Department of Physical Therapy
Frequently Asked Questions
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 the 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:
- Examining and evaluating patients with health-related conditions, impairments, functional limitations, and disability in order to determine diagnosis, prognosis, and intervention;
- Alleviating impairments and functional limitations by designing, implementing, and modifying therapeutic interventions;
- Preventing injury, impairments, functional limitations, and disability while promoting and maintaining fitness, health, and quality of life in all age populations; and
- Engaging in consultation, education, and research.
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,www.apta.org)
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,www.apta.org)
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 CNNMoney.com.
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
(Source: American Physical Therapy Association, www.apta.org)
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.)
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
- Education or research centers
- Industrial, workplace, or other occupational environments
- Fitness centers and sports training facilities
(Source: American Physical Therapy Association,www.apta.org)
Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) Admission Questions
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: firstname.lastname@example.org
Admissions: (559) 278-2633
Admissions Email: email@example.com
Yes, the time limit is 7 years. Prerequisite courses older than 7 years are not accepted.
TWO (2) applications are required:
A Departmental Application via PTCAS by October 1st and a CSU Graduate Application via Cal State Apply by January 15 (only for applicants who are offered an interview).
Applications are only accepted once a year (July through October) and are only available through PTCAS.
For California courses, visit the following link for course equivalencies: www.assist.org.
If your courses are from another state, please send an email to the PT Department at firstname.lastname@example.org. 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.
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.
The downloadable verification form is only for applicants who are not yet applying to the current admission cycle. Go here for the 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.
Graduate Admissions Office
5150 North Maple Avenue, M/S JA 57
Fresno, CA 93740-8026
Electronic transcripts: email@example.com
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.
Telephone: (617) 612-2040
DPT Program Cost
Download Our Financial Fact Sheet (Updated 8/2022)
$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 detailed listing of University Fees, click here.
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:
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:
GRE Exam Questions
Two separate GRE codes are needed for score reporting.
1. PTCAS Fresno State Code: 7798 (Deadline: October 1st)
2. Fresno State Graduate Admissions Dept.: 4312 (Deadline: January 15 *Only for accepted and waitlisted applicants)
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.
Students are encouraged to take the GRE early to avoid delays in acceptance for graduate work. The last accepted GRE test date is September 15th