physical therapist

Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT)

Doctoral Degree

Hybrid Program

Next Start Dates
January 03, 2023
Apply By
November 30, 2022

Support for Every Step of Your DPT Program

From application to enrollment and beyond, we’re here to help you navigate this process. With rolling admissions, the sooner you apply, the better. If at any time you have questions, don’t hesitate to reach out to an admissions advisor. They’ll provide answers and get you connected to the right resources. Step by step, we’ll help set you up for success.

Connect with your admissions advisor

Step 1: Gather Your Application

DPT Application Requirements

Here are the things you’ll need for your application:

  • Bachelor's degree or higher from an accredited institution, or a plan to complete the degree prior to starting the DPT Program
    • Cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher on a 4.0 scale
      • An exception will be granted for courses taken as a Pass/No Pass due to the COVID-19 pandemic
  • Prerequisite course requirements from an accredited institution
    • Cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher on a 4.0 scale
      • An exception will be granted for courses taken as a Pass/No Pass due to the COVID-19 pandemic
    • Grade of a C or better (a C- is not acceptable) in each prerequisite course
    • Applicants are allowed to have a maximum of 2 prerequisite courses in progress at the time of application
    • All prerequisite courses must be completed prior to starting the DPT Program

Prerequisite Courses Semester Hours Quarter Hours
General Biology 3 4
General Chemistry I & II with labs* 8 12
General Physics I & II with labs* 8 12
One course in Anatomy with lab and one course in Physiology with lab OR a two-course sequence in Anatomy and Physiology with labs 8 12
General Psychology 3 4
Additional Psychology (such as Abnormal, Developmental) 3 4
Statistics (Introductory or General) 3 4

*The chemistry and physics courses must be a two-semester, eight-credit-hour or equivalent course sequence. A course sequence is a correlated pair of courses offering in-depth coverage of a specific field and must be at a level such that the courses would be acceptable as prerequisites to advance toward a baccalaureate degree in that discipline. The sequence may be 3 courses at a quarter-based institution.

  • Graduate Record Exam (GRE®)11 within 5 years of application submission
    • Minimum requirements
      • Verbal Reasoning: 149
      • Quantitative Reasoning: 146
      • Analytical Writing: 3.5
  • Two-part assessment via Altus Suite
    • Online situational judgment test (Casper)
    • One-way recorded interview (Snapshot)
  • Two letters of recommendation
    • One from a licensed physical therapist
    • One from a professor who can attest to your ability to enter a competitive professional program
      • If necessary, a letter from a work setting or second physical therapist will be accepted. Letters from family members or friends do not meet this requirement
  • Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) for international students. Learn more
    • TOEFL score of at least 65 for the internet-based TOEFL iBT®9 exam
    • Reading: 15, Listening: 15, Speaking: 18, Writing: 17

Step 2: Application Process

Once you've gathered your application, you will apply to this program through The Physical Therapist Centralized Application Service (PTCAS) is the one-stop application platform of the American Physical Therapy Association® (APTA).8 At, you will create an account and follow the instructions to submit an application to Rasmussen University. The sooner you apply, the better.

PTCAS has an Applicant Help Center to provide guidance for submitting required information. And remember, you can always reach out to your advisor at Rasmussen for help throughout the process.

Connect with your advisor >

  1. Submit an application to Rasmussen University through PTCAS.

    We will review and evaluate applications on a rolling basis as they are submitted. Then we will confirm your status as either:

    • Ineligible for acceptance
    • Eligible for acceptance
    • Eligible for acceptance with conditions should you have outstanding courses (marked as "in-progress" or "planned" in PTCAS)
    • Waitlisted position, if the number of qualified applicants has been reached

    If you are determined to be eligible for acceptance or eligible for acceptance with conditions, then we will contact you to complete the following steps:

  2. Complete an application with Rasmussen University.
    • This will supplement your application from PTCAS
  3. Consent to a general background check through Rasmussen University's chosen third-party vendor and receive notification from Rasmussen University that you have passed the background check process.
  4. Review the DPT student handbook and complete an acknowledgment document.

    At this point, if you meet all the necessary requirements, we will either confirm an offer of formal admission or formal admission with conditions should you have outstanding courses. You must then complete the following to secure a formal admission or formal admission with conditions:

  5. Review and complete an enrollment agreement.
  6. Pay a registration fee applied to the first quarter tuition and fees ($595).

    If appropriate, we will confirm your successful completion of the application process and any specific conditions of your acceptance.

