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Department of Physical Therapy

Prospective Student FAQs

 General Physical Therapy 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 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.

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,

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,

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,

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
  • 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

Mailing Address:
Department of Physical Therapy
California State University, Fresno
5315 N. Campus Drive, M/S PT29
Fresno, CA 93740-8031

Telephone Number: (559) 278-2625

Department Email:


See item #2: 
click here for application requirements

Yes, the time limit is 7 years. Pre-requisite courses older than 7 years are not accepted. 

TWO (2) applications are required: A Departmental Application via PTCAS and a CSU Graduate Application via Cal State Apply

Applications are only accepted once a year and are only available through PTCAS. See application timeline for deadlines.  

For California courses, visit the following link for course equivalencies:

If your courses are from another state, please send an email to the Admissions Coordinator at Please provide a copy of course syllbi, copy of the course description from the catalog, number of units, institution, and grading system for accurate review.


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.

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 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 


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

$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.

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.

For University Grants, Scholarships and Loans:
Financial Aid Website

Division of Graduate Studies


GRE Exam Questions

Two separate GRE codes are needed for score reporting. 

1. PTCAS Fresno State Code: 7798

2. Fresno State Graduate Admissions Dept.: 4312

Required for Cal State Apply Graduate Applications

On the new GRE score scale: A score of 150 for verbal, 150 for quantitative and a 4.5 in analytical writing is recommended; however, there is not a minimum required score. 

Take the GRE at least 6 weeks before the application deadline date and arrange for ETS to send your official GRE scores directly to Fresno State and PTCAS using the appropriate codes. Students are encouraged to take the GRE early to avoid delays in acceptance for graduate work.