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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:

Bachelor's Degree

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

    • It must be from an accredited institution

    • Your degree must be completed by the end of the Fall semester of the year that you are applying

      • The majority of the students that apply have majored in either Kinesiology, Exercise Science or Biology

      • We will accept any major as long as the above have been met

Prerequisite Courses

  • We require the following prerequisite courses:

    • General Biology: 2 semester or 3 quarter courses including both lecture and labratory components

    • Human Anatomy and Physiology: 2 semester or 3 quarter courses including both lecture and labratory components

    • General Chemistry: 2 semester or 3 quarter courses including both lecture and labratory components

    • General Physics: 2 semester or 3 quarter courses including both lecture and labratory components

    • Statistics: 1 semester or 1 quarter course

      • We no longer require Analysis of Variance (ANOVA) as part of the statistics requirement

    • Psychology: 1 semester or 1 quarter course

  • We strongly recommend that no more than two (2) prerequisite courses be in progress during the Fall semester of the year applying to the program

    • We will not accept applicants that have prerequisite courses in progress during the Spring semester of the year applying to the program

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

  • All prerequisite courses must have been completed within 10 years of applying to the program

    • The exception is Human Anatomy and Physiology which must have been completed within 5 years of applying to the program

  • Please see Prerequisite Courses for more details

 

Grade Point Averages

  • Overall GPA

    • The overall GPA is calculated by PTCAS based upon all the 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 at least 3.00

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

  • Prerequisite GPA

    • The prerequisite GPA is calculated by CSULB based upon the courses submitted by the applicant as meeting the prerequisite requirements

      • CSULB 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 in each

    • The minimum required prerequisite GPA is at least 3.00

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

Applications

  • Reqiured Applications

    • PTCAS

      • The deadline for completing the PTCAS application is November 1st

    • CSUMentor

      • The deadline for completing the CSUMentor application is January 15th

    • BOTH applications must be completed

      • If one of the applicaitons (i.e. CSUMentor) is not by the deadline the applicatant will not be considered for admission

    • Please see Admission to the Program for details

Graduate Records Examination

  • 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 for CSULB on PTCAS is 7782

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 uncer 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 applicaiton 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 verifiedsites/settings

      • Having more than 4 sites/settings will not negatively affect your applicaiton score

Letters of Recommendation

  • Three (3) Letters of Recommendation are required

    • One (1) should be from an instructor

      • We recommend an instructor from a prerequisite course

    • One (1) should be from a licensed PT who has observed your work

    • One (1) should be from an employer

      • If an employer is not available, then the thrid 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

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

  • 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

  • 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.