Acute Care Physical Therapy Residency Admissions Requirements & Application Process

Admissions Requirements

The deadline for application submission is 11:59 p.m. EST on March 1.

Please note: UCSF does not have the ability to sponsor visas for this program. Candidates must be able to demonstrate work eligibility for the duration of the program to be considered for acceptance.

Degree, Licensure Requirements

  • Graduate of a CAPTE-accredited physical therapy program.
  • Proof of licensure or Physical Therapy Licensed Applicant (PTLA) status by the Physical Therapy Board of California.
  • If the resident is a PTLA, he or she must complete the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) within 90 days of being granted PTLA status by the PT Board of California per the California Physical Therapy Practice Act, Section 2655.93.
  • Proof of American Physical Therapy Association membership
  • Proof of current BLS Certification.

Letters of Recommendation

  • Letters of recommendation are required from three physical therapists that personally know the applicant and his/her abilities.
  • Two of the recommendations must be from licensed physical therapists that have supervised or worked with the applicant.
  • The third letter of recommendation should be from a previous instructor or academician.

Additional Requirements

• Applicants will submit their graduate school transcripts, a personal statement, and current curriculum vitae, including all continuing education courses attended.

Application Process and Timeline

Application Timeline

  • November 1: Applications open
  • March 1: Deadline to apply
  • February/March: Applications reviewed
  • March: Selected applicants invited for interviews

Three-Part Process

Our application process consists of three parts:
1.    Application in the centralized application service RF-PTCAS
2.    Interview Process
3.    Application Status

UCSF Application

Application and all application materials must be submitted by March 1, 2023 deadline.
Your application should include your CV, a personal statement, three letters of reference, proof of BLS certification and your graduate academic transcripts.

Your CV should highlight:

  • Academic history (undergraduate, graduate, or professional institutions attended or currently attending)
  • Continuing education courses. Please include: name of course, name of course instructor/sponsoring organization, approximate number of contact hours, date of completion.
  • Clinical experience (PT clinical experiences/internships, professional employment history, research, volunteer work, teaching and professional presenting experience, research)
  • Honors or awards
  • Licenses. Please indicate if you currently have PTLA status.
  • Residency or fellowships
  • Credentials or certifications (ABPTS certifications, APTA credentialed instructor, ATC, etc.)
  • Professional memberships

Interview Process

  •  Selected applicants will be invited for an interview in April.
  • The interview is a required part of the application process. If you decline our invitation or do not RSVP by the specified deadline, your application will be canceled and you will not be considered for admission.
  • All applicants are notified of their interview invitation by email.

Application Status

All applicants will be notified of their application status as soon as admissions decisions are finalized. We are aware of how stressful this time can be for applicants, and we do everything we can to complete the process as quickly and efficiently as possible. We ask for your help at this time by not contacting us to check on your admission status and by waiting for our notification. Final application status is usually emailed within two weeks after interview.

Status Results


  • If you've been accepted to the Residency program, congratulations! Your notice will contain all necessary instructions for accepting or declining the offer.
  • Follow the instructions provided in your offer letter to accept or decline our admission offer by the date designated in the notice. If we do not hear from you by that deadline, your offer of admission will be withdrawn, and your application will be canceled.
  • If you accept our offer of admission, please review information for entering students.

Wait List (Alternates)

  • If you've been selected as an alternate, congratulations! Your notice will contain all necessary instructions for accepting or declining an alternate position.
  • You must accept or decline the alternate position offer by the date designated in the notice. If we do not hear from you by that deadline, your alternate offer will be withdrawn, and your application will be canceled.
  • The wait list will remain active until the first day of instruction. If your name is on the wait list, but you are not offered admission by this day, your application will be formally denied and you will be notified by email.


  • If you are not offered admission, we thank you for the time and effort you spent on applying to our program.
  • Applicants may apply a maximum of three times to our program.


The Residency is one year in length and begins at the start of September every year.

Resident Schedules

Resident schedules include:
•    27-30 hours per week of patient care
•    5 hours per week of mentoring
•    2-4 hours per week of didactic coursework, journal club, and/or inter-professional rounding
•    2-4 hours per week of teaching within the UCSF/SFSU Graduate Program in Physical Therapy
•    Intermittent 1-day weekend coursework

Financial Commitment/Support

Residents will be employed by the University of California, San Francisco through the Office of Graduate Medical Education.

Stipend & Tuition

  • Residents will receive a stipend for time spent performing patient care, as well as benefits.
  • Annual tuition for the program is $2,500 and is due by the first day of residency.
  • Residents are encouraged to contact the program as soon as possible if they are experiencing hardship and are unable to meet this deadline to explore further options.

Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program (PSLF)

The Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) program is a United States government program that was created under the College Cost Reduction and Access Act of 2007 (CCRAA) to provide indebted professionals a way to reduce their federal student loan debt burden by working full-time in public service. The PSLF Program forgives the remaining balance on a person’s Federal Direct Loans after they have made 120 qualifying monthly payments under a qualifying repayment plan while working full-time for a qualifying employer. UCSF is considered a qualifying employer because we are tax-exempt under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. Orthopedic physical therapy residents are considered employees of UCSF during their residency and qualify for the PSLF program while making payments for the duration of the residency. Please visit the PSLF website for more detailed information on the program, qualifying repayment plans, and the enrollment process.