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

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 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 Manager, Ashley McCabe 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:  Competitive GRE scores taken within the last 5 years. Only the best overall day will be scored. Applicants must send their scores to PTCAS using OSU’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 question: “What does professionalism mean to you as a physical therapy student and as a future physical therapist?”  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.

Holistic 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 and test scores, 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 in-person 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 Physical Therapy Division 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 OSU’s established application deadline:

2. VERIFICATION OF THE PTCAS APPLICATION – PTCAS will then take steps to verify your application. Please note that the verification process can take up to 4 weeks if an application is considered complete. If you neglected to provide them with all of the information they need, this part of the process could take longer than 4 weeks. If an application remains unverified by PTCAS, it will be considered incomplete and not reviewable. Applications do not need to be verified by the OSU’s established deadline.

3. OSU’s SUPPLEMENTAL APPLICATION – Once the application has been submitted and verified by PTCAS, applicants will receive an e-mail from OSU’s Graduate and Professional Admissions Office with instructions on how to complete OSU’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 SHRS Student Services Office at 614-292-1706 or e-mail at


Important Admission Deadlines

The Ohio State University’s Division of Physical Therapy admits students once a year. The following are important deadlines/dates for the Admission cycle:

  • Early July - PTCAS Application opens
  • August 15, 2019 - Deadline to submit your application for Early Decision
  • September 15, 2019 – Deadline for Fellowship-Eligible Applications
  • Late September - Deadline for programs to submit Early Decision admits
  • October 1, 2019 - Deadline to electronically submit your PTCAS application
  • May 26, 2020 - Classes begin for DPT Class of 2023

Interview Timeline

  • Early Admissions Applicants Only interviews will be held on 9/6
  • Fellowship-Eligible Applicants Who Submit By 9/15 will interview on 10/28*
  • Fellowship-Eligible and General Applicants will be interviewed on 12/13 and 12/14

*Fellowship-Eligible Applicants who are unable to attend the 10/28 interview date will have the opportunity to interview in December

Program Statistics


  • Average Cumulative GPA: 3.8
  • Cumulative GPA Range: 3.23-4.0
  • Average Science/Math Prerequisite GPA: 3.7
  • Science/Math Prerequisite GPA Range: 3.07-4.0
  • Average Content Prerequisite GPA: 3.9
  • Content Prerequisite GPA Range: 3.0 - 4.0
  • Average GRE Combined: 61st %
  • Verbal Average: 73rd %
  • Verbal Range: 14th – 99th %
  • Quantitative Average: 62nd %
  • Quantitative Range: 14th – 91st %
  • Analytical Writing: 70th %
  • Analytical Writing Range: 17th – 98th %
  • Number of Verified Applications: 439
  • Admitted: 65
  • Enrolled: 52


  • 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 OSU’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