Eligibility and Requirements
Before applying, please review our PTCAS program page for detailed admission and eligibility requirements.
To enter KU's doctoral program in physical therapy, you'll need to meet the following admission requirements. Note: the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) is no longer required and is not considered in the admissions process.
A bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited institution must be completed prior to starting physical therapy program classes. Your degree can be in any field, but coursework must have included the prerequisite courses.
Please note the following requirements related to prerequisite coursework:
- A single course may not be used to fulfill more than one prerequisite requirement (except a combined human anatomy/physiology class that is five (5) semester credits or greater and includes a laboratory may be used to fulfill both the anatomy and physiology requirements).
- All prerequisite coursework must be taken for a grade. Classes scored as pass/fail, credit/noncredit or satisfactory/unsatisfactory are not acceptable. However, CLEP, ACT and advanced placement credits are acceptable when officially documented on a college transcript.
- All prerequisite coursework must be completed before the start of the program. Preference will be given to students having completed at least 80% of the prerequisites at the time of application.
- If a prerequisite course is taken more than once (even if at different universities), all instances that appear on the official transcript must be reported. The grades from the best score on each class will be used in prerequisite GPA calculations.
CHEMISTRY: two courses with laboratory.
These courses must be college level. The courses may be inorganic chemistry or they may be a combination of organic, inorganic or biochemistry. Introductory courses that cannot be used as prerequisites for more advanced courses are not acceptable.
PHYSICS: two courses with laboratory.
These courses must be college level and cover a broad background in physics, including the principles and application of mechanics, fluids, heat, thermodynamics, sound waves, electricity, magnetism and light.
ANATOMY: one course with laboratory.
This course may be human or mammalian anatomy, although human anatomy is preferred. A dissection laboratory is not required, but the course must contain some type of laboratory experience. A two-course sequence in anatomy and physiology with laboratory is acceptable. If a single combined human anatomy and physiology course (with laboratory) is five semester credits or greater, it can fulfill both the anatomy and physiology requirements.
HUMAN PHYSIOLOGY: one course with laboratory.
This course must contain a laboratory experience. A two-course sequence in anatomy and physiology with laboratory is acceptable. If a single combined human anatomy and physiology course (with laboratory) is five semester credits or greater, it can fulfill both the anatomy and physiology requirements.
BIOLOGY: two courses with laboratory.
It is recommended the second biology course be an upper-level course such as microbiology. Botany is not acceptable for this requirement.
STATISTICS: one course.
This course should include the following content areas: elementary descriptive statistics on a sample of measurements, probability, binomial and normal distributions, sampling from populations, and simple problems of statistical inference. Biomedical statistics, education statistics or business statistics courses are acceptable.
PSYCHOLOGY: one course.
It is recommended students enroll in a general psychology course (that includes content in basic psychology theory and research). A second course is recommended in abnormal psychology or developmental psychology.
The following courses are not required for admission; however, our faculty believe that incoming students will benefit from having taken them. Therefore, we strongly recommend these courses to prospective applicants:
- One course in exercise physiology.
- Courses that involve strong writing and communication skills.
- One course in kinesiology. This course should introduce the student to the anatomical and mechanical principles of human movement.
Physical Therapy Experience
Applicants must possess a general understanding of health care and physical therapy based upon employment, observation and/or volunteer experiences. Although we do not require a specific number of hours, we encourage you to invest the time needed to acquire knowledge of the role of physical therapists in health care.
An overall 3.0 cumulative grade point average on a 4.0-scale is required for admission to the program. Historically, we've accepted applicants with a cumulative GPA significantly higher than 3.0.
Additionally, a minimum 3.0-grade point average (on a 4.0 scale) is required in all math and science prerequisite coursework. A passing grade is required in all prerequisite courses. A “D” is not considered a passing grade. You must have completed all prerequisite science courses within the last 10 years.
At Least Three (3) Letters of Reference
At least three letters of reference are required from individuals that can attest to your personal and professional qualities and potential. At least one letter must be from a physical therapist.
The Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations requires all incoming students to submit for and provide to KU a background check. You pay this one-time fee directly to the company performing the background investigation. You will be asked to provide information and make the payment once you have been officially accepted into the program. For more information, please see the School of Health Professions Background Check Instructions.
Vaccine and Clinical Site Requirements
Matriculated students will need to provide an immunization profile prior to participating in curricular and/or clinical experiences required by the program. Please read the information found at the bottom of the program's curriculum page and be sure that you understand these requirements.
Students in this program are required to have a computer that meets the minimum software and hardware requirements.
Requirements for International Student Applicants
An applicant is considered an international student if they require a visa, currently reside in the U.S. with non-immigrant status, or currently reside in the U.S. while applying for permanent residence. Additional requirements and documentation, such as proof of English language proficiency, are required for international students to become eligible for KU programs. Please review the information for international students before applying.
For more details, please review the KU program page at the Physical Therapist Centralized Application Service.
The KU Department of Physical Therapy, Rehabilitation Science, and Athletic Training reserves the right to waive any documentation normally required and to accept or deny admission whenever it believes sufficient information exists to make a decision.