Admissions Standards

Review these standards before submitting your application materials to the Doctor of Physical Therapy program.

Primary Admissions Standards

  • Completed baccalaureate degree or equivalent. Official transcripts from all colleges and universities must be submitted.
  • Completion of prerequisite coursework (see Prerequisite Coursework below)
  • An operational standard GPA for overall grade point average of 3.00, and a 3.00 in the prerequisite coursework are the preferred minimums as indications of probable success in the Program
  • Completion of at least 100 hours of volunteer or work experience in a physical therapy setting.  Exposure to multiple and varied areas of practice in physical therapy is considered an important prerequisite
  • GRE-general exam only (see Test Information below)
  • TOEFL for international students (see Test Information below)
  • Two letters of recommendation (see Letters of Recommendation below)

To be eligible for admission, the student must complete a baccalaureate degree, or its foreign equivalent, from an accredited institution by June 1 of the year of admission. The Division of Physical Therapy has no required, or preferred, undergraduate major. Any baccalaureate degree or equivalent from an accredited institution is accepted.

Secondary Admissions Standards

  • Evidence of exceptional achievement, aptitude or personal accomplishment not reflected in the academic record or standardized test scores
  • A pattern of steady improvement in academic performance
  • A record of completion of upper level or honors coursework
  • Extracurricular high school, college, post-college (if applicable), leadership, and community involvement and activities
  • Indication that enrollment would contribute to ethnic, cultural or linguistic diversity within the Program
  • Evidence of exceptional motivation, maturity or responsibility
  • Geographic location of residence
  • Work and volunteer experience in health care, related fields and venues outside of health care
  • Evidence of having overcome social, economic, or physical barriers to educational achievement
  • Extenuating circumstances
  • Past educational experiences

These secondary factors are not enough to admit an applicant. The student must still meet the primary standards of the program. Secondary factors enhance the student's competitiveness for admission.

Technical Standards

In addition to Primary and Secondary Standards, applicants must possess technical skills and abilities that will allow them to successfully complete the course of study and receive the full benefit of the education. In the process, the student is required to direct or perform treatment on the patients throughout the University of Minnesota Division of Physical Therapy curriculum and its clinical affiliates. This includes the completion of all necessary evaluations and treatment safely and within an acceptable amount of time. With this in mind, the student must be able to meet the Program's technical standards with or without reasonable accommodation.

Application Requirements


For information regarding the GRE test, contact the Educational Testing Service, CN 6000, Princeton, NJ 08541, or visit online at The "general" exam is required. University GRE code is 6874 and the program (department) code is 0619.

International students who have not completed a baccalaureate degree from an English-speaking university (US, UK, Canada, Australia, New Zealand) must submit internet-based Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) scores. Minimum requirements are as follows: writing 24, speaking 26, reading 21, listening 18.

Letters of Recommendation

Two reference forms and accompanying letters of recommendation/narrative comments are required. At least one of the references must be from a physical therapist with whom the applicant has completed a portion of their work/volunteer hours. References from friends, family, and clergy are discouraged. It is recommended that the reference forms be submitted electronically.

Instructions for completing and submitting reference forms electronically are found at the end of the application. If a reference prefers to submit a hard copy of the reference form, you may print out the form here and mail it according to the directions at the end of the application. These reference forms are part of the Physical Therapy program application. University of Minnesota Graduate School reference forms cannot be substituted. 

Prerequisite Coursework

Required prerequisite coursework to be taken before entering the program is listed below. Courses must be taken A-F, unless receiving Advanced Placement credit. A minimum grade of "C" is required in all prerequisite coursework. It is recommended that these courses be taken within the previous five years. Courses may be taken at any accredited college. Students are expected to be skillful with computer applications for word processing and creating spreadsheets.

  • General Biology, with lab
  • A second Biology course of the student's choice, with lab.
  • Human Anatomy
  • Human Physiology
  • General Chemistry or Inorganic Chemistry - minimum two courses, with lab
  • General Physics - minimum two courses, with lab - which include mechanics and electricity
  • General Psychology
  • Abnormal Psychology
  • Statistics - ANOVA and regression analysis content strongly recommended
  • Introductory Calculus (Pre-Calculus not acceptable; Intro to Calculus or Short Calculus acceptable)
  • Medical Terminology

All prerequisite courses and an undergraduate degree must be completed before the student enrolls in the professional program. Students may apply with two remaining prerequisites in progress. Past students have found that Biochemistry and Human/Animal Biology classes have been helpful preparation for our curriculum. 




Advanced Placement Courses

For all Advanced Placement (AP) courses submitted for pre-req requirements, a score must be entered on the application. This will be the score issued by the College Board. The program will allow two AP courses taken for the pre-req requirements.  Only scores of 4 or above will be accepted for the pre-req requirements.  You must forward a copy of the College Board Report to the Admissions Coordinator to keep on file.  An unofficial copy of the report will be accepted.

Distance Learning Courses

If courses are taken from an accredited college or university for college credit there is no limit to the number that may be taken through distance education.

Additional Information


Students on campus should seek help in program planning through their advisor and attend a scheduled information session sponsored by the Division of Physical Therapy. Watch for the dates of the fall and spring information sessions. Students at other colleges should seek advice from their respective counseling offices. Individuals may schedule informational meetings with the Admissions Coordinator by emailing

Commitment to Diversity

The Graduate School embraces the University of Minnesota's position that promoting and supporting diversity among the student body is central to the academic mission of the University. We define diversity to encompass many characteristics including economic disadvantaged, special talents, evidence of leadership qualities, race or ethnicity, a strong work record, disability, veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity, and gender expression.

A diverse student body enriches graduate education by providing a multiplicity of views and perspectives that enhance research, teaching, and the development of new knowledge. A diverse mix of students promotes respect for, and opportunities to learn from, others with the broad range of backgrounds and experiences that constitute modern society. Higher education trains the next generation of leaders of academia and society in general, and such opportunities for leadership should be accessible to all members of society.

The Graduate School and its constituent graduate programs, including the Division of Physical Therapy, are therefore committed to providing equal access to educational opportunities through recruitment, admission, and support programs that promote diversity, foster successful academic experiences, and cultivate the leaders of the next generation.