program. The clinical observation verification form for Direct Entry students is available here.

* 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.