  7. If you haven't already, complete your Bachelor’s degree and prerequisite courses prior to starting the DPT Program.
    • All courses to complete a Bachelor’s degree and prerequisite courses must be completed prior to starting the DPT program.
    • Applicants with outstanding courses will need to update their coursework in PTCAS during the Academic Update period in mid-December.
    • Official transcripts confirming a Bachelor’s degree and completion of all prerequisite courses meeting the application requirements are required by the end of the first quarter of the program or the student will be administratively withdrawn.

Additional Notes

This program is not available to residents CO, IL and NY. Please speak with an admissions advisor to determine your eligibility for enrollment.

Official GRE scores must be submitted to PTCAS for their validation prior to review by the program. Self-submitted GRE scores are ineligible. Please use PTCAS GRE Code: 3544 to send your scores through PTCAS.

Enrolled students will be responsible for the cost and completion of the following requirements by week 10 of the first quarter: APTA membership, CPR certification, immunizations or testing for Hepatitis B, MMR, Varicella, Tdap, TB and COVID-19.

There are potential additional requirements students may be responsible for by clinical sites, such as influenza, drug screening, background check, personal health insurance, emergency services and immunizations. Further details are provided to students during the admissions process. Rasmussen insures students under the professional liability policy.

General Transfer of Credit Policy: Students enrolled in doctoral-level programs must complete 100% of their program requirements at Rasmussen University, and no course requirements may be fulfilled via transfer credits, course waivers, credit by examination, self-directed assessment or other means.

The program will provide acceptance/matriculation rates and student outcomes (graduation rates, employment rates, first-time and ultimate licensing examination pass-rates) as this information becomes available.

Technical Standards and Essential Functions

The Rasmussen University DPT Program faculty have identified the following fundamental skills for the DPT curriculum and for work in the profession. These fundamental skills are non-academic qualities that physical therapists must possess to be successful in the field. Students in the DPT program must carry out several fundamental skills to safeguard patients, fellow students, instructors and the general public. Therefore, these fundamental skills are also necessary in order for you to successfully complete the DPT Program.

  • Observational Skills

    Students require functional use of vision, hearing and somatic sensations. Students must be able to observe, listen to and comprehend lectures and laboratory demonstrations. Students must be able to observe a patient accurately, including recognition of verbal and non-verbal cues during history taking and systems review, as well as review of associated medical imaging or graphics-driven test results used to determine a patient/client’s condition. Examples of observational skills include but are not limited to: palpation of arterial pulses, bony and soft tissue landmarks, visual and tactile assessment of swelling or discoloration of body parts, changes in respiratory rate and muscle tone, presence of diaphoresis and the ability to accurately discriminate numbers and patterns associated with clinical diagnostic instruments such as goniometers, sphygmomanometers, pulse oximeters and telemetry graphs.

  • Communication Skills

    Students must be able to skillfully and effectively incorporate communication strategies essential to learning, teaching patients and caregivers, and direct patient care. These include verbal and non-verbal language skills and a reading level sufficient to meet curricular requirements and support comprehensive patient care. Communication skills include writing proficiency and computer literacy. The student must be able to communicate effectively and efficiently with all patient care stakeholders in oral and written English. This includes student colleagues, faculty members, patients and their caregivers, clinical supervisors and others directly or indirectly associated with the patient’s care, such as referring physicians, patient case managers and third-party payors. The student must be able to relate effectively and responsively with patients/clients of all genders, ages, races, lifestyles and cultural backgrounds, regardless of socioeconomic circumstances. Students must communicate effectively to promote the engaging of patient perspectives and understanding of their condition, utilizing shared decision making to plan and progress treatment. Students must also develop the understanding that patient engagement is the responsibility of the provider and requires development of trust and mutual responsibility.

  • Sensory and Motor Coordination and Function

    Students must have the ability to sit, stand and/or walk for a minimum of 10 hours daily. Students must be able to execute gross and fine movement patterns, trunk bending or rotating in all planes of motion, and be able to stoop and squat. For patient safety, students are required to lift, transfer, guard and exercise patients of varying heights and weights and react safely and with appropriate body mechanics, movements and strength when sudden or unexpected movements occur in the delivery of care, laboratory practice or any patient/clinician interaction. Coordination of both gross and fine movements, balance and the integration of touch and vision is essential for performance of assessments and interventions that require manual dexterity, the application of varying degrees of physical resistance in selected tests and measures and sensory interpretation of physical examination findings.

