School of Health Sciences

Pre-requisite Courses and Admissions Requirements

The Physical Therapist Centralized Application Service (PTCAS) is a service of the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA). PTCAS allows applicants to use a single application and one set of materials to apply to multiple DPT programs.

It is strongly recommended that all potential applicants
schedule a CSU DPT advising appointment
with our current Advising Graduate Assistant, by clicking
on the blue button below.


These advising sessions can be completed in person or by phone.  We can also be reached at or 216.523.7479

Students who are US citizens or permanent residents applying for admission to the Doctor of Physical Therapy Program will:

  • Attain the minimum of a Baccalaureate degree from an accredited college or university in any subject area.  Attain a minimum overall Grade Point Average of 3.0.
  • Take the Graduate Record Exam (GRE general exam) –  (see FAQs -ADMISSIONS below for more specific information about the use of GRE scores in the admissions process).  Official scores must be sent to either CSU Graduate Admissions or to PTCAS by October 1 annually.
  • Submit a PTCAS application via, including verified most recent grades, by October 1.
  • Submit a CSU Graduate Application. Please apply for the SPRING semester of the year that you will enter the DPT Program. Please know that it MUST be submitted prior to October 1 annually. All re-applicants must submit a CSU Graduate College application each year. If this application is not received by the deadline, you will be ineligible. No payment is required (on online application form, check box "Will send check" but DO NOT send a check).
  • Proof of having met at least one of the English language proficiency requirements. Please see #26 below for more information.
  • Complete a total of 13 pre-requisite courses (listed below) before beginning the DPT Program. At least 7 of 13 pre-req courses must be completed by the October 1 application deadline.
  • Complete or have a plan to complete all prerequisite coursework listed below prior to beginning the PT Program:

The following 5 pre-req courses must be completed with a B grade or better within 3 years prior to entering the DPT Program:

  1. *Statistics (Must be upper division - undergraduate junior or senior level, i.e., 300 or 400 level or graduate level course; At CSU: PSY 317 or MTH 347 required at undergraduate level)
  2. * Human Physiology or Vertebrate or Mammalian Physiology with Laboratory (Must be upper division - undergraduate junior or senior level, i.e., 300 or 400 level course; At CSU: HSC 422 or BIO 422/423)
  3. *Human Gross Anatomy with cadaver dissection laboratory (Must be upper division; At CSU: HSC 457/475)
  4. *Neuroscience with laboratory (Must be upper division; At CSU: HSC 476/478)
  5. *General Pathology (Must be upper division- undergraduate junior or senior level; At CSU: HSC 381)

Complete the following pre-req coures with no more than 2 C's within 6 years of entering the DPT Program:

  1. Physics: two-course sequence with laboratories (At CSU:PHY 221/222 or PHY 231/232 or PHY 241/242)
  2. Chemistry: two-course sequence with laboratories (At CSU: CHM 251/256 + 252/257)
  3. Cell or General Biology with laboratory (Cell bio preferred; Must include cell/molecular biology component if General Bio; At CSU: BIO 200/201)
  4. Psychology: one course
  5. Social/behavioral sciences: two courses (Two courses in addition to one required psychology course; Can be psychology, sociology, anthropology, or an appropriate course in another department)

In general, there is a 6-year time limit for completion of prerequisite course work in order to be eligible for admission to the PT program. However, * courses must be completed within three years prior to entering the Program. In addition, we highly recommend taking human gross anatomy within one year of starting the DPT Program.

Cleveland State University has no rolling or early admissions process; Admissions are processed on a competitive basis according to the following:

  • Admission deadline is October 1 annually, with decisions by February 1 annually (contingent of PTCAS processing). At this point in time admissions status options are: accepted, rejected, or placed on a waiting list.
  • Applicants will be contacted by e-mail regarding any questions about applications during the admissions process. Please be sure that PT Admissions has your current e-mail address.

International Students: Must apply through PTCAS for DPT Admissions and complete all the above in order to be eligible.  In addition, International Students must complete the following admissions procedures through International Graduate Admissions.

Procedure Steps/Guidelines:

According to the CSU Graduate College Admissions requirements: An international student is an individual who holds a visa while enrolled at Cleveland State University. These students must submit applications for graduate study to the Office of International Graduate Admissions, Main Classroom, Room 116.


A permanent resident is a person who has been granted permanent resident status in the U.S. or refugee status. Permanent residents should apply through the domestic admission process.

Admissions Requirements for International Students:  Available at:


Academic: Baccalaureate degrees earned outside the U.S. must be equivalent to baccalaureate degrees earned in the U.S.

