As a future physical therapy professional, you will be entering a challenging but rewarding career in health care that helps individuals recovering from injury or illness or prevents the loss of skills among those at risk. In order to achieve success as a physical therapy professional, you will need to be able to think and act independently, be decisive, make accurate diagnoses, and solve problems knowledgeably and creatively.

Admission Requirements

Please note the admission criteria for the 2023-2024 application cycle.

1. BACHELOR’S DEGREE:  A bachelor’s degree (B.S. or B.A.) from an accredited North American college or university or comparable degree from a recognized foreign college or university in any major.

2. PREREQUISITES:  Completion of the following prerequisite courses or acceptable approved equivalents with a grade of C or higher before the start of the program. Credit awarded through AP exams may be used toward direct equivalent prerequisites. The DPT program will accept Pass/Non-Pass for any courses taken from Spring 2020 to Summer 2021 only due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The prerequisites for Ohio State's DPT Program are:

  • General Biology I (lab required)
  • General Biology II (or an upper-level Biology course, such as Genetics, Microbiology, or Neuroscience)
  • General Chemistry I (lab required)
  • General Chemistry II (lab required)
  • General Physics I (lab required)
  • General Physics II (lab required)
  • Introductory Psychology
  • Human Growth and Development or Lifespan
  • Human or Vertebrate Anatomy (lab required)
  • Human Physiology
  • Exercise Physiology
  • Statistics or Research Design

If you have questions regarding prerequisites, please contact Graduate Program Office at Please include with your email the institution(s) attended, course descriptions and transcripts, if possible.

Courses must be completed before the start of the program, but applications will still be accepted as long as courses are in progress or scheduled for a future semester.

3. GPA:  A minimum 3.0 overall cumulative GPA (on a 4.0 scale). The GPA will be computed using ALL grades earned from ALL undergraduate coursework from accredited institutions attended

4. GPA Consideration:

  • To better align with the revised Graduate School Handbook, Graduate and Professional Admissions will only consider the institutional GPA of the last degree earned when sending evaluations to the Graduate School for further review. 
  • Evaluations where the last degree earned was from an unaccredited institution or on a non-traditional grading scale will also be referred to The Graduate School. All other coursework is not considered when sending an evaluation to the Graduate School. 
  • GP Admissions will still perform complete evaluations with all grades and a cumulative GPA for all schools attended to best serve program needs. 
  • Note that this guideline is only for petitions/referrals and does not apply to fellowship consideration. 
5. GRE: The GRE is NOT REQUIRED for the 2023-2024 application cycle. If submitted, scores will be considered as part of a comprehensive review of academic performance. Applicants wishing to submit scores must send their scores to PTCAS using Ohio State's designated code: #7796

6. HOURS OF OBSERVATION:  At least 40 hours of observation under the direct supervision of a licensed physical therapist completed by the application deadline.

7. LETTERS OF RECOMMENDATION:  Three (3) individuals who can supply personal/ professional evaluations

  • (1) Registered and practicing PT with whom the applicant spent the major portion of the required experience hours in Physical Therapy
  • (1) Professor or teacher in the applicant’s undergraduate course of study, or participated in extracurricular experiences with
  • (1) (a) Current or former employer, (b) supervisor in a non-clinical volunteer, research, or extracurricular experience, (c) a coach in a collegiate sports activity in which the applicant participated

The PT Division has composed a guidance document to assist recommenders with writing their letter of recommendation, should they have any questions about what to include: Guidelines for Writing a Letter of Evaluation


** If you've used up all of your available (4) letter allotments and still need to meet one of the criteria above, you can submit a document version of the evaluation and letter. The reference form can be found on the following page:  PTCAS Reference and Evaluation Form. Once completed, you can upload this additional document in the Program Documents Section of your OSU PTCAS application.

8. PERSONAL ESSAY: As part of the general PTCAS application, applicants must complete and submit a personal essay that responds to the following: “Every person has a story that has led them to a career. Since there are a variety of health professions that “help” others, please go beyond your initial interaction or experiences with physical therapy, and share the deeper story that has confirmed your decision to specifically pursue physical therapy as your career.”  Visit the PTCAS website and click on the "Applicant Help Center" for detailed instructions regarding your PTCAS application.

9. TOEFL (International Applicants ONLY):  For students whom English is not their primary language, a minimum Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) score of 550 on the paperbased, 213 on the computerbased test or 7980 for the internet-based test will be required.

Comprehensive Review

How Do I Present a Competitive Application?

The educational admission of the School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences at The Ohio State University is to prepare resilient, reflective thinkers who demonstrate compassion and diversity in background and thought, who are driven to support the health and well-being of the people of Ohio and the global community. The mission of the Doctorate of Physical Therapy (DPT) Program is to advance the profession of physical therapy through education, research, service and leadership. We strive to create an environment where our students develop an understanding and appreciation of a variety of experiences and perspectives which will prepare them to care for patients of any racial, ethnic, or socioeconomic background. 

