Doctor of Physical Therapy
Join Us For Our Spring Webinar Series or Schedule a Visit
The North Central College Doctor of Physical Therapy faculty will be hosting another series of monthly webinars to introduce you to our program and to the physical therapy profession. Please use the links below to register to attend each session on Zoom. Looking forward to seeing you online! However, if you would prefer to schedule a visit to tour the facilities and meet the faculty, use our Bookings Link to schedule an in-person or virtual visit.
- Wednesday, March 22nd: NCC DPT About Us / Program Overview
- Wednesday, April 19th: Admissions / How to Fill out the PTCAS Application / How to Make Your Application Shine
- Wednesday, May 24th: How To Choose the Right Program / What Questions to Ask
Spring Open House
The North Central College Doctor of Physical Therapy faculty will be hosting a Spring semester Open House on Saturday, March 25, 2023, from 9:00 AM to 12:00 PM. This "come and go" informal event will give prospective students a great opportunity to see our facilities, meet the faculty, and learn more about our DPT program. To RSVP for the event, please use the link below.
Why Choose North Central?
- January Program Start, 28-month program: Use that Fall semester to finish courses, travel, work and still graduate in May!
- Built on two strong educational foundations: Liberal Arts and Movement Science.
- Semi-Self Paced and Personalized Approach to Learning: We do not all learn the same or have the same goals so why not be flexible!
- Competency-Focused, Pass/No Pass: The focus is mastery of knowledge and skill acquisition to be an excellent clinician, educator, scholar, and leader, not grades!
- Centered on Technology: Technology is an important part of healthcare practice; we embrace it!
Mission, Vision, Values, and Commitment
The North Central College DPT Program, from curriculum to policies has been built on a Mission, Vision, Values, and Commitment that embodies both North Central College and the profession of physical therapy.
North Central College's Physical Therapy Program Goals
Our program goals align with our Mission, Vision, Values, and Commitment, further promoting excellence, service to society, the movement system, and success of the learner. Our college will build upon the foundational knowledge of your bachelor's degree to prepare you for your future physical therapy profession with the following goals in mind:
- Provide a curriculum grounded in the liberal arts to enhance skills in critical thinking, ethical decision-making, civic engagement, self-reflection, and life-long learning.
- Construct a curriculum that develops movement system experts dedicated to serving society.
- Embrace a culture of excellence, in all aspects of teaching, learning, scholarship, and service.
- Foster successful personal and professional growth and development in a diverse group of learners.
The North Central College DPT
The program seeks to enroll students who embody the mission, vision, values, and commitment of the Program. As a physical therapy student, you will explore the clinical skills necessary for patient/client management and patient/client care in order to work in a clinical setting. You will apply an evidence based practice in the classroom to best prepare you for your physical therapy profession. Prospective students are individuals who:
- Desire to serve society as an excellent physical therapist in the health care environment.
- Embrace the idea of a liberal arts foundation as part of the DPT education to enhance their ability to serve society regardless of the physical therapy environment they plan to pursue employment in the future.
- Welcome all types of diversity as an important aspect of becoming an excellent licensed physical therapist.
- Understand or be willing to embrace the value of technology as part of the education and future health care practice.
- Align with the mission of North Central College: We are a diverse community of learners dedicated to preparing students to be curious, engaged, ethical, and purposeful citizens and leaders in local, national, and global contexts.
Physical Therapy Outcomes
Program data including acceptance rate, matriculation rate, graduation rate, National Physical Therapy Licensure Rate, and employment rate will be posted here once data becomes available.
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Effective October 25, 2022, North Central College has been granted Candidate for Accreditation status by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (3030 Potomac Ave., Suite 100, Alexandria, Virginia 22305-3085; phone: 703-706-3245; email: email@example.com). If needing to contact the program/institution directly, please call 630-637-5835 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Candidate for Accreditation is an accreditation status of affiliation with the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education that indicates the program may matriculate students in technical/professional courses. Achievement of Candidate for Accreditation status does not assure that the program will be granted Initial Accreditation.
North Central College Doctor of Physical Therapy Program Curriculum
The North Central College Doctor of Physical Therapy curriculum is a 7 semester, 112 credit program with 36 weeks of full-time clinical experiences spread across 28 months.
