Prospective Student FAQs

What is Physical Therapy?

Physical therapists, or PTs, are health care professionals who evaluate and treat people with health problems resulting from injury, disease, or biomechanical dysfunction. Physical therapists are integral members of the primary care team and are involved in the prevention of disability and promotion of positive health. They are also acting consultants in restorative care.

Physical Therapy practice today is based on well-developed body of scientific and clinical knowledge. Physical therapists apply knowledge from the basic, behavioral, and social sciences. Physical therapists must also demonstrate effective communication skills. Insight and sensitivity to the unique needs of diverse populations are essential to effectively maximize the individual's functional potential in society.

Physical Therapy includes the following:

  1. Examining and evaluating patients with health-related conditions, impairments, functional limitations, and disability in order to determine diagnosis, prognosis, and intervention;
  2. Alleviating impairments and functional limitations by designing, implementing, and modifying therapeutic interventions;
  3. Preventing injury, impairments, functional limitations, and disability while promoting and maintaining fitness, health, and quality of life in all age populations; and
  4. Engaging in consultation, education, and research.

What are the educational requirement for becoming a Physical Therapist (PT)?

All physical therapists must receive a graduate degree from an accredited physical therapist program before taking the national licensure exam that allows them to practice. Physical therapists have the most specialized education to help people restore and improve motion. Today's physical therapist is required to complete a graduate degree - either a masters or clinical doctorate - from an accredited education program. A growing majority of programs offer the Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) degree. Currently, 199 colleges and universities nationwide support 212 accredited professional physical therapist education programs; 96% now offer the DPT and the remaining programs are planning to convert.  (Source: American Physical Therapy Association,

What are the licensure requirement for becoming a PT?

After graduation, candidates must pass a state-administered national exam. Other requirements for Physical Therapy practice vary from state to state according to physical therapy practice acts or state regulations governing physical pherapy.  (Source: American Physical Therapy Association,

What is the employment outlook for Physical Therapy?

Citing 2 national job satisfaction surveys, U.S. News & World Report added physical therapists to its list of best jobs in 2009 and again in 2012. Physical therapists also ranked 4th in a list of the 100 "Best Jobs in America" featured in the November 2010 issue of

There is a high demand for physical therapists in the workforce despite the economic downturn. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of physical therapists is expected to grow by 30 percent from 2008 to 2018, much faster than the average for all occupations. According to APTA, with just a 0.2 percent unemployment rate, physical therapists are now experiencing the best employment conditions since enactment of the Balanced Budget Act of 1997. The need for PTs is expected to increase into the foreseeable future as the U.S. population ages and the demand for physical therapy services grows.
(Source: American Physical Therapy Association,

What do physical therapists earn?

More than 175,000 physical therapists are licensed in the U.S. today. The median salary for a physical therapist is $80,000 depending on position, years of experience, degree of education, geographic location, and practice setting.  (Source: APTA 2009 Median Income of Physical Therapists Summary Report.)

Where do physical therapists practice?

Although many physical therapists practice in hospitals, nearly 80 percent practice in:

  • Outpatient clinics or offices
  • Inpatient rehabilitation facilities
  • Skilled nursing, extended care, or subacute facilities
  • Homes
  • Education or research centers
  • Schools
  • Hospices
  • Industrial, workplace, or other occupational environments
  • Fitness centers and sports training facilities

(Source: American Physical Therapy Association,


Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) Admission Questions

What is the contact information for the Department of Physical Therapy at Fresno State?

Mailing Address:
Department of Physical Therapy
California State University, Fresno
5315 N. Campus Drive, PT29
Fresno, CA 93740-8019

Telephone Number: (559) 278-2625
Fax Number: (559) 278-3635

Department Email:

Admissions: (559) 278-2633

Admissions Email:

How do I get advising?

What are the prerequisites and requirements for your DPT program?

Click here for application requirements

Is there a time limit on prerequisite courses?

Yes, the time limit is 7 years. Prerequisite courses older than 7 years are not accepted. 

