Physical Therapy Program Admission Requirements

Bachelor's degree

Our Doctor in Physical Therapy (DPT) Program is designed for students who have already received their baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited institution or are in their final year of undergraduate studies. You must have earned a minimum 3.0 grade point average in prerequisite and overall undergraduate academic coursework, with no grade below a 2.0 in each prerequisite course.

Prerequisite courses and equivalencies

At the time you apply for admission to the DPT Program, you must have completed (or be no more than two classes from completing) the following prerequisite courses. Prerequisites must be completed within six years of when the program matriculates.

Check course equivalencies from other institutions.

PrerequisitesCMU Equivalent
Anatomy with labHSC 2124 or BIO 337
Physiology with labHSC 215 or BIO 392
Exercise physiology (with or without lab)HSC 308
Chemistry I and II with labsCHM 120, 127 and 342
CHM 131 and 132
Mathematics (trigonometry, pre-calculus, or calculus)MTH 109, MTH 130 OR MTH 132
Physics I and II with labsPHY 130, 131, 170, and 171
PHY 145, 146, 175, and 176
Developmental psychology (must cover the development of human behavior from birth to old agePSY 220
StatisticsBIO 500, HSC 544, PSY 211, OR STA 282QR

Credit hour requirements

Biology: You must complete at least 14 semester credit hours of human biological sciences. This includes the biology requirements listed above (anatomy, physiology, and exercise physiology), plus additional courses such as human biology, kinesiology, or health science and movement science courses that are the study of humans.

Psychology: You must complete at least nine semester credit hours of psychology. This includes the developmental psychology requirement listed above, plus two or more additional courses of human psychology. Please note that PSY 211, Psychological Statistics, cannot fulfill both the statistics requirement and psychology credit hour requirement.

Career exploration temporary exception

Under normal circumstances, we require a minimum of 50 career exploration hours as described below. However, we recognize that due to the coronavirus pandemic, most facilities are currently limiting access to essential personnel only. Since this means some of you will be unable to acquire 50 hours of observation, the admissions committee is willing to accept what hours you have completed at the time of application. However, please be prepared to answer a question on the PTCAS application that demonstrates you have a good understanding of the scope and breadth of physical therapy practice. You may gain this understanding by researching the profession. This waiver applies to the current application cycle only. The admissions committee will continue to monitor the effect of the pandemic on students applying at future dates and make decisions on a year-to-year basis.

Your exploration of physical therapy as a career can include volunteer work, observation hours, or work experience with a licensed physical therapist, as well as interviews and professional journals, reading. Observation hours completed in facilities must be obtained in at least two different professional settings with a licensed physical therapist. You must choose settings that offer exposure to different types of patients receiving different types of diagnoses and treatments. Verification of observation hours by a physical therapist is not required.

Graduate record exam

The DPT Admissions Committee understands that completing the graduate record exam (GRE) during a pandemic has been problematic, which is why ETS offers a test-at-home option. Testing in a center or testing at home is acceptable. After taking the GRE, submit your scores to the CMU PTCAS portal using the code 7751.

Letters of recommendation

Two letters of recommendation are required. One must come from a licensed PT and the other must come from a faculty member that you had as an instructor. If you have a graduate assistant (GA) or teaching assistant (TA) submit a letter of recommendation on your behalf, the "overseeing professor" must sign off and approve of the GA's/TA's recommendation.


The CMU DPT Review Committee evaluates each applicant's credentials and selects candidates for a formal interview. Interviews are held each January and acceptance letters are sent out in February.

Technical standards

All candidates interviewing for admission and students admitted into the DPT Program are expected to demonstrate the attributes and meet the expectations listed in the Technical Standards. These Technical Standards are required for admission and must be maintained throughout a student's participation in the program.