HomeDoctor of Physical Therapy Admission Requirements

DPT Admission requirements

The following requirements are in place for the Doctor of Physical Therapy program.

Bachelor’s degree

A bachelor’s degree from an institution that is accredited by a nationally recognized regional accrediting association must be complete or an approved dual-degree plan for completing the baccalaureate degree during the DPT program. No specific baccalaureate major is required.

Grade-point average

Both an undergraduate cumulative and prerequisite grade-point average (GPA) of 3.0 or higher on a 4.0 scale.

Prerequisite course work

Prerequisite course work must be completed for a letter grade of C or higher (pass/fail or S/U grading is not acceptable), with a cumulative prerequisite GPA of 3.0 or higher on a 4.0 scale. View a list of equivalencies at other institutions »

  • Biology/Zoology
    (8 semester/12 quarter credits)
    A general biology/zoology sequence is preferred. The following courses will be considered in descending order of preference: general biology I, II, III, vertebrate zoology, invertebrate zoology, cell biology, genetics, microbiology. These courses must be from a biology, zoology or physiology department.
    • St. Kate's equivalent: BIOL 1210, BIOL 1220, or BIOL 2220
  • Human or Vertebrate Anatomy
    (4 semester/4-5 quarter credits)
    Courses in order of preference are: human anatomy (often first half of combined anatomy and physiology sequence), mammalian/vertebrate anatomy, comparative anatomy. These credits must be from an anatomy, biology, zoology, physiology or kinesiology department and must cover individual muscle function.
    • St. Kate's equivalent: BIOL 2400, BIOL 2510, or BIOL 3120
  • Human or Mammalian Physiology
    (4 semester/4-5 quarter credits)
    Courses in order of preference are: human physiology (often second half of combined anatomy and physiology sequence), mammalian physiology, exercise physiology. These credits must be from a biology, zoology or physiology department.
    • St. Kate's equivalent: BIOL 2410, BIOL 2520 or BIOL 3140
  • Chemistry with lab
    (8 semester/12 quarter credits)
    A chemistry sequence for science or health-science majors is preferred at a level beyond high school remedial.
    • St. Kate's equivalent: CHEM 1110 and CHEM 1120
  • Physics with lab
    (8 semester/12 quarter credits)
    A physics sequence for science or health-science majors is preferred at a level beyond high school remedial.
    • St. Kate's equivalent: PHYS 1080 and PHYS 1090
  • Psychology
    (6 semester/9 quarter credits)
    Courses in descending order of preference include: general psychology I and II/introduction to psychology I and II, developmental psychology/lifespan developmental psychology, abnormal psychology.
    • St. Kate's equivalent: PSYCH 1000, PSYCH 2025, or PSYCH 3010
  • Statistics
    (3 semester/4-5 quarter credits)
    Course content should include: reliability, validity, experimental control and design, statistical inference and comparison of group means, correlation and regression. These credits must be from a math, psychology or statistics department.
    • St. Kate's equivalent: MATH 1080 or PSYCH 2050
  • Mathematics
    (4 semester/4-5 quarter credits)
    These credits must be at the level of trigonometry or higher (i.e., precalculus or calculus I). If a course is not titled "trigonometry" or "calculus" a photocopy of the course syllabus and course topic schedule must be submitted, to verify that the content included vectors and trigonometry functions.
    • St. Kate's equivalent: MATH 1110 and 1120 or MATH 1130
  • Medical Terminology
    (1 course)
    • St. Kate's equivalent: INDI 2220 or HIMP 1020

The goal of the admission process is to compare all applicants on the same course work, as much as possible. The Admission Committee uses the basic level courses in each prerequisite field, which all applicants are likely to have taken. Not all courses taken in a prerequisite field are used to compute the prerequisite GPA. Only enough credits to satisfy the minimum requirement are counted in the prerequisite GPA. High-level electives may be used to meet credit requirements, but they are not necessarily used in the prerequisite GPA calculation, since the Admission Committee has no information about how other applicants would perform in those courses.

We recognize that applicants may have performed better in elective courses than in the basic course sequence. These elective grades will improve the overall GPA. However, if applicants want to improve their prerequisite GPA, we recommend they repeat the basic course sequence, rather than taking new electives.

All prerequisite courses must be taken for a letter grade and must have been completed within the past seven years. If prerequisites are retaken, only the grade received in the most recent course is calculated into the prerequisite GPA. Pass/Fail courses are not used in the prerequisite GPA calculation. Prerequisite courses may be in progress and/or yet to be taken at the time of application (no more than three), but must be completed prior to enrollment in the DPT Program.

Applicants are allowed to complete no more than 4 semester/5 quarter credits of prerequisite course work, plus a medical terminology course, during the summer prior to Fall enrollment. All other prerequisite course work must be completed by the end of winter/spring term. If an applicant appears to be "short" the required number of credits in several prerequisite areas, the Admission Committee has the authority to deem the applicant ineligible to continue in the review process.

We do not accept course work from technical colleges unless the course work was taken after the technical college merged with an accredited community college.

GRE Scores

Official scores from the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) must be submitted to PTCAS directly from the Educational Testing Service (ETS). The test date must be within five calendar years prior to the term of intended enrollment.

St. Catherine University has multiple codes on the GRE institutional list. When selecting where to send your GRE scores, use the code 7594 to have your scores sent directly to PTCAS.

Clinical experience

Applicants must have a minimum of 60 hours of physical therapy or other healthcare clinical experience during the three years prior to applying to the DPT program. It is strongly recommended that these experiences be in two or more settings. These experiences may be as a paid employee or volunteer, or a combination of both.

Essential functions and technical standards

A practicing physical therapist must be physically, cognitively, emotionally and mentally capable to meet the rigorous demands of clinical practice. The Description of Essential Functions and Technical Standards defines the essential functions and technical standards that PT students must meet in order to successfully progress through the program. All students must be capable of meeting these requirements or similar with or without reasonable accommodation.

All prospective students are encouraged to review this document prior to applying to the DPT program. All admitted students are required to read and sign this document prior to beginning their DPT program at St. Catherine.