Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) Admissions

We welcome your application for the St. Catherine University DPT. Apply via the Physical Therapist Centralized Application Service (PTCAS) during open admission periods (details below) to start in Fall (September) semester.

All applicants (both entry-level and dual-degree) will apply through PTCAS. Please read the application instructions below before beginning the application process. There is no supplemental application that needs to be submitted to St. Kate's; only the PTCAS application will be reviewed.

If you have questions along the way, don’t hesitate to contact your admission counselor. They’re here to help!

DPT eligibility and prerequisite courses

To be considered for admission into the DPT program, applicants must meet the following minimum criteria:

  • Degree. A completed bachelor's or graduate degree from an institution that is accredited by one of the regional accrediting organizations (e.g. Higher Learning Commission). Applicants who have a bachelor's degree from St. Catherine University and who meet the admission criteria are given priority in the selection process. Applicants with a foreign medical degree should contact the DPT admission counselor prior to beginning the application process.

  • Grade Point Average. A cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 3.0 (B) or higher on a 4.0 scale.

    • Dual-degree applicants are expected to have both a cumulative and prerequisite undergraduate grade point average (GPA) of 3.4 or higher on a 4.0 scale. PLEASE NOTE: the cumulative GPA is calculated using credits from all institutions attended, not just the cumulative GPA from transferred courses listed on the St. Kate's transcript.

    • St. Catherine University follows the PTCAS method of calculating GPA.

  • Clinical Experience. There are no minimum (PT verified) hours required. However, we continue to encourage as many hours as possible.

  • Prerequisite courses.  Specific prerequisite courses are required; review the next section for details.

The goal of the admission process is to compare all applicants on the same coursework, 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, because 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, rather than taking new electives, applicants may repeat a maximum of three basic courses to improve their GPA.

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 graduate program. If any courses were taken more than 7 years ago, you may complete the optional Petition question in PTCAS to request a waiver of the time requirement.

Applicants are allowed to complete no more than 4 semester/5 quarter credits of prerequisite coursework during the summer prior to Fall enrollment. All other prerequisite coursework must be completed by the end of winter/spring term. If an applicant appears to be missing 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 will accept AP credits for statistics and general psychology. To verify results, applicants must submit official College Board scores directly to St. Catherine University (not to PTCAS) using the code 6105.

We will consider courses completed in an online format from a regionally accredited institution. However, we encourage students to complete courses that include a lab component in a face-to-face format, if possible.

Prerequisite coursework 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.

Biology (6-8 semester credits)
A two course general biology sequence with a lab component is preferred. Botany courses are not accepted.
St. Kate's equivalent: BIOL 1710, BIOL 1720, BIOL 2420, BIOL 3210 (BIOL 2200 is also acceptable but 3210 is preferred), BIOL 3224, BIOL 3250, BIOL 3352, BIOL 3444, BIOL 4220, BIOL 4354.    

Human Anatomy (4 semester credits)
Courses in order of preference are: human anatomy (often first half of combined anatomy and physiology sequence) or mammalian/vertebrate anatomy. These credits must be from an anatomy, biology, physiology or kinesiology department and must cover individual muscle function.
St. Kate's equivalent: BIOL 2610 or BIOL 3120

Human Physiology (4 semester credits)
Courses in order of preference are: human physiology (often second half of combined anatomy and physiology sequence), mammalian/vertebrate physiology or pathophysiology. These credits must be from a biology or physiology department.
St. Kate's equivalents: BIOL 2620 or BIOL 3140

Chemistry with lab (8 semester credits)
A two course 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 credits)
A two course 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 credits)
Two psychology courses. One course in descending order of preference to be Abnormal Psychology, Developmental Psychology or Health Psychology.  The second can be any psychology or sociology course.
St. Kate's equivalent: PSYC 1001, PSYC 1080, PSYC 2025, PSYC 3010, PSYC 3030, SOC 1000

Statistics (3 semester 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: STAT 1090, STAT 1094, ECON 1080, ECON 1090, HLTH 1090, PSYC 1090



Medical Terminology (1 course)
St. Kate's equivalent: IPE 1030

Use the online Transfer Evaluation System (TES) resource to determine if a specific course you have taken (or plan to take) will fulfill a DPT prerequisite requirement. All St. Catherine course equivalencies listed in TES are fully verified by our Registrar’s Office.

