Admissions - Doctor of Physical Therapy Requirements

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Application Process - Doctor of Physical Therapy Requirements

Students who can meet the prerequisite physical therapy requirements by the time the program begins in Fall semester of a given year should apply to the Doctor of Physical Therapy program at USA by the prior November 1st by following these steps.  The applicant must meet all applicable Doctor of Physical Therapy requirements including prerequisites by the November 1 deadline.
Note: The Department of Physical Therapy will not process any application that is incomplete (for any items noted above) or that is not submitted by the deadline. If a student is not selected for admission in a given year, they may re-apply the following year.

  1. All applicants must apply to Physical Therapy Centralized Application Service (PTCAS). The PTCAS application must be completed and submitted to PTCAS by November 1, 2022. Please allow up to four weeks for verification. Transcripts: Official transcripts from every college or university attended are considered part of the PTCAS application and must be sent directly to PTCAS. Applications will not be verified until all official transcripts have been received by PTCAS.

  2. Application Fee: $75 non-refundable Application Fee is required.  A copy of your receipt must be emailed to the Dept. of Physical Therapy no later than the November 1 deadline.

  3. International applicants must have a TOEFL (internet) score ≥100, or IELTS ≥7.5 and must submit application requirements to the Department of Physical Therapy by September 15 of the year prior to admission.

  4. All applicants must have a minimum 3.0 (A=4.0) overall grade point average (GPA).

  5. Graduate Record Examination (GRE): Preferred GRE verbal and quantitative combined minimum score of 290. GRE scores must be officially reported to PTCAS (use Institution Code 7799) by November 1 deadline. No copies are accepted. USA PT Studies Institution Code 7799 will allow GRE scores to be sent to your designated PTCAS application and USA Admissions. GRE must have been taken within the last 5 years. Verbal, Quantitative and Analytical Writing sections may be utilized.  We strongly recommend that you take the GRE BEFORE October 4, 2022, so that there is sufficient time for PTCAS to receive and verify the scores before the November 1st deadline.

  6. Students accepted to the DPT program must submit completed health and physical exam forms to include required immunizations. Accepted students must also read, sign and submit the Core Performance Standards document outlining fundamental tasks of which applicants should be capable upon entering the DPT program. The Core Performance Standards document is included in the application packet and available upon request.

  7. Acceptance into the DPT program is provisional pending completion of any additional required prerequisite courses (see below) with a grade of "C" or better and submission of required medical forms as supplied in the acceptance packet. Failure to make a grade of "C" or better in any required prerequisite course will result in a nullification of acceptance into the professional program.  Applicants may have a maximum of 2 Science prerequisite courses remaining by the application deadline (November 1st). The remaining prerequisites must be completed in the spring and summer prior to the start of the program.

  8. A minimum of 50 Observation Hours are required and must be completed by November 1, 2022. These must be submitted and verified electronically through PTCAS. These hours must have been completed under the supervision of a licensed Physical Therapist. Applicants must include name, dates worked, and contact information of the Physical Therapist(s) under whom they shadowed, as well as the name and address of the facility or facilities at which they shadowed. This information should be uploaded to PTCAS for verification. There is no additional form required for submitting hours.


Applicants Considered for Admission to DPT Program

Applicants must complete a bachelor's degree prior to starting the USA DPT program.

Regular Graduate Applicants
These applicants must hold a bachelor's degree in any field from an accredited college or university and complete all prerequisites for regular graduate admission as listed below with a GPA > 3.00 by the time they would start the DPT program.

Admissions rankings
Admissions rankings for all applicants are determined using the same criteria. Acceptance to the DPT program will be based on the student's academic ability and aptitude for a career as a physical therapist including GPA emphasizing Science prerequisites, GRE score, and interview score.


Prerequisite Courses Required For All Applicants


Dept. of Physical Therapy
Doctor of Physical Therapy Requirements
Prerequisite Courses

Prerequisite Courses Requirement
English Composition 2 courses
Social Science 3 courses - at least two of which must be Psychology
Precalculus Algebra / Trigonometry or Higher Mathematics Either 1 course of Algebra/Trigonometry, 1 course of higher level mathematics (e.g. Calculus), or 2 courses to include Algebra and Trigonometry.
Statistics 1 course
College Physics -with labs 2 semester or 3 quarter sequence
General Chemistry for science majors -with labs 2 semester or 3 quarter sequence
General or Cell Biology for science majors -with lab* 2 semester or 3 quarter sequence
Human Physiology OR a course
sequence in Anatomy and Physiology
Minimum 6 credits
(Human physiology is the preferred sequence.)

NOTE: For all prerequisite courses, credit older than ten years from the application deadline must be repeated or validated by examination or other appropriate mechanism.

*Botany may not be used to satisfy this prerequisite.
**Electives should be concentrated in a back-up major of the student's choice.

Admissions Timeline

This schedule represents the admissions timeline in a typical year. In any given year, the schedule may have to be adjusted.

Dept. of Physical Therapy
Doctor of Physical Therapy
Admissions Timeline

Date Event
July 1-November 1 Application period

January 5-6 In-person interviews

February - March Initial acceptance letters and alternate letters mailed
Deadline to respond to offer and reserve your place

Late August Students begin first semester of DPT program

Dept. of Physical Therapy
Doctor of Physical Therapy
Admissions Data

Class Admitted
Class Admitted
Class Admitted
Mean Cumulative GPA 3.89 3.86 3.90
Mean Sci. GPA 3.79 3.75 3.74
Mean GRE (V+Q) Total 303 301 301



African American



Number of Applicants
(complete applications/
pre-requisites met)
484 418 393
Number Accepted 116   85
Number Enrolled 40 40 40

For the Cumulative GPA, we now consider the cumulative GPA and GPA of the last 64 hours (including Graduate level coursework) and use the higher of the two GPA’s.