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California State University, Long Beach
Department of Physical Therapy
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About our Program

Our program is a full-time 3 year graduate program cumulating in a Doctor of Physical Therapy degree

  • This is an entry-level program so those with a previous PT degree (i.e. Bachelor's or Master's degree) are not eligible to apply
    • Those with a PT degree from another country are not eligible to apply
    • We do not offer a Transition DPT degree. We only offer an entry-level DPT degree.

We will begin to notify non-early decision applicants of their status beginning in mid-January

  • Either Acceptance, High-Tier Wait List or Low-Tier Wait List
    • If you do not hear from our program by February then it is most likely that you were denied consideration for admission due to an incomplete application, GPA lower than the required minimum, etc.

Our program starts in the Summer Session I

  • Beginning in late May (usually just after Memorial Day)

Our program is a highly competitive program with over 1000 applicants annually while accepting approximately 36 students per year

  • The average overall and prerequisite GPA's of our last several cohorts is over 3.6+ to 3.7+.

Applying to the CSULB DPT Program

There are TWO applications that must be completed when applying to the DPT Program at CSULB: PTCAS and Cal State Apply.

Admission shall be granted on a competitive basis. Meeting admission requirements qualifies an individual for, but does not guarantee, admission to the program.

PTCAS Application

The application window for the PTCAS opens July 1st
  • The application window closes at midnight (Eastern time) November 1st
    • This is considered the application to the DPT Program
  • It is the responsibility of the applicant to have all their required information into PTCAS by the deadline or the application will be deemed incomplete
  • Any incomplete application will not be considered for admission for the current application cycle.
  • We do participate in Early Decision through PTCAS
    • The application deadline is August 15th with applicants being notified of their status by mid-September
      • Please see the PTCAS web site for details regarding the Early Decision process
  • We will begin to notify those qualified applicants in the regular pool of their status beginning in mid-January
  • If you have any questions regarding your PTCAS application you will need to contact PTCAS directly
    • We can NOT accept any information regarding the application on behalf of PTCAS
    • We receive the application information from PTCAS, we do not supply information to PTCAS

Cal State Apply Application

The application window for the Cal State Apply application opens October 1st and closes January 15th
  • This is considered the application to the University
  • Please do not submit any information to the University prior to October 1st
    • This includes those who have been accepted through Early Decision
  • This is a supplemental application that is required by CSULB. 
  • You are required to submit an application through Cal State Apply in order to be eligible for admission and to complete the application process.
    • If this application is not completed by the deadline the application to the DPT Program will be considered incomplete
  • In general to complete the Cal State Apply application:
    • This is a separate application from the PTCAS application yet they appear similar therefore you will need to complete this application separately
      • Both applications are run by the same company, hence the similarity
      • For Cal State Apply you are required to list all institutions attended, and one course per institution only. You do not need to list all of the coursework completed as your transcripts will need to be submitted. If you have classes planned or in progress, you are required to list them all.
      • Electronic submission of transcripts:
      • You need to be sure that you are applying to the upcoming Fall semester initially.
        • Pick the “Masters or higher” option
          • Not the “Certificate” option.
    • You will need to submit your official GRE scores (using the GRE Code 7782) and a copy of your transcripts from all colleges/universities you attended to the Office of Enrollment Services
      • CSULB Brotman Hall 101, 1250 Bellflower Blvd., Long Beach, CA 90840
        • You do NOT need to submit a personal essay, letters of recommendation or your experience hours
          • You can enter “Already submitted through the PTCAS application”
    • After submission of the Cal State Apply application, you will receive an e-mail from the University informing you of the following:

      • Missing documents
      • Campus ID
      • Link to check your application status- www.csulb.edu/applicationstatus
        • If you receive an e-mail stating that your application has been forwarded to the PT Department then all documents have been received.
        • If you submitted transcripts to the University and they are reflected as missing please keep in mind that it takes at least 2-4 weeks for processing and to be updated in the system.

      If you have any questions regarding your Cal State Apply application you will need to contact the Office of Enrollment Services directly

    • This application is for admission to the University therefore the Office of Enrollment Services will be able to answer any questions regarding this application

    DO NOT SEND TRANSCRIPTS, PERSONAL ESSAYS, LETTERS OF RECOMMENDATION, ETC. DIRECTLY TO THE DPT DEPARTMENT

We can not accept application information, it must be sent through the PTCAS application

Bachelor's Degree

You must hold, or be eligible to hold, an acceptable Bachelor's degree

  • The degree must be from an accredited institution in this country
    • Those with degrees from outside this country please see the International Applicants section below
  • Your degree must completed by the end of the Fall semester of the year you are applying
    • We will not consider applicants for admission that are graduating after the Fall semester of the year applying
  • We will accept any major as long as the above have been met
    • The majority of students applying have majored in Kinesiology, Exercise Science or Biology

Grade Point Averages

Overall GPA

The overall GPA is calculated by PTCAS based upon all official transcripts submitted to PTCAS

  • This includes any course work done up to the point of applying and includes any and all courses retaken for an improved grade

