VCU Honors College

Guaranteed Admission Program

Guaranteed Admission Program (Physical Therapy)

VCU’s DPT Program prepares students for entry into the physical therapy profession by teaching them to evaluate and manage patients with physical therapy problem effectively and in accordance with ethical principles. The Guaranteed Admission Program for Physical Therapy offers a unique 7 year program (4 years of undergraduate studies, 3 years of professional school). Students who are accepted into the program and successfully complete the program requirements (link to take them to bottom of page with requirements) during the four years of undergraduate study will not compete via general admission for the VCU DPT Program.

Honors pre-physical therapy students may elect to follow the Preferred Applicant Track, which offers the opportunity to apply to the Guaranteed Admission Program (Physical Therapy) at the end of your sophomore year. Upon successful completion of the Guaranteed Admission Program, students will be eligible to enter the School of Allied Health, DPT Program without further competition.

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You will be directed to the instructions for applying, after which you can submit your application online.


All guaranteed admission students must meet the following eligibility requirements prior to enrolling in the pharmacy program.

  • Graduate with University Honors
  • Submit the honors dossier by the stated deadline (Oct. 1 for May graduation, April 1 for August graduation and Aug. 1 for December graduation).
  • Complete all prerequisites for admission to the physical therapy professional program.
  • Maintain a cumulative 3.5 GPA at VCU. Transfer, AP/IB and repeat course grades are not used in the GPA calculation.
  • Complete BIOL 218 (Honors section only of Cell Biology) and BIOL 308 (Histology) at VCU with a grade no lower than a B. Beginning in fall 2009, the requirement of BIOL 308 will be replaced by taking one of the following: BIOL 310 (Honors section only of Genetics) or BIOL 455 (Immunology) or BIOL 524 (Endocrinology). The grade requirement is unchanged.
  • Complete 50 hours per year of clinical work in physical therapy (volunteer or paid employment). Although health care research is highly valued, the only health care-related experience that is approved for this requirement must involve patient contact. Students may not earn health care-related hours under the supervision of professionals in their family. Keep track of your health care-related experiences. [PDF]
  • Complete a minimum of 10 hours each semester in community service, non-health care related.
  • Meet with the physical therapy advisor, Dr. Emma Wheeler, at least once an academic year.
  • If you wish to take required course work from either an institution other than VCU or in summer session at VCU, then you must obtain advance permission from the director of Guaranteed Admission Programs. This includes the summer session between high school and college.
  • Meet with the director of Guaranteed Admission Programs every semester for academic advising. Students who fail to receive advising from the director of Guaranteed Admission Programs prior to the beginning of honors registration will be placed on hold for registration until they secure such advising.
  • Attend all meetings of Guaranteed Admission students as directed by the Director of Guaranteed Admission Programs and meet with the director upon request.
  • Complete the GRE with an earned score of 150 in Quantitative Reasoning and a score of 150 in Verbal Reasoning. This must be completed by Oct. 1 of the year prior to the year you plan to begin the physical therapy program.
  • Complete a physical therapy application through Physical Therapy Central Application Services including, in part, three references, an essay and payment of a nonrefundable application fee to PTCAS by Oct. 1 of the year prior to the year you plan to begin the physical therapy program.
  • Engage in professional behavior at all times. Any institutional or legal sanction will result in dismissal from the Guaranteed Admission Program.
  • Monitor your email daily during your entire undergraduate program, including summer sessions and breaks. If you will be (or anticipate being) without email access for more than seven consecutive days, you must notify the director of Guaranteed Admission Programs of alternative ways of communication and provide the date when you will again have email access.
  • Student records will be reviewed every semester to determine compliance with the requirements. If a student fails to complete the requirements, this will result in dismissal from The Honors College Guaranteed Admission Program (Physical Therapy).