The North Central College Doctor of Physical Therapy Curriculum includes all the necessary information for a student to successfully pass their National Physical Therapy Exam and become a licensed physical therapist. But, we believe this goal is the minimum our students should achieve. By creating a unique curriculum designed to develop excellent clinicians, educators, scholars and leaders prepared to serve society as movement system experts now and into the future, we envision our future students and alumni exceeding educational standards as they strive to achieve their personal and professional goals. Below are key components of our curriculum we believe are essential to the DPT education at North Central College.
The curriculum of the DPT program is built on two primary foundations - the liberal arts and movement science. The liberal arts foundation informs who we are as people and professionals, providing us insight into self-reflection, critical thinking, communication, problem solving, and appreciation of the lived experiences of others. The movement science foundation informs our understanding of physical therapy practice, providing us with the necessary knowledge in anatomy, kinesiology, neuroscience, physiology, imaging, nutrition, biomechanics, to evaluate and treat our future patients and clients. Together the liberal arts and movement sciences provide the foundation needed to be excellent movement system experts prepared to serve society.
The curriculum of the DPT Program is highly integrated and built on the idea that if we teach physical therapy in a manner it is practiced, they will be better prepared to enter clinical practice in the future. We intentionally have designed our courses to mimic clinical practice, starting with the basics of communication and advancing through the components of physical therapy practice as practitioners do, learning about billing, scheduling, diagnosis, examination, intervention, in the order and manner in which we would expect each to occur in clinical practice. We also connect the foundational movement sciences with the examination of the movement system to enhance student appreciation and understanding of the fundamentals of our profession. Fundamentals of a liberal arts education are integrated to develop critical thinking, problem solving, strong communication skills, self-reflection, and a greater appreciation for the lived experiences of every individual they encounter. The integrated curriculum is divided into three phases, Foundational content, Clinical Practice, and Advanced Clinical Practice. Across these 3 phases, the curriculum is built on a series of 10 sequence of courses.
The DPT Program faculty believe it is important to strengthen key elements of the Mission, Vision, Values, and Commitment throughout the curriculum by incorporating curricular threads across the curriculum that explicitly align with the Mission, Vision, Values, and Commitment, including Pursuit of Knowledge, Culture of Excellence, Serving Society, and Human Movement System.
Technology is an important part of the healthcare practice. We use technology to communicate, collaborate, educate, evaluate, treat, and learn. For this reason, technology is also an important part of the learning experience in the DPT Program at North Central College. Each student will be provided a device upon entering the program that is pre-loaded with the software that will be utilized throughout the educational experience. Students are encouraged to use their technology to enhance their learning.
Semi-Self-Paced Approach to Learning
Not everyone learns at the same pace, using the same techniques, for all content areas. For this reason, the North Central College DPT Program has designed a curricular model that is semi-self paced. Content that naturally could move into a packaged, online environment, such as definitions and facts, has been removed from the traditional lecture style classroom environment and moved into a flexible, online environment. Information is presented using different modalities, allowing student choice in when and how they study this content. Time in class is reserved for active learning, critical thinking, problem solving, and engaging with faculty and peers in a dynamic learning environment. This semi-self paced approach to learning also allows for the flexibility some students need should they need to continue to work, provide care for others, or have other life experiences that are as equally or more important to them as their physical therapy education.
The curricular schedule is designed to maximize the 28-month period while also providing students with the opportunity to maintain mental and physical health and well-being in what often can be a stressful time of life. Periods of traditional classroom learning are shorter, with the longest module being 9 weeks in length. These modules are intermixed with periods of self-paced learning, reflection, full-time clinical experiences, and vacation.
Competency-Focused, Pass/No Pass Approach
The mission of the DPT program is to develop excellent clinicians, scholars, educators, and leaders. The faculty of the DPT Program believe to do this, the emphasis should be on competency in skill acquisition and not the grade itself. The faculty want to focus on helping learners succeed at achieving their personal and professional goals by being explicit in what they believe is competence in a content area, and then focus on assessment on helping the learner achieve this goal.
