Frequently Asked Questions

Admissions Process

  1. What degree do I need to have in order to enroll in the Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) Program?
  2. When is the application deadline?
  3. How many applications do you receive each year?
  4. What is the minimum grade point average (GPA) for admission?
  5. How are GPAs calculated?
  6. Are repeated courses included in the GPA calculation?
  7. What is the minimum Graduate Record Examination (GRE) score for admission?
  8. Can I get any financial assistance to help me pay for the GRE?
  9. Is volunteer or work experience in physical therapy required in order to apply?
  10. What other factors are evaluated beside academic ability?
  11. Do all the prerequisite courses need to be completed before applying?
  12. Do all prerequisite courses in anatomy, physiology, chemistry and physics need to have a laboratory component?
  13. Do you accept Advanced Placement (AP) credits in lieu of a letter grade to fulfill science prerequisites?
  14. Do prerequisite courses have an expiration date?
  15. Can I take prerequisite courses at a community college?
  16. Can I take online courses to fulfill the prerequisite requirements?
  17. How do I know if my course fulfills the program's prerequisite requirement?
  18. Do you accept transfers of credit?
  19. Are interviews a required part of the application process?
  20. If admitted, can I request a deferral to a future term?
  21. If I'm denied admission, can I reapply?
  22. Can I receive feedback on my application?
  23. Can my parent, friend, significant other, etc. contact the program on my behalf?

Program

  1. What is the size of a DPT class?
  2. Is the DPT program accredited?
  3. What is the acceptance rate for the program?
  4. What is the graduation rate?
  5. What is the pass rate on the national licensing exam?
  6. What is the employment rate?
  7. When does the DPT program begin?
  8. How long is the DPT program?
  9. What is the minimum GPA for successful completion of the DPT program?

Funding

  1. Does the program offer scholarships?
  2. Am I eligible for financial aid?
     

Admissions Process

What degree do I need to have in order to enroll in the Doctor of Physical Therapy (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.

When is the application deadline?

The application deadline is October 1 each year.

How many applications do you receive each year?

We receive between 500-800 applications each year.

What is the minimum grade point average (GPA) for admission?

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.

How are GPAs calculated?

Information regarding GPA calculation can be found on the PTCAS website in the GPA section or in the FAQs section.

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.

Are repeated courses included in the GPA calculation?

Yes. Information regarding GPA calculation can be found on the PTCAS website in the GPA section or in the FAQs section.

What is the minimum Graduate Record Examination (GRE) score for admission?

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.

Can I get any financial assistance to help me pay for the GRE?

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

Is volunteer or work experience in physical therapy required in order to apply?

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.

What other factors are evaluated beside academic ability?

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.

Do all the prerequisite courses need to be completed before applying?

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.

Do all prerequisite courses in anatomy, physiology, chemistry and physics need to have a laboratory component?

Yes.

Do you accept Advanced Placement (AP) credits in lieu of a letter grade to fulfill science prerequisites?

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.

Do prerequisite courses have an expiration date?

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.

Can I take prerequisite courses at a community college?

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.

Can I take online courses to fulfill the prerequisite requirements?

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 admissions@ptrehab.ucsf.edu.

How do I know if my course fulfills the program's prerequisite requirement?

See the assist.org website for information on student transfer information.

Do you accept transfers of credit?

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.

Are interviews a required part of the application process?

Yes, top applicants are invited for an interview with an academic/clinical faculty member and a current student in January or February.

If admitted, can I request a deferral to a future term?

No. The program does not defer admitted students to a future term. Your application is only valid for the term to which you apply. We encourage you to apply for the term in which you wish to enroll.

If I'm denied admission, can I reapply?

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.

Can I receive feedback on my application?

No. The program does not offer individual feedback on applications.

Can my parent, friend, significant other, etc. contact the program on my behalf?

No. The program will discuss application requirements with applicants only.


Program

What is the size of a DPT class?

Each DPT class is 50 students.

Is the DPT program accredited?

Yes, the program is accredited through the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE).

Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education
1111 North Fairfax Street
Alexandria, VA 22314
Phone: (703) 706-3245
accreditation@apta.org
http://www.capteonline.org

What is the acceptance rate for the program?

The acceptance rate is 10%.

What is the graduation rate?

  • 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%

What is the ultimate pass rate on the national licensing exam?

  • Class of 2013 - 100%
  • Class of 2014 - 100%
  • Class of 2015 - 100%
  • Class of 2016 - 100%

What is the employment rate?

The employment rate within one year of graduation for the Classes of 2010 through 2015 is 100%.

When does the DPT program begin?

The program begins in early June.

How long is the DPT program?

The DPT is a 3-year program (36 months full-time, including summers).

What is the minimum GPA for successful completion of the DPT program?

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.


Funding

Does the program offer scholarships?

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.

Am I eligible for financial aid?

Yes. All enrolled students are eligible for need-based financial aid through UCSF. For more information, see the UCSF Financial Aid website.