Skip to Main Content

Department of Physical Therapy College of Health & Human Services

Support Page Content

Admission Requirements

Admission to the Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) program is highly competitive and applicants are required to complete a bachelor’s degree and all prerequisites prior to starting the program.

Each applicant will be evaluated on his/her individual merits. Decisions will be based on academic record, references, GRE score, and an on-campus interview. Applicants to the DPT program must submit their application through the Physical Therapy Centralized Application Service (PTCAS) by the October 1st deadline (11:59pm Eastern) date. Applications that do not meet all of the following requirements will not be considered for admission.

DPT Supplemental Prerequisite Worksheet

The DPT Supplemental Prerequisite Worksheet is for applicants to list all of the prerequisite courses they have completed or plan to complete. Once the worksheet is completed, the applicant must convert it to a pdf file and upload it with their PTCAS application.

DPT Supplemental Prerequisite Worksheet

Bachelor’s Degree

Applicants must complete a baccalaureate degree in any discipline from a regionally accredited college or university prior to entry into the Physical Therapy Program.

Prerequisite Courses

Listed below are the prerequisite courses for admission to Sacramento State’s DPT program. Applicants must have a minimum 3.00 prerequisite GPA, and all prerequisite courses must be completed with a grade of C or better. At the time of application submission applicants may have up to four prerequisite courses pending or in progress. At least two of the outstanding courses must be completed by the end of fall semester, and the remaining courses need to be completed the following Spring. Please review our resources under How To Apply for a list of approved prerequisites for Sacramento State, local community colleges and other California Universities.

  • Human Anatomy* with Lab; 1 semester (4 units)
  • Human Physiology* with Lab; 1 semester (4 units)
    OR Anatomy and Physiology I & II with Labs;
    2 semesters (8 units)
  • Psychology; 2 semesters (6 units);
    3 units general, 3 units additional
  • Statistics; 1 semester (3 units)
  • General Chemistry with Lab; 2 semesters (8-10 units)
  • Physics with Lab; 2 semesters (8 units)
  • Biomechanics* OR Kinesiology* (upper division only);
    1 semester (3 units)
    • Exercise Physiology* (lower and upper division accepted);
      1 semester (3 units)

      *The Human Anatomy, Human Physiology, Biomechanics OR Kinesiology, and Exercise Physiology courses cannot be any older than 10 years at the time of application submission.
      **AP Courses will be accepted with a score of 4 or higher but will count as a C on the GPA calculation.

GRE Scores

The Graduate Record Exam (GRE) is required of all applicants. Results of the GRE taken within the last five years are sent directly to PTCAS using the Sacramento State GRE code 7588. The minimum required GRE scores are 3.5 or higher for the Analytical section, and 29th percentile or higher for the Quantitative section. There is no minimum threshold for the verbal section.

Observations Hours

A minimum 50 hours of observation or work experience is required. All observation hours must be completed and electronically verified in PTCAS by the application deadline date. Hours that are “not verified” or listed as “planned” will not be considered.

Observation hours are a minimum threshold for the application to be considered, and are not a weighted factor in the admissions rankings. Observation hours beyond the 50 hours minimum will not impact the applicants’s admissions ranking. Observation hours in more than one setting will not impact the applicant’s admissions ranking for the 2024-25 application cycle.

Letters of Recommendation

Applicants must arrange for three letters of recommendation to be submitted directly to PTCAS. One letter must be from a licensed physical therapist you have worked or volunteered with, one from a college professor you have taken a course from, and the third can be from another physical therapist, college professor, or your employer/supervisor. All references must be received by PTCAS by the application deadline date.

Domestic Applicants with Foreign Documents

Domestic applicants applying with transcripts from outside the U.S. must complete 8 units of prerequisite coursework at a U.S. accredited college or university. Prerequisite courses taken outside the U.S. must be completed by the end of the Fall semester prior to matriculation.

For additional information visit the Office of Graduate Studies website and select Applicants with Foreign Documents.

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, all three (3) grades will be averaged.
  • If a course was taken four (4) times to complete one required prerequisite, the application is disqualified.

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

Optional Background Criteria

Additional admission points may be available for applicants that meet any of the following background characteristics. Applicants must be able to submit evidence to substantiate the following, if requested:

  • Bilingual Proficiency: You may be eligible to receive additional admissions points if you can demonstrate proficiency in a language other than English as determined by the University’s Foreign Language Graduation Requirement.
  • Bilingual Fluency: Applicants fluent in a language other than English may receive additional admissions points based on proven fluency. If you believe you qualify, please report what language and describe how you attained fluency in that language.
  • Economic Background: If you have a background of low income, you may be eligible for additional admissions points. Examples that may be given consideration include, but are not limited to: history of receiving AFDC/welfare, parent's occupation at a lower socioeconomic level, near or below the federally defined poverty level, or working as a minor to support your family.
  • Educational Background: If you have a background of educational disadvantage, you may be eligible for additional admissions points. Examples that may be given consideration include, but are not limited to: first in your family to graduate from college, parent(s) has/have little or no education beyond elementary or secondary school, low socioeconomic level of your high school population, low ranking of your high school in statewide testing (provide name of high school and state), and no higher education counseling in your high school.
  • Environmental Background: If you have a challenging environmental background, you may be eligible for additional admissions points. Examples that may be given consideration include, but are not limited to: coming from a rural community, single-parent household, immigrant family, have resided on a rancheria, reservation, or in a migrant camp, or English was not the primary language spoken in your home.

Advanced Academic Courses (Optional)

Applicants can earn additional admission points for upper division advanced coursework completed prior to submitting your application. A maximum of four courses may be submitted for consideration, however, only one course from each of the following categories will be considered. All Advanced coursework must be upper division and have a grade of “B-“ or higher to be considered.

  • Advanced Human Anatomy
  • Neuroanatomy
  • Neurophysiology
  • Advanced Biomechanics
  • Advanced Exercise Physiology or Cardiac Rehabilitation
  • General Microbiology
  • Motor Learning
  • Therapeutic Exercise

 Class of 2020 2021 2022 2023 2024 2025 2026
585 541 474 477 503 486 382
Female 59% 59% 56% 56% 47% 59% 41%
Male 41% 41% 44% 44% 53% 41% 59%
Avg. Age at
24 24 25 24 25 25 23
% Under-represented Minority 44% 31% 41% 38% 64% 44% 53%
Courses GPA
3.74 3.81 3.85 3.89 3.85 3.84 3.79
CA Resident 91% 97% 100% 100% 97% 97% 97%