How to Apply
There are two routes of entry into the North Central College DPT Program. North Central College undergraduate students or alumni may take advantage of the NCC DPT Guarantee. North Central College students or alumni who do not qualify for the NCC DPT Guarantee and prospective students from outside North Central College are also strongly encouraged to apply. Diversity of thought, culture, body structure, and personality are important to the DPT Program; this diversity starts with a diverse applicant pool for consideration.
The North Central College DPT program will admit its first class in January of 2023. The DPT Program participate in the Physical Therapy Centralized Application Service, known as PTCAS, for all admissions cycles. To learn more about PTCAS, visit www.ptcas.org.
Applicants interested in pursuing admissions are encouraged to apply early. The application deadlines are as follows:
For the January 2024 Start
- NCC DPT Guarantee applicants must submit their applications by December 1, 2022.
- All other applicants may submit their applications for review up to the deadline of May 15, 2023. The Program uses a rolling admissions process.
Inquiries about the program can be directed to email@example.com or the School of Graduate and Professional Studies at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Doctor of Physical Therapy Program admissions requirements align with the Mission, Vision, Values, and Commitment of the Program. We strive to enroll students who embody these same values who we believe will be successful as learners in the North Central College Doctor of Physical Therapy Program environment.
- A cumulative and prerequisite GPA of 2.85 or higher. All prerequisite course grades must be a C or higher.
- 1 semester of Biology with lab (3-4 semester credits)
- 2 semesters of Chemistry with labs (6-8 semester credits)
- One chemistry course must be at least General Chemistry I.
- 2 semesters of Physics with labs (6-8 semester credits)
- Must be Physics I and Physics II or courses that require Physics II as a prerequisite.
- 2 semesters of Anatomy and Physiology with labs (6-8 semester credits) OR one semester of Anatomy with lab (3-4 credits) and one semester of Physiology with lab (3-4 credits)
- 1 semester of Statistics (2-4 semester credits)
- 2 semesters of Psychology (6-8 semester credits)
- 2 semesters of humanities or social sciences (6-8 semester credits)
Courses taken Pass/No Pass will not be accepted. An exception will be granted for classes taken as Pass/No Pass due to the COVID-19 pandemic. If a student graduated from an institution that only provided Pass/No Pass for their entire undergraduate or graduate experience, the student should contact the School of Graduate and Professional Studies directly to discuss.
Starting with the cohort matriculating in January 2024, up to two prerequisites may be met by AP credit, provided the AP exam score was at least a 4. Applicants will be required to upload their AP score report in PTCAS if wanting to use AP credit to meet any prerequisites, and answer any additional questions asked.
A minimum of 50% of the prerequisite courses must be completed prior to application. If accepted into the program, acceptance will be contingent upon completing prerequisite courses at a grade of C or higher and maintaining a 2.85 prerequisite GPA.
If an applicant has completed less than 50% of their prerequisites, they should indicate such as part of the program specific PTCAS application and answer any additional questions asked.
All prerequisite coursework must be completed through a United States accredited institute of higher education.
Applicants may also petition to have accepted alternative courses in-leu-of defined prerequisite courses. Such petitions will be considered on a case-by-case basis. Submit petitions to email@example.com.
- Earned baccalaureate degree from a United States accredited institute of higher education.
- 3 Letters of Recommendation written by anyone other than a personal friend or family member. Letters will be reviewed by the Admissions Committee, considering how the applicant aligns with the Vision, Mission, Values, and Commitment of the North Central College Doctor of Physical Therapy Program.
- Official transcripts are required for all undergraduate and graduate institutions attended.
- Responses to all essay questions included in the application materials.
- We want to get to know you, and we want you to get to know us! Starting with the cohort matriculating in January 2024, applicants will be required to demonstrate engagement with the program via one of the following options, prior to an offer of acceptance being made:
- Attending a virtual event/webinar
- Attending an onsite event/open house
- Scheduling a virtual meeting with a faculty member
- Scheduling an in-person meeting with a faculty member
- The program uses holistic admissions process. It is important applicants demonstrate characteristics consistent with the Vision, Mission, Values, and Commitment of the DPT Program. We recognize not everyone has the ability to participate in the same activities outside of the educational environment, but do believe future students of the North Central College Doctor of Physical Therapy program are individuals who engage in more than just their studies. Therefore, it is expected the application demonstrate this through inclusion of extracurricular activities or lived experiences. Examples include but are not limited to athletics, employment history, and volunteer opportunities, and other lived experiences the applicant wishes to include in their application.
