Prospective Student FAQs

General Physical Therapy Questions

Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) Program Questions

GRE Exam Questions

Q. What is Physical Therapy?

A. 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 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.

Q. What are the educational requirements for becoming a Physical Therapist (PT)?

A. 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,

Q. What are the licensure requirements for becoming a PT?

A. 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,

Q. What is the employment outlook for Physical Therapy?

A. 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,

Q. What do physical therapist earn?

A. 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.)

Q. Where do physical therapists practice?

A. 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,

Q. Where can I get information about Financial Aid?

A.Click here

Q. How much is tuition?

A. $407.50 (University Fees) + $8,074 (DPT tuition) = $8,481.50/semester X 8 semesters* =  $67,852

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

Nonresident and foreign tuition fee applies: Go here for more information: Click here

Q. What is the major code (CSU Mentor application) for the DPT degree?

A. 12122

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

A. Mailing Address:
Department of Physical Therapy
California State University, Fresno
2345 E. San Ramon Ave., MH-29
Fresno, CA 93740-8031

Telephone Number: (559) 278-2625

Department Email:

Q. How do I get advising?

Check out our advising schedule here:Click here.

Q. What are the pre-requisites and requirements for your DPT program?


Course Fresno State Students Transfer Students

Human Anatomy

Biol 64

Human anatomy with lab

(1 semester/ 5/6 quarter units or 2 quarters)

*No online or hybrid courses.

Human Physiology

Biol 65

Human physiology with lab

(1 semester/ 5/6 quarter units or 2 quarters)

*No online or hybrid courses.


Chem 1A/1B series, ORChem 3A/3B/3BL series
(all with labs)

General Chemistry or Inorganic and organic or bio-chemistry (all with labs)

(2 semesters/3 quarters)

*No online or hybrid courses.


Phys 2A, 2B

Physics with lab including mechanics, heat, light, sound, and electricity

(2 semesters/3 quarters)

*No online or hybrid courses.


Psych 10

General psychology, developmental psychology or life span psychology accepted.

(1 semester/4 quarters units)

*Online courses accepted.

Abnormal Psychology or 
Psychological Aspects of Disability (Preferred)

Psych 66 or 169


Abnormal Psychology or Psychological Aspects of Disability (Preferred)

(1 semester/4 quarter units)

*Online courses accepted.


PH 92 or 
Math 11

Any Introduction to basic statistics course

(1 semester/4 quarter units)

*Online courses accepted.

Recommended Course:

Medical Terminology

*If applicant is accepted, the course must be completed the summer prior to fall admission.

PhTh 105

Study of word parts, definitions, spelling, analysis, synthesis, and use of medical vocabulary. 

(1 semester/4 quarter units)

*Fresno State students: The Chemistry Department does not allow students to take the Chem 3 series after already taken or attempted the Chem 1 series.

All science courses must include laboratories and cannot be at an introductory level. Human Anatomy and Physiology must be taken from the Anatomy, Physiology, Anatomy & Physiology, Biology or Zoology department. Combined Human Anatomy and Physiology courses will be considered only if a combined course sequence (2 semesters or 2 quarters) is completed.

Click here to view transferable prerequisite courses from certain college.

Q. Is there a time limit on your pre-requisite courses?

A. Yes, the time limit is 7 years. Pre-requisite courses older than 7 years are not accepted.


Q. What applications are required for admissions to the DPT program?

A. TWO (2) applications are required: A Departmental Application via PTCAS by October 1, 2015 and a CSU Graduate Application via CSU Mentor by April 1, 2016.

However, the CSU Graduate Application is only required after a program offer has been made to the applicant. Both applications are required for admissions to the DPT program and Fresno State.

Q. When is the deadline for the Department DPT application?

A. Applications are only accepted once a year and are only available through PTCAS. The deadline for the Fall 2016 PTCAS application is October 1, 2015.

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

A. 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 syllbi, copy of the course description from the catalog, number of units, institution, and grading system for accurate review.


Q. What does it mean when the CSU Graduate application asks for the Total Number of Transferable Units?

A. The Total Number of Transferable Units mean ALL units applicable to a university degree. If you hold a bachelor degree, you should have at least 124 transferable units.


Q. How many units are required to fulfill the Chemistry prerequisite?

A. 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. 


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

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


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

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


Q. 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.


Q. How do I contact PTCAS?


Telephone: (617) 612-2040


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

A. Beginning Summer 2011, two separate GRE codes are needed for score reporting. Submission of scores to BOTH entities is necessary.

1. PTCAS Fresno State Code: 7798 

2. Fresno State Graduate Admissions Dept.: 4312*
*Only required if offered a seat in the DPT program.


Q. What scores are expected for the GRE?

A. On the new GRE score scale: A score of 150 for verbal, 150 for quantitative and a minimum of 4.5 in analytical writing is recommended.


Q. When should I take the GRE?

A. Take the GRE at least 6 weeks before the application deadline date and arrange for ETS to send your official GRE scores directly to Fresno State and PTCAS using the appropriate codes. Students are encouraged to take the GRE early to avoid delays in acceptance for graduate work.