English Language Proficiency: The University requires all non-native English speakers to demonstrate proof of English-language proficiency. Any individual who has earned a bachelor's (or higher) degree from a U.S. institution, in which the primary language of instruction is English, is not required to take an English language proficiency examination. The options and minimum score requirements are as follows:

1. TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) score of at least 17 in Reading, Speaking, and Listening and a minimum score of 14 in writing on the internet-based TOEFL (iBT), or 197 for the computer-based TOEFL (525 on the paper-based test). Please note that the Educational Testing Service (ETS) will not provide test takers or third parties (including Cleveland State University) with TOEFL reports for test scores that are over two years old. If required, the TOEFL must be taken again if the applicant's most recent scores are over two years old, OR

2. Pass the IELTS test (International English Language Testing System) with a minimum score of 6.0; OR

3. Pass the iTEP (International Test of English Proficiency) with a minimum score of 5;OR

4. Achieve a score of C (Pass) or better on the A and O levels of the General Certificate of Education (GCE or GCSE ) Test; OR

5. Achieve a score of C (Pass) or better on the Cambridge Certificate of Advanced English (CAE); OR

6. Complete English language studies (Level 112) from any of the ELS Language Centers; OR

7. Complete course work at a C or better level for the equivalent of the CSU freshman English requirements at a U.S. regionally accredited college or university, OR

8. Receive a Program Certificate of Completion from Cleveland State University's Intensive English Language Program, indicating successful completion of the Advanced level with a grade of B or better and a COMPASS ESL score of 80 or higher.

Submit all of above documents to:

International Graduate Admissions Processing
Cleveland State University
2121 Euclid Avenue, UN 443
Cleveland, Ohio 44115-2214 USA
Phone: (216) 687-5411
FAX: (216) 687-5449

International transcripts are evaluated by admissions processing staff to determine degree equivalency and a grade point average conversion is calculated.


CSU International Graduate Admissions Application Deadline for International Students for DPT Admissions:


Spring Semester-July 1


International students must also submit the DPT PTCAS application by the CSU PTCAS deadline:

October 1





International Students Financial Requirements:

All international students must supply to the Center for International Services and Programs proof of adequate financial resources before I-20 (F-1) or IAP-66 (J-1) documents can be issued to obtain the appropriate visa to enter the United States to study. For further details, contact the Center for International Services and Programs at (216) 687-3910 or go to its website at

The only financial aid for which international students may qualify are graduate assistantships and graduate tuition grants. Students should contact their academic departments directly for details.

Health and Medical Requirements:

International students attending Cleveland State University are required to present results of a tuberculosis test before being permitted to register at the University. All international students on an F-1 or J-1 visa must show proof of adequate health insurance before they are allowed to register. For further details, please contact the Center for International Services and Programs at (216) 687-3910 or visit its website at


Computer Information: 

It is required that all admitted DPT students acquire their own personal lap top computers for use during the program.  The computers must have Microsoft Office software including Word, Excel, Access, and Power Point. Ability to access email and the World Wide Web while enrolled in the Physical Therapy Program is also required.

Students may seek assistance with software and hardware purchases from the CSU Bookstore or by visiting CSU's Information Services & Technology website ( or by searching various student software discount websites, eg.,

The CSU bookstore caries some programs for students to purchase at a discount and CSU has negotiated discounts on computers as well. CSU also provides internet service to students. Contact the IS & IT department for more information (

DPT Courses:

More information in the CSU Graduate Catalog


Year 1

Year II

Year III


  • DPT 630 Foundational Theory/EBP (2 credits)
  • DPT 642 Functional Anatomy (3 credits)
  • DPT 650 Theory & Practice I (3 credits)
  • DPT 662 Interactions I (3 credits)
  • DPT 681 Professional Issues I (2 credits)
  • DPT 692 Scientific Inquiry (3 credits)


Total: 16 semester hours


  • DPT 674 Complex Conditions II (3 credits)
  • DPT 683 Professional Issues II (2 credits)
  • DPT 772 Complex Conditions III (3 credits)
  • DPT 774 Complex Conditions IV (3 credits)
  • DPT 790 Administration & Management I (2 credits)
  • HSC 560 Interdisciplinary Team (3 credits)

Total 16 semester hours

  • DPT 786 Applied PT II (5 credits)
  • DPT 788 Applied PT III (5 credits)


(8 weeks each full time clinical practice )



Total: 10 semester hours


  • DPT 620 Screening & Imaging (3 credits) 
  • DPT 638 Life Span Development (4 credits)
  • DPT 652 Theory & Practice II (3 credits)
  • DPT 664 Interactions II  (2 credits)
  • DPT 681 Professional Issues I  (0 credits)

