Physical Therapy students

Train to be a physical therapist

Gain extensive clinical experience and explore special interest areas at SRU

Physical Therapy (Doctor of Physical Therapy)

Offered by: Department of Physical Therapy

Click GRADUATE SCHOOL EVENTS to view upcoming Program Specific Information Sessions and Open House dates.

As the demand for highly qualified physical therapists increases, the DPT program at SRU is preparing the next generation of leaders in the field. According to the bureau of labor statistics, nationwide employment of Physical Therapists is projected to grow 36 percent between 2012 and 2022. The Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) at SRU is a professional doctorate degree program designed to prepare graduates for clinical practice in physical therapy. Graduates from the SRU DPT program enjoy many opportunities for employment, as job growth in Pennsylvania is expected to increase by 25 percent by 2022.


The Graduate School of Physical Therapy at SRU integrates basic science with clinical practice. A key advantage of this program for students is the variety of available clinical sites and length of time spent in clinical rotations through four different clinical experiences. Students also have the opportunity to pursue special interests related to physical therapy in Professional Exploration. These courses are designed to provide additional experience in a clinical specialty area, research, teaching, administration, and service.

There are two options for pursuing a Doctor of Physical Therapy degree at SRU:

  • Traditional 3-year, full-time, entry level
  • Pre-Physical Therapy SRU 3+3 - 3 Undergraduate years + 3 Graduate years (for SRU undergraduates only)


SRU's Doctor of Physical Therapy offers the following:

  • Third in the USA to transition from a Master's level program to the Doctor of Physical Therapy
  • Accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE)
  • Maximum class size of 52 students


To apply, complete the online application through PTCAS. Applications will be accepted from June 15 until November 1. Your PTCAS application must be e-submitted, completed and verified by November 1, 2022.  

The SRU DPT Program has a rolling admissions process which means applications are reviewed throughout the application process, applicants are encouraged to apply early as we will accept applications until the cohort is filled.  The admissions committee does a holistic review of each application, considering multiple factors when making admissions decisions (GPA, GRE scores, letters of recommendation, essay/short answer questions, observation hours, extra-curricular activities, leadership abilities, etc.).  

1. A minimum of a baccalaureate degree or completion of the first three years of the Pre-Physical Therapy SRU 3+3 and the following prerequisites:

       a.  Two courses of Anatomy & Physiology with labs
             We will accept any of the following:
             A&P: Advanced
             A&P: Combined course
             A&P: Human
             A&P: Separate courses
             A&P: Pathophysiology
             A&P: Physiology

             We will accept anatomy and physiology courses taken in sequence (e.g. A&P 1 and A&P 2) or we will accept anatomy with a lab and physiology courses taken separately.

        b.  Two courses of Chemistry with labs

             We will accept any chemistry course with a lab. 

        c.  Two courses of Physics with labs

             We will accept any physics course with a lab. 

        d.  Two courses of Psychology

             We will accept any psychology courses.

        e.  One course in Statistics

             We will accept either of these statistic courses: Biology-Biostatistics and Mathematics-Statistics.  

2. An undergraduate grade point average and prerequisite grade point average of at least 3.0 on a 4.0 scale. Program averages grades of any courses that were repeated.  

All prerequisite courses must be completed with a C or better. Due to COVID-19, we will accept "pass" for Spring and Summer 2020 courses. However, we will rank them as a 'B' when analyzing grades. 

3. Official undergraduate and graduate transcripts from all institutions previously attended.

4. Official scores from the general test of the Graduate Record Exam scores. GRE scores are reportable for five years. SRU PTCAS code is 4802. If GRE scores are not submitted and received prior to the November 1 deadline, the application will not be considered complete. If the applicant already holds a Master or other graduate degree, we do not require GRE scores.

5. Documentation of 50 hours or more of physical therapy experience with a licensed physical therapist at a minimum of two different facilities.

Observation hours requirement for SRU for the 2022-2023 cycle: We recognize that obtaining the required observation hours may be difficult prior to our application deadline of November 1, 2022 due to the COVID-19 situation. We encourage you to obtain the 50 observation hours in two different settings, including tele-health prior to November 1. However, we will fully consider applicants who are unable to meet the minimum hour requirement (50 hours) or multiple setting requirement by November 1. If admitted, all required prerequisite courses and observation hours must be complete by June 1, 2023 for entry into the Fall 2023 cohort.

6. Three references: two must be from licensed physical therapists and the third is a professional reference. 

The applicant is strongly encouraged to seek reference letters from physical therapists who can speak to the applicant's potential for professional growth.  Reference letters from physical therapy assistants (PTAs), athletic trainers, etc. will not be accepted in place of one from a licensed physical therapist. 

Each applicant MUST submit one professional reference letter from someone of their choice; however, letters from family members or friends WILL NOT be accepted. Professional recommendations may include professors, employers, and volunteer supervisors other than physical therapists. Reference letters from professors teaching higher level coursework within the applicant's major are preferred. 

If the reference requirements are not fulfilled then the application will not be considered complete. It is the applicant’s responsibility to ensure they have submitted the proper references.

7. Completed essay questions.


  • All prerequisites must have been taken within the last 10 years. 
  • Online courses for all prerequisites permitted except for Anatomy & Physiology and Chemistry. Due to COVID-19, we will accept online courses taken between Spring 2020 and Spring 2021. However, we encourage students to defer taking the course in a later semester when possible. 
  • AP/IB courses are permitted except for Anatomy & Physiology. For Chemistry, Physics and Psychology we only accept one as AP/IB while the second prerequisite must be from a college-level course. 
  • Regardless of citizenship, if you are a non-native English speaker, you are required to submit scores that show proficiency in the English language. If applicable, the English proficiency requirement must be completed and score received in the English language.
  • Applicants who are offered and accept admission in the program are required to submit a deposit within two weeks of acceptance to hold a seat in the upcoming cohort. The $500.00 deposit is applied directly to the student's tuition for the fall semester.
  • If you are interested in visiting, please attend one of our open houses. This is the best opportunity for you to see campus and the facilities. Event dates are posted here.


The Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) at SRU is a professional doctorate degree program designed to prepare graduates for clinical practice in physical therapy. Graduates will be eligible to sit for the National Physical Therapist Examination (NPTE), successful completion of which is required for physical therapy practice throughout the United States. Licensing requirements vary by state. We strongly urge you to contact the licensing board in the state where you plan to practice.