For the Prospective DPT Student

Steve with students

DPT Class of 2017
(Enrolled Fall 2014)
By the Numbers

Women: 66%
Men: 33%

Avg. Age: 24.8 years
Avg. PreReq GPA: 3.78
PreReq GPA range: 3.56 - 4.00

Median GRE Analytic Writing Score (Range): 4.0 (3.5 - 6.0)

PTCAS Applications Received: 548
Applicants Interviewed: 60
Applicants Admitted: 33
Acceptance Rate:  8.6%

Percent of Admitted applicants with CSUS bachelor's degrees: 30%

From California: 85%

 To view our slide show about the DPT, national admissions data and our CSUS DPT program, please click here.


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 application deadline with a "C" grade or higher.
  • Observation experience. Applicant must complete and verify on PTCAS 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, and Nursing homes, 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 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 a College Professor you have taken a course from. 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, the Analytical Writing Score and the Quantitative Score will be used in the admission decision. You must have a GRE analytical score of at least 3.5 and a Quantitative Score of 28th percentile (29% will be required for the 2017 application period) or higher to be considered for admission; the GRE verbal  scores do not require a minimum threshold.

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 end of the Fall 2016 semester and have two (2) references from U.S. or Canadian licensed physical therapists.  Domestic applicants with foreign transcripts must submit their transcripts by October 1, 2016 to Office of Graduate Studies to allow for verification time. Information about companies that provide services for assessment of foreign transcripts is available at the website for the Foreign Credentialing Commission on Physical Therapy at

DPT Program Essential Functions and Technical Standards

The Physical Therapy Program does not grant advanced standing nor accept transfer students from other physical therapy programs. 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, the quantitative score and additional background criteria. The 100 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.

An applicant who wishes to appeal the decision of his/her admission to the Physical Therapy Doctoral Program at CSU, Sacramento may appeal to the Department of Physical Therapy’s Admissions Committee in writing within 2 weeks of receiving a decision letter.  The letter of appeal should explain why the applicant feels that the application processing may have contained omissions, errors, or oversights that adversely affected the applicant’s admissions ranking.  The applicant will be informed by the Admissions Committee of their decision within 2 weeks of receipt of the appeal letter.  Letters of appeal should be sent to:

Jerri McAtee
Department of Physical Therapy
California State University, Sacramento
6000 J Street
Sacramento, CA  95819-6020


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 Fees and campus fees to be set at $8074 per semester for tuition and $714 per semester for manditory campus fees, which is $26,364 per calendar year, or $79,092 for the three-year program.  The tuition fees and campus fees listed are accurate at the time of posting and are subject to change. NON-RESIDENT TUITION is $372.00 per unit plus the tuition fees and campus fees listed above.

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.

Admission into programs leading to licensure does not guarantee that students will obtain a license. Licensure requirements for Physical Therapy licensure are set by each individual state agency charged with licensing physical therapist practitioners, and are not controlled by or affiliated with the CSU and requirements can change at any time. For example, licensure requirements can include evidence of the right to work in the United States (e.g., social security number or taxpayer identification number) or successfully passing a criminal background check. Students are responsible for determining whether they can meet licensure requirements in those states in which they intend to seek licensure. The CSU will not refund tuition, fees, or any associated costs, to students who determine subsequent to admission that they cannot meet licensure requirements. Information concerning licensure requirements in physical therapy are available from the individual licensing agency in the state of interest (for California, it is the Physical Therapy Board of California, Department of Consumer Affairs).