Prerequisites

  • Applicants to the three (3) year Doctor of Physical Therapy program must satisfy all requirements for Graduate School admission. The Graduate Record Exam (GRE) is required of all applicants. In general, a minimum score of 150 is recommended on each component of the aptitude test. Higher scores are more competitive within the applicant pool.  Test scores more than five years old will not be accepted. The last date to take the GRE is DECEMBER of the year before the program begins. The USC Graduate School requires only one (1) official copy of test scores from the Education Testing Service (ETS) that will be sent via your submission of scores to PTCAS. USC's ETS institution code is 7601

    The Graduate School and the Divisional Admissions Committee strongly prefer that applicants have a minimum cumulative undergraduate GPA of 3.0.  As with the GRE score, higher cumulative GPA's tend to be more competitive within the applicant pool.  Each applicant must hold a baccalaureate degree by the date of projected enrollment (August of each year). 

    Prerequisite Courses
    Grades of “C” or better are required in all prerequisite courses. Biological Science and Physical Science courses must include laboratories (with exceptions listed below). No prerequisite course may be taken on a Pass/No Pass basis and no AP credits will be accepted in lieu of college-level courses. In general, three quarters are considered equivalent to two semesters of course work. All prerequisite courses must be completed prior to enrolling in the program. 

    Biological Sciences
    A minimum of sixteen (16) semesters hours / twenty-four (24) quarters hours in the mammalian biological sciences are required. The Biological Sciences prerequisite coursework must include one course in Human Anatomy with laboratory and one course in Human Physiology with laboratory.  If a COMBINED Human Anatomy & Physiology course is taken, eight (8) semester hours/ twelve (12) quarter hours are required.

    Chemistry
    Eight (8) semester hours / twelve (12) quarter hours are required.  A General Chemistry with laboratory series is preferred, but Organic Chemistry with laboratory series and Biochemistry with laboratory series will be considered.  In general, courses designed for "life-science" majors are recommended over "survey-type" courses.

    Physics
    Eight (8) semester hours / twelve (12) quarter hours with laboratory are required.  A General Physics with laboratory series is preferred.  In general, courses designed for "life-science" majors are recommended over "survey-type" courses.

    Psychology
    A minimum of six (6) semester hours / nine (9) quarter hours are required and may include General Psychology or Abnormal Psychology. 

    Statistics and Mathematics
    One (1) college-level statistics course is required.  Courses taken within the Biology, Mathematics, and Psychology departments are accepted.  An additional college-level geometry or trigonometry course is recommended (but not required). 

    Work Experience
    A minimum of 150 hours of clinical experience in a variety of physical therapy settings is required.  This can be in a volunteer or paid capacity.