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.

Application Information

ACT – 28 or greater
SAT – 1300 or greater
Late January - fast-track interviews
Late February – Fast-track applicants will be notified of final decisions.
Priority Deadline December 1st.

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 fund travel to the 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 28
  • Completion of the Fast-track Doctor of Physical Therapy Application (Application will be sent from the Office of Admissions.)
  • On-campus interview

Student Outcomes

Classes of 2022 and 2023

Graduation Rate: 97%
First-Time Exam Pass Rate: 83%
Ultimate Licensure Exam Pass Rate: 100%
Employment Rate: 100%

Progression Standards

During the undergraduate program, students must meet the following progression standards to remain in the program:

  • Must be a declared exercise science major and follow the precise plan of study.
  • Complete all exercise science requirements on time in the first three years at Samford University.
  • Achieve a B or higher in all courses with a KINE prefix.
  • Achieve a C or higher AND maintain a 3.0 average GPA on all prerequisite courses.
  • Achieve a cumulative 3.50 GPA, or higher, and complete all required convocation hours by the end of spring semester of third year
  • Participate in Samford-approved service or mission work by spring semester of third year.
  • Meet with an academic advisor once a semester.
  • Candidates must pay a nonrefundable fee of $1,000 to secure admission into the DPT program by January of the junior year

Once students have begun the doctoral program, DPT progressions standards apply.


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 pcollin3@samford.edu.

Plan of Study