Application Requirements for Fall 2017

Doctor of Physical Therapy Student with Wheelchairs

Application Deadlines:

Two initial applications are REQUIRED to apply for the Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) program for fall 2017 enrollment consideration. BOTH will become available in summer of 2016 and are due by October 3, 2016:

Reporting Codes:

  • GRE Code: 7588
  • TOEFL Code: 5312

To be considered for admission, an applicant must:

  • have received (or will receive by the end of the Summer 2017 semester) a baccalaureate degree from an accredited college or university;
  • have no more than four (4) prerequisite courses to complete.  By the end of fall semester, 2016 only two (2) courses can be remaining to be completed in the Spring 2017 and/or Summer 2017 semester (a maximum of one (1) of these courses may be completed during the summer);
  • have a minimum GPA of 2.5 for the last 60 semester units of your baccalaureate degree, to meet minimum requirements of CSU’s Office of Graduate Studies Graduate Application;
  • have a minimum GPA of 3.00 in the prerequisite coursework, with grades of C or better in each course to meet the requirement for the Department of Physical Therapy’s DPT program. A grade of C- is not acceptable. Coursework intended to fulfill pre-requisite requirements must closely match subject, course level [e.g. “introductory”, “general or college”, “upper division”], semester unit value, and lab requirement. Coursework submitted to fulfill pre-requisites that does not closely match descriptions may be rejected. See REPEAT POLICY below regarding calculating GPA for repeats.        

Prerequisite Course REPEAT POLICY: 

Grades from any and all courses taken to fulfill each prerequisite will be considered in calculating your GPA.

  • If a course was taken twice (2), only the higher course grade will be used.
  • If a course is taken three (3) times, the grades from each will be averaged.
  • If a course was taken four (4) times to complete one required prerequisite, then the applicant will be disqualified.

A course is considered a “repeat” even if it is taken at a different university, or has a different course number from the same university.

Doctor of Physical Therapy program applicants must apply online to the following two applications: 

  1. Physical Therapist Centralized Application Service (PTCAS) online application at
    Deadline:  October 3, 2016 at 9 pm PST
  2. Physical Therapy Department Supplemental Application Worksheet
    Deadline:  October 3, 2016 at 9 pm PST

Qualified applicants that receive an interview invitation will be required to submit a third application.  This application is submitted to Office of Graduate Studies through the online CSU Mentor application at and has $55.00 application fee.  Qualifed applicants will be notified by email from the Physical Therapy Department when to submit their CSU Mentor application.  Applicants that submit their CSU Mentor application are required to submit an additional set of official transcripts from all colleges and universities that have been attended to the Office of Graduate. 

Applicants must complete a minimum 100 total hours of observation/work/volunteer experience in at least one “Inpatient” and one “Outpatient” setting.  Inpatient refers to treating patients who are admitted overnight at the facility, and includes: Acute Care Hospitals, Rehab/Sub-Acute Rehab Facilities, Nursing homes, and Extended Care/Skilled Nursing Facilities.  The outpatient settings include: Free-standing PT or Hospital Clinics, School/Pre-school, Wellness/Prevention/Fitness, Industrial/Occupational Health and other Outpatient clinics. Each setting must have a minimum of 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 submitted to PTCAS and verified by October deadline date.

Submit two (2) Recommendation Forms from U.S. or Canadian licensed physical therapists and one (1) from a college level professor with your PTCAS Application.

Submit Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores (verbal, quantitative, and analytical writing) by the October deadline [use Code: 7588]. You must have a GRE analytic score of at least 3.5, and a Quantitative score of at least 29th percentile to be considered for admission. There are no minimum threshold requirements for the verbal scores. We accept either the revised GRE or the older GRE from the last 5 years.

Applicants who do not possess a bachelor's degree from a post-secondary institution where English is the principal language must demonstrate competency in English by scoring a minimum of 550 (paper-based), 213 (computer-based), or 80 (internet-based) on the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL). Submit those scores with your PTCAS Application and CSU Graduate Application

Applicants with Foreign Documents: Domestic applicants applying with transcripts from outside the U.S. must complete  8 units of the prerequisite course work at a U.S. accredited college or university, and have references from two (2) U.S. or Canadian licensed physical therapists. Prerequisite courses taken outside the U.S. must be completed by the end of the fall 2016 semester.  

NOTE to International Applicants (F-1 Student Visas only):

  • A fourth step and application is required of International applicants. Please review Sacramento State's international application procedures at  International applications are due to the Office of International Admissions by October 1, 2016. International students must complete by the end of fall semester 2016 eight (8) units of the prerequisite coursework listed in the DPT Supplemental Application at a U.S. accredited college or university, and must have references from two (2) U.S. or Canadian licensed physical therapists and one (1) College level professor. Please also see the communication competencies in the  DPT Program Essential Functions and Technical Standards
  • IMPORTANT DISCLAIMER NOTE: If you require an F-1 Visa to attend the University, you should be aware that Immigration and Naturalization within the United States Department of Homeland Security requires specific types of certification and licensure for each degree program before the university can issue SEVIS I-20s.  Because we just recently were approved to become a Doctoral Program, our University is currently applying for approval by Immigration to issue I-20s for this new program.  This process is a lengthy one and we wanted to alert F-1 Visa students that while we are willing to process your application, if the PT department admits you, we cannot commit to a specific date when we will have approval to admit international F-1 Visa students to this program.


All application materials are reviewed by the Admissions Committee to rank applicants. Points are assigned for the prerequisite coursework GPA, recommendation forms, GRE writing (analytic) and quantitative scores, and additional background criteria. The 100 highest ranked applicants will be invited for a panel interview. The top thirty-two (32) applicants, along with the alternates, will be notified of their status within two weeks of the final interviews.

Admission to the Doctor of Physical Therapy program is very competitive.  Meeting all admission requirements qualify an applicant for the program, but does not guarantee admission to the program.