Physical Therapy

Prospective Student Information


table of Contents

Why CSU? Advising
Applying PTCAS Tips
Prerequisites International


Why CSU?

  1. The CSU DPT program was re-accredited for the full 10-year cycle in 2017
  2. We are currently ranked Ohio’s 4th most cost effective DPT program.
  3. We have small cohort sizes (approx. 40), which allows students to form strong long-lasting relationships and gives a more personal experience with professors.
  4. We are connected with and partner with almost 150 clinical experience sites including major hospital systems in the Cleveland Area (Metro, UH, Cleveland Clinic, VA etc).
  5. Our curriculum includes four full time clinical experiences incorporated in our program, which allows for a large variety of  “in the field” study.
  6. Our fourth and final clinical is a 14 week extended clinical where students take part in a post entry-level “capstone” project in which, students participate in one of the alternative/additional roles of the physical therapist (administration, research, educator, advocate, etc.). 
  7. Our start date is in January allowing for a December graduation date when the career field is less flooded with new graduates. Additionally the National Physical Therapy Exam (NPTE) is held in January, allowing a short turnaround time from graduation to licensure.
  8. We are situated in the heart of Cleveland, a very unique and diverse city. We emphasize an urban culture mission and we incorporate this into our curriculum. From the very first semester you get hands on experience working in inner city pro bono physical therapy services
  9. Five elective credits throughout the program in which students can select special interests, receive certifications, and acquire desired knowledge for specializing in the field.

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Applying for a graduate program, like any other major life decision, can seem like a daunting challenge. There are dozens of different questions that might come up from deciding what program is right for you to completing your application to finding out if courses taken at another institution will meet a prerequisite requirement. For these and any other general questions about the DPT Program at Cleveland State, we stongly recommend all potential and current applicants arrange an advising appointment.

Schedule a CSU DPT advising appointment
with our current Advising Graduate Assistant, Lauren Hughes, by clicking
on the blue button below.


These advising sessions can be completed in person or by phone.  We can also be reached at

The CSU DPT Program details the PDF iconEssential Functions that students must be able to perform with or without reasonable accommodations.

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All students applying to join the Doctor of Physical Therapy program at Cleveland State University will be attempting to join the class beginning January two years after the application is submitted. So a student applying in the summer/fall of 2019, if accepted, must complete any outstanding prerequisite requirements and would start in January of 2021 with a target graduation of December 2023.

www.ptcas.orgAll applications are to be submitted through the Physical Therapist Centralized Application Service (PTCAS), which is a service of the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA). PTCAS allows applicants to use a single application and one set of materials to apply to multiple DPT programs.

All applications are due by October 1st annually, with the first student notifications on acceptance status in late November/early December. At this point in time admissions status options are: accepted, rejected, or placed on a waiting list. Applicants will be contacted by e-mail regarding any questions about applications during the admissions process. Please be sure that PT Admissions has your current e-mail address.

Cleveland State University has no rolling or early admissions process; Admissions are processed on a competitive basis. Physical therapists treat individuals from a variety of backgrounds. Our goal is to admit students that embrace and respect individual differences. Out students should be able to interact effectively with those from diverse backgrounds, as represented in our local Cleveland community.

Students who are US citizens or permanent residents applying for admission to the Doctor of Physical Therapy Program will:

  • Attain at least a Baccalaureate degree from an accredited college or university in any subject area prior to the beginning the PT Program.
  • Attain a minimum overall Grade Point Average of 3.2.**
  • Take the Graduate Record Exam (GRE general exam) –  (see FAQs -ADMISSIONS below for more specific information about the use of GRE scores in the admissions process).  Official scores must be sent to PTCAS by October 1 annually. CSU's DPT Program Designated Institution Code Number on PTCAS is 7740.
  • Submit a PTCAS application via, including verified most recent grades, by October 1.
  • Complete a total of 11 pre-requisite courses with acceptable grades (listed below) before beginning the DPT Program. At least 5 of 11 pre-req courses must be completed with grades by the October 1 application deadline. No more than two passing grades below B-level will be considered toward the completion of prerequisites.

**Applications with GPAs that fall under 3.2 will not be reviewed. This is due to the high volume of higher GPA applicants/applications. Please discuss with the Advising Graduate Assistant if you have additional questions.

