Seton Hall University Health and Medical Sciences
frequently asked questions

Frequently Asked Questions

Answers to many common questions about the Doctor of Physical Therapy degree program can be found on the following webpages:

Answers to a select number of other frequently asked questions are below:

When does the admission process open?
The application cycle's specific dates change each year. Applications must be submitted through the Physical Therapist Centralized Application Service (PTCAS) at

How long is this Program of study?
This is a 34-month long, full-time program including summers.

Do you allow part-time status in the DPT program?
No, the DPT program requires full-time enrollment.

Are there Graduate Assistant positions available?
The number of graduate assistant positions varies each year. There is an application process once enrolled in the Program.

Can I work while enrolled in the program?
It can be challenging to work during the intensive, full-time, three-year program, but there are students who successfully hold part-time, flexible, outside employment. At no time will there be an excuse allowed for a student not to attend a class or special event because of work obligations even if the class time must change for a special experience. Most students have wisely chosen not to work during the first semesters as they adjust to the rigors of graduate school life as the workload is very intense.

How many students are admitted each year?
40 students are admitted each year. Since the program offers an early assurance option to incoming freshman, the number of available seats to applicants through PTCAS varies each year.

What are the minimal academic and testing standards that must be attained for admission to this Program?
An overall GPA of 3.2, a prerequisite GPA of 3.2 (on a 4 point scale with A=4.0), GRE analytic writing score of 3.0. While the program does not use strict GRE verbal and quantitative cutoff scores, most competitive applicants will have scores at or above the 50th percentile in each test area. Students who are admitted often meet standards well above the minimum. See Admission Requirements on the Seton Hall University DPT Program website for the most complete listing of all Admission requirements. The PTCAS website for the SHU Program lists acceptable courses in each category of prerequisite courses. Please read this helpful information.

Does my major area of study as an undergraduate matter?
In general, no. As long as the prerequisite courses (see above) are successfully completed, your undergraduate major does not matter. While most of our students major in a science, students from a wide variety of educational backgrounds have succeeded in the program and in a career as a physical therapist.

Will my major course requirements count toward prerequisite coursework at SHU?
Our prerequisite courses are chosen based on the needs for foundational information and skills before starting the program. They are not based on college major requirements.

Can I take classes at community colleges and will they count toward admission requirements?
Yes, courses taken at any accredited 2- or 4-year college will count. All official transcripts must be sent through the PTCAS system to be considered. Many community colleges offer 1 credit college lab science courses to complete a 4 credit science lab prerequisite in chemistry, physics or anatomy and physiology.

Can I apply with incomplete prerequisite classes?
Yes, as long as it is clear that those pre-requisite classes will be completed and passed with a grade of C by the end of the spring semester in the year you begin the program. Students who have completed all classes and have met or exceeded the published standards are given priority on admissions over students who have not completed all courses. Admission letters will specify which requirements are still outstanding.

While some courses may be in progress, the application itself must be completed by the deadline. Please encouraged those who are writing a letter of recommendation to complete their forms as we begin to review applications in November of the year before classes begin. Those with completed applications, even if all courses have not yet been taken, will be reviewed first.

What can I do if my prerequisite coursework is more than 10 years old?
To be considered for admission, prerequisite coursework must have been completed within the last 10 years. Older prerequisite coursework must be repeated.

Can I take classes or the GRE over?
Yes, the highest grade for any retaken course is counted toward the admission GPA. The GRE may be taken over and the highest score in any section counts for that section. 

Is preference given to residents of New Jersey?
No. Seton Hall is a private institution. State of residence is not considered as part of the admission process.

Can I apply if I don’t meet the minimum GPA?
You may certainly apply, but it can affect your consideration.

Do you maintain an admission wait list?
Yes. Applicants would be notified if they are put on the wait list, and then would be notified again by the admissions committee regarding final decision. Wait-list decisions may be made/communicated up until the time when classes begin in mid-July.

Do you interview?

Is it better to have a diverse volunteer experience in many settings or better to spend the entire time in one setting?
For admission needs, we require 25 hours of observation in total in a physical therapy clinic where physical therapists are working. That experience can be volunteer or paid. Those experiences must be verified by the PT you have observed. Many students will ask the supervising PT for a letter of recommendation, in that case the longer time you spend at the same clinic, the better and more detailed a letter can be written to attest to your qualities. You may wish to spend additional time at other clinics just to see how diverse the field of PT is. You may choose to document those hours as well. That is not required for admission but may allow you to make a wise decision about your intended career choice.

Do you require algebra or calculus-based Physics?
Either one meets our requirements. There must be two, 4-credit with lab, college level Physics courses.

Does a lab class that counts for my major as fulfilling two classes fulfill the prerequisite requirement?
Only a lab class that counts as a two-credit lab class would fulfill that requirement. So if the lab class were listed as, for example, Physics I and II Lab for 2 credits, and you took the corresponding Physics I and II would that meet the 8 credits of Physics that are required.

Do Advanced Placement (AP) courses count toward the prerequisite classes?
We accept Advanced Placement courses in different subject categories so please read this section carefully if this applies to you.

If a student applies and has earned the appropriate Advanced Placement credits, as noted on the official college transcript, in one of these required pre-requisite courses: general psychology, English composition and/or communication, then the student does not need to substitute this specific course with another in the same category. We will accept the Advanced Placement credit on the college transcript for those courses.

If a student has Advanced Placement credit in one of the science prerequisite courses, they must complete two other 4 credit related courses that also have labs. As an example, if a student has earned AP credit for Chemistry I, that student may choose to select a 4 credit Chemistry II for the first Chemistry prerequisite course and a 4 credit Organic Chemistry course for the second. We would not accept a 3 credit, non-laboratory based course like Chemistry for Nutrition. The same strategy would apply for Advanced Placement granted in Physics or Anatomy and Physiology.

All students must show evidence of taking a 3 credit or higher college level statistics course; AP credit in statistics is not accepted. The prerequisite statistics course may be selected from several schools within the college. For example, Statistics classes are offered in Math, Business, Education, etc. If you have earned AP credit in Statistics in high school, you must take a 3 credit college level statistics class to meet the prerequisite requirement.

If there is any doubt that a course will meet the criteria, please send a copy of the course syllabus as well as a description from the college catalog where you took the course to [email protected]. Remedial courses in the subject do NOT count toward a prerequisite requirement.

Are online courses acceptable as prerequisites?
Yes, online courses and labs are acceptable for pre-requisites.

Which classes are considered social or behavioral science courses? Which ones are recommended?
Social and behavioral science classes teach us about the way people relate together and behave under varied circumstances. We require one course from this wide ranging area of study. Classes in psychology, human development, sociology, anthropology, family and culture, political science, economics, criminal justice, gender studies, etc., meet this requirement and prepare the student to work with a broad array of people. Courses that study how groups of people behave (women, athletes, teens for example) are included in social and behavioral sciences. Most universities categorize their social and behavioral science classes within the departments of psychology, sociology or human behavior.

What is the internship component of the curriculum like? Do I have to find my own internship or will one be assigned to me?
See the Curriculum section for more information about the DPT clinical internship. We have two full-time Directors of Clinical Education who place students in their internships.