  • Cognitive Skills

    Problem solving is a critical skill element for the physical therapy student and practicing physical therapist. It requires the ability to function in complex environments. It requires simultaneous engagement of multiple tasks, integrating information across the psychomotor, affective and cognitive domains. Students must be able to effectively reason, measure and analyze. Students must be able to synthesize information and construct solutions in both emergent and non-emergent situations. The student must be able to implement each element of the patient/client management model including identification of key findings from the examination of the patient. Such findings include interpretation of the medical record and comprehension of three-dimensional and spatial relationships of body structures, all of which are necessary to provide an assessment inclusive of establishing a diagnosis, prognosis and construction of an evidence-informed treatment plan, modifiable based upon changes in patient condition, including a recognition of the need for referral. Students must accurately self-reflect and assess progress as a professional.

  • Behavioral Social and Professional Skills

    Students must possess the emotional and psychological health required for optimal utilization of the intellectual abilities needed to meet all responsibilities inherent with the diagnosis and care of patients. These include the use of good judgment, prompt completion of responsibilities, ability to accept criticism and an ability to exhibit adaptability in uncertain situations. The student must demonstrate compassion, display a consciousness of social and moral values, and demonstrate respect for the belief systems of others. An ability to develop mature, appropriate and effective professional relationships with colleagues in the learning and clinical community is essential and requires tolerance, honesty, altruism, empathy, mindfulness and respect for self and others. The student must be able to tolerate and adapt to emotionally taxing responsibilities and be able to function safely and effectively under stressful situations.

Take the Next Step—Talk to Us!

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Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE)7

Graduation from a physical therapist education program accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE), 3030 Potomac Ave., Suite 100, Alexandria, VA 22305-3085; phone; 703-706-3245; is necessary for eligibility to sit for the licensure examination, which is required in all states.

Rasmussen University-Graduate Studies North (MN) is seeking accreditation of a new physical therapist education program from CAPTE. On June 1st, 2022, the program submitted an Application for Candidacy, which is the formal application required in the pre-accreditation stage. Submission of this document does not ensure that the program will be granted Candidate for Accreditation status. Achievement of Candidate for Accreditation status is required prior to implementation of the professional phase of the program; therefore, no students may be enrolled in professional courses until Candidate for Accreditation status has been achieved. Further, though achievement of Candidate for Accreditation status signifies satisfactory progress toward accreditation, it does not ensure that the program will be granted accreditation.

Additional accreditation details

Higher Learning Commission (HLC)

Rasmussen University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (, an institutional accreditation agency recognized by the U.S. Department of Education.

  1. Completion time is dependent on transfer credits accepted and the number of courses completed each term.
  2. Graduates of the Health Sciences Associate’s degree program with a specialization in Pharmacy Technician meet the education requirements needed to apply for a Pharmacy Technician license or registration from the board or pharmacy or equivalent agency in the following states: AL, AK, AZ, AR, CA, CO, CT, DC, DE, FL, GA, HI, ID, IL, IN, IA, KS, KY, LA, ME, MD, MA, MI, MN, MS, MO, MT, NE, NH, NJ, NM, NY, NC, OK, OR, PA, RI, SC, SD, TN, TX, VT, VA, WI, WY. Other eligibility requirements may apply, please check with the board of pharmacy or equivalent agency in your state of residence. This program may not meet the educational requirements needed to apply for a Pharmacy Technician license or registration in states not listed above, please check with the board of pharmacy or equivalent agency in your state of residence for further information.
  3. Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Employment Statistics, [salary data accessed July 2022] Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, [career information accessed July 2022] BLS salary data represents national, averaged earnings for the occupations listed and includes workers at all levels of education and experience. This data does not represent starting salaries. Employment conditions in your area may vary.
  4. U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Current Population Study. Unemployment rates and earnings by educational attainment, 2020. Accessed on March 31, 2022. Data is for persons age 25 and older who are full-time wage and salary earners.
  5. Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, [career information accessed March 31, 2022] Employment conditions in your area may vary.
  6. Completion time depends on maintaining full-time study and completing all scheduled courses with the cohort.
  7. CAPTE Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education is a registered trademark of American Physical Therapy Association.
  8. American Physical Therapy Association is a registered trademark of American Physical Therapy Association.
  9. TOEFL iBT is a registered trademark of Educational Testing Service.
  10. Students are responsible for costs associated with all travel expenses for the immersion lab experience and clinical education experiences.
  11. GRE® is a registered trademark of Educational Testing Service.
  12. Students are required to travel to Minneapolis, Minnesota, five times throughout the program for 6 to 11 days each time. Students are responsible for costs associated with all travel expenses for the immersion lab experience and clinical education experiences.
  13. NPTE is a registered trademark of Federation of State Boards of Physical Therapy.
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