Along with excellent grades, you will be judged on how well you can balance outside activities and responsibilities with schoolwork as an indicator of your ability to deal with the rigors of life as a physical therapist. Commitment to community service and ethical behavior, along with compassion, leadership ability and communication skills, are characteristics we seek in our future DPT students. Tell us about your experiences and how they helped you become the person you are today. We will draw this information from your essay responses, recommendation letters, interview, and the descriptions of the experiences you provide.

Our interview process involves multiple individual interviews with faculty members and clinical instructors. The primary purpose of the interviews is to identify individuals who will be able to deal compassionately and effectively with patients in interprofessional health care teams. Interviewers will explore the candidate’s motivation for seeking a physical therapy degree, understanding of the profession and of medical ethics, as well as his or her problem-solving skills and interpersonal skills.

How to Apply

Ohio State University's Division of Physical Therapy participates in the Physical Therapy Centralized Application Service (PTCAS) for admissions practices. Applying to the program includes a three-step process: 

1. PTCAS APPLICATION – Applicants must first apply using the PTCAS application ( All sections of the PTCAS application must be complete and submitted by Ohio State's established application deadline:

2. VERIFICATION OF THE PTCAS APPLICATION – The PTCAS verification process can take up to 4-6 weeks, so we encourage applicants to submit their materials before the final deadline of September 15 to be considered for the general pool. Applicants who wish to be considered for Early Action must submit their application by the August deadline. Further, in order to be considered for Early Action review, Ohio State's DPT admission committee must also see that the application is in Verified status by PTCAS in early September so that we can complete reviews. Unfortunately, even if an applicant submits their application by the Early Action deadline, if it is not Verified by the time we need it for our review, that application will automatically be moved to the General Pool group and considered for December interviews. Likewise, applications that are not verified in time for our reviews to prepare for interviews in December will not be considered in that application cycle, and the applicant will need to reapply next year.

3. Ohio State's Supplemental Application – Once the application has been submitted and verified by PTCAS, applicants will receive an e-mail from Ohio State's Graduate and Professional Admissions Office with instructions on how to complete Ohio States’s supplemental application and pay the supplemental application fee. Applications that remain unverified by PTCAS will not receive a supplemental application. If applicants have any questions, they should call the HRS Student Services Office at 614-292-1706 or e-mail at

Important Admission Deadlines

Ohio State's Division of Physical Therapy admits students on a continual basis throughout the autumn and spring from as early as October 2, 2023 - May 28, 2024.


  • August 5, 2024 - Deadline to submit the PTCAS application for early action 
  • September 2, 2024 - Final Deadline to submit the PTCAS application
  • May 27, 2025 - Classes begin for DPT Class of 2028

Interview Timeline

  • Early-Action Applicants Only interviews will be held Sept. 27, 2024 from 12:00-6:00 P.M. for selected applicants who applied by August 5* 
  • General Applicants will be interviewed on Nov. 8, 2024 from 11:30 A.M.-6:00 P.M. and Nov. 16, 2024 from 8:00 A.M.-3:00 P.M.

*Applying early action does not obligate applicants to commit to Ohio State; rather, it is an opportunity to interview earlier than the general pool of applicants. Those who apply for early action but are not selected for an interview may be deferred for interview in November or may not receive an interview offer depending on the competitiveness of the application. 

For those interested in the Fellowship Competition administered by the Graduate School at Ohio State, please contact and please visit the Graduate Fellows website.

Program Statistics

2022-2023 Admission Statistics 

  • Ohio State Alum: 24%
  • Ohio Residents: 56%
  • Male/Female: 30% (M) 70% (F)
  • Average Cumulative GPA: 3.8
  • Cumulative GPA Range: 3.10-4.00
  • Average Science/Math Prerequisite GPA: 3.7
  • Science/Math Prerequisite GPA Range: 3.00-4.00
  • Average Content Prerequisite GPA: 3.88
  • Content Prerequisite GPA Range: 3.23-4.00
  • Number of Verified Applications: 506
  • Admitted: 72
  • Enrolled: 50
*These statistics reflect the outcome of our most recent admissions cycle and should not be regarded as the program’s targeted admissions statistics.

Program Statistics

  • Student to faculty ratio in laboratory skills courses ranges from 4:1 to 8:1, and overall is about 11:1
  • Our NPTE Pass Rate has been 100%, and a First-time Pass Rate ranging from 95-100%
  • All graduates from Ohio State's DPT program report being employed within 6 months of graduation
  • More than 2,500 alumni have graduated from the Physical Therapy Program since 1955