- 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?
- How are GPAs calculated?
- Are repeated courses included in the GPA calculation?
- What is the minimum Graduate Record Examination (GRE) score for admission?
- Can I get any financial assistance to help me pay for the GRE?
- Is volunteer or work experience in physical therapy required in order to apply?
- What other factors are evaluated beside academic ability?
- Do all the prerequisite courses need to be completed before applying?
- 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 admitted, can I request a deferral to a future term?
- If I'm denied admission, can I reapply?
- Can I receive feedback on my application?
- Can my parent, friend, significant other, etc. contact the program on my behalf?
- What is the size of a DPT class?
- Is the DPT program accredited?
- What is the acceptance rate for the program?
- What is the graduation rate?
- What is the pass rate on the national licensing exam?
- What is the employment rate?
- When does the DPT program begin?
- How long is the DPT program?
- What is the minimum GPA for successful completion of the DPT program?
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 500-800 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.
Applicants are encouraged to retake courses or take additional science courses or highly recommended courses to raise their GPA if their GPA is not competitive. Note that all grades are included in the GPA calculations.
We recommend a minimum of 50th percentile scores for the Verbal and Quantitative GRE exams, using both old and new scoring systems. We recommend 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. Applicants are encouraged to retake the exam if they score below the recommended minimums.
When evaluating multiple GRE scores, the program will count the highest score from each section. Applicants are recommended to plan to take the GRE twice in the event they are not happy with their initial scores. All scores must be sent to PTCAS Program code #7591 in order to be considered.
For applicants with limited funds, please check the ETS GRE Fee Reduction Program site for information on fee reduction certificates.
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. The clinical observation hours must be completed and electronically verified in PTCAS by the application deadline. There are no exceptions.
Applicants are strongly encouraged to plan ahead to obtain a mix of both inpatient and outpatient experiences. Keep in mind that many inpatient facilities have long waiting lists for volunteers which can range anywhere from 6 months to over a year. All applicants are encouraged to research facilities in their area for more opportunities to obtain clinical observation experiences under a licensed physical therapist. Applicants may also research skilled nursing facilities that may have opportunities to work under the direct supervision of a licensed physical therapist. Although, there is no requirement to work as a Physical Therapy Aide prior to applying to our program, many applicants seek opportunities to work as a PTA in order to obtain more hands-on experience and guaranteed hours of clinical work.
Other factors reviewed besides academic ability include: research experience, community service, extracurricular activities, leadership activities, strong letters of recommendation, and a personal interest in why Physical Therapy is the right career for them.
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.
The program will apply AP credit to satisfy prerequisite requirements for Physics, Chemistry, or Statistics if the following criteria are met:
Advanced Placement credit is accepted by the undergraduate institution and the undergraduate intuition has granted a waiver for the course equivalency (i.e. General Chemistry, General Physics, Introductory Statistics). Elective credit or units are not applicable.
Advanced Placement credit and course equivalency must appear on official transcripts.
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 except for Anatomy. Anatomy must alwayes be taken in person. Pre-approval can be obtained by sending a copy of the course syllabus, course number, course name, and institution to PTadmissions@ucsf.edu.
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 current student in January or February.
Under extreme circumstances, the Admissions Committee will review requests for deferred admission. Written requests for deferral must be received by March 1 of the year of expected entry. Students will receive notice of acceptance or denial of deferment by April 1 of the year of expected entry. We typically consider deferrals that are based on either physical illness/medical condition of the applicant or immediate family member or an unexpected, extenuating circumstance that precludes the student from starting classes at the start of the academic year. While we understand that students may wish to defer admission for financial reasons, personal development, employment opportunities, or family needs, we are unlikely to grant deferrals for these reasons.
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. 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. Information on reuse of application materials can be found on the PTCAS Reapplicants information page.
No. The program does not offer individual feedback on applications.
No. The program will discuss application requirements with applicants only.
Each DPT class is 50 students.
Yes, the program is accredited through the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE).
The acceptance rate is around 10%.
- Class of 2009 - 100%
- Class of 2010 - 97%
- Class of 2011 - 97%
- Class of 2012 - 97%
- Class of 2013 - 100%
- Class of 2014 - 97%
- Class of 2015 - 100%
- Class of 2016 - 100%
- Class of 2017 - 98%
- Class of 2013 - 100%
- Class of 2014 - 100%
- Class of 2015 - 100%
- Class of 2016 - 100%
- Class of 2017 - 100%
The employment rate within one year of graduation for the Classes of 2010 through 2015 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.