How to Use TES

  1. Make note of the St. Catherine department abbreviation (BIOL, CHEM, MATH, etc.) and course numbers in the DPT prerequisite list.
  2. Connect to TES
  3. Identify the institution from which you have completed courses (or plan to complete courses). You may search for institutions using the “Find Transfer College by Name” search box, or use the alphabetical index provided.
  4. Enter the course code for one of our DPT prerequisites (e.g., MATH 1080). Select “Home Course” and click on Search. This will identify any courses from the institution that are equivalent to the St. Catherine prerequisite course. You could also enter the code for the other institution’s course, and select “Transfer Course” and Search. This will identify any St. Catherine courses that might be equivalent to the other institution’s course. Be sure to review any notes with additional information for a given course.

If you have searched via TES and can’t find a specific school or course listing, contact your admission counselor for assistance. Please include the institution, course name and number, and course description in your email.

Admission timelines and deadlines

The DPT application deadline is December 1 (11:59 p.m. EST) for fall admission. We strongly encourage candidates to complete the application process at least one month prior to the deadline to ensure that all materials are received. Only applications that are "complete" or "verified" by the deadline will be considered.

The University is no longer accepting applications for Fall 2023 admission. Applications for Fall 2024 admission will be accepted beginning June 15, 2023. Watch this page for updates.

Entry-level applicants are individuals who have completed/will complete a bachelor’s degree from St. Kate’s or another institution and are applying as first-year graduate students. Applications are managed using a rolling admissions process from July to December 1 for classes beginning the following fall.

Upon receiving a completed file from PTCAS, the DPT Admission Committee completes the review of an applicant’s file within 3-4 weeks. Each application that has been completed with the accompanying materials required by St. Catherine University will be considered by the committee.

Dual-degree applicants are current St. Catherine University undergraduate students who are pursuing an approved dual-degree plan.

The DPT Admission Committee completes the review of dual-degree applications in January, after all fall grades are posted. Applicants that were originally admitted as an “Early Admit” when enrolling at St. Catherine University must adhere to the prescribed requirements outlined in their initial admission offer. For all other dual-degree applicants, fulfillment of the admission requirements does not guarantee acceptance to the graduate program. 

Upon receiving a completed file via PTCAS, the DPT Admission Committee completes the review after fall grades are posted.  Each application that has been completed with the accompanying materials required by St. Catherine University will be considered by the committee. Students are notified via email and letter in February about their admission status, which may include accepted, waitlisted, or denied admission.

PTCAS application

PTCAS application

All DPT applicants must apply through PTCAS. Start your application here.    

Personal statement

To demonstrate written communication skills and clarify your purpose in pursuing a graduate degree in physical therapy, you will answer each of the following questions in separate essays in PTCAS. 

  • Describe the experiences you obtained to understand the breadth of physical therapy practice. How do you see the field of physical therapy fitting into a healthcare system aimed at preventing disease, restoring health, and improving lives?
  • Please expand on the PTCAS application section on extracurricular and work-related activities. What leadership attributes did these activities help you develop? How will these attributes transfer to your career as a physical therapist?
  • Describe a situation in which you experienced significant adversity or cumulative stress. What skills and/or strategies did you use to cope with that situation? Explain how you envision these or other strategies would support you as a physical therapy student and future physical therapist.
  • Our program strives to prepare a diverse body of general practitioners who are highly respected for their competence and compassion in providing care to patients with a variety of backgrounds, values, and beliefs. Describe your attributes and experiences that prepare you for this challenge/opportunity.

PTCAS essay question

Every person has a story that has led them to a career. Since there are a variety of health professions that "help" others, please go beyond your initial interaction or experience with physical therapy, and share the deeper story that has confirmed your decision to specifically pursue physical therapy as your career.

