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College of Education, Nursing and Health Professions

BS in Exercise Science/Doctor of Physical Therapy

Direct Entry to the DPT Program

This program offers a combined Bachelor of Science (BS) degree in Exercise Science and Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) degree. The BS in Exercise Science is the undergraduate pathway for direct entry to the DPT program at the University of Hartford.

Career-Ready Education
  • Gain experience through internships in sports medicine, personal training, and strength and conditioning
  • Work with UHart's athletic teams
  • Conduct research with faculty mentors
  • Learn in our new state-of-the-art labs in the Hursey Center
Quick Facts

About the Program

for placement only

Physical therapy is a rewarding, in-demand career that helps people live healthy and active lives. As a physical therapist, you can make a big difference in your patients’ quality of life, helping them recover from injuries, get back to a favorite activity, and prevent future health problems.

The combined BS/DPT curriculum combines a liberal arts education with a strong science core, giving you the necessary tools for success as a physical therapist, whether your career goals are private practice, education, or research.

The bachelor’s degree in Exercise Science provides the prerequisite science and general education courses that prepare you to move into the professional phase of the program. Once you are accepted into the combined BS/DPT program, you’ll move directly from the undergraduate program to the DPT program, provided you maintain the required grade point averages.

Graduates of our DPT program have 100% job placement rates and have advanced to leadership positions in the profession. Learn more about our DPT program.

Accelerated 3+3 Option

In the accelerated 3+3 option, you can complete the bachelor's degree in three years and the DPT degree in three years, enabling you to start your career sooner. To complete this accelerated option, students take classes in the summers after freshman and sophomore years.

  • Required summer courses may be taken either at the University of Hartford or another accredited college or university close to your home with the approval of the College of ENHP.
  • Electives and general education courses (such as Intro to Psychology) can be fulfilled through Advanced Placement (AP) exams.
  • Any accepted BS/DPT student may opt to follow the 3+3 program in consultation with the program director. By the end of the first year and every year following, students are required to achieve both a cumulative GPA of 3.2 as well as a GPA of 3.2 in lab science courses throughout the program. 

Students who choose the traditional 4+3 model will earn the bachelor's degree in four years and the DPT degree in three years.

UHart DPT Student Outcomes

Why study physical therapy?

Hear from our students and faculty:

  • Personal satisfaction: Physical therapists can have a profound impact on people’s lives. Helping people recover from their injuries, lessen pain, and improve their quality of life is very satisfying. Physical therapy consistently ranks high in “best jobs” lists.
  • High salaries: The median annual wage for physical therapists was $89,440 in 2019 according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
  • Strong job outlook: The Bureau of Labor Statistics expects jobs for physical therapists to grow 22 percent from 2018 to 2028, much faster than the average for all occupations.
  • Variety: You can work in a variety of settings, from hospitals to outpatient clinics, patients’ homes, schools, sports and fitness facilities, workplaces, and nursing homes.

Our new home - The Hursey Center

The Francis X. and Nancy Hursey Center for Advanced Engineering and Health Professions opened in Fall 2021 and provides beautiful new physical therapy lab and classroom spaces. Take a look!

The Hursey Center provides more than 2,800 square feet of combined classroom/lab space for physical therapy students. The room can be divided in two for smaller lectures or lab sessions.

Classrooms are equipped with video recording equipment and all lab sessions are recorded. Students can access these recordings to review and reinforce concepts learned in class.

Physical therapy labs are equipped with motorized plinth tables, traction tables, and thermal, electrical and electromagnetic treatment modalities.

Facilities in the Hursey Center include 2,600 square feet of neuro labs that can accommodate adult and pediatric patient models. The space is designed for collaboration with students in physical therapy, occupational therapy and other health professions.

Labs are fully equipped with an array of free weights, mats, gym balls, parallel bars, wheelchairs and assistive devices to practice skills.

The south lobby of the Hursey Center provides a light-filled space for study or conversation.

Common areas of the Hursey Center offer plenty of space for study and collaboration.

