Application Instructions For

doctor of physical therapy

Our graduate programs are open to women and men. Please review the program eligibility requirements and application instructions prior to starting the graduate application process.

eligibility and prerequisite requirements

Before beginning the application process, review the pre-application requirements for this program.

To be considered for admission, applicants must meet the following requirements:

Baccalaureate degree
A completed bachelor’s or graduate degree from an institution that is accredited by one of the regional accrediting associations (e.g. Higher Learning Commission), or an approved dual-degree plan for completing the baccalaureate degree during the DPT program.

Grade point average
A cumulative and prerequisite grade point average (GPA) of 3.0 (B) or higher on a 4.0 scale.

Clinical experience
A minimum of 60 hours of physical therapy experience during the three years prior to application.

Prerequisite courses
Specific prerequisite courses are required for the DPT program; 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.

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 the following prerequisites: pre-calculus, 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.

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

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 (8 semester credits)
A general biology sequence is preferred. The following courses will be considered in descending order of preference: general biology I, II, cell biology, microbiology, genetics, immunology, molecular biology, histology.
St. Kate's equivalent: BIOL 1710, BIOL 1720, BIOL 2200, BIOL 2800, BIOL 2900, BIOL 3210, BIOL 3250, BIOL 3350 or BIOL 4220.

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 2400, BIOL 2510, 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 2410, BIOL 2520, BIOL 2620 or BIOL 3140

Chemistry with lab (8 semester 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 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 credits)
One general/introductory psychology course plus one course in either developmental/lifespan psychology or abnormal psychology.
St. Kate's equivalent: PSYCH 1000, PSYCH 2025, or PSYCH 3010

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: ECON 1080, ECON 1090, HLTH 1090, PSYC 1090, STAT 1090

Mathematics (4 semester credits)
These credits must be at the level of pre-calculus or higher.
MATH 1090 or MATH 1130

Medical Terminology (1 course) (Recommended, not Required)
St. Kate's equivalent: HIMP 1020, HIMP 1050 or INDI 2220

Course equivalencies for St. Catherine prerequisites

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.

  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.

Please read the application instructions below before beginning the application process.

The DPT application deadline is December 1 for Fall admission.

We are no longer accepting applications for Fall 2018 enrollment. Applications for Fall 2019 may be submitted via PTCAS starting in July 2018.

All entry-level applications are processed through the Physical Therapist Centralized Application Service (PTCAS). Applications are managed using a rolling admissions process from July to December 1 for classes beginning the following fall.

St. Catherine undergraduate students who are pursuing an approved dual-degree plan do not apply for the DPT program using the PTCAS system. Information listed on this web page is for entry-level applicants only; application materials and instructions for dual-degree students will be available from the Office of Graduate Admission in September 2018.

Upon receiving a completed file from PTCAS, the DPT admission committee completes the review of an applicant’s file within 3-4 weeks. Fulfillment of the admission requirements does not guarantee acceptance to the graduate program. Each application that has been completed with the accompanying materials required by St. Catherine University will be considered by the Admission Committee. 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.


  • Number of applicants: 285
  • Class size: 34
  • Average overall undergraduate GPA: 3.73
  • Average prerequisite course GPA: 3.73
  • Average GRE verbal: 155
  • Average GRE quantitative: 154
  • Average GRE writing: 4.0

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

Entry-Level: use the DPT Program code 7594 to submit scores to PTCAS
Dual-Degree: use the Institution code 6105 to submit scores to St. Catherine University

Applicants must have a minimum of 60 hours of physical therapy 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.

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.

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).

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.

Applicants may petition for an exemption to the requirements. Common examples include waiving the seven year requirement for a prerequisite course, or applying with a GPA below 3.0. Applicants who wish to petition for an exemption should send an explanatory statement via email to the DPT Admission Committee co-chair, Cort Cieminski, at Petitions will not be considered unless a PTCAS application has also been submitted.

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


Applicants who are not U.S. citizens or permanent residents must submit an International Student Supplement and Certification of Finances, in addition to the graduate program application. There is no additional application fee required.

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.

All international applicants for graduate study must complete the International Student Supplement in addition to applying directly to the graduate program.

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, with the exception of the following programs:

  • Education: For Licensed Teachers (MAED in Curriculum & Instruction, Technology Integration, STEM)
  • Health Informatics (MHI)
  • Interpreting Studies (MAISCE)
  • Montessori: AM2 (MAED)
  • Occupational Therapy: Post-professional (OTD)

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.

Please submit the International Student Supplement and Certification of Finances forms to the Office of Graduate Admission; review your graduate program application instructions for submitting educational documentation and test scores. The Admission Committee will not review your application until we have received all required documents.

St. Catherine University
Office of Graduate Admission 4027
2004 Randolph Avenue
Saint Paul, MN 55105
Telephone: 651.690.6933

begin application now

questions about the application process?

Email your admission counselor at any time, or call us during office hours (8:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.).

contact an admission counselor