Total: 12 semester hours

  • DPT 686 Applied PT I (6 credits)


(10 weeks full time clinical practice)



Total: 6 semester hours

  • DPT 768 Interactions IV (2 credits)
  • DPT 844 Health Behavior & Social Responsibility (3 credits)
  • DPT 872 Complex Conditions VII (2 credits)
  • DPT 887 Professional Issues IV (2 credits)
  • DPT 895 Administration & Management III (2 credits)

Total: 11 semester hours


  • DPT 607 Pharmacotherapeutics   (2 credits)
  • DPT 654 Theory & Practice III (3 credits)
  • DPT 666 Interactions III (2 credits)
  • DPT 672 Complex Conditions I (3 credits)
  • DPT 683 Professional Issues II (0 credits)
  • DPT 756 Theory & Practice IV (3 credits)

Total: 13 semester hours


  • DPT 758 Theory & Practice V (3 credits)
  • DPT 776 Complex Conditions V (3 credits)
  • DPT 778 Complex Conditions VI (3 credits)
  • DPT 785 Professional Issues III (2 credits)
  • DPT 793 Administration & Management II (2 credits)


Total: 13 semester hours

  • DPT 598 Comp Exam (1 credit)
  • DPT 886 Applied PT IV (5 credits)
  • DPT 888 Applied PT V (5 credits)

(8 weeks full time clinical practice 886;
7 weeks full time clinical practice 888)


Total: 11 semester hours


  • Admitted students can take Gross Anatomy, Neuroscience and Pathology  in the Summer and/or Fall semesters prior to entering the DPT program Spring semester.
  • 6 credits of elective course work are also required to complete the DPT degree.

Frequently Asked Questions:


1. I am considering applying to the Physical Therapy program at CSU, but is this considered a Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) or a Master of Physical Therapy (MPT) program?

As of January 2008, CSU offers only the DPT degree.

2. When does the DPT program start and how long is it?

The program starts in January of each year (Spring semester). It is a 3 full year program (9 consecutive semesters including Summers) in length. 


3. What steps need to be taken so I can apply to the program?

It is strongly recommended that all potential applicants schedule an advising appointment. Phone appointments are also welcomed. Click to schedule your appointment online. We can also be reached at or 216.523.7479

4. How the application process works, when it starts and when is the deadline?

DPT admissions applications are processed on a competitive basis. Applications will be accepted from July 1 until October1annually for the class beginning one and 1/2 year later in January. (If you apply October 1, 2016, you are admitted in January 2018)

5. Typically how many people apply and are accepted? Are CSU graduates favored at all?

Almost 200 candidates applied to begin January 2013, and 40 students were accepted. CSU graduates are not favored in comparison with candidates from other schools. However, completing the BSHS major at CSU is an efficient way to complete prerequisite course work.

6. I have some work experience related to the physical therapy. Will it help me to be admitted to the program?

Previous work experience in any medical field will help you during your studies in the program, future fieldwork, and your prospective career. Even though prior PT work experience is not an admissions requirement for CSU’s DPT Program, you are strongly encouraged to spend time in a physical therapy practice as an integral part of your preparation for physical therapy professional education. Experiences gained in this manner are invaluable in making decisions about whether physical therapy is the right career choice for you and will provide a foundation for professional study.

7. How do I reapply to the PT program?

Contact: 216.687.3566

8. How long will it take to get a response saying if I am accepted into the DPT program? Application decisions will be completed by February 1 annually.

9. Are there financial aid and/or graduate assistantships available for the DPT program?

Many students receive financial aid during the Program. Contact the Financial Aid Department at: for additional information.

A limited number of Graduate Assistantships are available to DPT students during the program. These positions usually pay for 9 hours of tuition. The remainder of tuition will be the student’s responsibility. In return, graduate assistants are expected to work 10 hours per week assisting with program teaching, administrative activities, and/or research. There are also several small scholarshipts ($500-$1000) awarded to students while enrolled in the Program.


10. What are the major admission criteria to the DPT?

Overall GPAs and GRE scores are the principal criteria used to determine admission into the DPT Program. For detailed information about DPT admission criteria and requirements please visit PT program website at:

11. How is my overall GPA determined?

The overall cumulative GPA that will be used in the CSU admissions process is that determined by PTCAS. This includes every undergraduate, graduate, and professional course completed. It also utilizes the PTCAS grading scale (weighting system). Information on calculation of PTCAS’s overall cumulative GPA can be found on the PTCAS website.

12. My GPA is still below 3.0, but after this current semester, it should be above 3.0. Should I apply to the program now, or wait until my GPA is over 3.0?