The minimum required overall GPA is 3.00

  • Any application with an overall GPA below 3.00 will not be considered for admission

Prerequisite GPA

The prerequisite GPA is calculated by the Admissions Committee of the CSULB DPT Program

  • Based upon the courses submitted by the applicant as meeting the prerequisite requirement
  • Retaken courses for a better grade:
    • The DPT program will take the higher grade for any course that was retaken to improve the grade
  • All prerequisite courses must be successfully completed with at least a "C" grade
    • We will not accept any prerequisite courses with a grade of "D" or lower

The minimum required prerequisite GPA is 3.00

  • Any applicant with a prerequisite GPA below 3.00 will not be considered for admission

In order to be considered competitive, the applicants overall and prerequisite GPA's should both be at least 3.50

Prerequisite Courses

All prerequisite courses must be taken from an accredited institution.

Go to assist.org to find equivalencies at CA community colleges

  • We do accept prerequisite courses taken at an accredited community college

To help determine if a course you took meets our prerequisite requirements:

  • If the course description listed here is similar to the course you took then we would likely accept that course.
  • You should consult with an undergraduate advisor at your university in regards to how well does the course taken at your university match to the description of the course we have listed on our web site.
  • If you are taking courses at a community college you should check to see what would be the equivalent at CSULB (at www.assist.org).
  • If that is a course that meets one of our prerequisite courses listed below we would likely accept the course.

    If you need to take courses in the fall semester we strongly recommend no more than 2 prerequisite courses in progress during the fall semester of the year applying

    We will not consider applicants for admission who have prerequisite courses in progress during the Spring semester of the year applying

    We will not review any unofficial transcripts.

The classes mentioned in italics are those offered at CSULB that meet the prerequisite requirements.

Human Anatomy and Physiology with Lab

At least 2 semester or 3 quarter courses are required to meet the requirement.

  • Lecture and Lab components are required
  • The courses must be directed towards the science major, allied health profession, etc., and must have a lab component for consideration.
  • Courses for non-science majors will not be considered.
  • If human anatomy and physiology are combined, the course work must be a 2 semester/3 quarter sequence.

Biology 208: Human Anatomy : The gross anatomy, histology, and neuroanatomy of the human body. Designed for majors in physical education and the allied health fields. (Lecture and Lab)

and

Biology 207: Human Physiology: General introduction to the functional integration of human body systems. (Lecture and Lab)

or

Biology 213: General Biology III: Ecology and Physiology. Introduction to the functional biology of plants and animals and the abiotic and biotic factors that affect their distribution and abundance. (Lecture and Lab)

General Biology with Lab

At least 2 semester or 3 quarter courses are required to meet the requirement.

  • Lecture and Lab components are required
  • The courses must be directed towards the science major, allied health profession, etc., and must have a lab component for consideration.
  • Courses for non-science majors will not be considered.

Biology 211 : General Biology I : Evolution as a process responsible for biological diversity at all levels: molecular, cellular, organismal, population, and community. Phylogenetic and taxonomic survey of life. Science as method of inquiry. (Lecture and Lab)

 

Biology 212: General Biology II : Introduction to macromolecular and cellular structure and function and to fundamental genetic principles. (Lecture and Lab)

General Microbiology may substitute for General Biology II.

General Chemistry with Lab

At least 2 semester or 3 quarter courses are required to meet the requirement.

  • Lecture and Lab components are required
  • The courses must be directed towards the science major, allied health profession, etc., and must have a lab component for consideration.
  • Courses for non-science majors will not be considered.

Chemistry 111A: General Chemistry I : Introduction to the principles of chemistry including chemical bonding, solution properties and chemical equilibrium and kinetics. (Lecture and Lab)

 

Chemistry 111B: General Chemistry II : Continuation of the study of chemical principles with application to inorganic systems. Includes application of modern bonding theories to inorganic molecules and study of trends and reactivities of the elements and their compounds. Qualitative inorganic analysis and extensive solving of aqueous equilibrium problems are emphasized. (Lecture and Lab)

Organic Chemistry, Biochemistry or a combined Organic/Biochemistry course can substitute for General Chemistry II.

General Physics with Lab

At least 2 semester or 3 quarter courses are required to meet the requirement.

  • Lecture and Lab components are required
  • The courses must be directed towards the science major, allied health profession, etc., and must have a lab component for consideration.
  • Courses for non-science majors will not be considered.

Physics 100A: General Physics I : Considers properties of matter, mechanics, wave motion and heat. (Lecture and Lab)

 

Physics 100B: General Physics II : Considers electricity, light, and atomic and nuclear physics. (Lecture and Lab)

Algebra or Calculus based physics are acceptable.

Statistics

One course (semester or quarter) in statistics is required.

  • It is strongly recommended that the statistics course be taken from either the mathematics, psychology or biology department from your university.
  • The Lecture component is required, the Lab component is optional (unless required by your university)

Biology 260: Biostatistics: Probability and statistics used in the description and analysis of biological data. (Lecture and Lab)

 

Kinesiology 483: Statistics in Human Movement Science:Evaluation and analysis of measuring devices and resulting data used in Kinesiology. Interpretation of data using appropriate statistical analyses. (Lecture and Lab)

General Psychology

One course in General Psychology is required (semester or quarter).

