Frequently Asked Questions
- What degree do I need to have in order to enroll in the Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) Program?
- When is the application deadline?
- How many applications do you receive each year?
- What is the minimum grade point average (GPA) for admission?
- What is the minimum Graduate Record Examination (GRE) score for admission?
- Is volunteer or work experience in physical therapy required in order to apply?
- Do all the prerequisite courses need to be completed before applying in October?
- Do all prerequisite courses in anatomy, physiology, chemistry and physics need to have a laboratory component?
- Do you accept Advanced Placement (AP) credits in lieu of a letter grade to fulfill science prerequisites?
- Do prerequisite courses have an expiration date?
- Can I take prerequisite courses at a community college?
- Can I take online courses to fulfill the prerequisite requirements?
- How do I know if my course fulfills the program's prerequisite requirement?
- Do you accept transfers of credit?
- Are interviews a required part of the application process?
- If I'm denied admission, can I reapply?
- How do I appeal an admission decision?
All applicants must hold a bachelor's degree from an 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.
The application deadline is October 1 each year.
We receive between 250 and 300 applications each year.
Applicants must have an overall undergraduate GPA of 3.0 and an overall 3.0 GPA for the last 60 semester / 90 quarter units to be eligible for admission.
We require a minimum of 50th percentile scores for the Verbal and Quantitative GRE exams, using both old and new scoring systems. We require a minimum score of 4.5 on the Analytical Writing section of the GRE. GRE test scores must be no more than 5 years old. When evaluating multiple GRE scores, the program will count the highest score from each section.
All applicants must be able to demonstrate some understanding of the work and professions of physical therapy gained through a minimum of 150 hours of paid or volunteer experience in a variety (e.g. outpatient, inpatient, rehabilitation) of physical therapy settings working under the direct supervision of a licensed physical therapist, and be completed by the application deadline. There are no exceptions.
Applicants are strongly advised to complete at least 80% of the prerequisite courses prior to the October 1 deadline. The Admissions Committee considers final grades when evaluating academic performance and determining an applicant’s suitability for the program. If you do not have the majority of your final prerequisite course grades available at the time of application, it makes it difficult for the Admissions Committee to determine your academic ability. Competitive applicants meet or exceed the stated minimum requirements.
AP courses accepted are: Physics, Chemistry, and Statistics. Your score must have been a 3 or higher (higher is preferred). The AP course MUST have been accepted by the undergraduate institution that you attended.
No. All letter-graded prerequisite coursework is acceptable, no matter when the coursework was completed. However, it is highly recommended that students take refresher courses when needed to be prepared to take full advantage of the curriculum.
Yes. General Chemistry w/lab, General Physics w/lab, Microbiology/Cell Biology/Histology, Abnormal Psychology, and Statistics prerequisites can be taken at any community college. Please check www.assist.org to determine the equivalence of the community college courses to similar courses at either a CSU or UC school. It is preferred, though not required that Anatomy and Physiology be taken at a four-year institution.
Any prerequisite course that does not require a laboratory component can be taken online through an accredited institution. All online courses MUST be pre-approved by our department prior to enrollment in the class. Pre-approval can be obtained by sending a copy of the course syllabus to email@example.com.
See the assist.org website for information on student transfer information.
No, we do not accept any transfers of credit. Every course in the curriculum is required to be completed by each student in order to successfully complete the program.
Yes, top applicants are invited for an interview with an academic/clinical faculty member and a second year current student in January or February.
Yes, applicants who are denied admission are welcome to reapply in subsequent years. If an applicant reapplies, s/he must resubmit a new PTCAS application and pay the PTCAS and UCSF application fees again. Previous letters of recommendation and pre-physical therapy patient-related forms and GRE scores can be reused if desired. Repeat applicants should highlight what they have done to improve their eligibility for the program since the previous application and are encouraged to submit at least one new or updated letter of recommendation. Applicants may only apply three times for admission.
Applicants who do not receive an invitation to interview but feel that they have met all requirements may appeal the decision of the Admissions Committee by submitting a written letter of appeal for reconsideration to the Chair of the Admissions Committee within 30 calendar days after the date of notice denying admission. The Admissions Committee will review each appeal and appeals will only be further considered if appropriate cause is determined, such as:
o Procedural error
o Judgments based on criteria other than those specified by the program
o Personal bias
Applicants who have interviewed are not eligible to appeal because their files have already received final Committee review. Disagreements over evaluation of academic quality are not considered to be an appropriate basis for appeal. Additionally, an appeal from an applicant who does not meet the minimum admission criteria set by the program (e.g. undergraduate grade point average requirement) will not be further reviewed.
Within 30 days of receipt of the appeal, the Chair of the Admissions Committee will convene a meeting of the Admissions Committee to review the rejection. In cases of appropriate cause, the Admissions Committee will make a recommendation to the Program Directors, who will make the final decision. The program will strive to respond to the applicant with a decision within 90 calendar days of receipt of the applicant’s written appeal for reconsideration.
It is the policy of the program that no applicant for admission shall, on the basis of disability, gender, nationality, race or ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, or age, be unlawfully excluded from participation in or be denied the benefits of any program or activity. Nor shall an applicant for admission be otherwise subjected to unlawful discrimination, harassment, or retaliation for exercising his/her rights. Should an applicant believe s/he was subjected to unlawful discrimination, s/he should refer to the SFSU Policy Prohibiting Discrimination, Harassment, and Retaliation against Students and Applicants for Admission or contact the UCSF Director of Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity.
Each DPT class is 50 students.
Yes, the program is accredited through the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE).
The acceptance rate for the 2012-15 class year was 19% and the matriculation rate was 98%.
Class of 2009 - 100%
Class of 2010 - 97%
Class of 2011 - 97%
Class of 2009 - 100%
Class of 2010 - 100%
Class of 2011 - 100%
The employment rate for the Classes of 2009 through 2012 is 100%.
The program begins in early June.
The DPT is a 3 year program (36 months full-time - including summers).
Students are required to maintain an overall 3.0 GPA, as well as a 3.0 GPA at both UCSF and SFSU in order to successfully complete the program.
Yes. There are a limited number of competitive, merit-based scholarships as well as need-based awards for students throughout the 3-year program. Current students are considered for these awards, and there is no need to submit a formal application.
Yes. All enrolled students are eligible for need-based financial aid through UCSF. For more information, see the UCSF Financial Aid website.