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PTCAS can be intimidating at first, but with familiarity it becomes a very helpful and useful resource:

  • Please open PTCAS early. Applications for CSU open July 1st annually; so create your account around that time.
  • Review instructions.
  • Take time to explore the website (this should be done before applications start), look at all the programs you are interested in and their requirements, statistics, deadlines etc.
  • When the application opens please start filling out the necessary components.
  • Transcripts often take several weeks to verify, so complete your application before the deadline and make sure all transcripts are sent to PTCAS with adequate time.
  • It often takes several weeks for official GRE scores to be sent to PTCAS. Take the GRE with this in mind. CSU's DPT Program Designated Institution Code Number on PTCAS is 7740.
  • To be considered during the current application cycle, a student's application must be listed as "Complete" or "Verified" by PTCAS by October 1st annually.
  • Students with non-complete applications will automatically be denied from consideration. Any application listed as "In-Progress" or "Received" will be considered late and not considered during that application cycle. Students would need to reapply during the following admissions window to be considered for the next class.

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prerequisite coursework

At least five of the eleven prerequisite courses must be completed with verified grades at the time of application. The program requires at least a grade of C in all prerequisite courses and no more than 2 grades of "B-" or below are acceptable.

An application with more than two C-level grades is still eligilbe for application, however the excessive C-level grades will not count towards the 5 prerequisite minimum to apply. If accepted, the excessive C-level courses must be retaken and completed with acceptable grades before admission.

All prerequisites must be taken within 6 years from time of application (i.e. if you apply in 2019 all classes need to be from 2013 or later)

  • ANATOMY (CSU Course - HSC 475/457) - This prerequisite can be met with Anatomy & Physiology I and Anatomy & Physiology II with corresponding lab courses, OR this can be met with a Human Anatomy course with lab.
  • BIOLOGY (CSU Course - BIO 200/201)- Cell Bio preferred, but General Biology courses can be accepted if they have a cellular component. This course must be designed for science majors and have a lab. Biology must be at least 4 credits.
  • (2) CHEMISTRY I & II (CSU Courses - CHM 251/256 and 252/257) -  Sequence of Chemistry I and II. This course must be designed for science majors. Students must take a Chem I course and Chem I lab (Chem II and Chem II lab) to meet this requirement. Chemistry courses must be at least 4 credits.
  • (2) PHYSICS I & II (CSU Courses - PHY 221 and 222)- Sequence of both Physics I and II. This course must be designed for science majors. Students must take a Physics I course and Physics I lab (Physics II and Physics II lab) to meet this requirement. Physics courses must be at least 4 credits.
  • **PHYSIOLOGY (CSU Course - HSC 422/450) - Upper Level Human Physiology course with lab is required (Vertebrate and/or Mammalian Physiology is acceptable but not recommended). OR Anatomy and Physiology I and II with corresponding labs AND Exercise Physiology would be acceptable to meet this prerequisite.
  • PSYCHOLOGY (CSU Course - PSY 101)- Students are required to take a minimum of one Psychology course in any area. Introduction to Psychology is suggested. Psychology course must be at least 3 credits.
  • (2) SOCIAL/BEHAVIORAL- Science courses required in addition to one required psychology course; any social/behavioral science course is acceptable by CSU DPT program. Coursework older than 6 years not accepted.
  • **STATISTICS (CSU Course - MTH/STA 347 or PSY 317)- This class must be upper division (300/400 level or junior/senior level).

**If you are unsure about specific courses counting towards our prerequisite requirements please see the PDF links below. If you cannot find your course please contact to ask further questions.

PDF iconStatistics Prereq

PDF iconPhysiology Prereq

PDF iconSocial/Behavioral PRereq

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International applicants

International Students: Must apply through PTCAS for DPT Admissions and complete all the above in order to be eligible.  In addition, International Students must complete the following admissions procedures through International Graduate Admissions.

Procedure Steps/Guidelines:

According to the CSU Graduate College Admissions requirements: An international student is an individual who holds a visa while enrolled at Cleveland State University. These students must submit applications for graduate study to the Office of International Graduate Admissions, Main Classroom, Room 116.

A permanent resident is a person who has been granted permanent resident status in the U.S. or refugee status. Permanent residents should apply through the domestic admission process.

Admissions Requirements for International Students:  Available at:

Academic: Baccalaureate degrees earned outside the U.S. must be equivalent to baccalaureate degrees earned in the U.S.

