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California State University, Long Beach
Department of Physical Therapy
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Requirements for Admission

In addition to meeting the University's academic standards for admission, an applicant to the Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) Program at CSULB must:

  1. Hold, or be eligible to hold, an acceptable Bachelor's Degree in any field from an accredited undergraduate institution.

  2. Have attained an cumulative grade point average of at least 3.0 (A=4.0).

  3. Have successfully completed all prerequisites with at least a "C" in each course and a prerequisite GPA of at least 3.0 by the end of the fall semester prior to the year of admission to the program.

    • All courses (prerequisite and overall) must be taken from an accredited institution.

  4. A cumulative GPA of at least 3.0 and a prerequisite GPA of at least 3.0.

  5. We strongly recommend no more than 2 prerequisite classes be in progress during the fall semester of application.

  6. 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.

  7. Complete and file an application to the program through which must include:

    • Official transcripts of all academic work attempted,

    • 3 letters of recommendation, attesting to your potential for success as a physical therapist and/or your scholarly potential. We recommend one from each of the following:

      1. a physical therapist with whom you have had a professional association,

      2. a professor for a prerequisite course which you completed,

      3. if previously employed, an employer,

      4. if not previously employed, a physical therapist with whom you have had a professional association.

    • A written statement of purpose reflecting your commitment to physical therapy.

    • Documentation of knowledge of physical therapy through a minimum of 100 documented experience hours of related paid/volunteer experience under the direct supervision of a licenced physical therapist. We strongly recommend that the hours should be in different areas/settings of physical therapy. For example:

      • Rehabilitation

      • Geriatric

      • Pediatric

      • Acute or General Hospital

      • A minimum of 100 hours is required.

      • A portion of the applicant's score is based upon the number of experience hours and the number of experience settings.

        • A minimum of 100 hours is required but the applicant can receive credit for up to 400 hours

        • A minimum of 1 site is required but the applicant can receive credit for up to 4 sites

        • Having more than 400 hours and/or 4 sites will not negatively affect the applicant's score

    • Official scores from the General Aptitude Portion of the GRE taken within the last 5 years. A minimum score of 4.0 on the Analytical Writing portion along with minimum scores of 150 in both the Verbal and Quantitative portions of the General Aptitude Section of the GRE is strongly recommended.

  8. Complete and file a university application for admission through

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

    1. 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.

    2. 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.

    3. The Essential Functions document attests that you can perform the essential functions required of physical therapy education and clinical practice.

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

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