Application ProcessPrerequisite CoursesPrerequisite DatabaseApplication Requirements

Step 1: Prerequisites and Application Requirements

The first step in the admissions process is to ensure you are on track to complete both the course prerequisites and application requirements in time to apply for your preferred year of entry.

International Student Application (ISA)
The International Student Application (ISA) is required if:

  • You are an international applicant who is not a U.S. citizen and is currently living in the U.S.
  • You are an applicant who has applied for permanent residency, but have not been approved at the time of application
  • The ISA needs to be included with your application packet

We do not require a separate application or fee, and you should be prepared to meet all of the prerequisite and application requirements as outlined. If you need assistance with immigration (I-20 form, F-1 visa, SEVIS, etc.), our International Student Services (ISS) staff are available to help you. Visit the ISS website to learn more.

Step 2: Make Yourself a Competitive Candidate

Admission to the DPT Professional program is competitive so you should strive to not only meet, but exceed the minimum requirements. To get a feel for the competitiveness of the applicant pool we recommend that you view our class statistics page and read what the admissions committee recommends you do to maximize your candidacy.

Step 3: Preparing and Submitting your Application

The apply now page will provide you with step-by-step instructions as well as an application checklist. There are a number of supporting materials that make up your completed application and it is essential that you print and carefully follow the checklist to ensure that you properly submit these pieces by the deadline.

Frequently Asked Questions

We've compiled a list of frequently asked questions to help you navigate through the application process, and please do not hesitate to contact us if you have additional questions.

Prerequisite Courses

Required: 2 courses


  • At least one of these courses must be taken from the psychology department
  • Each course must be three (3) semester or four (4) quarter units
  • Abnormal and/or Developmental Psychology highly recommended

Required: 3 semester or 4 quarter units


English Composition

  • Contact your admissions counselor if your institution doesn't offer this course

Required: 4 semester or 6 quarter units
May not be introductory. Must be human. Must be taken from the anatomy, physiology, anatomy & physiology, biology, or zoology department. Must have been completed no more than seven (7) years prior to planned date of matriculation at WesternU.

Human Anatomy with lab

Human Physiology with lab

  • Combined Anatomy & Physiology courses will only be considered if you take the full course sequence (e.g. 2 semesters or 2 quarters)

Required: 8 semester or 12 quarter units
May not be introductory. Must have been completed no more than seven (7) years prior to planned date of matriculation at WesternU.

General Chemistry with lab

  • Must be specified for science majors

Physics with lab

  • Must take the full course sequence (e.g. 2 semesters or 3 quarters)

All ​Prerequisites:

  • Must be completed at a regionally accredited U.S. institution (exceptions will be made on a case-by-case basis) or its equivalent abroad
  • Must be completed with a grade of “C” or better (a grade of “C-” or lower is not acceptable)
  • No more than one science (if semester-based course; two if the course is quarter-based) and one non-science prerequisite may be in progress after the fall term prior to matriculation (e.g. Dec 31, 2018, for Fall 2019 entering class)
  • Must be completed by the spring term prior to matriculation (e.g. May/June 2019, for the Fall 2019 entering class)
  • One prerequisite may be taken on an advanced-placement, pass/no pass or credit/no credit basis
  • Prerequisites completed in California must be University of California (UC) &/or Cal State University (CSU) transferable
  • Online labs will not be accepted to satisfy the prerequisite
  • All coursework taken from non-U.S. institutions (including Canada) must be submitted to an approved service for evaluation

Not sure if your course qualifies? If you’d like to find out whether the courses you’ve taken or plan to take will satisfy WesternU’s DPT prerequisites you may:

  1. Search the prerequisite database by institution
  2. If you don't see your courses listed in the database, email your counselor with the syllabus.
  3. If your courses are not listed in the database and you have numerous in question, or simply wish to lay out your coursework, you may instead print and submit an academic worksheet. Note: academic worksheets are available March – August and will be reviewed during this time only

Application Requirements

Completion of prerequisite courses as outlined
Minimum Overall and Prerequisite GPA of 3.00
  • GPA must meet minimum requirement at the time of application and be maintained through admission into the program
General Graduate Record Examination (GRE)

Although there is no minimum verbal or quantitative score, candidates must score a minimum of 3.5 on the analytical writing portion of the general GRE exam.

  • GRE scores are to be submitted via PTCAS.
  • GRE scores are valid for 5 years prior to the planned year of matriculation
  • Only general GRE test scores are accepted, must submit all 3 scores from single test
  • To ensure score reports are received, not postmarked, by the application deadline, candidates should not take the GRE exam after mid-September of the year they are applying. Score reports received after the PTCAS deadline will not be accepted or processed.
  • GRE Institution Code: Institution: 2228
  • Please note: ETS is in the process of adding this code to their system. If you do not see it as an option, please contact ETS.
Repeated Courses – The maximum number of repeated courses allowed for the 2018 entering class is five science courses
  • We will exclude those that are repeated due to expiring
  • If a science course is repeated multiple times, it will be counted against the five allowed
Bachelor's Degree
  • BS or BA from a regionally accredited U.S. institution in any field except Physical Therapy
  • Degree must be conferred by end of spring term prior to matriculation
Letters of Recommendation
  • Three (3) letters of recommendation are required:
    • One (1) from a supervising physical therapist
    • One (1) from a college instructor
    • One (1) from either a licensed physical therapist or college instructor
  • Your letters of recommendation are part of the PTCAS application and will be submitted to the admissions office along with your PTCAS application
  • Recommendations from a family member will not be considered
Volunteer or Paid Work Experience
  • Minimum of 100 hours in two (2) or more physical therapy facilities and/or clinical settings
    • A minimum of 40 hours per facility or clinical setting is required
  • In-patient settings include:
    • in-patient hospital (acute, sub-acute/transitional care or rehab)
    • skilled nursing facilities (SNF)
    • extended care facilities (ECF)
    • residential facilities (geriatric/pediatric)
  • Experience hours completed under the supervision of a family member will not be accepted
Access to a Computer Meeting Minimum Technical Standards

International Student Application (ISA)

We do not require a separate application or fee, and you should be prepared to meet all of the prerequisite and application requirements as outlined. If you need assistance with immigration (I-20 form, F-1 visa, SEVIS, etc.), our International Student Services (ISS) staff are available to help you. Visit the ISS website to learn more.

Proof of Legal US Residency – If Required
  • If you are an international applicant or any other applicant who is not U.S. citizen and is living in the U.S., you should be prepared to provide proof of legal U.S. residency at the time of interview
  • Proof of legal U.S. residency is required prior to any offer of acceptance
Health Screening/Immunizations and Background Check

Should you be accepted into the Professional Doctor of Physical Therapy program, you will be required to provide proof of the required health screenings and immunizations. Additionally, your admission into the program will be contingent upon a satisfactory criminal background check, which is to be completed and submitted prior to orientation. The background check is required to verify that your history is consistent with the University's Standards of Professional Conduct, and to ensure that you will be qualified to participate in the required clinical education experiences. A satisfactory criminal background check indicates no criminal history or satisfactory review of a criminal conviction without limitation; both misdemeanor and felony charges will be reviewed. If your background check is not considered “satisfactory”, you may have limited clinical site selection, may not be eligible for licensure or may have difficulty finding employment upon graduation. Supplemental or additional background checks may be required during the course of the educational program to meet the requirements of clinical education sites. For more detail on these requirements, please review the Professional DPT FAQ's page.