English Language Proficiency: The University requires all non-native English speakers to demonstrate proof of English-language proficiency. Any individual who has earned a bachelor's (or higher) degree from a U.S. institution, in which the primary language of instruction is English, is not required to take an English language proficiency examination. The options and minimum score requirements are as follows:

1. TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) score of at least 17 in Reading, Speaking, and Listening and a minimum score of 14 in writing on the internet-based TOEFL (iBT), or 197 for the computer-based TOEFL (525 on the paper-based test). Please note that the Educational Testing Service (ETS) will not provide test takers or third parties (including Cleveland State University) with TOEFL reports for test scores that are over two years old. If required, the TOEFL must be taken again if the applicant's most recent scores are over two years old, OR

2. Pass the IELTS test (International English Language Testing System) with a minimum score of 6.0; OR

3. Pass the iTEP (International Test of English Proficiency) with a minimum score of 5;OR

4. Achieve a score of C (Pass) or better on the A and O levels of the General Certificate of Education (GCE or GCSE ) Test; OR

5. Achieve a score of C (Pass) or better on the Cambridge Certificate of Advanced English (CAE); OR

6. Complete English language studies (Level 112) from any of the ELS Language Centers; OR

7. Complete course work at a C or better level for the equivalent of the CSU freshman English requirements at a U.S. regionally accredited college or university, OR

8. Receive a Program Certificate of Completion from Cleveland State University's Intensive English Language Program, indicating successful completion of the Advanced level with a grade of B or better and a COMPASS ESL score of 80 or higher.

Submit all of above documents to:

International Graduate Admissions Processing
Cleveland State University
2121 Euclid Avenue, UN 443
Cleveland, Ohio 44115-2214 USA
Phone: (216) 687-5411
FAX: (216) 687-5449

International transcripts are evaluated by admissions processing staff to determine degree equivalency and a grade point average conversion is calculated.


CSU International Graduate Admissions Application Deadline for International Students for DPT Admissions:


Spring Semester-July 1


International students must also submit the DPT PTCAS application by the CSU PTCAS deadline:

October 1





International Students Financial Requirements:

All international students must supply to the Center for International Services and Programs proof of adequate financial resources before I-20 (F-1) or IAP-66 (J-1) documents can be issued to obtain the appropriate visa to enter the United States to study. For further details, contact the Center for International Services and Programs at (216) 687-3910 or go to its website at

The only financial aid for which international students may qualify are graduate assistantships and graduate tuition grants. Students should contact their academic departments directly for details.

Health and Medical Requirements:

International students attending Cleveland State University are required to present results of a tuberculosis test before being permitted to register at the University. All international students on an F-1 or J-1 visa must show proof of adequate health insurance before they are allowed to register. For further details, please contact the Center for International Services and Programs at (216) 687-3910 or visit its website at

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Frequently Asked Questions:

1. What is the difference between a Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) and a Physical Therapy Assistant (PTA)?

“Physical therapists (PTs) are health care professionals who diagnose and treat individuals of all ages, from newborns to the very oldest, who have medical problems or other health-related conditions that limit their abilities to move and perform functional activities in their daily lives.” “Physical therapist assistants (PTAs) work as part of a team to provide physical therapy services under the direction and supervision of the physical therapist. PTAs implement selected components of patient/client interventions (treatment), obtain data related to the interventions provided, and make modifications in selected interventions either to progress the patient/client as directed by the physical therapist or to ensure patient/client safety and comfort.” (

2. When does the DPT program start and how long is it?

The program starts in January of each year (Spring semester). It is a 3 full year program (9 consecutive semesters including Summers) in length. Graduation occurs in December.

Example: Class starting in January of 2019 will graduate in December of 2021.

4. How does the application process works, when does it start and when is the deadline?

DPT admissions applications are processed on a competitive basis. The application process is done using Applications will be accepted from July 1 until October1 annually for the class beginning one and 1/2 years later in January. (If you apply October 1, 2019, you are admitted in January 2021)

5. Typically how many people apply and are accepted? Are CSU graduates favored at all?

Over 250 candidates applied to the class beginning January 2020, and 40 students are being accepted.

Whether a Cleveland State University student with another degree or CSU student with the BSHS Pre-PT major you will be favored in the admissions process. However GRE and GPA are still more impactful admission decision criteria.

Applicants who took gross anatomy with Cadaver at CSU (or another accepted institution) and received a B grade or higher will not be required to take gross anatomy in their first semester of the DPT program.

