College of Science and Health | DePaul University > Student Resources > Office of Advising & Student Services > Pre-Health Advising > Health Careers > Physical Therapy

Physical Therapy

Physical therapy (PT) is a health care profession designed to enhance the quality of life through the assessment, evaluation and rehabilitation of a variety of anatomical and neuromuscular functions. PTs treat disease, injury or deformity by physical methods such as massage, heat treatment, and exercise. There are currently 213 accredited PT programs in the U.S. and Puerto Rico. For more information about individual PT programs, visit the Physical Therapy Centralized Application Service (PTCAS).

Pre-physical therapy students typically obtain a Bachelor of Science (BS) or a Bachelor of Arts (BA) degree while completing the requirements for admission to PT school.

PT schools do not require or prefer a particular undergraduate major.

How do I apply to physical therapy school?

Students apply to PT programs through a centralized application system called the Physical Therapy Centralized Application System (PTCAS). Similar to the common application for undergraduate school, students can apply to most PT programs through a single application on the PTCAS. However, there are a handful of programs that do not utilize the PTCAS so students should check requirements of each individual school of interest. The PTCAS application opens early to mid July.

As of 2016, PTCAS application cost: $140.00 for one school and $45.00 for each additional school/program​. 


Do I need to take an entrance exam?

Physical Therapy programs require students to take the Graduate Records Examination (GRE). However, students should check each individual school to learn their specific requirements. 


As of 2016, the GRE costs $205.00.​

What are the prerequisities for physical therapy school?

It is important for students to check each school's requirements carefully as some schools will require courses not listed below. For more information about a specific program, please contact the school directly. 

​Course
​Anatomy and Physiology Part A and B ​2 quarters
​General Biology with lab ​1 Year
​General Chemistry with lab
​1 Year
​Physics with lab ​1 Year
​Calculus ​1 quarter
​Statistics ​1 quarter
​Introduction to Psychology ​1 quarter
​Abnormal Psychology ​1 quarter
​Human Development ​1 quarter​
 

Sample Timeline - Traditional 4 Year

Students should meet with their academic advisor and pre-health advisor each quarter to make sure they are taking the correct courses for their major/professional interest. 


Below is a sample timeline for a Health Sciences major. Please be aware that PT programs do not require or prefer a specific major and the below timeline should not be used to replace meeting with an academic advisor.


Sample Timeline - Accelerated 3+ with RFUMS

Students should meet with their academic advisor and pre-health advisor each quarter to make sure they are taking the correct courses for their major/professional interest. Below is a sample timeline and should not be used to replace meeting with an academic advisor.


Accelerated 3+ physical thereapy program with Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science is only available to Pathways Honors students majoring in Health Sciences.​

Into what physical therapy programs have DePaul students been recently admitted?


Governors State University
Grand Valley State University
MGH Institute of Health Professions
Northwestern University
Nova Southeastern University
Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science
University of Illinois at ​Chicago
University of Miami
University of Vermont
Washington University
Wheeling Jesuit University

What is considered a competitive GPA and entrance exam for physical therapy?

National Average Cumulative GPA: 3.64
National Average Science GPA: 3.5
Average GRE Scores:

Verbal: 154

Quantitative: 154

Analytical: 4.0

It is important for students to check each school's requirements carefully as some schools will require information not listed above. For more information about specific programs, please contact the school directly.