Optional Supplemental Application Material
The follow are items that may be included to potentially strengthen an application or demonstrate the applicant’s ability to succeed in the program.
- GRE. The GRE is optional. If an applicant feels GRE scores would enhance the application, scores may be submitted (Code: 3177), along with a statement from the applicant of why GRE scores are as important or more important of an indicator to academic success than their GPA. GRE is not scored separately in the application process, but rather would be considered with GPA if the applicant wished.
- Physical therapy observation and/or work experience as a physical therapist technician/aide or office assistant is encouraged but not required. The faculty feel applicants who have completed observation hours, worked as a rehabilitation aide, or have had other physical therapy experience are likely to be better prepared to answer application questions and feel more connected to their future profession at the start of the educational training. However, faculty also recognize it is not feasible for all applicants to have the same opportunities with regard to observing, working in a physical therapy setting, or having other physical therapy experiences. Therefore, we have made the decision to not require such hours. Instead, we have provided links on our Resource page to assist applicants with learning more about physical therapy through alternative methods. Applicants who have completed observation hours or obtained exposure to physical therapy work experiences should include this in their application as part of their work/volunteer experiences or observation hours.
The DPT Program uses rolling admissions. Completed applications will be reviewed upon acceptance; the Program does not require interviews, but does require engagement with the program as outlined above. Applicants will be notified of their application status at various points throughout the review process. Once notified of provisional acceptance, applicants must send a $500 deposit to reserve a space in the entering class. A second $250 deposit will be required at a later date. Deposits are non-refundable, but are credited toward the first semester’s tuition.
The North Central College Doctor of Physical Therapy Program does not discriminate against qualified people with disabilities in the admissions process. We do require all students to meet the Program’s Essential Functions and Technical Standards with or without reasonable accommodations.
Admitted Student Information
All admitted students who plan to complete their DPT education at North Central will be required to do the following prior to matriculation. Additional information about program requirements will be provided to students as part of their Admitted Student Packet. Should prospective students have questions about these or other potential program requirements, they are encouraged to contact the School of Graduate and Professional Studies at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Criminal Background Check: State law requires that any person who provides services involving direct contact with patients and residents at hospitals, nursing homes and other health care facilities, demonstrate Criminal Background Clearance. A state and federal background check will be requested by the program on behalf of each student as a criterion for admission into the program. Pertinent findings that would exclude a student from participation on clinical education experiences will be cause for denying admission to the program.
- Immunization: The Program's requirement for immunization is consistent with those of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), and Illinois state law for healthcare workers. Students cannot be in patient/client care settings without the required immunizations. Immunization compliance is expected from matriculation through graduation. The following are required immunizations by North Central College and/or the DPT Program: influenza; measles, mumps, rubella (MMR); varicella; tetanus, diphtheria, pertussis (Tdap); hepatitis B; Meningococcal (if under age 22 at time of matriculation); and COVID-19 (subject to change as COVID-19 pandemic evolves).
- Physical Examination: Documentation of adequate health to work with patients in a healthcare will be required.
- Health Insurance: Students must provide proof of health insurance throughout their time in the program. Additional information about health insurance requirements will be provided to admitted students.
The faculty and staff of the North Central College Doctor of Physical Therapy Program are dedicated to the Vision, Mission, Values and Commitment of North Central College and the DPT program. Years of educational and clinical experiences have come together to develop an exciting and unique DPT learner experience dedicated to educational excellence and learner success while role modeling our values of integrity, excellence, and balance. The faculty welcome questions and dialogue with prospective students, current students, colleagues, and community members wanting to know more about the North Central College DPT program and the profession of physical therapy.
As additional faculty join us in the Doctor of Physical Therapy Program at North Central College, more information will be provided below to highlight faculty expertise.
Faculty and Staff
Sara ScholtesProfessor and Chair, Department of Physical Therapy; Founding Director, Doctor of Physical Therapy Program
Nicole BettinAssistant Professor of Physical Therapy and Director of Clinical Education
The Program in Physical Therapy feels it is important to share the successes of our faculty, staff, and students. Below are recent activities. As our Program grows, we look forward to including additional activities of our faculty, staff, students and alumni!
