Physical Therapy

PTA to DPT Bridge Program

COVID-19 Updates

Attention prospective PTA to DPT Bridge applicants

Any anomalies in your transcript because of the COVID-19 disruption will be reviewed by the admissions committee. You may contact Dr. Lynne Hughes, admissions chair, for advisement prior to application by emailing

Note: In order to comply with the new CAPTE criteria the Bridge PTA to DPT curriculum has recently been updated to increase clinical rotation hours from 20 to 30 weeks. This change extends the program from six semesters to seven semesters.


The hybrid-based PTA to DPT Bridge Program is designed for Physical Therapist Assistants who are able to work a maximum of 20 hours per week while enrolled in the program. Students must already have a Bachelor's degree and a current Physical Therapist Assistant license with two years of experience in addition to 44 semester hours of prerequisites required for admission before entering the program.

  • Bridge Program Curriculum

    Note: scroll left to view full table on mobile devices.

    Summer IPHYT 6184Bridge Clinically Applied Neuroanatomy / Lab1
    Summer IPHYT 6185Bridge History & Systems Review / Lab1
    Summer IPHYT 6250Bridge Development Through the Life Span / Lab2
    Summer IPHYT 6251Bridge Professional Issues2
    Summer IPHYT 6350Bridge Competencies in Physical Therapy / Lab3
    Summer IPHYT 6352Bridge Neuroscience3
    Total: 12
    Fall IPHYT 6252Bridge Evidenced-Based Practice2
    Fall IPHYT 6253Bridge Pharmacology2
    Fall IPHYT 6260Bridge Integument / Lab2
    Fall IPHYT 6206Bridge Human Anatomy / Lab2
    Fall IPHYT 6353Bridge Movement Science I / Lab3
    Fall IPHYT 6354Bridge Clinical Pathology3
    Total: 14
    Spring IPHYT 6254Bridge Medical Diagnostics2
    Spring IPHYT 6256Bridge Clinical Reasoning I2
    Spring IPHYT 6356Bridge Movement Science II / Lab3
    Spring IPHYT 6363Bridge Cardiovascular and Pulmonary PT / Lab3
    Spring IPHYT 6461Bridge Diagnosis and Management of Spine Dysfunction / Lab4
    Total: 14
    Summer IIPHYT 6257Bridge Diagnosis and Management of Musculoskeletal LE Dysfunction / Lab2
    Summer IIPHYT 6364Bridge Rehabilitation Technology / Lab3
    Summer IIPHYT 6365Bridge Neurotherapeutics I Acquired Brain Injury (ABI) / Lab3
    Summer IIPHYT 6483Bridge Clinical Education PT Experience I (7 Weeks)4
    Total: 12
    Fall IIPHYT 6261Bridge Differential Diagnosis2
    Fall IIPHYT 6266Bridge Clinical Reasoning II2
    Fall IIPHYT 6264Bridge Diagnosis and Management of Musculoskeletal Upper Extremity Dysfunction2
    Fall IIPHYT 6287Bridge Neurotherapeutics II Progressive Neurological Diseases2
    Fall IIPHYT 6484Bridge Clinical Education PT Experience II (8 weeks)4
    Total: 12
    Spring IIPHYT 6367Bridge Diagnosis and Management of Developmental Dysfunctions / Lab3
    Spring IIPHYT 6369Bridge Management of Medically Complex Patients3
    Spring IIPHYT 6389Bridge Neurotherapeutics III Spinal Cord Injury (SCI) / Lab3
    Spring IIPHYT 6485Bridge Clinical Education PT Experience III (7 weeks)4
    Total: 13
    Summer IIIPHYT 6258Bridge Health Care Systems2
    Summer IIIPHYT 6259Bridge Psychosocial Factors in Disability2
    Summer IIIPHYT 6291Bridge Evidence Based Practice Application2
    Summer IIIPHYT 6486Bridge Clinical Education PT Experience IV (8 weeks)4
    Total: 10

    Total Degree Plan Credits: 94 credits
    (Professional: 87 credit hours / Advanced Standing: 7 credit hours)


    • This program has 30 weeks of clinical rotations.
    • Advanced standing is granted based upon the pre-required minimum 2 years of licensed experience.

