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Doctor of Physical Therapy Class of 2020 Guide

Congratulations on your acceptance to the doctor of physical therapy program at DMU – we hope you’re excited to join us in August! Because we know this process can be overwhelming, we’ve put together a quick guide to help you know when and what to expect until orientation.

What’s first?

Seat deposit

A non-refundable deposit is required to secure your seat in the class, unless you have been accepted through the PTCAS Early Decision Process. While we cannot require a seat deposit prior to January 15, 2017, it is very helpful for us to know as soon as possible if you plan on attending DMU. Seat deposit guidelines follow:

  • Early Decision applicants – no deposit required
  • Early commitment – optional payment prior to January 13, $200
  • Regular deposit – payment after January 13, $300

 The seat deposit not only secures your seat in the class, but also opens your account at DMU and is credited towards your tuition.

Submit your seat deposit online

Outstanding Requirements form

As a follow up to your acceptance email, you were sent an Outstanding Requirements form via email. The items laid out on this document are truly the requirements of your enrollment and must be completed by the due dates listed.  Please read this document very carefully and return a signed copy to the admissions office by the deadline listed. As you are responsible for completing the tasks as outlined, you’ll want to keep a copy of this for yourself.

*If you have outstanding prerequisite coursework, you must have a plan in place to complete this prior to the start of classes.  Please contact the admissions office immediately if you foresee difficulty in completing all requirements in time.

Submission of Transcripts

Accepted students must submit official final transcripts from all colleges attended post-high school by the deadline of two weeks (14 days) prior to the first day of classes. Students who are accepted to DMU less than one month prior to the first day of classes will have 30 calendar days from the date of their acceptance to submit all official transcripts to the Office of Admissions. Any special circumstances or requrests for exceptions to this policy must be sent to and approved by the Dean of the applicable college. Students who fail to submit all official final transcripts by the stated deadline may jeopardize their acceptance of continued enrollment in the College. 

Things to look for in spring 2017

New Student Pulse and email

Beginning in early 2017, incoming students will receive information on how to access Pulse (DMU’s intranet) and your DMU email address. You will receive a notification from the Admissions Office when you are about to receive your login information. It will be emailed to you via encrypted message, so be sure to check your inbox and spam folders. Pulse is your go-to spot for all types of information including; financial aid, student health forms, student health insurance, registration checklist, technical standards, wellness center access, orientation schedule, and other announcements. 

  • Financial aid:  Detailed information will be available on Pulse beginning in April 2017.  We recommend you wait until you’ve filed your 2016 taxes to get started on your FAFSA (DMU’s code is 01516.) Also, your parent’s tax info is only necessary if you are planning to apply for Pell Grants.
    If you have loans that you will want to defer, DMU will report you as an enrolled student to the National Student Clearinghouse after the first day of classes. If you have In-School Deferment Forms for federal loans the forms are not necessary as we do the reporting for you. 
  • Background checks: Complete a criminal background check, which may include a drug screen, through the DMU preferred vendor. Results must be released to DMU prior to matriculation, and the cost of this process will be paid by the student. Students are required to disclose all past or present charges, convictions, dismissals, deferred judgments and expunged records as related to a misdemeanor or felony. They are also obligated to disclose any additional charges and convictions which occur following completion of the initial criminal background check.  Admission to the program may be revoked if misrepresentations or omissions from the application are noted in the background check.  DMU students are required to complete annual criminal background checks,  which may include drug screening, while enrolled at DMU.
  • Physical examination/laboratory tests and immunizations: Complete a physical examination and an immunization report before registration. Students admitted shortly before classes begin will have four weeks to complete this requirement.  A complete listing of required immunizations is supplied to students before orientation.
  • Health insurance: Students must provide proof of health insurance coverage at annual registration that meets minimum requirements as specified within DMU’s Student Health Insurance Requirements Policy. Students must verify coverage through a parent’s or spouse’s group plan, a national government plan, an individual plan that meets the hard waiver criteria as defined in DMU’s Student Health Insurance Requirement’s Policy or a plan coordinated through DMU.
  • Technical Standards for Admission: Students must be able to meet the technical standards for education at DMU either with or without accommodation.  You may review the standards online on our website.  


Housing is abundant in the Des Moines area, and students in the past have found the best time to check out apartments is February-March. DMU does not own any dorms or residence halls, so students are responsible for locating their own housing arrangements. To help you out, Pulse contains the “DMU classifieds” which is a great place to post if you’re looking for a roommate or somewhere to live. The University acts solely as a facilitator in hosting this forum.

Wellness Center

Incoming students may begin using the Wellness Center on May 1. Check Pulse for release forms and procedures. 


DMU has a one-time $250 parking fee. Cars can be registered on Pulse in the weeks prior to Orientation.


In your first year, tuition will be collected in two equal payments, in August and January. Tuition and fees are established by the University’s Board of Trustees each spring and collected by the Accounting Office. 2016-2017 D.P.T. annual tuition was $23,938. (Tuition and fees are subject to change.) We anticipate the 2017-018 budget to be available in the spring. 

You can view tuition due dates, loan disbursement dates, and refund dates on our website

Books and equipment

We urge you to not purchase books or any other equipment until you obtain the list during orientation and see exactly what is required, recommended, and which editions will be used. Required and recommended textbooks and equipment are available from Matthews Bookstore on campus.


Mandatory orientation is scheduled for August 1-3, 2017. A schedule of events will be available on Pulse several weeks prior to Orientation.

Dress for the first day of orientation is professional. While a suit is not required, we will be taking your ID photo in a white coat. Men: shirt and tie with nice trouser. Women: Blouse with skirt/trousers or dress.


Classes are tentatively scheduled to begin August 4, 2017.

Important dates to know

  • White Coat Ceremony: To be determined
  • Thanksgiving Break: November 23-26, 2017
  • Winter Break: December 20, 2017-January 2, 2018
  • Spring Break: March 10-18, 2018

Social Media

Incoming classes have traditionally set up Facebook groups as a way to communicate prior to the start of classes. These groups are the sole responsibility of incoming students and DMU does not monitor or participate in the groups in any way. 

Explore Des Moines

Des Moines is a great city! Here are some helpful resources to help you explore or get settled:

We look forward to seeing you in August! Email us with any questions.