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4+3 Early Assurance for the Doctor of Physical Therapy Degree Program

Students accepted into the 4+3 DPT Early Assurance program have guaranteed acceptance into SUNY Upstate's DPT program upon completion of their bachelor's degree providing they have met all conditions outlined in their acceptance letter.

Admitted 4+3 DPT students may attend the accredited college of their choice, for the bachelors degree program of their choice. After completing their bachelors degree, 4+3 students attend SUNY Upstate for three additional years. Upon successful completion of the three years of graduate work at Upstate, students will be awarded a DPT degree from SUNY Upstate Medical University.

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 senior year. Students will also need to continue shadowing a Physical Therapist 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.

We strongly encourage prospective students to add themselves to our contact list. Also, if you would like to schedule a pre-advisement with the Physical Therapy Early Assurance Admissions Advisor, you may register for an appointment here.

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Admissions Requirements for the 4+3 DPT Early Assurance Program at SUNY Upstate Medical University

High school seniors who meet the following criteria will be considered for an interview for the 4+3 DPT program at SUNY Upstate Medical University:

  • 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
  • Eight (8) hours of observational experience with a Physical Therapist through participation in a Health Explorers Post, New Visions Program, shadowing or volunteer work is required. Applicants need to be able to articulate what Physical Therapists do and be knowledgeable about the field of Physical Therapy. Applicants will list their shadowing experiences on the Upstate application.  If they complete additional shadowing after submitting their application, they can e-mail the details to [email protected] no later than February 1.

The Application Process for the 4+3 DPT Early Assurance Program at SUNY Upstate Medical University

  • Complete the SUNY Upstate 4+3 DPT application and submit the $65 application fee*.

    The application is are open 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?” select "DPT 4+3 Early Assurance for High School Seniors”

  • Submit an application to the undergraduate college(s) you'd like to attend for your bachelor's degree. To be guaranteed a place in the 4+3 DPT program, students must be accepted by both an undergraduate college and by SUNY Upstate.
  • Submit to SUNY Upstate:
    • Official high school transcript. If your high school uses Naviance or SCOIR 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 or SCOIR.**
    • 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, a 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 4+3 application. Once you enter your reference’s information in 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 by February 7th. 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: [email protected]. 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 [email protected] 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 [email protected] (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?

The 4+3 program takes seven years to complete.

What GPA do I need to maintain my acceptance?

Students are require 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 science course 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 in your chosen field of study and a Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) degree from SUNY Upstate Medical University.

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

If accepted as a 4+3 student, you will be required to complete 60 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. 3+3 students pay the deposit in January of their junior year of college.

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 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 and your major.  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.