Psychology 100: General Psychology: Introduction to the scientific study of human behavior. Designed to provide the student with a basic background for further study and for practical application in everyday life. Topics include biological foundations of behavior, motivation, emotion, learning, memory and thought processes, personality, development, social behavior, abnormal behavior, and methods of therapy.

  • Abnormal Psychology may substitute for General Psychology

Important Information

  • Human Anatomy and Physiology, Biology, Chemistry, and Physics sequences must be for Science/Allied Health majors and must have a laboratory component included.
  • Human Anatomy and Human Physiology must be taken within 5 years at the time of application.
    • All other courses must be taken within 10 years at the time of application.
  • All prerequisite courses must be taken in this country
    • We do not accept prerequisite courses taken outside of this country with the exception of courses taken from an accredited institution in Canada
  • On-line lecture courses will be accepted for credit.
    • On-line laboratories are not accepted for credit.
  • High school AP courses are not accepted for credit.

GRE

Official scores from the General Aptitude Portion of the Graduate Records Examination (GRE) is required

  • The GRE must have been completed within 5 years of applying to the program
  • The GRE Code on PTCAS for CSULB is 7782
    • This generate two copies of your scores with one copy being sent to PTCAS and the other copy being sent to CSULB Enrollment Services
  • We will take the best overall score as reported by test date, not section
    • all three sections of one test date will be used
    • we do not choose scores from different sections from different test dates

We recommend the following GRE scores: Analytical 4.0; Verbal 150; Quantitative 150

We strongly recommend that applicants take the GRE no later than 1 month prior to to PTCAS application deadline to allow for PTCAS to process and verify the scores. Taking the exam any closer to the deadline will put the applicant in jeopardy of not having their scores verified by PTCAS therefore resulting in an incomplete application.

Experience Hours and Sites

A minimum of 100 experience hours are required

The hours must be under the direct supervision of a licensed Physical Therapist

  • Hours submitted under the supervision of any other healthcare provider (i.e. MD, PA, NP, RN, OT, ATC, DC, PTA, etc) will not be accepted
  • Credit will be given for up to 400 verified hours
    • Having more than 400 hours will not negatively affect your application score
    • The hours can be either paid or volunteer
    • There is no minimum number of hours per site required

A minimum of 1 site is required

  • Credit will be given for up to 4 verified sites/settings
    • Having more than 4 sites/settings will not negatively affect your application score

Your experience hours must be verified by PTCAS in order to be considered for meeting the prerequisite requirement We will not accept verified experience hours from outside of this country as meeting the prerequisite requirement with the following exceptions:

  • Experience hours obtained on a US military base under the supervision of a PT with a PT license from this country
  • Experience hours obtained from a Canadian providence under the supervision of a PT with a PT license from Canada or the USA

Letters of Recommendation

Three (3) Letters of Recommendation are required:

One (1) MUST BE from an instructor/academic source

  • We strongly recommend an instructor from a prerequisite course

One (1) MUST BE from a licensed PT who has observed your experience hours work

  • This would be one of the PT's who you received your observation hours from

One (1) should be from an employer

  • If an employer is not available, then the third letter of recommendation can be from another instructor or licensed PT
  • If your employer was a licensed PT then that person can serve as an author of the third letter of recommendation

Personal Essay

A personal essay is required as per the PTCAS application prompt

International Applicants

Applicants whose Bachelor's degree was awarded from an institution from outside of the United States of America are required to submit the appropriate information to the Center for International Education prior to applying to CSULB.

All prerequisite courses must be taken from accredited colleges/universities in this country.

Out-of-State Applicants

Applicants whose primary residence is outside of California will be subject to Out-of-State fees if attending CSULB. Click on the Enrollment Services site regarding Residency for more information regarding requirements in establishing California residency.

  • We do NOT give preference to in- or out-of-state applicants
    • Our cohorts are usually made up of 10-15% of applicants from out-of-state

Miscellaneous

The applicant must have been in good academic, professional, and clinical standing at the last institution and if applicable in the last entry-level physical therapist educational program attended.

Technical literacy in using word processing, spreadsheets and slide presentation programs (e.g. powerpoint) is expected for all students accepted into the program.

Submit the signed Essential Functions document after acceptance into the physical therapy program.

  • Physical therapy education requires that accumulation of scientific knowledge be accompanied by the simultaneous acquisition of skills, behaviors, and professional attitudes.  In order to acquire the knowledge and skills for function in a broad variety of clinical situations, and to  render a wide spectrum of patient care, students entering in the Physical Therapy Program must have abilities and skills in the following five areas:
    • observation
    • communication
    • kinesthetic/motor
    • cognitive/conceptual
    • behavioral/social
      • Technological compensation can be made for some disabilities in some of these areas, but a candidate must be able to perform in a reasonably independent manner
    • The Essential Functions document attests that you can perform the essential functions required of physical therapy education and clinical practice