Application Requirements


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


You must complete TWO applications which are submitted separately:

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

Our next admissions cycle for entry into the 2022-2023 academic year will open on June 15, 2022. The deadline for BOTH applications is October 3, 2022 (11:59pm Eastern Time for PTCAS and 11:59pm Pacific Time for UCSF Supplemental Application). No extension of this deadline will be granted.


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.


All applicants should be able to demonstrate understanding of the physical therapy profession by completing observation hours (paid or volunteer experience) in a variety of physical therapy settings.

We will still consider applications that do not meet the minimum recommended number of observation hours (100). We recognize that many clinics currently may not provide observation hours, or it may be difficult to obtain a variety of observation experiences. If it is possible for you to complete observation hours, we highly encourage you to do so, as we feel these hours are important for understanding the breadth and depth of the field, and to ensure that you are selecting a profession that is the best fit for you. However, if you are unable to meet the minimum number of observation hours due to the pandemic, we still encourage you to find creative solutions for connecting with a licensed PT, whether the physical therapist is a practicing clinician or working in management, research, education, association leadership, or another capacity. This type of resourcefulness in connecting with a physical therapist may still contribute to improving your understanding of the profession, ensuring you are selecting a profession that is the best fit for you, in addition to connecting you with a potential contact for a letter of recommendation.

Experiences must be under the direct supervision of a licensed physical therapist, and must be completed and verified by the application deadline. Extensive clinical experience, while valuable, will not overcome a weak academic record. Clinical experiences are documented and verified in the PTCAS application. Refer to the  PTCAS Observation Hours instructions  for more information.


Letters of recommendation are required from three individuals who personally know you and your abilities well, including at least one from a licensed physical therapist. Instructors of basic science coursework, health professionals, or employers are suggested for other letters of recommendation. Letters must be submitted through the PTCAS application by the program's application deadline. Information regarding letters of recommendation can be found in the PTCAS References section.


The Graduate Record Examinations (GRE) General Test is no longer required.

Though the GRE is no longer required, applicants may still opt include their GRE scores with their application, if they would like. If GRE scores are sent, they must be sent to PTCAS program code #7591 U CA San Francisco Phys Therapy. Scores sent to any other code will not be included in the application.


Applicants should complete all prerequisite courses prior to the October 3 application deadline. However, two prerequisites may be in progress or planned after the October 3 deadline, but they must be completed by the time of enrollment in the program. 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 recommendations. Please review our required prerequisite courses here.


Click here for a list of highly recommended courses in preparation for admission to the professional program. These courses are not required for admission – they provide the applicant a broader background and enhanced understanding of professional studies. We do not have a review or approval process for highly recommended coursework.


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


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. If an application is not verified by October 3 due to delays in transcript verification, it will impact the program’s ability to review an application and could lead to delays or denial due to incomplete information at the time of review. It is the responsibility of the applicant to work with PTCAS to ensure that their application is verified in a timely manner.  See the PTCAS Transcripts instructions for more information.


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