What applications are required for admissions to the DPT program?

TWO  (2) applications are required:

A Departmental Application via PTCAS by October 1, 2019 and a CSU Graduate Application via Cal State Apply by January 15, 2020.

Both applications are required for admissions to the DPT program and Fresno State.

When is the deadline for the Department DPT application?

Applications are only accepted once a year and are only available through PTCAS. The deadline starting the DPT program in Fall 2020 is  October 1, 2019.

How do I know if my classes are equivalent to Fresno State's classes?

For California courses, visit the following link for course equivalencies:

If your courses are from another state, please send an email to the PT Department at Please provide a copy of course syllabus, copy of the course description from the catalog, number of units, institution, and grading system for accurate review.


How many units are required to fulfill the Chemistry prerequisite?

We require two semesters or three quarters of college general chemistry, inorganic and organic, OR biochemistry. All chemistry must have labs. Online or hybrid courses are not accepted.

Where can I find the verification form for PT observation hours?

The downloadable verification form is only for applicants who are not yet applying to the current admission cycle. Go  here for the form.

If you are applying in the current admission cycle, please use the preferred method of submitting your hours online  (PT Hours signature process) via PTCAS. Please visit PTCAS for more further instructions.

Is there a pre-physical therapy club at Fresno State?

Yes.  Please see the Organization for Physical Therapy Students (OPTS) website here

What is the Fresno State's Graduate Admissions mailing address for transcripts?

Graduate Admissions Office
5150 North Maple Avenue, M/S JA 57
Fresno, CA 93740-8026 

Electronic transcripts:

What is the mailing address for PTCAS?


P.O. Box 9112
Watertown, MA 02471

For overnight documents only (e.g. FedEx), use the address below:

c/o Liaison International
311 Arsenal Street Suite 15
Watertown, MA 02472
PLEASE NOTE: PTCAS will not receive your package if it arrives on a weekend or Federal holiday. Express delivery does not guarantee delivery or expedite the processing of your application file.

How do I contact PTCAS?

Telephone: (617) 612-2040


DPT Program Cost

How much is tuition?

$638.50 (University Fees*) + $8,598 (DPT Tuition Fee) = $9,236.50/semester X 8 semesters = $73,892

Years 1 and 2: Fall, Spring & Summer semesters; Year 3: Fall and Spring semesters

*University Fees subject to change. For a detailed listing of University Fees,  click here.


Nonresident Students:
Nonresident students pay the University Fees and DPT Tuition Fees plus an additional $372 per unit (110 units = $40,920). Click on the following link for more information:

Nonresident and foreign tuition fees

Where can I get information about Financial Aid?

What grants and scholarships & Loans are available?

The Physical Therapy Department and the Physical Therapy Chapter of the Fresno State Alumni Association make a number of awards to DPT students. Most awards are made annually to students who meet the criteria.

Each semester 33.3% of the tuition is set aside for financial aid.  The money is dispersed based on need from the FAFSA EFC (Expected Family Contribution).  

For University Grants, Scholarships and Loans:
Financial Aid Website

Division of Graduate Studies



GRE Exam Questions

What is Fresno State's institutional code for the GRE exam?

Two separate GRE codes are needed for score reporting. 

1. PTCAS Fresno State Code: 7798 (Deadline: October 1, 2019)

2. Fresno State Graduate Admissions Dept.: 4312 (Deadline: January 15, 2020)

What scores are expected for the GRE exam?

On the new GRE score scale: A score of 150 for verbal, 150 for quantitative and a 4.5 in analytical writing is recommended but there is not a minimum required GRE score.

When should I take the GRE exam?

Submit full GRE test scores. Take the GRE before date below and arrange for ETS to send your official GRE scores directly to PTCAS Fresno State at the code: 7798.  Students are encouraged to take the GRE early to avoid delays in acceptance for graduate work. The last accepted GRE test date for Fall 2020 admission is 9-15-2019.