FAQs - AdmissionsFAQs - PrerequisitesFAQs - Online AppFAQs - Other

Question 1: How many applications do you receive, interviews do you grant, and applicants do you accept in an average year?
For the class entering Fall 2017, we received almost 1200 applications, granted over 400 interviews, and seated a class of 54 students. On-campus interviews are required and we strongly encourage you to attend a Preview Day event or Information Session.

Question 2: Do you have an early decision process?
No. The Doctor of Physical Therapy program does not have an early decision process.

Question 3: How many hours of clinical experience are required prior to application?
A minimum of 100 hours of volunteer or paid work experience in two or more physical therapy facilities and/or clinical settings (minimum of 40 hours per facility or clinical setting) is required. In-patient hours are highly recommended. In-patient settings may include: in-patient hospital (acute, sub-acute/transitional care or rehab), skilled nursing facilities (SNF), extended care facilities (ECF) and residential facilities (geriatric/pediatric).

Question 4: Do you give preference to California residents?
No. Although a significant portion of our student body is from California, this is merely a reflection of our overall applicant pool.

Question 5: Do you accept international students?
Yes. International students and any other applicants who are not U.S. citizens should be prepared to provide proof of legal U.S. residency at the time of application. Proof of legal U.S. residency is required prior to any offer of acceptance. Visit the international student website for more information.

Question 6: Can I transfer into your DPT program from another DPT program?
No. We do not accept transfers at this time.

Question 7: Does it matter that I'm older than your average applicant?
No. We encourage applications from qualified candidates regardless of age.

Question 8: Do the recommendation letters have to be turned in with the application packet?
No. Letters of recommendations are a part of the PTCAS application. Three are required: one (1) from a supervising physical therapist, one (1) from a college professor/instructor for a course you have taken, and one (1) from either another supervising physical therapist or a college professor/instructor.

Question 9: May I turn in more than the required number of recommendation letters?
Yes. However, it is advisable to limit the number to one extra since a total of three well-chosen recommendations will usually paint a clear picture of the candidate, and additional recommendations will only add to the committee members' reading time.

Question 10: How does the committee decide which applicants will be offered seats?
After the committee has interviewed all eligible candidates they will be assigned a status: admit, alternate, or non-accept. Applicants will be notified by e-mail of their status within two weeks of their interview date. There is no need to call, as applicants will be notified immediately if there is a change in their status.

Question 11: When are acceptance letters and final notifications mailed?
Most final decision letters are mailed February through March.

Question 12: I am a re-applicant. How can I improve my application or my chances of being admitted?
Take a critical review of the information that you mailed the admissions office and see if there are any obvious voids. For example, maybe you had one or two low grades that lowered your overall and/or prerequisite GPA, or maybe you weren't involved in community service, or merely forgot to include it on your application. You would be surprised at how much you can learn about the strengths and weaknesses of your application simply by looking at it from an admissions perspective. If you had a low grade, especially in a prerequisite course, you should consider retaking that class, since we will recalculate your GPA with the new higher grade when we receive the new transcript. It is important to realize that sometimes there is not one obvious thing that you can change to be admitted. Every case is different and every year the competition is different. Above all else, it is important to realize that we receive applications from many highly qualified applicants each year and are only able to offer acceptances to 54. If this is the path to which you are committed, then keep trying!

Question 13: Will I be required to complete a background check?
Complete confidence in the honor and integrity of the health professions student and health care professional is essential, and students must exhibit honesty and integrity in all aspects of their life. Any prior criminal record of an applicant will be evaluated by the University as part of its determination that the applicant meets the Standards of Professional Conduct. In addition, a prior criminal record may negatively impact a student's ability to participate in the University's curriculum. To meet State regulations and hospital accreditation requirements, clinical facilities are requiring students to complete criminal background checks prior to beginning clinical education experiences. Some clinical facilities require a urine drug test as well. Because of this newer regulation to assure patient safety, students admitted to the Professional DPT program will be required to complete a criminal background check upon acceptance into the program. Certain convictions may prevent students from entering clinical facilities, which may hinder a student's ability to successfully complete the DPT Professional program. If a criminal conviction or other relevant sanction is shown on the background check, clinical sites may choose not to allow a student to utilize their facilities. If applicable, we encourage you to check with the appropriate State licensing board(s) to determine whether your background may be a barrier to future licensing.

Question 14: Does the DPT program require any additional background checks or drug screening tests?
Yes, you may be required to complete an additional background check. Urine drug screens may also be required if needed for clinical education experiences or any sentinel acts. Procedures and costs for obtaining background investigations and urine drug screenings will be disseminated by the Physical Therapy Clinical Education Staff.


Question 1: Can I have prerequisite courses in progress at the time of application? How many?
Yes, however, no more than one science (if semester-based course; two if the course is quarter-based) and one non-science prerequisite course can be in progress after the Fall term prior to matriculation (i.e. December 31, 2017 for Fall 2018 entering class). All prerequisite courses must be completed by the end of the Spring semester/quarter prior to matriculation or June 15th of the planned matriculation year. View requirements for details.

Question 2: Can I substitute any courses for your prerequisites?
No. Other courses may not be substituted for the required prerequisites.

