Doctor of Physical Therapy (D.P.T.) Admission Requirements

We invite you to apply to our Doctor of Physical Therapy (D.P.T.) program. The program is highly competitive and based on a number of factors. On July 1, we will begin to accept applications for admission to the following summer. You must submit all application materials by Sept. 15.

You can prepare to apply by reviewing the admission requirements and the application process. For more information, view our frequently asked questions.

Admission Requirements

You must have:

  • A bachelor's degree from an accredited institution by the time you enroll.
  • A minimum GPA of 3.00 (out of 4.00) in the last 60 semester hours of undergraduate courses.

To be considered for admission, applicants must apply by September 15 through PTCAS and through NIU's graduate school admission system. At the time of application, official transcripts, three letters of recommendation, GRE scores, and documentation of observation hours should be submitted only to PTCAS. If admitted, you will be asked to send NIU official transcripts certifying your bachelor's degree and GRE scores. When students accept their admission offer, they will be asked to enter into a matriculation agreement with NIU. The agreement requires a $100 non-refundable deposit to hold your spot in the program. The amount of the deposit will be applied to the first year’s tuition unless the agreement is broken, which will result in forfeiture of the deposit.

Prerequisite Courses

You must achieve a minimum GPA of 3.00 (out of 4.00) in the following courses. You must complete the courses by the time you enroll.

  • 3 semester hours of general psychology
  • 3 semester hours of developmental psychology
  • 3 semester hours of abnormal psychology
  • 3 semester hours of statistics
  • 3 semester hours of research methods
  • 4 semester hours of human physiology
  • 5-8 semester hours of anatomy and physiology or 4 semester hours of human anatomy
  • 8 semester hours of general biology with laboratory
  • 8 semester hours of general chemistry with laboratory
  • 8 semester hours of general physics with laboratory
  • A course in medical terminology

Observation Hours

You must have at least 30 hours of observation, volunteer or paid physical therapy work within the last five years. These hours can be from a single setting or from multiple settings.

Application Materials

Your application materials will include professional essays. You'll also need three letters of reference from:

  • A physical therapist
  • An academic or work source
  • A source of your choice (a person with whom you have a professional relationship)

You'll also submit GRE scores:

  • NIU code: 1559 (submit if accepted into program)
  • Physical Therapy Centralized Application System (PTCAS) code: 4474

You may be required to submit your Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) scores.

Application Process

You'll submit two applications. The first is through the Physical Therapy Centralized Application System (PTCAS).

For assistance with PTCAS, contact customer service Monday-Friday 9 a.m. -5 p.m. Eastern Time at 617-612-2040 or

The second is the NIU Graduate School application, which comes with a $25 application fee. You only need to include the following on this application:

  • Program of study (D.P.T.)
  • Name
  • Address
  • Phone number


The admissions committee will review all the applications and select applicants to attend interviews. Applicants will be notified via email of an interview invitation by October 22. If you're invited to an interview, bring printed copies of your resume and the essays you submitted in PTCAS.

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