Matt Glassoff

Combined BS/DPT Program, '21

Matt is working on his senior honors project with UHart's baseball team, investigating how players' hip and trunk mobility affects their batting performance. UHart's physical therapy program gives undergraduates the opportunity to conduct faculty-mentored research. Read more

The baseball coaches have been amazing to work with and have been super-supportive of my research.”

Degree Requirements

The undergraduate phase of the combined BS/DPT program is a minimum of 120 credits. A sample of courses is listed below, see the course catalog for the full degree requirements.

Students on the combined BS/DPT track will be required to maintain the following GPAs: 3.0 overall and in science courses by the end of semester three, 3.1 overall and in science courses by the end of semester five, 3.2 overall and in science courses by the end of semester seven. Students who do not meet these requirements will lose their direct entry into the DPT program but are able to remain in the undergraduate program to complete the BS in Exercise Science.

Exercise Science courses total 45 credits and include:

Introduction to Exercise Science
Public Health
Strength and Conditioning
Exercise Physiology
Injury Care and Prevention
Exercise Prescription for Special Populations
Career Readiness Internships I and II

Science courses total 35-36 credits and include:

Introductory Biology
Human Anatomy and Physiology
Medical Microbiology
College Chemistry
Mechanics, Heat and the Body

Electives - 12 credits

General education requirements total 28 credits and can include:

Academic Writing
Precalculus with Trigonometry
Business and Professional Communication
Introduction to Psychology
Ethics in the Professions

Admission

physical therapy students working on table

Freshman applications are reviewed on a rolling basis beginning in late September. If you are a high school student interested in the physical therapy program, you should complete courses in biology, chemistry, physics, and mathematics with an A or B grade point average.

The University of Hartford implemented a test optional policy in 2018 for applicants who believe that their SAT or ACT scores are not representative of their academic achievements and potential. All students are welcome to apply as test optional and should indicate so on their application. Our test optional policy is consistent with the goal of reviewing each application for admission in a holistic manner. 

Office of Admission and Financial Aid
800.947.4303
admission@hartford.edu

Additional Information

If you are a full-time undergraduate student applying to the combined BS in Exercise Science and Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) Program in the College of Education, Nursing and Health Professions, you will be considered for financial aid programs that the University administers. In addition to our own funds, the University of Hartford participates in all Federal Title IV Programs and Federal Family Education Loan programs. Residents of Connecticut and those states with reciprocal agreements with the State of Connecticut may also be eligible to receive state scholarships or grants.

The following links provide information on tuition and financial aid related to the undergraduate accelerated 3-year or 4-year program of study in Exercise Science.

To discuss ways to finance your program of study, call the financial aid officer for the College of Education, Nursing and Health Professions at 860.768.4296 or email finaid@hartford.edu.

Select Physical Therapy is an outpatient private practice located in Health Services at the Sports Center. Select offers wide range of physical therapy sports medicine and work health services and is dedicated to enhancing the quality of our patients’ lives. The clinic takes pride in outstanding customer service, excellent patient care, and strong outcomes. We offer complementary injury assessment. Students in the Physical Therapy program are linked to the clinic through their integrated or full-time clinical experiences.

Our hours are currently:

Monday 7 a.m.–1 p.m.
Tuesday 9 a.m.–5 p.m.
Wednesday 7 a.m.–1 p.m.
Thursday 9 a.m.–5 p.m.
Friday 7 a.m.–1 p.m.

Phone: 860.768.5335

Combined BS/DPT Program Contact:


Catherine Certo
Physical Therapy Program Director
Department of Rehabilitation Sciences
860.768.5367
certo@hartford.edu

Accreditation

The University of Hartford, including the Exercise Science program within the College of Education, Nursing and Health Professions, is accredited by the Board of Higher Education of the State of Connecticut and by the New England Commission of Higher Education. The Doctor of Physical Therapy Program at the University of Hartford is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Physical Therapy Education (APTE), 3030 Potomac Ave., Suite 100, Alexandria, VA 22305-3085, tel: 703.706.3245; email: accreditation@apta.org; website: capteonline.org. If needing to contact the program/institution directly, please call Catherine Certo at 860.768.5367 or email certo@hartford.edu.