6. I have some work experience related to the physical therapy. Will it help me to be admitted to the program?

Previous work experience in any medical field will help you during your studies in the program, future fieldwork, and your prospective career. Even though prior PT work experience is not an admissions requirement for CSU’s DPT Program, you are strongly encouraged to spend time in a physical therapy practice as an integral part of your preparation for physical therapy professional education. Experiences gained in this manner are invaluable in making decisions about whether physical therapy is the right career choice for you and will provide a foundation for professional study.

7. How do I reapply to the PT program? Does it help or hurt me to reapply?

Students not accepted are welcome to apply through PTCAS during the next application cycle. It is highly recommended you schedule an appointment with the Advising GA to discuss how to improve your applicant status the following year. You are not impacted by previous applications, however it is recommended that your application be strengthened prior to applying another time.

8. Are there financial aid and/or graduate assistantships available for the DPT program?

Many students receive financial aid during the Program. Contact the Financial Aid Department at: for additional information.

A limited number of Graduate Assistantships are available to DPT students during the program. These positions usually pay approximately a $25/hour stipend. Graduate assistants are expected to work between 5-10 hours per week assisting with program teaching, administrative activities, and/or research. There are also several small scholarships ($500-$1000) awarded to students while enrolled in the Program.

10. What are the major admission criteria to the DPT?

Overall GPAs and GRE scores are the principal criteria used to determine admission into the DPT Program.

11. How is my overall GPA determined?

The overall cumulative GPA that will be used in the CSU admissions process is determined by PTCAS. This includes every undergraduate, graduate, and professional course completed. It also utilizes the PTCAS grading scale (weighting system). Information on calculation of PTCAS’s overall cumulative GPA can be found on the PTCAS website.

12. My Overall GPA is still below 3.20, but after this current semester, it should be above 3.20. Should I apply to the program now, or wait until my GPA is over 3.20?

Do not apply until your official GPA is at least 3.2 (in other words, after grades have been posted for the most recent semester’s course work). Otherwise, your admission will be denied because you do not meet the minimum requirements.

13. What is the required score for GRE?

You need to take general version of the exam – for more information check out: The probable GRE cut-off point for admission to DPT Program: combined minimum score on the GRE of at least at combined 290 (suggested score ranges of 146 and above on the verbal section, 144 and above on the quantitative section, and 4.0 writing).  The students offered a place in the Class of 2022 had an average combined score of 304. This result is typical in many recent application cycles.

14. What happens if my GRE scores are below the “probable GRE cut-off point for admission to DPT Program (290)” or the “suggested score ranges (scores of 146-150 verbal, 144-146 quantitative, and 4.0 writing)” for the verbal, quantitative, or writing sections of the GRE?

If your combined verbal and quantitative score fall below the “probable GRE cut-off point for admission to DPT Program (less than a score of 290),”there is a high probability that your application to CSU’s DPT Program will be rejected before full review. In this case, we recommend that you prepare for and retake the GRE in an attempt to improve your scores.

If your combined verbal and quantitative score is at 290 or higher, but your verbal, quantitative, and/or writing scores fall below the suggested score range minimums (146 verbal, 144 quantitative, and 4.0 writing), your full application will be reviewed for admission. If admitted, you will be expected to complete a remediation program determined by your GRE scores.

15. I took the GRE several years ago. Can I still use these scores? Can I use scores from both the revised (new) and old versions of the GRE?

You may use scores from either the old or revised (new) Graduate Record Examination. However, results over five years old at the time of application are not considered valid, and will not be accepted. In addition, examination scores must include the Analytical Writing section of the GRE.

16. I want to retake my GRE. When someone takes the test more than one time, which scores do you use in the admissions process?

The highest scores are used in the admissions process. This can be a combination of scores from two different exams. For example, if you took the exam two times and received a higher verbal score the first time and a higher quantitative score the second time, we will use that combination of higher scores.

17. If I still have to complete some required courses in order to complete your prerequisite course requirements, may I take these courses as part of the DPT program?

All prerequisite courses (as well as your Baccalaureate degree) must be completed before you start the DPT program. However, you may apply to the program prior to finishing all prerequisite course work, assuming that you list a realistic plan to complete these courses on the CSU Supplemental Questions on your PTCAS application. It is required that applicants will have completed at least 5 of the required 11 prerequisite courses, with acceptable grades, before applying.

18. How should I register at CSU to take prerequisite courses if I already finish my Bachelor’s degree at another school?

