Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)

School Name

Annsley Frazier Thornton School of Education



Major Advisor

Dr. Michael Vetter

Second Advisor

Dr. Grant Smith

Third Advisor

Dr. Mark Wiegand


Holistic admissions processes in doctor of physical therapy (DPT) education programs are perceived as a means to increasing the diversity of the profession. While previous research has correlated the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) to success on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) and the grade point average (GPA) to success in the program coursework, the impact of a holistic admissions process on the academic factors or on the demographics of the applicants offered admission has not been extensively studied for DPT education programs. This study was conducted to determine if the addition of a holistic application review process rubric to the admissions process would result in a significant change in the demographics and admission credentials of applicants offered admission in a DPT education program. Chi-square analyses and analyses of variances revealed that the addition of the HARP rubric in the admission process significantly impacted demographics with a change in the composite racial and ethnic identities and the age of applicants offered admission. Academic measures were also impacted, with a significant difference in in the prerequisite and cumulative undergraduate GPAs of the post-HARP sample, but no significant change in Quantitative or Verbal GRE scores. While further research needs to be conducted on graduation and NPTE success and other factors, the results could be reviewed for guidance in developing a holistic application review process at other programs.