Physical Therapy

DPT admission and application

Admission requirements

Completion of core courses

  • All prospective students must successfully complete the core required courses before entering the DPT program. At the time of application, students may have up to three core courses to be completed with no more than two core courses planned for the spring semester.
  • All offers of acceptance to the program are conditional upon successful completion of core requirements and maintenance of the minimum GPA requirements.

Completion of 40 observation hours

  • Observation hours must include at least two types of settings such as a hospital, out-patient clinic, school, nursing home, rehab setting or pediatrics.
  • This information will be requested on the Activities and Awards Questionnaire when you apply.

Essential skills

In order to complete the doctoral program, students must possess certain essential skills and be able to perform essential physical functions involved in the practice of physical therapy. Review Essential Functions and Technical Standards.

Regular admission

Applicants who hold a baccalaureate degree from an accredited college or university and have a 3.0 GPA in the core courses and the last 60+ hours of graded, completed college coursework may apply for regular admission.

Advanced (early) admission

Applicants who will have completed three years of residential coursework on a college campus (minimum of 90 credit hours) by the beginning of the professional phase of the PT program may apply for advanced (early) admission.

Applicants who enter without a bachelor’s degree must have satisfied the MU general education requirements and taken two writing intensive courses. Applicants admitted without a degree will receive a bachelor’s degree in Pre-Professional Physical Therapy at the completion of the first year.

To be eligible to apply for advanced (early) admission, students must have a 3.5 cumulative GPA and a 3.0 GPA in the core courses.

Admission cycle

The Department of Physical Therapy does not utilize PTCAS. Applications are completed online through the MU Graduate School application process. Applications are typically available Aug. 1 and due Sept. 30.

Application materials

Regular admission: Applicants who will have completed an undergraduate degree prior to starting the PT program

Advanced (early) admission: Applicants who have completed 90 hours of undergraduate coursework and meet all other eligibility criteria

In addition to uploading unofficial transcripts, applicants must submit the following.

  1. Activities and Awards Questionnaire
  2. Distinct Experiences and Attributes Essay. The confidentiality of your response is a priority in the review process. See below for essay prompt and requirements.
  3. Contact information for two recommendations (professor and supervisor/employer)

Essay prompt

A body of students with a variety of experiences and attributes contributes to a beneficial learning environment for all students. Please describe how your experiences have shaped your development, and how this would contribute to the educational environment. Be specific about what traits, qualities, or characteristics you have gained from each individual experience, and describe how these might influence you as a student and future healthcare provider.

Essay requirements

This essay should be no more than 500 words. Include anything that you feel is important for the admissions committee to know, but you were unable to convey through the other aspects of your submission. Your topic(s) may contain additional details or expound on something mentioned elsewhere in the application but should not be a narrative of your Activities and Awards Questionnaire. Some examples of themes may include, but are not limited to: leadership roles, unique cultural experiences or background, role as a caregiver, prior career experiences, or challenges overcome. This essay should highlight you as an individual and how your experiences set you apart.


In-person interviews are a required part of the application process. Applications will need to be available for a 2–3 hour period during the interview weekend. Appointments are arranged with PT staff.

Tentative interview dates: Oct. 25–26, 2024