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Frequently Asked Questions




 Does CU offer scholarships?

 Can I apply for in-state residency and thus in-state tuition benefits?





 What housing options are available?

  • There are many residential opportunities near CU Anschutz Medical Campus, located in Aurora, Colorado. Students live in Aurora, closer to downtown Denver, and even as far as Boulder, Greeley or Colorado Springs. There are endless housing options depending on what is best for the applicant!
  • Technically, there is no housing on campus. However, there is a private apartment complex directly north of the Health Sciences Library.  There are several others just beyond the Anschutz Medical Campus in all directions.
  • The Office of Campus Student Services has housing resources available to current students.  This includes a database through which students may look for open properties and roommate opportunities.


 How do I get to campus from where I live?

  • Currently student service fees include a RTD pass. There are 2 light rail stations close to campus and there are shuttles that run between campus buildings and the light rail station. The RTD pass also includes the RTD bus system and multiple bus lines run directly to the Anschutz campus.​

 Are students able to work?

  • Due to the academic rigor of the Physical Therapy Program, it is strongly recommended that you secure enough financial aid to support yourself through school. This is particularly important during the first year. 
  • There are part-time work-study jobs on campus and within the PT program such as, work at the library circulation desk, performing data entry for research projects, cleaning the labs, providing classroom technical support, and much more. 
  • You may choose to pursue part-time jobs to help supplement your costs such as driving for a ride share company, working as a nanny, working as a personal care assistant for an individual, serving at a restaurant, etc.  This is typically on a very part-time basis (2-10 hours per week).


 What does a typical day look like for a CU DPT student?

  • Classes are sometimes 8 am-5 pm Monday through Friday, averaging 30 hours/week.
  • Lectures are typically 2 hours in length with 10 minutes to transition to the next class session.  Labs are anywhere from 2-4 hours in length.


 What global health opportunities are available to students?

  • Students can participate in an elective course, currently taking place in Nicaragua. This course takes place over approximately 10 days between semesters.  Costs associated with this experience are the responsibility of the student.
  • CU Peru is another global health opportunity for students. For more information, please visit:





 Are there out-of-state sites available for clinical education experiences?

  • Although we have contracts with around 400 clinical sites, our vision is to have true partnerships with a smaller number of sites who can take students consistently every year. Our focus is on quality of clinical education experiences offered rather than quantity. While many of the sites are local in the greater Denver area and surrounding cities in Colorado, we do have sites across the United States. 
  • Please note that not all 400+ sites offer an experience during each of the clinical education experiences.


 Are there international sites available for clinical education experiences?

  • No. Although the Program appreciates the value of international experiences, International clinical education sites may not have the same practicing/licensing standards as those in the United States and cannot always meet the Program’s specific objectives for each clinical education experience.  Therefore, all clinical experiences must be completed in the United States.  Students are eligible to take an Elective that includes travel to Nicaragua as well as participate in the CU Peru experience available through the Anschutz Medical Campus.

 Can we set up our own clinical sites?

  • There is a process for requesting to open a new clinical site, however, establishing new clinical sites will only be considered according to Program need and at the discretion of the clinical education team. ​ ​




 Will I be working with a human cadaver (donor) in Clinical Anatomy I and II?

  • Yes, our students take a 6-credit Clinical Anatomy I course in the first summer semester and a 3-credit Clinical Anatomy II course in the second summer semester. You would work in a group performing dissection of human cadavers during these courses.

 Are there opportunities for interprofessional interaction available to students?

  • The CU Anschutz Medical Campus was designed to facilitate interprofessional interaction. The education buildings and lecture halls/other classrooms are utilized by students from all the health professions represented on campus, including but not limited to: physical therapy, physician assistant, dental medicine, medicine, nursing, pharmacy and public health. ​
  • Examples of interprofessional interaction include a course with physician assistant students and an Interprofessional Education and Development course designed to investigate ethical scenarios and patient cases, from a collaborative team perspective.




 Is there rolling admissions?

  • No, all applicants are considered at the same time.

 What is the holistic review?

  • In addition to academic metrics, the CU PT Program looks closely at an applicant’s experiences, personal attributes, and characteristics.  We are committed to selecting students who demonstrate dedication to their learning, commitment to the profession, involvement within their community through work or service, leadership potential, effective interpersonal skills and strong self-reflection.

 Will qualified applicants receive an invitation to interview?

  • A portion of qualified applicants are invited for mandatory on-campus interviews, which take place in mid- to late-January or early February.
  • Interviews are 1-on-1 for 30 minutes.  There will be 2 interviews with a faculty member or clinical partner.
  • Prior to the interview, your application is thoroughly reviewed by our Admissions Committee.  The interviews themselves are blinded, so the interviewer will know nothing about you other than first and last name.  This gives the interviewer the opportunity to evaluate you on factors such as communication skills, critical thinking, and thoughtful answers without bias from the application.





 How does an applicant know if the PT Program has received the completed and verified application from PTCAS?

  • It is your responsibility to make sure that all documents have been received by PTCAS. Therefore, you should occasionally check the status of your application, by accessing the PTCAS student portal.  It takes PTCAS about 4-6 weeks to verify an application.
  • Once the PT program has received a verified application from PTCAS, an email will be sent to you stating that the application has been received and is under review.
  • Please note that incomplete applications will not be reviewed.  Applications that have not been verified through PTCAS by November 16, 2018 will not be considered





 Is the PTCAS form required for references?

