DPT Application Requirements


The application process for the summer 2024 start term will open June 17, 2024.  You must complete the following two applications, which are submitted separately:

The deadline for the PTCAS application is October 1, 2024, at 11:59pm, Eastern Time.  The deadline for the UCSF application is October 1, 2024, at 11:59pm, Pacific Time.  No additional extensions of the deadlines will be granted.

Degree and GPA

A Bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited institution is required; any undergraduate major is acceptable. We look at the following GPAs as a part of our admissions process - overall undergraduate, last 60 semester units, prerequisite courses, and science.  There is no minimum GPA required to be considered; however, the application process is competitive, so it is in your best interests to apply with a strong overall GPA - we recommend a minimum of 3.0.

Recommendation LettersLearners practicing hand skills in the Clinical Skills Center (CSC)

Letters of recommendation are required from three individuals who personally know the applicant and their abilities. At least one letter must be from a licensed physical therapist. Instructors of basic science coursework, health professionals, or employers are suggested for the other two. Letters must be submitted through PTCAS by the application deadline (see PTCAS References for more information).

Prerequisite Coursework

Applicants are encouraged to complete all prerequisite courses prior to the application deadline. However, up to three prerequisite courses may be taken after the summer term of the application cycle, (e.g., after summer 2024 for students applying for summer 2025 entry), including a maximum of two prerequisite courses after the fall semester/quarter. All prerequisite courses must be completed prior to enrollment in the program. For detailed information on prerequisite and recommended courses, please use the following link:

Prerequisite Coursework


Official transcripts must be sent directly to PTCAS in order for your application to be verified and finalized.  If an application is not verified by the application deadline, it will impact our ability to review an application and could lead to delays or denial due to incomplete information at the time of review.  Because it can take up to 4-5 weeks for PTCAS to process an applicant's file once it is complete, we encourage you to send ALL official transcripts from every US and Canadian college and university attended to PTCAS by September 1. See PTCAS Transcripts instructions for more information.   

Clinical Experience

All applicants must be able to demonstrate understanding of the physical therapy profession by completing a minimum of 50 clinical observation hours (paid or volunteer) under the direct supervision of a licensed physical therapist.  These hours can be completed in one or more physical therapy settings (e.g., outpatient, inpatient, rehab)  - see our FAQ page for more details.  Clinical observation hours must be completed and electronically verified in PTCAS by the application deadline (see PTCAS Observation Hours instructions for more information).

Additional Criteria

As a part of our holistic admissions review process, we consider an applicant’s experiences, both in the academic environment and beyond it. We review each applicant’s responses to our essay prompts, as well as extra-curricular involvement during an applicant’s collegiate career. That can include, for example, intercollegiate athletics participation, work experience, research experience, or leadership roles in organizations. A successful application does not require those life experiences, but they are additional factors that can strengthen an application beyond the academics and observation hours. 

International Applicant Requirements

In addition to the requirements above, international applicants must also submit the following:

Foreign transcripts and courses:

Applicants who completed coursework at an international institution must submit a Foreign Transcript Evaluation Report directly to PTCAS. Applicants must purchase the "Course-by-Course Report" through the World Education Services for the transcript evaluation process. For Canadian courses, if the transcript is in English, please submit the original transcript directly to PTCAS. If the transcript is not in English, please submit the Foreign Transcript Evaluation Report. Upon admission, applicants must also submit original foreign transcripts directly to the program. (Applicants interested in advising related to prerequisite coursework requirements must submit original course syllabi and translated syllabi directly to the program.)

English language proficiency

If English is not your primary language, we encourage you to take the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or the International English Language Testing System (IELTS). Submit TOEFL scores directly to PTCAS using code 5312 by the application deadline of October 1.

TOEFL minimum scores required:

  • Paper-based test (PBT): 550
  • Computer-based test (CBT): 213
  • Internet-based test (IBT): 80

IELTS minimum overall score required: 7.0

Applicants may waive the TOEFL/ IELTS requirement if s/he has successfully earned a Bachelor's or Master's degree from an accredited U.S. institution where English was the principal language of instruction. More information can be found through the UCSF International Students and Scholars Office and SFSU International Admissions Office.