Physical Therapy, D.P.T.

Admission Requirements

Minimum Requirements for Admission

The SOPT offers the traditional admissions pathway for college undergraduate and an early assurance pathway for high-achieving high school students.

Traditional Admissions Pathway

  1. Baccalaureate degree from an accepted, accredited college/university completed prior to the starting date in the DPT program.
  2. Prerequisite Courses: Must complete all prerequisite courses prior to the summer term for which you are applying. For example, if you are applying for the class that starts in May 2019, all of your prerequisite courses must be completed by Summer 2019.
    Science 1
    Biology (& lab)8
    Chemistry (& lab)8
    Physics (& lab)8
    Human Anatomy 23
    Human Physiology 23
    Behavioral/Social Science
    Psychology (Preferably abnormal & developmental or life span)6
  3. Clinical Observation Hours: Complete at least 60 clinical observation hours, preferably from two different settings under the direct supervision of a licensed physical therapist by the time of application. Please follow the instructions listed on the PTCAS website ( to submit your hours for verification. For PTCAS general application, PT observation hours need to be completed no later than October 1. 
  4. Grade Point Averages:
    A minimum 3.0 for overall Undergraduate GPA
    A minimum 3.0 for the GPA for prerequisite sciences
    A minimum 3.0 for the GPA for all prerequisites combined
  5. GPA calculation for repeated courses:
    • If a student retakes the same science course at the same institution and earns a higher grade on the second attempt, we will use the higher grade to calculate GPAs.
    • In other situations (i.e., taking the same science course more than two times at the same institution; retaking the same or equivalent course at a different institution), if a science course is repeated, we will use all grades earned for that course to calculate GPAs.
  6. Completion of the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) with submission of scores at the time that the application is submitted. Please contact ETS to determine testing dates and sites. (1-800-GRE-CALL; For submitting your score report, our program code is “Marshall U Sch Phy Therapy PTCAS (0323).” Your score report will be received and verified by PTCAS. For PTCAS general application, GRE needs to be completed no later than October 1. For PTCAS Early Decision application, GRE needs to be completed no later than July 31. Do Not have ETS send your score report directly to Marshall University.4
  7. Provide two references: One from a licensed physical therapist (Physical Therapist Assistant is not accepted) and the other from either another physical therapist, or a faculty member or an employer. A reference request form is provided on the PTCAS website (
  8. Completion of the CASPer test by the date listed on the SOPT website. CASPer is an on line test which assesses for non-cognitive skills and interpersonal characteristics that we believe are important for successful students and graduates of our program, and will complement the other tools that we use for applicant screening. In implementing CASPer, we are trying to further enhance fairness and objectivity in our selection process.
    Additionally, CASPer Snapshot, an extension of the CASPer Test, will provide us with a better understanding of your communication skills and personal attributes. CASPer Snapshot is a short video response tool where you will be asked three standardized questions and be given two minutes to read and respond to each question. It should take you no longer than 10 minutes to complete. You can complete it at any time after reserving your CASPer test date. You can learn more about Snapshot at the CASPer site.
  9. Provisional Admission: A student who possesses a baccalaureate degree from an accepted, accredited college/university and has submitted all other application materials, but still has 1-2 prerequisite courses in progress at the time of interview (early January) may be provisionally admitted. However, outstanding course(s) must be completed with the appropriate minimal grade prior to commencing the DPT program in May of the year for which the student is applying.
  10. Conditional Admission: A student who does not already possess a baccalaureate degree from an accepted, accredited institution, and/or has 1-2 prerequisite courses in progress at the time of interview (early January), but has submitted all other required application materials, may be conditionally admitted. However, the bachelor’s degree must be earned, and outstanding course(s) must be completed with the appropriate minimal grade prior to commencing the DPT program in May of the year for which the student is applying.

All science prerequisite courses must be for science majors (a science course older than 10 years will not be accepted). Courses with a grade of C- or lower will not be accepted as prerequisites. Anatomy and physiology courses should preferably be completed with a grade of B or better. Note that students will be allowed to have one or two courses in progress at the time of interview (early January); however, the outstanding course(s) must be completed with the appropriate minimal grade, prior to commencing the DPT program in May of the year for which students are applying.


Students must document 6 hours of anatomy and physiology regardless of how the courses are offered. Many universities offer a two semester integrated human anatomy and physiology course instead of three credits human anatomy and three credits human physiology. A qualified course shall cover all major human body systems. Functional anatomy with a main emphasis on the musculoskeletal system and exercise physiology are not accepted.