Admissions Requirements

Application Deadline: October 1

To be considered for admission to the PTA to DPT Bridge program, applicants must present official documentation of the following student competencies:

  • GPA - Grade Point Average
    • Overall Minimum: 3.0 on a 4.0 scale
    • PTA Program: 3.0 on a 4.0 scale
    • Math/Science: 3.0 on a 4.0 scale
  • GRE - Graduate Record Examination
    • All GRE scores, transcripts, recommendations, and student profile information must be submitted to the Physical Therapist Centralized Application Service (PTCAS), even if you are a re-applicant or have already sent the score directly to UTMB. Your name must match exactly on both the GRE and PTCAS application.
      • GRE scores must be sent using code 3775.
  • Admissions Criteria
    • Bachelor's degree and all prerequisite courses completed by December 31 of the year in which you submit your application
    • Current Physical Therapist Assistant license. Must have graduated from a CAPTE accredited PTA Program.
    • A minimum of two (2) years of work experience as a Physical Therapist Assistant. Work experience must be completed by January of the year in which you wish to gain the PTA to DPT Bridge Program.
    • Transcripts from every college attended. Transcripts must be sent directly from each university to PTCAS.
    • Valid GRE Scores - up to five (5) years from date taken
    • Submission of three (3) references with email addresses from online recommendations. One reference must be a PT who supervised your work experience. One references must be a PTA educator who taught you in your PTA program
    • Email completed Student Profile Sheet to Donna Swanson at
    • Paid appropriate fees to PTCAS and UTMB
  • Bridge Program Prerequisites

    Total Credit Hours: 44

    These are the prerequisite courses required of PTA to DPT Bridge applicants:

    Note: Bridge applicants must complete 44 hours of the following prerequisite courses with a grade of C or better. Class numbers are a guide only based on Texas Number system. It is not all inclusive. Numbering may vary school to school.

    General Chemistry for Science Majors with lab
    CHEM 1411 & 1412
    College or University Physics with lab
    PHYS 1401 & 1402 or above
    Biology for Science Majors with lab
    BIOL 1406 & 1407
    Human Anatomy with lab *4
    Physiology with lab **4
    College Algebra, Trigonometry, or Calculus
    MATH 1414
    Statistics **3
    General Psychology
    PSYC 2301
    Developmental Psychology ****
    PSYC 2314 / 2312


    * Human Anatomy - Must be an upper level course, prefer cadaver based, will accept online course.

    ** Physiology with lab - May be a Vertebrate, Chordate, Comparative or Human Physiology course. Must include lab. Must be a course for science majors. Anatomy & Physiology I and II can be used to meet this requirement.

    *** Statistics - Upper level psychology, sociology or education based is preferred. Must include ANOVA (Analysis of Variance)

    **** Developmental Psychology - Abnormal Psychology will not count.

Application Process

  1. Complete and submit your PTCAS applicationNote: Your application will be considered incomplete if there is missing information, including GRE scores, and/or documentation by the published deadlines, and will not be processed due to the volume of applications received.
  2. Complete and submit your supplemental application once UTMB Enrollment Services receives and processes your PTCAS application. Applicants will also need to send payment. Once both are received, applicants will be given a UTMB ID number for access to MyStar.
  3. The UTMB Department of Physical Therapy will notify all applicants via email when their applications have been received and when the admissions decision has been made. Please allow several weeks for processing.
  4. UTMB has a rolling admissions process; therefore, your application is open until you hear from us with a final decision. If you do not hear from us by December 1, please contact us 409-772-3068 or email to inquire about the status of your application.

Site managed by the School of Health Professions • Last Updated: 14-MAY-2021