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3+3 Early Assurance for the Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT)

The 3+3 DPT program allows students to complete both their undergraduate degree and their physical therapy doctoral degree (DPT) in SIX years rather than seven. Students accepted into the 3+3 DPT Early Assurance program have guaranteed acceptance into SUNY Upstate's DPT program providing they have met all conditions outlined in their acceptance letter. To be guaranteed a place in the 3+3 DPT program, students must be accepted by both the participating undergraduate college and by SUNY Upstate. SUNY Upstate has established 3+3 programs with seven colleges:

Students matriculate in the Physical Therapy program at SUNY Upstate after three undergraduate years of college. The first year at Upstate counts for both the fourth year of undergraduate and the first year of graduate study. After completing their first year at Upstate, students receive a bachelor's degree from their undergraduate institution. Upon successful completion of two additional years of graduate work, students will be awarded a DPT degree from SUNY Upstate Medical University.

Students accepted under the Early Assurance program will not be required to take the GRE (Graduate Record Exam). Admitted Early Assurance students must complete all prerequisite courses with a grade of "C" or higher ("B" or higher preferred), and will be required to have a 3.3 cumulative and 3.3 prerequisite GPA by the end of the fall and spring semesters of their junior year.  Students will also need to continue working or shadowing in a physical therapy setting while enrolled at their undergraduate college.

If unsure whether to apply for 3+3 Early Assurance or 4+3 Early Assurance, we recommend applicants apply 3+3.  Please note that applicants can not submit an application for both 3+3 and 4+3 DPT.

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Admission Requirements for the DPT 3+3 Early Assurance Program at SUNY Upstate Medical University

High school seniors who meet the following criteria will be considered for an interview for the 3+3 DPT program at SUNY Upstate Medical University:

  • Recommended minimum 1270 SAT or 26 ACT score. (We will not require the SAT or ACT for applicants applying during the 2022-2023 admissions cycle for summer 2026 entry.)
  • Recommended minimum unweighted High School Grade Point Average of 90% or higher
  • Four years of science and four years of math. Regents, Honors, AP, or IB courses recommended
  • While not required, observational experience with a Physical Therapist through participation in a Health Explorers Post, New Visions Program, shadowing or volunteer work is recommended.  Applicants need to be able to articulate what Physical Therapists do and be knowledgeable about the field of Physical Therapy.  Applicants can e-mail apply@upstate.edu updates of any shadowing completed after submission of the application no later than February 1.

The Application Process for the 3+3 DPT Early Assurance Program at SUNY Upstate Medical University

  • Complete the SUNY Upstate 3+3 DPT application and submit the $65 application fee*. Applications are open on September 1 through February 1. On the application, under “What program are you applying to?” select “Doctor of Physical Therapy-DPT” and then under “Which application type are you applying for?” the application select "DPT 3+3 Early Assurance for High School Seniors”.
  • Submit an application to the participating undergraduate college(s). To be guaranteed a place in the 3+3 DPT program, students must be accepted by both a participating undergraduate college and by SUNY Upstate.
  • Submit to SUNY Upstate:
    • Official high school transcript. If your high school uses Naviance for transcripts, please have them e-mail or mail your official transcript to our office as SUNY Upstate is not able to receive transcripts electronically from Naviance.**
    • SAT and/or ACT scores. SAT code is 2547. ACT code is 2981. (SAT and/or ACT scores are not required for applicants applying during the 2022-2023 admissions cycle for summer 2026 entry.)
    • 10-week grade report (first marking period grades/report card)**
    • Two letters of recommendation.
      • We recommend that at least one letter be from a science teacher and the second should be from a teacher, School Counselor, employer, volunteer supervisor or the Physical Therapist that you have volunteered or worked for. Personal references will not be considered. 
      • Applicants will indicate their reference's name, organization and department, position/title, relationship to you, telephone number and e-mail address on the Upstate 3+3 application for admission. Once you enter your reference’s information on the application, they will be sent instructions on how to submit the letter of recommendation. Both you and your references will receive confirmation once it’s submitted.
  • The deadline to submit the application is February 1.  All supporting documents must be received no later than February 10th.  It is the applicant's responsibility to ensure that all items are received on time.  Applicants may check their application checklist online.
  • Qualified applicants will be contacted via e-mail to set up an interview, which are held in March.

*Applicants with a fee waiver can have their School Counselor mail the waiver to our office at the address below or via e-mail it to: apply@upstate.edu.  Applicants who are eligible for free or reduced lunch at their high school can have their School Counselor notify our office about your eligibility at: apply@upstate.edu to waive the application fee.

** High school transcripts and 10-week grade reports can be sent to us from the applicant’s high school via:

E-mail: Sent from your high school Guidance Office to apply@upstate.edu (preferred)

Mail: SUNY Upstate Medical University, Student Admissions, 766 Irving Ave., 1212 Weiskotten Hall, Syracuse, NY 13210

Frequently Asked Questions

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How many years will the program take?

If you are accepted into the 3+3 program you will complete both your undergraduate and doctoral degrees in a total of six years. 

What GPA do I need to maintain my acceptance?

Students are required to achieve a minimum cumulative and prerequisite GPA of 3.3 at the end of the two semesters prior to enrolling. A minimum grade of “C” in each prerequisite sciencecourse is required, though a minimum grade of “B” is recommended.

What type of degree(s) will I receive?

You will receive a bachelor’s degree from your undergraduate college and a Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) degree from SUNY Upstate Medical University. Students in the 3+3 program complete the fourth year of the undergraduate degree on the SUNY Upstate campus and receive their bachelor’s degree from their undergraduate college.

If accepted, will shadowing be a requirement of the program?

If accepted as a 3+3 student, you will be required to complete 80 hours of shadowing during your undergraduate college years.

Will I have to reapply when it’s time to transfer to Upstate?

No. Your application process is completed when you are accepted by Upstate to the Early Assurance program. You will need to submit official college transcript(s) by January of your year of entry to confirm prerequisite courses and GPA requirements. 3+3 students will be required to submit a deposit in January of the junior year 

If accepted to Upstate as an Early Assurance student, what type of commitment am I making?

You will be asked to notify us by May 1 of your senior year of high school to let us know whether or not you accept our offer of admission.  If accepting our offer, you will tell us the name of the college you will be attending.  No deposit is due at this time, but will be required when we confirm the acceptance in January of the year of entry. The program is non-binding.

What should I do if I’m not accepted Early Assurance by Upstate?

If you are not accepted as a high school senior to the 3+3 Early Assurance program, you are encouraged to attend the college of your choice, for the major of your choice, and then apply to the Physical Therapy Early Assurance program for College Sophomores.  Send us an e-mail to let us know which college you will be attending.

What if I change my mind and decide to pursue another profession? Am I committed to attend Upstate?

No, you may change your mind. We just ask that you notify us, in writing, that you are withdrawing your enrollment from the Early Assurance program.

I’m not sure if I want to apply for 3+3 or 4+3. Can I be considered for both?

Applicants can not submit an application for both 3+3 and 4+3 DPT. If unsure whether to apply for 3+3 or 4+3 Early Assurance, we recommend applicants apply 3+3. Students admitted to the 3+3 program can change to 4+3 up until their first day of classes in the fall semester of their freshman year of college. They may be able to change at other times under certain conditions.

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