International applicants will be required to submit an official TOEFL score in addition to the other requirements described for consideration. TOEFL/IBT score must be consistent with the standards established by the Foreign Credentialing Commission on Physical Therapy (FCCPT) as acceptable for physical therapists desiring to enter practice in the U.S. from a foreign country. The minimum scores to be considered for admission must be a Total Score of 89 with the minimum section requirement of “Speaking” of 26. TOEFL requirement is waived for applicants who hold a bachelor’s degree from an accepted, accredited college or university in the United States. International applicants who hold a bachelor’s degree from a college or university outside of the United States will have to complete their credential evaluation [WES International Credential Advantage Package (ICAP)] from the World Education Services (WES) to prove that their education is equivalent to the US undergraduate education and have the report sent to PTCAS.

Admission decisions are based on a variety of factors. The primary factor in all admission decisions is prior academic achievement (overall, science, and/or prerequisite grade point average – GPA and GRE scores) and the potential for an applicant to be successful in a rigorous PT curriculum. An applicant’s volunteer experience, letters of recommendation, and interview performance are reviewed by members of the Admissions Committee. The Admissions Committee will also consider additional factors in the final admissions review process (e.g., undergraduate attendance at Marshall University or West Virginia state residency, veteran of the U.S. military, and certain economic, environmental, or geographic indicators contained in the PTCAS application).

How to Apply

The School of Physical Therapy at Marshall University is participating in the Physical Therapist Centralized Application Service, known as PTCAS. Applicants will apply online using the PTCAS application. To learn more about the PTCAS application process, visit

Early Assurance Pathway 

The Marshall University Doctor of Physical Therapy Early Assurance Program allows high school seniors to apply for conditional acceptance to the Doctor of Physical Therapy Program. Successful applicants will have a guaranteed seat pending maintenance of all undergraduate requirements and earning a bachelor’s degree from Marshall University. 

  • Open for Applications: Monday, June 28, 2021
  • Application Deadline: Monday, November 1, 2021
  • Letters of Recommendation/Official Transcript/ACT or SAT Score Report Deadline: Monday, November 15, 2021
  • Interviews for the DPT Early Assurance Program (required): January 2022 (exact dates TBD) 

Admission Requirements 

This program is designed for highly motivated high school students (in-state or out-of-state) who have achieved the following criteria during their high school careers: 

  • Minimum composite ACT of 25 or SAT composite score of 1200
  • Cumulative High School GPA of 3.5 on a 4.0 scale. 
  • Two letters of reference/recommendation from high school teachers in STEM-related courses. 
  • On-campus interview in January with the Doctor of Physical Therapy Admissions Committee. 

Continuing Requirements

  • Students must declare an undergraduate major (e.g., Exercise Science, Biomechanics, Health Sciences, Biology, etc.). There is no preference given based on undergraduate major; however, students must complete all required prerequisite courses (see below). 
  • Complete their undergraduate degree in four years.
  • Students must maintain a 3.0 GPA each semester (students may fall below a 3.0 GPA for a maximum of one semester during their undergraduate degree), achieve an overall cumulative undergraduate GPA of 3.5 on a 4.0 scale, and maintain a minimum 3.5 GPA in all prerequisite courses (BSC 120 and BSC 121 or higher; BSC 227 and BSC 228; CHM 211, 217, and 218 or higher; PHY 201, 202, 203, and 204 or higher; STA 225 or PSY 223 or MGT 218; PSY 201 and PSY 311). 
  • Students must successfully complete at least 60 hours of valid clinical observation in physical therapy before the start of the fall of the senior year. 
  • Students will apply through PTCAS in the fall of the senior year to ensure that all criteria are met. Students may have a maximum of two prerequisite courses outstanding in the fall of the senior year.

Application Process  

  • Students must apply and be accepted into the undergraduate program and declare a major at Marshall University prior to applying to the DPT Early Assurance Program. 
  • Students must complete the Early Assurance Program application and submit supporting materials to MU SOPT Admissions Committee (2847 5th Ave, Huntington, WV 25702) no later than the dates listed above. An incomplete application package could negatively impact the selection process. 
  • Application package must include:
    • Application form including personal statement/essay. 
    • Official high school transcripts.
    • ACT or SAT score (must include composite score and the individual math score).
    • Two letters of reference/recommendation which must be from high school teachers who have had the applicant in class and are familiar with the applicant’s academic performance. 
  • Applications will be reviewed by the MU SOPT Admissions Committee, and all applicants will be sent notification in writing whether they have been selected for an interview. 
  • Finalists will be required to participate in on-campus interviews. 
  • The MU SOPT Admissions Committee by final vote will select the applicants who will be accepted into the program.

Criminal Background Check Information

Special Note Regarding Eligibility for Certification for Licensure, Criminal Background Clearance

Students who are offered admission to the Marshall University School of Physical Therapy are required to have a criminal background check. Complete instructions on obtaining and forwarding these documents will be provided to students who are offered admission, prior to matriculation. Clinical rotation sites that require a criminal background check may deny a student’s participation in the clinical rotation because of a felony or misdemeanor conviction or a record of child abuse. Clinical sites may also deny participation in clinical experience for other reasons, such as failure of a required drug test, or inability to produce an appropriate health clearance. As participation in clinical experiences, rotations or fieldwork is a required part of the curriculum and a requirement for graduation, denial of participation by a clinical site may result in delay of graduation or the inability to graduate from the program. Regardless of whether or not a student graduates from Marshall, individuals who have been convicted of a felony or misdemeanor may be denied certification or licensure as a health professional. Information regarding individual eligibility may be obtained from the appropriate credentialing bodies or state licensure board.