Question 3: How are repeated courses calculated into the GPA?
When calculating your GPA’s the admissions staff will use the Repeated Coursework Form submitted with the secondary application. The GPA’s reported on the PTCAS are re-calculated upon receipt and review of the form by the Admissions Office. Courses and the grades received will be excluded from the GPA calculations. Applicants are allotted five science course repeats (includes prerequisites and non-prerequisites). Repeating a course more than once counts toward the five the allotted.

Question 4: Do you accept advanced placement (A/P) credit, or Pass/No Pass courses?
Only one prerequisite course may be taken on an advanced placement or pass/no pass basis. For those prerequisites requiring a sequence (i.e. Chemistry or Physics), only one course in the sequence may be taken on an advanced placement or pass/no pass basis. While it will satisfy the prerequisite, it will not affect your GPA.

Question 5: Do I need to have a bachelor’s degree to apply?
Yes. This is a doctoral degree program and thus requires a bachelor's degree as a prerequisite. The degree must be conferred by the end of the Spring term prior to matriculation.

Question 6: Do you require any standardized tests prior to application?
Yes. Beginning with the 2017-2018 application cycle, applicants must request their GRE scores be sent to PTCAS using institution code 2228. Please refer to the Application Requirements for additional test requirements and information.

Question 7: Do you require a minimum GPA to apply?
Currently you are required to have and maintain through matriculation into the program, a minimum overall and prerequisite GPA of 3.0 or higher. View requirements for details.

Question 8: May I use a single course to satisfy more than one prerequisite?
No, you may not use a single course to satisfy multiple prerequisites. Each prerequisite must be satisfied by an individual course. 

Question 9: Can I talk to a counselor about my coursework?
If you’d like to find out whether the courses you’ve taken or plan to take will satisfy WesternU’s Professional Program’s DPT prerequisites you can:

  1. Search the prerequisite database by institution.
  2. If your courses aren't listed in the database and you have numerous courses in question, or simply wish to lay out your coursework, you may instead print and submit an academic worksheet (available on the requirements page March-August)

By laying out your coursework in relation to our prerequisites, you will be able to determine the courses you may still need to complete. In addition, you will be able to assess your academic performance in the courses (prerequisites) our admissions committee believes are of greatest importance. If the course name does not match the prerequisite title, you must submit a course syllabus for review.

Once you receive our assessment, feel free to contact us with any questions you might have. 

Question 1: How do I check my application status online?
You can check your application status by visiting the application status page.

Question 2: What if I want to change information on my application after I have completed it?
You may not change answers or documents submitted with your application, but you may upload additional, supplemental materials. To do so, visit the application status page and use the "Upload Materials" section of the page to submit your supplemental materials.

Question 3: What if I want to apply to more than one program? Do I need to create a new account?
You can apply to multiple programs using a single account. Visit our online application, log in, and click "Start New Application" at the bottom of the page.

Question 4: What address should I use if I need to mail any additional application materials?
For official transcripts please mail to:
Western University of Health Sciences
Attn: EDS/program you are applying for (MSMS, MSNE, MSPS, etc.)
309 E Second Street
Pomona, CA 91766

For unofficial documents, please upload to the online application as indicated in the application instructions.

Question 5: How do I pay my application fee?
All application fees require payments made by credit card. Only cards with Visa and Master Card logos will be accepted. No checks, money orders, or cash will be accepted for payment of application fees.

Question 6: What if I do not have a Visa or Master Card?
Payment may be made with a Visa or Master Card prepaid gift card which can be purchased at many major chain stores or online. Please be aware that the gift card must contain a balance sufficient to cover the application fee in one full payment.

Question 7: Are fee waivers accepted?
Payment is required at time of application, if fee waiver is approved a reimbursement will be issued.

Question 1: What is the board passing rate for your physical therapy students?
The success of WesternU’s Professional DPT curriculum is evident in the fact that 94% of the 2015-2016 DPT graduates passed their national licensure exam!

Question 2: Is tuition the same for in-state and out-of-state residents?
Yes. We are a private institution so the tuition rate is the same for all DPT students. Learn more about tuition and how to finance your education.

Question 3: Is there an opportunity to do research while attending WesternU?
Students are required to actively participate in research that is guided by a faculty mentor.  The mandatory Capstone Research Project provides an opportunity for collaborative, interprofessional research that can be empirical, clinical or community service focused.  The research process also allows students to enhance their  own academic development in a unique set of skills of interest and develop a unique collegial bond among the research team as they complete their Capstone Research, including student presentations at peer reviewed state and national conferences.  

Question 4: Is it advisable to work while I take classes?
No. This is a full-time commitment and we discourage you from working, even part-time.

Question 5: How can I learn more about the financial aid available to me?
For more information regarding tuition, financial aid and scholarships, please visit the financing my education page.

Question 6: Is the DPT program accredited?
Yes, the Professional Doctor of Physical Therapy program at Western University of Health Sciences, College of Allied Health Professions is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE), 1111 North Fairfax Street, Alexandria, Virginia 22314; telephone: 703-706-3245; email: accreditation@apta.org; website: www.capteonline.org.