Physical Therapy High School Early Acceptance (HSEA) Program
High school students interested in a career in physical therapy have the opportunity
at Southwest Baptist University to start their education journey early. The Doctor
of Physical Therapy program at SBU teaches students about the healthcare industry
and about serving patients in need. The DPT degree program builds upon a strong liberal
arts background and highlights Christian values and behavior to mold you into a well-rounded
As an HSEA student, you can guarantee your spot in the program and feel certain in
your career and job path.
High school senior students with 24 ACT (or equivalent SAT or CLT) scores or higher
are eligible to apply on a competitive basis for early conditional acceptance into
the physical therapy program. High school students (or incoming freshman with less
than 30 credit hours completed) should contact the division of physical therapy for
an application for early conditional acceptance.
Applications are due April 1 prior to fall freshmen enrollment at SBU. If a student is attending Scholars Day,
applications submitted before the Scholars Day deadline will be eligible to interview
at Scholars Day and receive quicker feedback regarding acceptance. A maximum of 20
awards will be given during any one academic year.
Once a student is accepted into the HSEA program, the student is expected to enroll
immediately and begin taking a full-time course load at SBU. HSEA students must confirm
their intent to matriculate into and pay the appropriate deposit for the professional
phase of the program by the end of January in their intended DPT enrollment year.
Students earning this conditional acceptance must meet the following standards to
enter the professional phase of program:
Submit a current overall graduate program application
Earn an overall GPA of 3.00 and a prerequisite GPA of 3.25
Document 40 hours of observation or work hours in physical therapy
Participate in 50 hours of community service
Complete the bachelor's degree in any major at SBU prior to enrollment in the physical
Complete PTH 2523 Introduction to Physical Therapy and KIN 3073 Physiology of Exercise at SBU with a minimum of a "B" grade prior to enrollment
Complete all prerequisite courses with a minimum of a “C” grade prior to enrollment
Successful HSEA participants will receive a scholarship upon entering the professional
phase of the physical therapy program with the potential of up to $3,000. Students will receive credit for the scholarship by attending and documenting mentoring
sessions on a semester basis during their undergraduate semesters (max 8 semesters).
The total scholarship is awarded in 3 equal annual installments upon entry to the
SBU PT program. The award is not distributed as cash.
If the student does not accept the HSEA enrollment into the SBU PT program, the award
becomes null and void. If the student does not merit entry to the SBU PT program under
the established guidelines as a HSEA participant, the award becomes null and void.
If a student is placed on academic probation during their time in the professional
program, the award becomes null and void.
Once enrolled in the professional phase of the program, the HSEA participant must
meet established unconditional matriculation requirements or the remaining award distributions
will be forfeited. Eligibility for awarding the HSEA is established at the point of
SBU undergraduate graduation and all normal requirements must be completed at the
time of recognized graduation.
Yes! This is the same program that we used to call the “Freshman Guarantee.” We have
updated the requirements and felt the old name was not reflective of the message we
were intending to send. This program is designed for high-achieving high school students
offering them an early conditional acceptance into the DPT program at SBU and rewarding
them for choosing to come to SBU as a freshmen student.
If you meet the established standards of conditional acceptance when it is time for
you to enter the professional phase of the program, then the answer is “yes!” However,
if you do not meet the standards of the conditional acceptance, then the answer is
“no.” If the latter is the case, you may always apply through the general application
In general, the answer is yes. The spirit of this provision is not to prevent the
student from taking an occasional summer or correspondence course from a different
college or university. It should be noted that when taking occasional courses at other
colleges or universities, you must seek prior approval from your undergraduate degree
advisor and possibly the PT division as well. If there is any question, please receive
permission in advance and do not assume the course will automatically transfer.
The application process is competitive to determine the top 20 who eventually receive
the HSEA award. A waiting list will be compiled from those students not initially
accepted. Students on the waiting list will apply through the general application
pool during their senior collegiate year, and open HSEA slots will be awarded at that
time based on competitive ranking of the student’s general pool application.
Absolutely! Students who attend SBU receive preference points on their application.
If a student excels in their coursework and on standardized entrance exams, they have
an excellent chance of being accepted.
We recommend you take your prerequisite courses early in your college career and work
to have most if not all completed by the end of your junior year. If you have outstanding
coursework when you apply to our program, we insert a grade of “C” as a placeholder
to estimate your overall application. For students who have several prerequisite courses
outstanding, this can really harm your application.
Yes! While you do receive advisement on how to obtain your bachelor’s degree from
your undergraduate advisor, they may not always have the most up-to-date information
on how to enter the PT program at SBU. You are encouraged to seek advisement from
your PT mentor, the PT admissions coordinator, and attend informational meetings through
the pre-PT club on a semester basis. It is best that we hear directly from you! You will receive credit toward your HSEA “scholarship” by coming to seek our consul
during each semester (up to 8 semesters). This will help us to ensure that you are
on track to enter the program and achieve your goal of becoming a professional physical
For general inquiries: Division of Physical Therapy 1600 University Avenue Bolivar MO 65613 (417) 328-1672 (800) 526-5859 pt@SBUniv.edu
For admissions or alumni questions: Julie Mpofu Admissions and Alumni Coordinator (417) 328-1690 jmpofu@SBUniv.edu
For clinical education questions: Dr. Kevin Jones Director of Clinical Education (417) 328-2038 kjones@SBUniv.edu
For certification or professional development needs: Dr. Josh Layman, D.P.T., Ph.D. Program Director (417) 328-1472 jlayman@SBUniv.edu