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Doctor of Physical Therapy


Application Dates and Deadlines

A new cohort of the UW Doctor of Physical Therapy program begins each fall. Applications open in June, and the application deadline is October 16, 2023. Admission decisions are emailed to students in late January.

Minimum Admission Requirements

To apply for admission, applicants must have the following:

  • Bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited college or university in the United States or its equivalent from a foreign institution (or be on track to earn a bachelor’s before the program begins). Any major is acceptable.
  • Overall undergraduate cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher on a 4.0 scale. Grade of 2.0 or higher in each prerequisite PT course and a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher in all prerequisite PT courses. Due to COVID-19, if the institution elected to use the P/F or S/NS grading option, you can use the pass/satisfactory credits to fulfill prerequisite course requirements. This only applies to the courses offered in Winter 2020, Spring 2020, Summer 2020, Autumn 2020, Winter 2021, Spring 2021 and Summer 2021.
  • At least half of the prerequisite PT courses completed and be on track to complete all before the program begins.
  • A minimum of 25 hours of PT-related work or volunteer experience. It must be completed under the supervision of a licensed physical therapist at any physical location within the U.S. Due to COVID-19, we have reduced the minimum observation requirement to 25 hours in the 2022–23 admission cycle (i.e., for Autumn 2023 entry).
  • Demonstrated English language proficiency for applicants whose native language is not English (see Information for International Students section below)

Required Application Materials

  • Physical Therapy Centralized Application Service (PTCAS) online application
  • UW Graduate School online application
  • Official transcripts from every college or university ever attended
  • Three or four letters of recommendation
  • Personal statements
  • GRE scores
  • TOEFL scores (if English is not your native language)

Prerequisite Courses

You may use credits from college-level coursework taken any time in your academic career; there is no expiration date. Prerequisite courses may be taken at any accredited institution of higher education, including universities, community colleges or online providers. 

Beneath each prerequisite subject listed below, you’ll find a list of acceptable courses that will meet the prerequisite requirements. Courses from other schools may vary in content, level and credits and still meet the prerequisites for this program.   

You can also see the UW equivalent course(s) for some of the prerequisite requirements. You may compare the course descriptions in your college catalog to gauge approximate equivalencies. If you attended one of the Washington state community colleges, check the University of Washington Equivalency Guide.

Due to the large number of applications we receive each year, we do not provide pre-admission course/transcript evaluations.


Human Anatomy is highly recommended. Lab recommended. 

Acceptable courses: A&P combined course, Neuroanatomy, Vertebrate, Advanced, Animal, Human or Mammalian.

UW course BIOL 310.


Human Physiology is highly recommended. Lab recommended. 

Acceptable courses: A&P combined course, Vertebrate, Advanced, Animal, Human or Mammalian.

UW course BIOL 118/119.

Biology (2 courses)

Any course covering macro-to-micro-focused general biology is acceptable. Lab recommended. A&P and Botany courses are NOT accepted.

Acceptable courses: Advanced, Cell, Embryology, General, Genetics, Histology, Immunology, Microbiology, Molecular or Zoology.

UW course BIOL 180, 200 or 220.

Chemistry (2 courses)

Any course covering inorganic, organic or biochemistry is acceptable. Lab recommended.

Acceptable courses: Advanced, Biochemistry, Inorganic or Organic.

UW course CHEM 142, 152, 162, 120, 220 or 221.

Physics (2 courses)

A course covering mechanics, heat, sound and/or electromagnetism is acceptable. Lab recommended.

UW course PHYS 114/117, 115/118 or 116/119.


Any psychology course is acceptable.

Acceptable courses: Abnormal, Adolescent, Advanced, Child, Death/Dying, Developmental, General, Growth & Development, Human Behavior, Life Span Development, Psychopathology, Rehabilitation, Social or Sports.

Behavioral Science

Any course focusing on human behavior across the disciplines of psychology, sociology or anthropology is acceptable.

Acceptable courses

Psychology: Abnormal, Adolescent, Advanced, Child, Death/Dying, Developmental, General, Growth & Development, Human Behavior, Life Span Development, Psychopathology, Rehabilitation, Social or Sports.

Behavioral Science: Community Health, Human Sexuality, Marriage/Family, Personal Health or Social Work.


A statistics course in any discipline is acceptable. Calculus is NOT accepted.