  • Yes, the PTCAS form must be completed by all references and submitted by the individual providing the reference through PTCAS.
  • We require three letters of recommendation.
  • Please review our reference requirements, and note that we do NOT accept letters from family, friends, coaches, or clergy.


 May I include a PT/PT facility I observed internationally to count toward PT observation hours?

  • No. Although an experience observing PTs treating patients internationally is certainly valuable for many reasons (and may be helpful to discuss in essays or during an interview), we do not accept international hours to meet our requirement for observation hours. These must be completed in the United States with a PT licensed in the United States.​ ​

 How do I make it clear on my PTCAS application what “specialty setting” I observed in?

  • Please attempt to describe the setting you observed as best as possible by using the ‘other’ category.  You may note key words such as: pediatrics, school system, home health, vestibular, spinal cord injury, traumatic brain injury, pelvic health, workers comp, etc.

 Is it more competitive if I observe for greater than the required 45 hours?

  • Rather than looking for pure volume of hours, we are looking for the quality of the experience, a variety of settings, and what you learned from your observations.  You are encouraged to comment on meaningful observation experiences in essays and in interviews.  
  • One of your required references must be from a PT.  This PT may need enough time with you to adequately reflect your strengths in their reference. This may necessitate more than the 15-hour observation minimum. 


 May I observe in multiple PT facilities to meet one setting (i.e. several hours split between an inpatient hospital and skilled nursing facility to meet the inpatient requirement)?

  • Yes. Hours to meet the requirement in one setting type may be split between multiple facilities. In some cases, a facility may have a limit on the number of hours one can observe. You are permitted to observe the remaining hours at a different facility.




 Is it possible to complete my prerequisite courses at your campus?

  • No. Anschutz Medical Campus offers only graduate level courses; however, the University of Colorado Denver downtown campus offers the prerequisite courses.
  • Schools in the greater Denver area that offer prerequisite courses include, but are not limited to:
    • ​​CU Denver​
    • CU Boulder
    • CU Colorado Springs
    • CSU Fort Collins
    • UNC Greeley
    • Colorado College
  • We accept prerequisite courses from any institution that is regionally accredited.


 May I take all of prerequisites at a community college?

  • All prerequisites may be completed at a community college, except for the upper-division basic science requirement. It is also strongly recommended that Human or Mammalian Anatomy with lab and Human or Mammalian Physiology with lab be completed at a 4-yr institution and at the upper division level.
    • ​Our most competitive applicaants take multiple upper division courses.
  • Please contact with questions about specific courses.
  • There amy be a variety of reasons that community colleges courses are a better option for you, but the rigor of courses taken at other institutions should be considered in your decision-making.

 Can I take an online course to fulfill a prerequisite?

  • Yes. We recommend that you consider consultation with your academic advisor or our admissions advisors and consider the level and rigor of the course.

 I did poorly in my undergraduate studies {due to a multitude of reasons} and it has hurt my GPA, do I even have a chance at being accepted?

  • We understand that a variety of factors may contribute to low academic performance in courses.  We certainly consider your GPA, but we will also consider the rigor of coursework, trend of grades and more. 
  • You can respond to the following question in the PTCAS application to provide context related to periods of lower academic performance: ‘Does my academic record accurately portray my capabilities?’ 
  • It may be useful to use a GPA calculator to calculate your cumulative GPA and math/science/movement science GPA.  It may also be useful to figure out how many courses you would need to take to boost your GPA.


 Are all of my college and/or university grades combined by PTCAS to calculate my GPA, even if the classes were completed several years ago?

  • Yes, PTCAS combines all grades using transcripts from all institutions to calculate GPA’s


 If I retake a course is the highest grade considered?

  • No, the highest grade is not considered in the GPA calculation. Some undergraduate institutions will exclude the first grade if a student has retaken a course and only calculate the higher, more recent grade.  This is not the case for PTCAS, they consider every grade for every course taken and therefore average your grades.  So, if you got a C in a course and an A when you retook it, it would effectively average into a B for your GPA calculations.


 What percentage of Physical Therapy Program graduates secure a job within the first six months of graduation?

100% of our graduates seeking employment have secured a job within the first six months. ​


 How does an applicant know if the PT Program has received the completed and verified application from PTCAS?

It is the responsibility of the applicant to make sure that all documents have been received by PTCAS. An applicant should occasionally check the status of their application, by accessing PTCAS. Please note that incomplete applications will not be reviewed. ​


 Are students able to work?

Due to the academic rigor of the Physical Therapy Program, it is strongly encouraged that students secure sufficient financial aid, so they do not have to work. This is particularly important during the first year. There are work-study part-time jobs on our campus.​


 Regarding references, may I use a letter of recommendation instead of your form?

No, the PTCAS form must be completed by all references

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 What additional requirements could exist for international applicants?

International applicants for whom English is a foreign language must score a minimum of 80 on the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) Internet-Based Test. Visit for more details.​​


 When is the Physical Therapy Program start date?

Orientation begins the final Wednesday and Thursday of May, and class begins the first Monday in June. The program is year-round, and the only start date is in summer. ​