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  • Institute for Physical Therapy Education

    • Cottee Hall
    • tel: 610-499-1277
    • fax: 610-499-1231
  • Jill D. Black, PT, DPT, EdD

    • Interim Associate Dean and Program Director
    • Cottee Hall, Room 115
    • tel: 610-499-1277
  • Lauren Naylor

    • Graduate Admissions Support Specialist
    • Kapelski Learning Center, Room 120
    • tel: 610-499-4188


Admissions FAQs, Physical Therapy

Find answers to frequently asked admissions questions about the doctor of physical therapy (DPT) program at Widener.

If you have additional questions, please contact us by phone or e-mail (see contact information on left) or attend an open house event.

How do I apply?

To apply to our program you must apply through the Physical Therapy Centralized Application Service (PTCAS) system at

Is there an application fee?

The PTCAS system has an application fee. We do not require a separate fee for supplemental materials.

When is the application deadline?

Our application soft deadline is November 15th and our firm deadline is January 15th of the year you would be entering the program.

Do I need to include an essay?

The essay is the personal statement that must be included with the application in the PTCAS system. The personal statement may include your unique personal characteristics that you would bring to the profession or describe the professional contributions you expect to make in the future that your personal characteristics and interests support.

How many recommendation letters are required?

We require three letters of recommendation:

  • One from a physical therapist.
  • One from a faculty member / professor.
  • One from any other source.

Only three letters are required and sending supplemental letters will not be included in your application. We do not accept recommendations from family members. You must submit your letters of recommendation in the PTCAS system.

How many volunteer or work experience hours are required?

We require a minimum of forty hours (40) of volunteer or paid experience in a physical therapy setting where you are supervised by a licensed physical therapist. We recommend that students have experienced at least two different clinical settings (i.e., inpatient, outpatient). Volunteer hours should be reported in the PTCAS system.

Is the GRE required?

Yes, we do require the general GRE exam. We expect that qualified students will have a minimum of 300 on the combined verbal and quantitative sections, with a minimum of 150 in the verbal section and a minimum of 150 in the quantitative section. We would like to see scores in or above the 50th percentile. We recommend students take the GRE exam before November 15th, to be considered in the regular cycle. 

How do I submit the supplemental materials for my application?

Your supplemental materials should include your Transcript Analysis Form and the Applicant Survey. You can submit your supplemental materials (after applying through PTCAS ) by sending them to:

Institute for Physical Therapy Education - Admissions
Widener University
One University Place
Chester, PA 19013

Is there graduate housing provided by the university?

We have a limited number of graduate housing units on campus. Most of the graduate students live nearby in the surrounding communities within walking and driving distance to campus. Contact Pam Millio at 610-499-4156 and request a graduate housing application.

What time do classes start?

The program is a full-time day program. Our program begins in June. The class schedule may vary semester to semester, but typically classes begin by 8:00 a.m. to 8:30 a.m and end by 4:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. Some elective classes may be held in the evenings.

Do you require a cadaver class?

Yes. Students will begin the program in June of their first year and will attend a comprehensive Human Anatomy course with cadaver dissection on the campus of the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine (PCOM) located at 4170 City Line Avenue, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Their campus is located approximately 30 minutes from Widener's main campus in Chester, Pennsylvania.

Can the program be completed part-time or on the weekends?

No, our program is a full-time program that covers 9 semesters over three years.

What types of clinical experiences are required in the program?

All students complete 31 weeks of full-time clinical experiences in three different settings, with the first clinic being part-time. We have contracts with over 500 sites nationwide with about 50% of those in the Philadelphia metropolitan region.

Does the program have essential functions or technical standards in accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act?

Please read our Essential Functions information to determine if you have the capacity to complete, with or without reasonable accommodations, our requirements.

For more information, email