PT-Related Work or Volunteer Experience

students in clinicApplicants to the DPT program must have a minimum of 25 hours of PT-related experience with a physical therapist on staff. All hours, whether they’re volunteer, paid, shadow or observation hours, are weighted equally in the admissions process. We recommend you gain experience in more than one practice setting.

Applicants are expected to arrange their own PT-related experience. Volunteering in the physical therapy department of a hospital or private clinic is a good place to begin. You must complete your observations under the supervision of a licensed physical therapist at any physical location within the U.S. 

Application Steps

Step One: Prepare to Apply

Review the 2023 Admission & Program Overview (PDF).

Review the PTCAS general application instructions.

Complete your PT-related work or volunteer experience. A minimum of 25 hours is required.

Make sure you’re on track to complete prerequisite coursework

Write your personal statements. The Physical Therapy Centralized Application Service (PTCAS) application requires an essay and a response to a school-specific question. Because there’s no interview in the program application process, these statements are the primary way you can express your aptitude for the PT profession and your personal qualities and attributes that will help you succeed in this program.

Identify people who are willing to write letters of recommendation for you. You’ll need to submit three or four letters of recommendation as part of your PTCAS application. You must obtain at least one recommendation letter from a physical therapist you assisted or shadowed while getting your observation hours. Other acceptable recommenders/evaluators are professors, academic professionals including TA and pre-PT advisors, healthcare professionals, former employers or supervisors. Make sure the people you choose can speak to your potential for a career in physical therapy.

Take the GRE (General Test). GRE scores must be sent directly to the PTCAS from the Educational Testing Service using code 0088. GRE scores must be no more than five years old. Other standardized test score such as GMAT, MCAT, LSAT or DAT is not accepted. There is no minimum GRE score requirement for admissions. 

Official GRE scores must be received by the PTCAS before the October 16, 2023, deadline. We strongly encourage you to take the GRE by September 30, 2023, as it usually takes 10–15 business days to receive official scores.

Take the TOEFL (if applicable). TOEFL scores must be sent directly to PTCAS using code 5312. A minimum score of 100(iBT) is required.

Plan to apply early. Please make sure to allow yourself sufficient time to prepare your application. We strongly encourage you to apply as early as possible to ensure timely processing and reviews. Please be aware that the PTCAS application must have “Verified” status to be considered for admission. Late/incomplete applications will not be reviewed.

Step Two: Apply

Submit the UW Graduate School Online Application.

The UW Graduate School does not require an official transcript during the application process. You can upload an unofficial or a student copy for your UW application. Once you are admitted, you must submit official transcripts for degree verification.

Submit the PTCAS Online Application.

All required admission documents must be submitted through the PTCAS online application system. The DPT Curriculum Office will NOT accept any documents including additional recommendation letters or essays.

The PTCAS application will close at 11:59 pm ET.  Please pay attention to the closing time in your time zone.
11:59 PM (ET)
10:59 PM (CT) 
9:59 PM (MT) 
8:59 PM (PT) 
7:59 PM (AKT)
6:59 PM (HAT)

Program Selection Criteria

The UW Doctor of Physical Therapy program aims to graduate highly effective physical therapists who will drive innovation and excellence in the profession. We’re looking for students who will work to address health disparities and provide culturally responsive service in our increasingly diverse world. While selecting our student body, we consider an applicant’s experiences, personal attributes and academic history.

Criminal History Background Check

Most clinical internship placement sites require potential trainees to undergo an extensive criminal history background check, especially for crimes against vulnerable populations. To make sure all DPT students offered internship positions have no criminal history and can finish the clinical portion of the curriculum, if you're accepted to the program you must complete a criminal background check request form before you’ll be admitted to the program.

Information for International Students

International applicants are welcome to apply to the Doctor of Physical Therapy program. You are considered an international applicant if you are not a U.S. citizen, immigrant or permanent resident. International applicants must meet all admission requirements for the program.

Visa Status

International students must have a visa status that allows for academic study at the University of Washington. If you’re admitted to the DPT program and plan to attend on an F-1 visa, you must study full time — at least 10 credits per quarter  to maintain your visa status. For more information, review the citizenship and visa status section of the Graduate School application process page, and contact Graduate Enrollment Management Services at if you have any questions.

English Language Proficiency

International applicants whose native language is not English must demonstrate English language proficiency. A minimum of 100 on the TOEFL iBT is required. Test scores must be sent directly to PTCAS by the Educational Testing Service using institution code 5312. Only scores less than two years old will be accepted.

More Information

International Applicant Information

Visa Information for F-1 Students and J-1 Exchange Visitors