For the Prospective DPT Student

Steve with students

DPT Class of 2015
(Admitted Fall 2012)
By the Numbers

Women: 62%
Men: 38%
Ave. PreReq GPA: 3.68
PreReq GPA range: 3.30- 4.00
Median GRE Analytic Writing Score (Range): 4.0 (3.5 - 6.0)
PTCAS Applications Received: 698
Applicants Interviewed: 82
Applicants Admitted: 32
Percent of Admitted applicants with CSUS bachelor's degrees: 28%

Admission is highly selective and enrollment in the PT program is limited to 32 students each year. To be eligible for admission, students must have earned a bachelor's degree by the start of the program. 

The Physical Therapy program Admissions Committee considers the following factors in the selection process:

  • Strength of academic record. All prerequisite coursework must be completed by the start of the program, with a "C" grade or higher. You must obtain at least a 3.00 GPA in all of the prerequisites to be eligible to apply. When submitting the PTCAS application, you must designate which course from your transcripts you will designate for each prerequisite course type/category.  The Admissions Committee may reject a course that you have listed if it does not meet the qualifying criterion explained on the PTCAS application program page for CSU, Sacramento.  Extra admissions points are given for recommended (but not required) prerequisite courses in Advanced Anatomy, Neuroanatomy, and Neurophysiology completed by the 2013 application deadline with a "C" grade or higher.

  • Observation experience. Applicants must demonstrate the accumulation of at least 100 hours of paid or volunteer experience with a current practicing United States or Canadian licensed Physical Therapist. Applicants must complete and verify on PTCAS a minimum of 100 total hours in at least two different physical therapy settings.  PTCAS will ask you to select “TYPE OF EXPERIENCE” as either “Inpatient”, “Outpatient” or “Both”.  Inpatient refers to treating patients who are admitted overnight at the facility. In addition, PTCAS will also ask to specify one or more SETTINGS.  Please read carefully the PTCAS descriptions of the settings. The inpatient settings include: Acute Care, Rehab/Sub-Acute Care Facility, and Extended Care/Skilled Nursing Facility (SNF). The outpatient settings are: Outpatient clinic, School/Pre-school, Wellness/Prevention/Fitness and Industrial/Occupational Health. Specialty area observed does not indicate settings.  Each setting should have at least twenty-five (25) hours of exposure.  For example, 75 hours in an Outpatient type (i.e. Outpatient clinic setting), and 25 hours in an Inpatient type facility (i.e. SNF setting) would fulfill this requirement.   All PT experience hours must be completed by the application deadline. No consideration will be given to hours projected beyond the application deadline date.
  • Strength of professional evaluations. Three professional evaluations must be submitted with your application; two from current practicing U.S. or Canadian licensed PTs, and one from an academician. Professional evaluation forms are available through the PTCAS application.
  • Background Characteristics. Additional admissions points are available for second language competency, and for disadvantaged economic, educational and environmental backgrounds. 
  • Strength of the on-campus personal interview with faculty and affiliating clinicians.  During the panel interview, we will attempt to ascertain your
    • Ability to reflect and your level of self-awareness
    • Understanding of the Physical Therapy profession
    • Understanding and involvement in cultural awareness and diversity
    • Type and extent of community activities
  • We require the full GRE for admission into the program, yet only the Analytical Writing Score will be used to assess quality of writing ability, which is included in the admission decision. You must have a GRE analytic score of at least 3.5 to be considered for admission; the GRE verbal and quantitative scores do not require a minimum threshold.

  • Content of application forms and care with which they have been completed

Applicants with Foreign Documents
Domestic applicants applying with transcripts from outside the U.S. must complete at least 8 units of prerequisite course work by the December 3, 2012 deadline and have two (2) references from U.S. or Canadian licensed physical therapists.  Domestic applicants with foreign transcripts must submit their transcripts by November 2, 2012 to Office of Graduate Studies to allow for verification time.

DPT Program Essential Functions and Technical Standards

The Physical Therapy program does not grant advanced standing nor accept transfer students from other physical therapy program. Students who have previously attended a physical therapy program in the U.S. or Canada, must enclose a letter from the Chair of the program stating that the applicant left the previous PT program in good academic standing.

All application materials are reviewed by the Admissions Committee to assess for meeting minimum requirements and to rank applicants for interviews. Points are assigned for the prerequisite coursework GPA, recommendation forms from two (2) licensed U.S. or Canadian physical therapists and one (1) college level professor, the GRE writing (analytic) score and additional background criteria. The 60-80 highest ranked applicants will be invited for a panel interview. The top thirty-two (32) applicants, along with alternates will be notified of their status within two weeks of the final interviews.


Factor                                        Weight
Prerequisite GPA                            45%
Letters of Recommendation            18%
Background Characteristics             12%
GRE Analytic (writing) score           10%
Panel Interview                             15%

DPT Program Objectives

The Graduate of the California State University, Sacramento Doctor of Physical Therapy program will be prepared to: 

Student Learning Outcome 1.0:    Demonstrate professional physical therapist effectiveness by creating and documenting a comprehensive physical therapy patient management process, including determination of the physical therapy needs of any individual, designing a plan of care that synthesizes best available evidence and patient preferences, implementing safe and effective psychomotor interventions, and determining the efficacy of patient outcomes.

Student Learning Outcome 2.0:  Demonstrate the ability to plan, organize, administer, direct, and supervise human and fiscal resources for physical therapy practice management, and to communicate effectively with patients, families, other health care professionals and the public.

Student Learning Outcome 3.0:    Demonstrate professional behaviors by reflecting on personal and professional development, and by integrating cultural, ethnic, age, economic, and psychosocial considerations in the communication and delivery of clinical services.

Student Learning Outcome 4.0:    Practice in an ethical and legal manner through the consistent integration of sound decision-making with respect to established ethical, legal and professional standards.

Student Learning Outcome 5.0:    Demonstrate the critical evaluation, interpretation and application of the scientific and professional literature to inform independent judgments and clinical decision-making, research and education.

The Board of Trustees of the CSU system has adopted the recommended Doctor of Physical Therapy Tuition Fee to be set at $8639 per semester, which is $25,917 per calendar year, or $77,751 for the entire three-year program. 


DPT Program Overview
Applicants should be aware that all physical therapist professional education programs in the U.S. are subject to accreditation "standards that assure quality and continuous improvement in the entry-level preparation of physical therapists, and reflect the evolving nature of education, research,and practice." While the Education Section of APTA recognizes that there are proprietary organizations that rank physical therapist education programs, the profession encourages prospective students to provide their own comparisons through careful examination of information on program and APTA websites, and visits to the campuses to talk with enrolled students and program faculty.