Please note that the upcoming PTCAS application may include an optional statement that will allow applicants to expand on any impacts COVID-19 may have had on their preparation for application to graduate school.


Two references must be completed. One reference must be from a professor, preferably in your major, but can also be from another area or from an academic adviser. Links to an online form will be sent through PTCAS after the applicant enters the reference’s contact information.


All transcripts must be submitted to PTCAS. Please submit from every post-secondary institution attended, even if courses are recorded on another transcript and regardless of the number of credits earned.

Dual-degree applicants must request that all official transcripts be sent directly from every post-secondary institution attended to PTCAS including their official St. Kate’s transcript.  PLEASE NOTE: Requesting transcripts is the responsibility of the dual degree applicant. St. Kate’s cannot forward any transcripts to PTCAS.

GRE scores

Official scores from the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) must be submitted directly from the Educational Testing Service (ETS) to PTCAS. The test date must be within five calendar years prior to the term of intended enrollment. Please use the DPT Program code 7594 to submit scores to PTCAS.

Dual-degree applicants are encouraged to complete the GRE no later than the end of September prior to the December 1 deadline.

Credential evaluation

Applicants with a college or university degree completed outside of the United States must submit a course-by-course evaluation from World Education Services (WES). All costs related to document evaluation are the applicant’s responsibility. Official evaluation results must be reported in PTCAS. If admitted into the DPT program, an official evaluation must also be submitted to St. Catherine University directly from WES.

TOEFL scores

Applicants whose native language is not English are required to complete the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) with a minimum score of 550 on the paper-based test or 80 on the iBT. This requirement is waived for students who have completed a baccalaureate or graduate degree in the United States. Candidates must report official TOEFL scores in PTCAS. If admitted into the DPT program, official test scores must also be submitted to St. Catherine University directly from the Educational Testing Service (ETS).

Application Review

Upon receiving a completed file from PTCAS, the DPT Admission Committee completes the review of an applicant’s file within 3-4 weeks. Each application that has been completed with the accompanying materials required by St. Catherine University will be considered by the committee. Fulfillment of the admission requirements does not guarantee acceptance to the graduate program. No credentials will be returned to the applicant. Students are notified via letter about their admission status, which may include accepted, waitlisted, or denied admission.


Enrollment information: Fall 2022 cohort

  • Number of completed applications: 140
  • Class size: 26
  • Acceptance rate: 45%
  • Matriculation rate: 19%
  • Average overall undergraduate GPA: 3.64
  • Average prerequisite course GPA: 3.23
  • Average GRE verbal: 153
  • Average GRE quantitative: 154
  • Average GRE writing: 4.0

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.

Background Check

Minnesota State Law requires that any person who provides services that involve direct patient contact with patients and residents at a healthcare facility licensed by the Minnesota Department of Health have a background study conducted by the state.


It is the applicant's responsibility to ensure that their application is completed by the deadline. The Admission Committee will not review your application until we have received all required documents. Fulfillment of the admission requirements does not guarantee admission to the program. No credentials will be returned to the applicant.

International Applicants

The following information pertains to applicants who are not U.S. citizens or permanent residents.

Please review the information below regarding other application materials that may be required for international applicants.


Earlier deadlines may apply for international applicants to ensure that all immigration requirements can be met in time for you to enroll in the desired term. Contact your admission counselor with questions.

International Student Forms

International applicants for graduate study must complete the International Information section of the PTCAS application form.

The U.S. government requires international applicants to provide proof of ability to pay tuition and living expenses before the University can issue forms necessary to obtain a visa. International applicants must submit a Certification of Finances form.

Additional Documentation

Some international applicants may be required to submit additional documentation, such as a credential evaluation, language test scores, etc. Please review the application instructions for your graduate program for more information.

Questions about the application process?

Email your admission counselor at any time, or call us during office hours (8:30 a.m.–5 p.m.).

Contact an admission counselor