facebook pixel Skip to Main Content
Idaho State University home

Prerequisite Requirements to Apply for the Doctor of Physical Therapy Program

Degree requirement:

A bachelor's degree must be completed before entrance into the program.  Any bachelor's degree is acceptable, but it may be beneficial to pursue a degree that includes many or all of our prerequisites (below) as a part of the requirements for the undergraduate degree. Degrees in kinesiology, exercise science, and general health fields are common.

GPA requirement: 

A minimum 3.0 GPA in the last 60 credits of undergraduate/graduate course work is required; however to be competitive, a 3.5 GPA is recommended (If, for the last 60 credits, GPA is less than 3.0, an applicant may petition for an exception)

Prerequisite courses:

A minimum 3.0 cumulative GPA in prerequisite coursework is required; however to be competitive, a 3.2 - 3.5 GPA is recommended. (If the cumulative prerequisite coursework GPA is less than 3.0, an applicant may petition for an exception)

A minimum “C” grade or higher in all prerequisite courses  is required.  (“C-“ will not be accepted)

*These prerequisite courses must have been completed in the past seven years.

Major Category Courses Required

Anatomy and Physiology*  8 credits

Each course must be four semester credits with lab

Human Anatomy AND

Human Physiology 

These can be combined Anatomy and Physiology I and II or separate Anatomy and Physiology courses

Chemistry*  (8 credits)

(General Chemistry for scientific and technical fields)

Each course must be four semester credits with lab

General Chemistry 1 AND

General Chemistry 2 (or Organic Chemistry or Biochemistry)

Physics*  (8 credits)

(General Physics for scientific and technical fields)

Each course must be four semester credits with lab

Physics 1 AND
Physics 2

Mathematics (at least 3 credits)

At least three semester credits


Psychology / Sociology (at least 6 credits)

Each course three semester credits or more

One Psychology or Sociology course AND

Abnormal or Developmental/Lifespan Psychology























Pass/Fail Course Grades

Pass/fail grades are, as a rule, not accepted. 

COVID-19 EXCEPTION: Due to COVID-19, pass/fail grades will be accepted for courses taken during the winter, spring, and summer terms of 2020. Outside of these terms, no pass/fail grades will be accepted for prerequisite coursework.

In order for an application to be considered, the application must be complete, which includes:

  1. Completion of the PTCAS application
  2. Fulfillment of the prerequisite course (up to 2 course may be in progress) 
  3. Submission of an application to Idaho State University's Graduate School
  4. Submission of at least three letters of reference-two from a physical therapist and one from a professor
  5. Upload of GRE scores and electronic transcripts (unofficial transcripts are acceptable

Note: The ISU DPT Program does not have any minimal GRE requirements; however, GRE scores are used in the ranking system. Scores consisting of a minimum analytical 4.0; verbal 148; and quantitative 150 are most competitive. Idaho State University's graduate school will allow GPAs 2.5-3.0 if the total GRE score is above 300

All prerequisite coursework must be completed by the end of spring term (by end of May) of the year of matriculation.


Students must take the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) to fulfill the requirement. International Students also must submit a TOEFL examination.
All qualifying scores must be achieved on a single GRE occurrence.  For more information about the GRE or to schedule a test, visit the ETS website.  Idaho State University's code for the GRE is 4355 and ISU PTCAS code is 4640.

Required TOEFL Scores for Acceptance

TOEFL International students must obtain the following scores in each section of the TOEFL on one attempt. Exam date must be within 2 years of application.

TOEFL Section Minimum Score
Reading 22
Listening 21
Writing 22
Speaking  24

Written Essay

Complete a well written PTCAS required essay.

Observation Hours

Complete a minimum of 80 directly clinical care observation hours at two different physical therapy settings (sports, pediatric, home health, acute care, geriatric, etc.) and document them in the PTCAS system.

Letters of Reference

Request 3 letters of reference; at least one from a professor, instructor or academic advisor, and two from physical therapists or physical therapist assistants that have directly observed you.  Letters must be submitted by the author into the PTCAS system.


Idaho State University Admissions offers an opportunity to complete an online asynchronous interview for qualified applicants. All interviews are conducted using a video-based platform where students record and upload their responses to a series of interview questions for review by program faculty and the Admissions Committee. Students must have a computer with webcam and internet service to complete this interview. Instructions for completing the interview will be emailed directly to qualifying applicants by the Admissions Committee.


Some exceptions to these admissions criteria may be made pending approval of the ISU DPT Program Admissions Committee and in accordance with Graduate School Policy. These exceptions must be petitioned/requested by the applicant in writing. For example: For individuals with advanced graduate work and/or field work directly related to program requirements exceptions may be made in the time frame of coursework and GRE scores.

Upon Acceptance into the DPT Program

  • All students must show evidence of required immunizations. The Certification Form must be completed with documented evidence of vaccinations.
  • Students will be required to submit to a criminal background check.
  • Students must be certified in Health Professional CPR for adult, child and infant.
  • Students will be covered by general health insurance at all times while enrolled in the program; regardless of whether the academic schedule includes classroom instruction or participation in clinical rotations. Many clinical partners require proof of health insurance prior to placement on clinical rotations. This insurance is the responsibility of the student.  


Please see the DPT FAQ document, updated May 3, 2024.

Contact Us


(208) 282-3508


Idaho State University
921 South 8th Avenue Stop 8045
Pocatello, ID 83209

Kasiska Division of Health Sciences - Learn more about the Kasiska family legacy and impact