Technical Standards for Admission to and Progression in the Program | Doctor of Physical Therapy

Successful participation in the entry-level Doctor of Physical Therapy program requires that a candidate possess the ability to meet the requirements of the program. Though the program may modify certain course requirements in order to provide a handicapped* person with an equivalent opportunity to achieve results equal to those of a non-handicapped person, there are no substitutes for the following essential skills. The applicant must initially meet these requirements to gain admission to the program, and must also continues to meet them throughout participation in the program.

(*Handicapped as defined by the federal government pursuant to SS 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973.)

Physical Requirements

The applicant/candidate must be willing and capable of performing physical assessments (e.g., range of motion, manual muscle testing, visual observations) of patients and using various evaluative and therapeutic instruments and equipment. The applicant /candidate must also be able to perform physical therapy procedures (e.g., transferring, treatment techniques, activities of daily living). In addition, applicants/candidates must successfully complete and maintain certification in first aid and cardiopulmonary resuscitation.


An applicant/candidate must be able to elicit information, describe changes in health, mood, and activity, and perceive non-verbal communication. An applicant/candidate must be able to communicate effectively and sensitively with patients. The applicant/candidate must also be able to communicate effectively and efficiently with all members of the health care team.

Intellectual Abilities

Problem solving, a critical skill of physical therapists, requires abilities in measurement, calculation, reasoning, and analysis.

Behavioral and Social Attributes

The applicant/candidate must be able to tolerate physically taxing workloads and to function effectively under stress, must be able to adapt to changing environments, to display flexibility and to learn to function in the face of uncertainties inherent in the evaluation and treatment of patients and must possess the qualities of integrity, concern for others, compassion, skills in interpersonal relationships and motivation for a career in health care.

The physical therapy program may require that an applicant/student undergo a physical examination. A handicapped applicant/candidate shall not, on the basis of his or her handicap (except those which would preclude the essential sills outlined above) be excluded from participation in, denied the benefits of, nor be subjected to discrimination in the physical therapy program.

Download the Safety and Technical Standards Form
Panoramic View of campus