Scholtes SA, Salsich GB. Consistency of dynamic knee valgus kinematics and pain across functional tasks in females with patellofemoral pain. Int J Sports Phys Ther. 2020:15(6):985-994. doi: 10.26603/ijspt20200985
Di Staulo, AM, Scholtes SA, Salsich GB. A descriptive report of the variability in 3D hip and knee kinematics during a single limb squat in women who have patellofemoral pain and visually classified dynamic knee valgus. Physiother Theory Pract. 2019;doi: 10.1080/09593985.2019.1698082. [Epub ahead of print]
Smith MP, Scholtes SA, Shah MM, Bettin NM, Cammarata ML. Balancing Learning with Mental Health in an Innovative Curricular Approach. Platform Presentation, Associated Colleges of the Chicago Area 2021 Scholarship of Pedagogy Symposium, Naperville, IL, November 2021.
Bettin NM, Brown DS, Castillo MM, Robackouski JF. Mentoring Through Teaching and Leading: DPT Students as Clinical Instructors. Platform Presentation, Educational Leadership Conference of the American Physical Therapy Association, Atlanta, GA, October 2021.
Scholtes SA, Bettin NM. A Competency-Based Curriculum Integrating Movement Science with the Liberal Arts. Accepted to: Innovation Summit for Health Professions Education 2021. Virtual, June 2021.
Haladay DE, Scholtes SA, Flom-Meland CK, Reicherter AE. Reframing Perspectives of Educational Leaders: Autobiographies During a Pandemic. American Education Research Association 2021 Annual Meeting, Virtual Roundtable Paper Presentation, April 2021.
Bliss RA, Scholtes SA, Shultz ST, Jensen GM, Gillette C. Can Student Self-Reflection Improve? Exploring the Implementation of a Guided Self-Reflective Intervention. J Phys Ther Educ. Platform Presentation, Combined Sections Meeting of the American Physical Therapy Association, Denver, CO, February 2020.
Kluding PM, Flom-Meland CK, Scholtes SA, Haladay DE, Dale, RB, Vitente A. ELI Leadership Projects: TED-like Talks from Emerging Faculty Leaders. Educational Session, Educational Leadership Conference of the American Physical Therapy Association, Bellevue, WA, October 2019.
Continuing Education Presentations
Menninger BA, Bettin NM. OT and PT Ethics. Continuing Education Presentation for School District 203. Virtual, August 2021, October 2021, November 2021.
Doctor of Physical Therapy Program Resources
Below are additional resources specific to our program.
- NCC DPT Guarantee Admissions Information
- NCC DPT Program Details
- North Central College DPT Student Handbook
Below are links to our recent Informational Webinar Series.
- February 22, 2022 - North Central College Doctor of Physical Therapy: Debt Management During and After PT School
- March 29, 2022 - North Central College Doctor of Physical Therapy: Tips on Writing Essays
- April 19, 2022 - North Central College Doctor of Physical Therapy: Hybrid, Online, In Person...What's the Difference?
- August 16, 2022 - North Central College Doctor of Physical Therapy: About Us/Program Overview
- August 30, 2022 - North Central College Doctor of Physical Therapy: Admissions / How to Fill Out the PTCAS Application / How to Make Your Application Shine
- October 18, 2022 - North Central College Doctor of Physical Therapy: How To Choose the Right Program/What Questions to Ask
- November 15, 2022 - North Central College Doctor of Physical Therapy: Tips and Tricks for Writing Essays
- December 20, 2022 - North Central College Doctor of Physical Therapy - Traditional Vs Hybrid Programs...What's the Difference?
American Physical Therapy Association
APTA Acute Care - An Academy of the American Physical Therapy Association
APTA Geriatrics, An Academy of the American Physical Therapy Association
APTA Hand and Upper Extremity – An Academy of the American Physical Therapy Association
Section on Health Policy & Administration of the American Physical Therapy Association (HPA The Catalyst)
APTA Oncology – An Academy of the American Physical Therapy Association
APTA Pelvic Health – An Academy of the American Physical Therapy Association
Additional Chapter, Section, Academy, and Special Interest Group Information
Tuition Cost and Fees
Estimated tuition and fees for the class matriculation in January of 2023. Tuition is fixed for the length of the program, but may change for each entering class. Estimated tuition and fees for the class matriculating in January of 2024 will be updated shortly.
|Tuition ($875 per credit, 112 credits)||$98,000|
|APTA Membership ($95/year)**||$285|
*The onboarding fee, applied during the starting term, covers the cost of an electronic device (e.g. laptop or similar device) and all technology and electronic books utilized in the program. It also covers additional items typically purchased by students prior to matriculation including stethoscope, goniometers, reflex hammers, etc. All included items are yet to be determined; the goal is to provide as part of this fee most items students would need to use in the classroom during their educational experience, except physical textbooks.
**Students are required to be student members of the American Physical Therapy Association and one state Chapter during their time as a student in the DPT Program. The estimated costs listed above are for being a member of the Illinois Chapter of the APTA. Students will pay membership fees directly to APTA and not as part of North Central College tuition and fees.
|Physical Textbooks||All Textbooks Optional|
|Background Check*||$49/Background Check|
|Drug Screen**||$29/Drug Screening|
|Travel and Lodging Costs***||Variable|
*The initial background check to enter the program is a cost covered by the program. Any additional background checks required by clinical sites for full-time clinical experiences is incurred by the student.
**Any drug screens required by clinical sites for full-time clinical experiences is incurred by the student.
***Travel and lodging costs for integrated and full-time clinical experiences are variable at the responsibility of the student.
Although not included in the above fees, students are reminded of the need to consider housing costs, health insurance, and any additional personal expenses they anticipate incurring during their time in the DPT program. Costs associated with living expenses vary by personal situations and choices.
Please visit the graduate financial aid page for additional information.
Financial Aid and Literacy Resources
We understand many Doctor of Physical Therapy programs are costly. However, we believe learning should be affordable, especially for those in health professions. Learn about North Central College's financial aid resources.
- Enrich - A financial education platform
- Free to APTA members
- Laurel Road - Student Loan Refinancing
- Refinancing discounts available to APTA members
- ACAPT Financial FAQ for Prospective Physical Therapy Students
- Fastweb - A national scholarship database
Below we have created a tool to assist students with planning a monthly budget and estimating costs between different programs. To use, just click on the link and download the Excel spreadsheet to your computer. Please note, this is a macro-enabled Excel spreadsheet so remember to click the "Enable Contents" button once opened. All estimated expenses vary by student, and it is encouraged that students speak with the Financial Aid department with specific questions.
Frequently Asked Questions
Information covering our most frequent questions below. If you cannot locate the answer to your question, send us an email at email@example.com.
Is the North Central College DPT Program using PTCAS?
Yes, the North Central College DPT program is using PTCAS.
Your website says your application is open until May 15th. Does that mean you are not reviewing applications until May?
We are reviewing applications as they are received. Our application is left open until the end of the PTCAS cycle because we use rolling admissions and because we are a January start. We recognize some people may find us later in the cycle and we want to make sure our application is still open for them to apply. However, we begin reviewing applications after they are verified in PTCAS and start offering spots to students as they are reviewed!
Is the GRE required?
The GRE is not required for application to the North Central College DPT program. There is little evidence to suggest performance on the GRE predicts success as a physical therapist. However, an applicant may choose to submit GRE scores along with a statement of why their GRE is as, or more representative of academic success than their GPA. The faculty of the DPT program recognize we all have different experiences that may affect our GPA. Should an applicant feel their GRE is an indicator of their ability to succeed, we welcome them to submit their GRE with an explanation of why they believe it is an indicator of their ability to succeed in the DPT program.
Does North Central College do interviews?
The faculty of the North Central College DPT Program have decided to not do interviews. There is no clear evidence in physical therapy that an interview predicts success as a physical therapist. Additionally, although we know someone can perhaps represent themselves well in an interview, we also know that nervousness, anxiety, and implicit bias can affect the interview experience. We do, however, think that meeting our excellent faculty and exploring our facility is a valuable part of deciding whether North Central College is the right fit for an applicant. Beginning with the cohort matriculating in January 2024, we require all applicants to engage with the program via one of the following options:
Attending a virtual event/webinar
Attending an onsite event/open house
Scheduling a virtual meeting with a faculty member
Scheduling an in-person meeting with a faculty member
None of these options factor into the admissions decision process; however, engagement will be required before an offer of acceptance can be made.
Are observation hours required for application to the DPT program?
We do not require observation hours to apply to the DPT program at North Central College. The faculty feel applicants who have completed observation hours, worked as a rehabilitation aide, or have had other physical therapy experience are likely to be better prepared to answer application questions and feel more connected to their future profession at the start of their educational training. However, faculty also recognize it is not feasible for all applicants to have the same opportunities to observe, work in a physical therapy setting, or have other physical therapy experiences. Therefore, we have made the decision to not require such hours. Instead, have provided links on our Resource page to assist applicants with learning more about physical therapy through alternative methods.
Will you accept Pass/No Pass grades for prerequisites?
Typically, the DPT Program will not accept Pass/No Pass grades for prerequisites. However, we have altered our policy for courses taken Pass/No Pass due to the pandemic. We encourage applicants who have questions specific to their personal situation to reach out to Graduate Admissions at 630-637-5555 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Although the program does not typically accept Pass/No Pass grades for prerequisites, our curriculum is based on a Pass/No Pass approach to assessment. We recognize the value of this type of assessment to the overall learning process. Therefore, if an applicant has graduated from an institution that does not use a typical A-F grading system for undergraduate grades, we encourage that applicant to reach out to Graduate Admissions at 630-637-5555 or email@example.com to further discuss the application process.
Can I still apply if my prerequisite classes were taken greater than 5 years ago?
Yes, we do not have an expiration date on prerequisite courses.
Does the North Central College DPT Program accept baccalaureate degrees from international universities?
Unfortunately, we are not accepting baccalaureate degrees from international universities at this time. This decision may change with future cycles.
Does the North Central College DPT Program provide non-immigrant students with a form I-20?
At this time, the DPT Program is not approved to issue form I-20 for non-immigrant students.
What does our accreditation status mean?
The North Central College DPT program has Candidate status per our accreditor, the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE). To achieve Candidate status, the program went through a thorough application and review process. In October 2022, after the completion of that process, the program was granted Candidate status, which allowed us to start classes in January of 2023. We currently function just like every other DPT Program in the country. The only difference is we will undergo an additional self-study and review process in 2024 to determine our initial accreditation. Depending on the outcome of that review process we anticipate receiving initial accreditation in the Spring of 2025.
Does North Central College offer a freshman direct entry option?
The short answer is no, but there is an equivalent option! Our philosophy is that we want undergraduate students to be undergraduate students, to take the classes they want to take, do the activities they want to do, and explore themselves and the world like every undergraduate should do. We each only get to be an undergraduate once and it is the time of life to be and do what we want to do to learn more about ourselves, the world, and our future! What we offer instead is the NCC DPT Guarantee. Any North Central College student or graduate who meets the requirements of our NCC DPT Guarantee will be guaranteed admission to the program. With this option, undergraduate students can still explore all they wish to explore as undergraduates while still keeping their eye on the prize of automatic entry into the DPT program at North Central College.
Does the NCC DPT Guarantee for North Central College students mean it is less likely applicants from other schools will be accepted?
This is a great question, and no! Although we want to acknowledge the North Central College undergraduate student is well aligned with the mission, vision, values, and commitment of our program already, and provide them a guaranteed admission option, we also know that applicants from outside of North Central are equally important and likely to align with our mission, vision, values, and commitment. In addition to wanting our future students to align with our mission, vision, values, and commitment, we also want a diverse class in every sense of the word: race/ethnicity, age, gender, and gender identity, sexual orientation, religion/spirituality, disability, socioeconomic status and background, worldview, and/or lived experience. It is very difficult to all types of diversity if all students come from one source. Therefore, although our North Central undergraduates are important to us, we look forward to having applicants from many different educational backgrounds!
Is the application process different for North Central College students vs. applicants from other institutions?
