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 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) Program 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 is the major code for the DPT degree?


What are the prerequisites and requirements for your DPT program?

See item #2: 
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 2, 2017 and a CSU Graduate Application via CSU Mentor by January 15, 2018.

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 for the Fall 2017 PTCAS application is October 2, 2017.

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.


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

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.

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 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.

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 

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 detail 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 2, 2017)

2. Fresno State Graduate Admissions Dept.: 4312 (Deadline: January 15, 2018)

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 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 2018 admission is 9-15-2017. 


International Students

International students cannot be admitted to the Doctor of Physical Therapy program (DPT) prior to coming to the United States for several reasons: 1) the application for the DPT program requires completion of 9 prerequisite courses (with a C or above) to be taken at a U.S. institution, 2) the required 100 contact hours with a licensed physical therapist must be in the United States (20 hours must be in-patient hours), and 3) the applicant must be available in the Spring Semester prior to Fall Semester admission for an interview on our campus.

The 3 year DPT program is impacted (only 32 students are accepted per year).

If you would like to pursue applying to the graduate program in Physical Therapy at Fresno State, we recommend you first come to the United States and verify your bachelor's degree through our International Services on campus. If the bachelor's degree is from an accredited university and accepted for Fresno State, you could then enroll in a community college or 4-year university to complete the prerequisites. In addition, you must complete a minimum of 100 observation hours (20 hours must be in-patient hours) under the supervision of a licensed physical therapist in the United States, complete your GRE, complete an application packet through PTCAS, a national on-line application service, in fall semester to apply the following fall semester and participate in an interview on campus with the faculty during the spring semester. Students are notified of acceptance in spring semester to start the DPT program the following fall semester. There is no guarantee of admission to the graduate Physical Therapy degree program.

Or, an international student pursuing the graduate program in Physical Therapy, could enroll at Fresno State as an undergraduate student in a specific program. A student can receive a bachelor's degree (B.S. or B.A.) in any major as long as he/she has also completed the 9 prerequisites listed on our website to be considered for admission. You would still be required to complete a minimum of 100 observation hours (20 hours must be in-patient hours) under the supervision of a licensed physical therapist in the United States, complete the GRE, complete an application packet through PTCAS, a national on-line application service, in fall semester to apply the following fall semester and participate in an interview on campus with the faculty during the spring semester. Students are notified of acceptance in spring semester to start the DPT program the following fall semester. There is no guarantee of admission to the graduate Physical Therapy degree program.

For more details on how to apply to the program, please contact a faculty advisor once you arrive in Fresno.

The graduate program is not a post-professional program for currently practicing professionals. If you are already a physical therapist, having graduated from a PT program outside of the United States, our program would duplicate much of your Physical Therapy education. The type of program you are looking for would be a Post-professional Education program. You may obtain information about those programs from the American Physical Therapy Association (1111 North Fairfax, Alexandria, VA 22314) or from their website at