Do not apply until your official GPA is at least 3.0 (in other words, after grades have been posted for the most recent semester’s course work). Otherwise, your admission will be denied because you do not meet the minimum requirements.

13. What is the required score for GRE?

You need to take general version of the exam – for more information check out: The probable GRE cut-off point for admission to DPT Program: combined minimum score on the GRE of at least at combined 290 (suggested score ranges of 146 and above on the verbal section, 144 and above on the quantitative section, and 4.0 writing).  The DPT Class expected to graduate in 2016 had an average combined GRE of 306.  The DPT Class expected to graduate in 2017 had an average combined GRE of 304.

14. What happens if my GRE scores are below the “probable GRE cut-off point for admission to DPT Program (290)” or the “suggested score ranges (scores of 146-150 verbal, 144-146 quantitative, and 4.0 writing)” for the verbal, quantitative, or writing sections of the GRE?

If your combined verbal and quantitative score fall below the “probable GRE cut-off point for admission to DPT Program (less than a score of 290),”there is a high probability that your application to CSU’s DPT Program will be rejected before full review. In this case, we recommend that you prepare for and retake the GRE in an attempt to improve your scores.
If your combined verbal and quantitative score is at 290 or higher, but your verbal, quantitative, and/or writing scores fall below the suggested score range minimums (146 verbal, 144 quantitative, and 4.0 writing), your full application will be reviewed for admission. If admitted, you will be expected to complete a remediation program determined by your GRE scores.

15. I took the GRE several years ago. Can I still use these scores? Can I use scores from both the revised (new) and old versions of the GRE?

You may use scores from either the old or revised (new) Graduate Record Examination. However, results over five years old at the time of application are not considered valid, and will not be accepted. In addition, examination scores must include the Analytical Writing section of the GRE.

16. How will scores from the revised (new) version and the old versions be compared since you accept scores from both versions?

The Educational Testing Service (ETS) will provide a comparison chart between old and revised GRE scores that will allow use of both GRE test versions in the admissions process.

17. I want to retake my GRE. When someone takes the test more than one time, which scores do you use in the admissions process?

The highest scores are used in the admissions process. This can be a combination of scores from two different exams. For example, if you took the exam two times and received a higher verbal score the first time and a higher quantitative score the second time, we will use that combination of higher scores.

18. If I still have to complete some required courses in order to complete your prerequisite course requirements, may I take these courses as part of the DPT program?

All prerequisite courses (as well as your Baccalaureate degree) must be completed before you start the DPT program. However, you may apply to the program prior to finishing all prerequisite course work, assuming that you list a realistic plan to complete these courses on the CSU Supplemental Questions on your PTCAS application. It is required that applicants will have completed at least half of the required 12 prerequisite courses by the end of the Fall semester proceeding the Fall application deadline of the year prior to expected entry into the program.

19. How should I register at CSU to take prerequisite courses if I already finish my Bachelor’s degree at another school?

For students who already have their Bachelor's degree and who need to take few more prerequisite courses, we recommend registering at CSU as a Non-degree Seeking Undergraduate or as a Post-Baccalaureate student. You can find out more information about both in the following websites: and

It is strongly recommended that all potential applicants schedule an advising appointment.
Phone appointments are also welcomed. Click to schedule your appointment online.
We can also be reached at or 216.523.7479

20. I started a DPT Program at another school. Would any of my coursework be transferable to the DPT program?

In general, the DPT program at CSU does not accept transfer students from other DPT programs; however, you can certainly apply for regular admission into the program. It is likely that some courses you have already taken at previous schools will meet the prerequisites requirement. These will be evaluated by the DPT faculty on an individual case-by-case basis to determine which if any previously taken courses will be accepted


21. Is there a number of prerequisite courses that must be completed before my application to the DPT program will be considered?

It is recommended that applicants have completed at least half of the required 13 prerequisite courses by April 1st of the year prior to expected entry into the program.

22. I feel that there are classes I took that would meet some of the prerequisite requirements. What should I do to clarify this?

There is a web site that allows you to look at many course equivalencies at different pubic universities in Ohio ( Please use the CSU course numbers on the CSU prerequisite list to determine if the course you plan to take or have taken at another Ohio school is equivalent. However, a few courses are difficult to find at most other schools (for example, General Pathology, Human Gross Anatomy with human cadaver dissection, and Neuroscience) and are not on the course equivalency web site at present. It is best that you petition these courses in order to receive formal approval if you plan to take them at another school. This can be done before or after you have taken the course, although we recommend doing so before taking the course whenever possible.

