All high school students are invited to apply for direct freshman entry. A high school graduate with no more than 12 college credits taken after graduation may also apply for the direct admission window. College credits taken while in high school(AP/IB etc.) do not count against a student and are encouraged. Direct freshman entry is a truly unique feature of Marquette's program. If a student is offered direct admission to the physical therapy program, they only need to maintain certain academic standards to continue in the program as opposed to the majority of schools where students apply for entry to the professional phase after completing an undergraduate degree.
Marquette offers a wide variety of undergraduate majors that incorporate the physical therapy pre-requisite courses needed. The direct freshman admission window to the six year program is fairly unique and removes much of the competitive pressure so that students often develop a richer undergraduate experience consistent with the Jesuit mission of the university. The most popular undergraduate major is Exercise Physiology, although there are almost 20 others that can be utilized depending on a student's area of interest. Admission to the professional phase of the program is guaranteed following junior year provided a student meets the following requirements for continuation:
- Have the ability to complete their bachelor's degree by the fifth year of the program.
- Complete the 32 credits of prerequisite course work with a minimum 2.67 grade point average in these credits.
To maintain direct admit status:
For direct admission to the program, the best qualified students will be drawn from the pool of applicants. Strong candidates for direct freshman admission rank in the top quarter of their class, and have demonstrated proficiency in their high school math and science courses. In addition a student's extracurricular activities, awards, service, essay are all considered part of the applicants profile in addition to grades. Test scores are now optional.
- No more than 2 prerequisite courses can be completed with a grade of C. A grade of C- or lower is not acceptable for prerequisite courses.
- Students can take no more than 7 prerequisite credits outside of MU and must follow the policy for Study at Other Institutions. It is strongly encouraged that all D.P.T. prerequisite courses be completed at accredited four-year institutions. Courses taken elsewhere cannot be completed in an online format. Note: Prerequisite courses taken outside of MU are included in the D.P.T. prerequisite GPA calculations, even though they are not included in the university GPA calculation.
- Students can retake no more than one prerequisite course. If a course is repeated, the higher grade is used in the D.P.T. prerequisite GPA calculation.
A set number of PT-related observation hours are not officially required. However, observing in a variety of physical therapy settings and with different patient populations is the best means to demonstrate your understanding of and commitment to the profession during the application process.
The following high school courses are required for admission:
- One year of biology
- One year of chemistry
- Three years of college preparatory math including algebra, geometry, advanced algebra and/or trigonometry
- One year of physics is strongly recommended
High school seniors interested in applying for direct admission should obtain an application for undergraduate admission in the fall of their senior year. The application deadline for direct freshman admission to the program is December 1 of the year preceding enrollment.