For students who already have their Bachelor's degree and who need to take few more prerequisite courses, we recommend registering at CSU as a Non-degree Seeking Undergraduate or as a Post-Baccalaureate student. You can find out more information about both in the following websites: and

It is strongly recommended that all potential applicants schedule an advising appointment.

Phone appointments are also welcomed. Click to schedule your appointment online.

We can also be reached at or 216.523.7479

19. I started a DPT Program at another school. Would any of my coursework be transferable to the DPT program?

In general, the DPT program at CSU does not accept transfer students from other DPT programs; however, you can certainly apply for regular admission into the program. It is likely that some courses you have already taken at previous schools will meet the prerequisites requirement. These will be evaluated by the DPT faculty on an individual case-by-case basis to determine which if any previously taken courses will be accepted

20. I feel that there are classes I took that would meet some of the prerequisite requirements. What should I do to clarify this?

There is a web site that allows you to look at many course equivalencies at different pubic universities in Ohio ( Please use the CSU course numbers on the CSU prerequisite list to determine if the course you plan to take or have taken at another Ohio school is equivalent. It is best that you petition courses they may not be equivalent in order to receive formal approval if you plan to take them at another school. This can be done before or after you have taken the course, although we recommend doing so before taking the course whenever possible.

21. How to petition prerequisite courses?

Please email and ask for a “fill-able” PDF or excel petition form. You will fill out the top potion on your computer and submit both the form and any/all syllabi from courses you intend to petition. Please make sure the syllabi contain course content calendars listing content covered. The petition must be submitted electronically to

22. I have lived in the United States for the last 15 years. Who is required to “demonstrate language proficiency”?

Proof of having met at least one of the English language proficiency requirements. CSU offers students the following choices to prove English language proficiency

  • Successful completion of CSU's IELP (Intensive English Language Program) Advanced Level, with a grade of 80% or better.
  • Meet the current score requirements on the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) - 525 (Paper Based Exam) or 65 Internet Based Exam (with minimum of 14 in sections). Only official test scores received directly from the testing authority (ETS) will be considered valid (
  • Pass the IELTS test (International English Language Testing System) with a minimum score of 6.0 (
  • Pass the iTEP (International Test of English Proficiency) with a score of 5.0.
  • Achieve a score of C (Pass) or better on the 'O' (ordinary) Level or 'A' (advanced) Level of the General Certificate of Education. Scores must be no more than 2 years old.
  • Achieve a score of C (Pass) or better on the Cambridge Certificate of Advanced English (CAE).
  • Completion of English language studies (Level 112) from any of the ELS Language Centers (
  • Completion of English Composition 1 and 2, at a 'C' level or better, equivalent to the CSU freshman English requirements at a regionally accredited college or university.

23. I graduated with my baccalaureate degree from a university outside of the United States. Can I apply to the DPT Program? How do I find out about the equivalency of my baccalaureate degree?

A baccalaureate degree earned outside of the United States must be evaluated by a crediting agency to be equivalent to a four-year United States degree. Consult the Center for International Services and Programs ( and International Admissions ( in order to determine equivalency/eligibility.

24. Where DPT program is located?

We are located at East 25th and Euclid Ave. in the Health Sciences Building (adjacent to Mather Mansion and just west of the EG parking garage). A map is located at:



Graduate College Admissions Admissions:
Cleveland State University
Admissions Processing
2121 Euclid Avenue, KB 1400
Cleveland, OH 44115
(216) 687-5599

 Web Address:

Doctor of Physical Therapy Program Admissions:
Cleveland State University
Doctor of Physical Therapy Program
2121 Euclid Avenue, HS-101
Cleveland, OH 44115
(216) 687-3566 (phone), (216) 687-9316 (fax)

Web Address:

Email Id for Admission:


Financial Aid:
Cleveland State University
Financial Aid Department
2121 Euclid Avenue, KB-1300
Cleveland, OH 44115
(216) 687-3764

Web Address:

Career Services:
Cleveland State University
Career Services Center
2121 Euclid Avenue, Rhodes West
Cleveland, OH 44115
(216) 687-2233

Web Address:


Careers In Physical Therapy:
American Physical Therapy Association
1111 North Fairfax St.
Alexandria, VA 22314

Web Address:

Ohio Occupational Therapy, Physical Therapy, and Athletic Trainers Board
77 South High Street, 16th. Floor
Columbus, OH 43266-0317
(614) 466-3774

Web Address:

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