23. Does it matter how long ago I took my prerequisite courses?

There is a 6-year limit on the age of prerequisite coursework for the DPT program. However, Human Gross Anatomy, Neuroscience, Pathology, Physiology, and Statistics must be completed within 3 years of a student’s beginning the program. Exceptions to these time limits must be granted by petition. In addition, we recommend taking human gross anatomy within one year of starting the DPT Program.

24. How to petition prerequisite courses?

The petition is a letter in a business format. You can put information about one or several courses, which you want to petition, in one letter. Petitions should be addressed to the PT Program Admissions Committee and include a course description and syllabus, plus any other documentation that supports the depth and breadth of the course(s). The petition must be submitted electronically to

25. I do not plan to apply to the program for several years but am already taking prerequisite classes. Will there be any changes with prerequisites and/or requirements for the DPT Program in the future?

There may be small changes with prerequisites from year to year. For example, starting in the 2011-2012 admissions cycle, CSU no longer requires Medical Terminology. For the most current information about all other possible changes please contact


26. I have lived in the United States for the last 15 years. Who is required to “demonstrate language proficiency”?

Proof of having met at least one of the English language proficiency requirements. CSU offers students the following choices to prove English language proficiency.

  • Successful completion of CSU's IELP (Intensive English Language Program) Advanced Level, with a grade of 80% or better.
  • Meet the current score requirements on the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) - 525 (Paper Based Exam) or 65 Internet Based Exam (with minimum of 14 in sections). Only official test scores received directly from the testing authority (ETS) will be considered valid (
  • Pass the IELTS test (International English Language Testing System) with a minimum score of 6.0 (
  • Pass the iTEP (International Test of English Proficiency) with a score of 5.0.
  • Achieve a score of C (Pass) or better on the 'O' (ordinary) Level or 'A' (advanced) Level of the General Certificate of Education. Scores must be no more than 2 years old.
  • Achieve a score of C (Pass) or better on the Cambridge Certificate of Advanced English (CAE).
  • Completion of English language studies (Level 112) from any of the ELS Language Centers (
  • Completion of English Composition 1 and 2, at a 'C' level or better, equivalent to the CSU freshman English requirements at a regionally accredited college or university.

27. I graduated with my baccalaureate degree from a university outside of the United States. Can I apply to the DPT Program? How do I find out about the equivalency of my baccalaureate degree?

A baccalaureate degree earned outside of the United States must be evaluated by a crediting agency to be equivalent to a four-year United States degree. Consult the Center for International Services and Programs ( and International Admissions ( in order to determine equivalency/eligibility.


28. Where DPT program is located?

We are located at East 25th and Euclid Ave. in the Health Sciences Building (adjacent to Mather Mansion and just west of the EG parking garage). A map is located at:

29. How can I set up an appointment to discuss my classes to make sure I am on the right track to apply to the DPT program?

It is strongly recommended that all potential applicants schedule an advising appointment. Phone appointments are also welcomed. Click to schedule your appointment online.
We can also be reached at or 216.523.7479

PLEASE bring all your (un)official transcript(s) and test result(s) [if available] to the appointment. For phone appointments, please follow instructions to send these documents for review via email.

30. Would it be possible to meet with an advisor on a weekend or a little bit later than normal working hours? Can I do advising by phone or email?

Regular work hours of our advisors are Monday through Friday, 8 am to 5 pm. Unfortunately, our advisors are not available on weekends or beyond the work hours mentioned above. However, we would be glad to assist you by phone and/or e-mail if it’s more convenient for you.



Graduate College Admissions Admissions:
Cleveland State University
Admissions Processing
2121 Euclid Avenue, KB 1400
Cleveland, OH 44115
(216) 687-5599

 Web Address:

Doctor of Physical Therapy Program Admissions:
Cleveland State University
Doctor of Physical Therapy Program
2121 Euclid Avenue, HS-101
Cleveland, OH 44115
(216) 687-3566 (phone), (216) 687-9316 (fax)

Web Address:

Email Id for Admission:


Financial Aid:
Cleveland State University
Financial Aid Department
2121 Euclid Avenue, KB-1300
Cleveland, OH 44115
(216) 687-3764

Web Address:

Career Services:
Cleveland State University
Career Services Center
2121 Euclid Avenue, Rhodes West
Cleveland, OH 44115
(216) 687-2233

Web Address:


Careers In Physical Therapy:
American Physical Therapy Association
1111 North Fairfax St.
Alexandria, VA 22314

Web Address:

Ohio Occupational Therapy, Physical Therapy, and Athletic Trainers Board
77 South High Street, 16th. Floor
Columbus, OH 43266-0317
(614) 466-3774

Web Address: