Earn a Doctor of Physical Therapy in Only Six Years

For those called to a career in physical therapy, Samford University offers a fast-track program that provides eligible students the opportunity to earn both a Bachelor of Science in exercise science and a Doctor of Physical Therapy in just six years.

Incoming freshmen may apply for the fast-track program and must meet specific progression standards in order to remain in the program. Acceptance to the fast-track program as a freshman guarantees admission into Samford’s Doctor of Physical Therapy program as long as progression standards are met. 

The first three years of the program are dedicated to completion of all required undergraduate courses. Summer of the fourth year, students begin the Doctor of Physical Therapy program.  A Bachelor of Science in exercise science is awarded in December of the fourth year, and a Doctor of Physical Therapy at the end of the sixth year.

Admission into the fast-track program is highly competitive. Based on the application, a limited number of candidates will be interviewed for admission.  If selected, students are assigned a faculty mentor in the Kinesiology and Physical Therapy departments.

Why Samford?

  • Passionate faculty who will help you pursue excellence as you identify your calling  through a rigorous undergraduate and graduate curriculum
  • Medical missions opportunities that fulfill internship requirements
  • Research opportunities in which many students have won regional and national awards
  • Intensive clinical work at the graduate level with a program defined by three traits: teamwork, technology, and service
  • Remarkable interprofessional education opportunities, learning alongside students in the schools of nursing, pharmacy and public health in Samford's College of Health Sciences

Student Benefits While in the Program

  • Department of Physical Therapy will pay for six years of student membership to the APTA
  • Department of Physical Therapy will fund travel to National Student Conclave once during the first two years of the Doctor of Physical Therapy curriculum
  • Students may sit in on any Doctor of Physical Therapy class during their first three years and may actively participate in Doctor of Physical Therapy program activities

Fast-track Doctor of Physical Therapy Admission Requirements

  • Admission to Samford University with a declared major in exercise science
  • Minimum high school GPA of 3.8 (4.0 scale)
  • Minimum ACT score of 29
  • Completion of the Fast-track Doctor of Physical Therapy Application (Application will be sent from the Office of Admissions.)
  • On-campus interview

Progression Standards

During the undergraduate program, you must meet the following progression standards to remain in the program.

  • Complete all Bachelor of Science in exercise science requirements on time in the first three years
  • Achieve a B or higher in all major courses
  • Maintain a 3.5 GPA by summer three
  • Participate in Samford approved service or mission work by spring semester of third year
  • Must pay a nonrefundable fee of $1,000 to secure admission into the Doctor of Physical Therapy program by Jan 15 of the junior year.

Once you have begun the doctoral program, Doctor of Physical Therapy progression standards apply.

Accreditation

The Doctor of Physical Therapy program at Samford University is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE), 1111 North Fairfax Street, Alexandria, Virginia 22314; telephone: 703-706-3245; email: accreditation@apta.org; website: http://www.capteonline.org. If needing to contact the program/institution directly, please call 205-726-4435 or email mford2@samford.edu.

Plan of Study