Application Requirements

Requirements

To be eligible for admission, the following criteria must be met:

1. APPLICATIONS

You must complete TWO applications which are submitted separately:

  1. Physical Therapist Centralized Application Service (PTCAS)
  2. UCSF Supplemental Application

The deadline for BOTH applications is October 3 (11:59pm EST for PTCAS and 11:59pm PST for UCSF Supplemental Application). No extension of this deadline will be granted.

2. DEGREE REQUIREMENTS

All applicants must hold a bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited institution. Although any undergraduate major is acceptable, for students in the initial stages of undergraduate preparation, a major in Kinesiology or the biological sciences tends to be the most direct route into a physical therapy program. Students must meet the Graduate School Requirements of the University of California and the California State University systems. More specifically, students must have an overall baccalaureate GPA of 3.0 and an overall GPA of 3.0 for the last 60 semester / 90 quarter units to be eligible for admission to the UCSF and SFSU Graduate Divisions.

3. CLINICAL EXPERIENCE

All applicants must be able to demonstrate some understanding of the work and profession of physical therapy by completing a minimum of 150 hours of paid or volunteer experience in a variety (e.g. outpatient, inpatient) of physical therapy settings working under the direct supervision of a licensed physical therapist. Extensive clinical experience, while valuable, will not overcome a weak academic record.  Clinical observation hours must be completed and electronically verified in the PTCAS application by the application deadline. Refer to the PTCAS Observation Hours instructions for more information.

4. LETTERS OF RECOMMENDATION

Letters of recommendation are required from three individuals who personally know the applicant and his/her abilities. At least one recommendation must be from a licensed physical therapist. Instructors of basic science coursework, health professionals, or employers are suggested for the two other letters of recommendation. Letters must submitted through the PTCAS application by the application deadline. Information regarding letters of recommendation can be found in the PTCAS References section.

5. GRE SCORES

All applicants must take the Graduate Record Examinations (GRE) General Test. Applicants must take the GRE exam and request to have scores submitted to PTCAS program code #7591 U CA San Francisco Phys Therapy no later than application deadline.The GRE general test scores must be no more than five years old. Please refer to the ETS website for valid reportable date ranges. In order to be competitive, we recommend applicants score at a minimum 50th percentile on both the verbal and quantitative reasoning sections of the GRE exam, and at least a 4.5 on the analytical writing section. Applicants are encouraged to retake the exam if they score below the recommended minimums. If an applicant submits multiple GRE scores, the overall best score from each section is counted. Scores are considered in conjunction with other criteria in assessing the applicant's probability of success in the program.

Scores must be sent to code # 7591. DO NOT send scores to Institution Codes 4840 or 4683. GRE scores sent to a code other than #7591 will not be counted.

For applicants with limited funds, please check the ETS GRE Fee Reduction Program site for information on fee reduction certificates.

6. REQUIRED PREREQUISITE COURSEWORK

Applicants should complete all prerequisite courses prior to the October 1 application deadline. Two prerequisites may be in progress or planned after the October 1 deadline, but they must be completed by enrollment in the program. No prerequisite course may be taken on a Pass/No Pass basis. The Admissions Committee considers final grades when evaluating academic performance and determining an applicant’s suitability for the program. Competitive applicants meet or exceed the stated minimum requirements.

Online Courses: All online courses must be approved by the Admissions Committee before they can be used to fulfill a prerequisite. A copy of the course syllabus along with the course name, number, and institution must be submitted to PTadmissions@ucsf.edu for review.

7. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED COURSEWORK

See below for highly recommended courses in preparation for admission to the professional program. These courses provide the applicant a broader background and enhanced understanding of professional studies. Most successful applicants have completed two or more highly recommended courses.

8. INTERNATIONAL APPLICANT REQUIREMENTS

International applicants must meet additional requirements for the program. Please review the International Applicants page for more information.

9. TRANSCRIPTS

Applicants are encouraged to send ALL official transcripts from every US and Canadian college and university attended directly to PTCAS by September 1 in order to be processed by our  application deadline. It can take up to 4-5 weeks for PTCAS to process an applicant’s file once it is complete. See the PTCAS Transcripts instructions for more information.

10. ADMISSIONS TIMELINE

Applicants are responsible for following all instructions and meeting all deadlines. Please review the admissions timeline and application process thoroughly.


Required Prerequisite Coursework

Course Name Semester Units* Quarter Units* Notes
General Inorganic Chemistry with lab (1 year) 8-10 12-15

Course should be designed for science majors and for pre-medical students.

Must be one full year of Inorganic Chemistry (2 semesters or 3 quarters).

Organic Chemistry is a highly recommended course - it cannot substitute the Inorganic Chemistry requirement.

Courses with titles that include: "Survey", Principles", or "Applied" generally signify that the course content is not comprehensive enough to fulfill the General Inorganic Chemistry requirement.

General Physics with lab (1 year) 8-10 12-15

Course should be designed for science majors and for pre-medical students.

There is no preference between algebra/trigonometry based physics and calculus based physics. Both types of courses are acceptable.

Courses with titles that include: "Survey", Principles", or "Applied" generally signify that the course content is not comprehensive enough to fulfill the General Physics requirement.

Human or Comparative Anatomy with lab 3 4 Can be a combined Human Anatomy and Human Physiology course as long as the course meets the general guidelines for our program. Must be one full year (2 semesters or 3 quarters) if a combination course.
Human Physiology with lab 4 5 Can be a combined Human Anatomy and Human Physiology course as long as the course meets the general guidelines for our program. Must be one full year (2 semesters or 3 quarters) if a combination course.
General Microbiology or Upper Division Biology 3 4

Courses that are part of a multi-course sequence of introductory/general biology do not satisfy the General Biology/Upper Division Biology requirement.

Please see prerequisite course descriptions for acceptable upper division biology courses.

Abnormal Psychology 3 4 Course must focus on psychopathology.
Introduction to Statistics 3 4  


If prerequisite coursework is more than 5 years old, students are encouraged to take additional science or highly recommended courses to demonstrate their current scholastic attributes. Any online course MUST be approved before it can be used to fulfill a prerequisite requirement.

* Units listed are an approximation of the amount of credit usually earned in these courses.

Click here for detailed prerequisite coursework descriptions.


Highly Recommended Coursework

Course Name Semester
Units*
Quarter
Units*
Neuroscience/Neuroanatomy (1 year recommended) 3-6 4-8
Organic Chemistry 3 4
Kinesiology 3 4
Exercise Physiology 3 4
Motor Learning or Motor Control 3 4
Biomedical Ethics 3 4
Developmental Psychology or Motor Development 3 4


* Units listed are an approximation of the amount of credit usually earned in these courses.

Click here for detailed highly recommended coursework descriptions.