No, the application process is not different for North Central College students. The faculty of the North Central College DPT Program believe North Central College students should all experience the same opportunities as part of the DPT educational experience and that begins with the application process. Completing an application for PT school is part of the journey to becoming an excellent physical therapist and can be a time of important self-reflection. This experience is equally valuable to all students, regardless of where they achieve their undergraduate degree.
How many students are admitted into the program each year?
Our anticipated class size each year is 48 students. We believe this size cohort is small enough for faculty, staff, and students to still get to know each other well, yet large enough to have diversity of thought, culture, body structure, and personality to enhance learning opportunities.
Does North Central College have a gross anatomy/dissection class?
No, North Central College will not be teaching anatomy using the traditional gross anatomy dissection model. Rather, the DPT Program will be using Anatomage tables and models to teach anatomy. Gross anatomy dissection has historically been an important component of DPT education. However, as physical therapists, we do not engage in surgery, and thus, the skill of dissection itself is not necessary to the development of excellent clinicians, educators, scholars, and leaders. Additionally, by using technology to teach anatomy, we are better able to integrate the content throughout the 2.5 years of the curriculum, rather than isolated to one semester.
How will graduates of North Central College’s DPT Program be better prepared to be practicing clinicians?
We have created a curriculum that is unique and designed to develop excellent clinicians, educators, scholars, and leaders dedicated to serving society as movement system experts. Our focus is on the liberal arts and movement science, a unique combination. We also approaching learning a different way, using a Pass/No Pass approach to learning that will allow us to really focus on what matters, helping students succeed at becoming the physical therapist they want to be. The focus will be on competence in all expected areas rather than on grades. We also are using technology to provide more flexibility to learning for students, while also helping students be prepared to use that same technology in the clinic as is expected of current and future health care workers. The program is a traditional in-person program, but we are leveraging technology in the learning process in a positive way. A review of website content may provide addition insight into the uniqueness of our program in preparing physical therapists of the future. We also encourage prospective applicants to reach out with questions at Graduate Admissions at 630-637-5555 or firstname.lastname@example.org
How will the DPT program at North Central College better prepare students to pass the NPTE licensure exam?
North Central College faculty are dedicated to assisting our graduates in being successful in passing the licensure exam. Faculty will cover the content we expect is important for success on the board exam. Students will use computerized testing that more closely mimics the testing environment of the NPTE licensure exam. We also will work with cohorts to set up a licensure prep course as desired and provided addition direction on how else to feel most prepared. These are all concrete things the program is dedicated to doing to assist with licensure success. HOWEVER, the faculty of the North Central College DPT program also see the licensure exam as the floor of our expectations, not the ceiling. Although we expect our students to be well prepared to pass the board exam, we also expect them to be prepared to do much more. To use driving as an analogy, the minimum you need to drive is a license. But if you want to win the Indy 500, you need to be far more prepared than what is expected of you on the Illinois driver's exam. We see education the same way. We will help our students to pass the exam, but we want them to be so much more than what the licensure exam represents. We want our students to be excellent clinicians, scholars, educators and leaders dedicated to serving society as movement system experts!
Comments or Complaints
We welcome your comments about our Doctor of Physical Therapy Program, experiences you had with our faculty or staff, or features you would like to see on our website. Please click the link below to send us a comment.
Anyone who is dissatisfied with an experience or encounter with a student, faculty, or staff member associated with the Doctor of Physical Therapy Program may file a complaint with the Department of Physical Therapy Chair. The complaint must be in writing and sent to:
Sara Scholtes, PT, DPT, PhD
Graduate, Education Leadership Institute Fellowship, APTA
Director, Program in Physical Therapy
North Central College
30 N. Brainard St.
Naperville, IL 60540
Complaints about the Department of Physical Therapy Chair/DPT Program may be submitted to the Dean of the School of Education and Health Sciences. The complaint must be in writing and sent to:
Marci J. Swede, PhD
Dean, School of Education and Health Sciences
North Central College
30 N. Brainard St.
Naperville, IL 60540
Complaints about the School or College related to compliance with accreditation standards may be submitted to the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE). The complaint must be in writing and sent to:
Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education
3030 Potomac Ave. Suite 100
Alexandria, VA 22305-3085
North Central College and the DPT Program prohibits any and all retaliation against individuals raising concerns, complaints, and/or grievances.