Program Requirements

Academic Progression

  1. A failing grade of either a "Fail" or "NC" in a course results in automatic dismissal from the program. The student's academic record will be reviewed by the APSCL which will consider possible conditions of reinstatement to the program on an individual case basis.
  2. A minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 is required for continued successful progression towards graduation.

Provisions for academic progression are further outlined in the Graduate Catalog and SOPT Student Handbook. Academic progression is reviewed during orientation upon matriculation in the DPT Program and includes, but is not limited to the following details regarding Academic Progression (probation, dismissal, re-entry, and deceleration): 

1. Summer (DPT Semester 1) of First Year:

  • A student whose grade point average falls between 2.99-2.90 will be recommended for academic probation by the APSC and approved by the SOPT chairperson.
  • A student whose grade point average falls between 2.89-2.75 will be recommended for academic probation. The student may request to restart the DPT program with the following cohort*, continue the program on academic probation, or switch to the 4- Year Deceleration Pathway₸. (See 4-Year Deceleration Pathway details. The APSC will review the academic/professional performance of all students and counsel the student on the pros and cons of each option. The student will make the decision within seven (7) days of the last day of class.
  • A student whose grade point average falls below  2.75 will be recommended for dismissal from the MUSOPT. The student may reapply to the program through PTCAS in the following year.

* A student who restarts the program with the following cohort (automatic or through PTCAS application) will start with a clean GPA slate upon re-entering the program.
₸ A student who continues the DPT program on either the 3-Year regular pathway (probation) or the 4-Year deceleration pathway must complete the semester. The student will retain all earned grades and must come off probation in the required time period.

2. Fall (DPT Semester 2) of First Year:

  • A student who was not on probation after the summer semester (DPT Semester 1) and whose cumulative grade point average falls between 2.99 to  2.90 will be recommended for academic probation by the APSC.
  • A student who was not on probation after the summer semester (DPT Semester 1) and whose cumulative grade point average falls between 2.89 to 2.75 will have the option to continue on the 3-Year regular pathway or switch to the 4-Year deceleration pathway. A student who continues the DPT program on either the 3-Year regular pathway or the 4-Year deceleration pathway must complete the semester. The student will retain all earned grades and must come off probation in the required time period.
  • A student who was on probation after the summer semester (DPT Semester 1) and whose cumulative grade point average falls below 2.75 will be dismissed from the program. The student may reapply to the program through PTCAS in the following year.

3. Any Semester thereafter (after Fall of First Year):

  • A student whose cumulative grade point average falls between 2.99 - 2.75 will be recommended for academic probation by the APSC.
  • A student whose cumulative grade point average falls below 2.75 will be dismissed from the program and may reapply through PTCAS.

4. Any student who is on probation will have one semester to correct academic deficiencies. If a student has demonstrated academic progress and improved their cumulative grade point average from 2.90 to 2.99 during the semester of probation, the student may appeal to the APSC for an additional consecutive semester of probation. Students are allowed a maximum of two semesters of academic probation as part of the DPT curriculum.

5. Following notification of probation and before the start of the next semester, the student will be counseled by their faculty advisor or the APSC. During this initial counseling session, the student will be advised of his/her deficiencies and the requirements for removing the deficiencies by the end of the following semester.

6. The SOPT Chairperson may either accept or overturn all recommendations by the
APSC, and will subsequently inform the student of the final recommendation to the Provost (Provost designee).

7. The Provost (Provost designee) makes the final decision regarding academic dismissal.

8. If the student disagrees with the SOPT Chairperson’s decision, the student may appeal the decision in writing to the Provost (Provost designee) within 3 University business days after notification of dismissal.

9. In the event a student is placed on probation in the final fall semester (DPT semester 8) and is mathematically unable to achieve a 3.0 GPA, the student will not be permitted to attend the intermediate internship (PT 792) and will be referred to the APSC for review and make a recommendation to the SOPT Chairperson.

The MUSOPT APSC is responsible for determining candidacy for Academic Probation. Students may be placed on probation for no more than two semesters during the entire DPT curriculum. The APSC will make decisions regarding any disciplinary or remediation action based on the student’s academic, professional, and clinical performance. 

4- Year Deceleration Pathway

The 4-Year Deceleration Pathway has the same degree requirements and the same number of credits to graduate, but the curriculum is sequenced over 4-years rather than 3-years. To ensure that students remain full-time, semester 10 has one additional course (PT 798 1-credit Independent Study) that will allow the student to retain full-time status (6 credits)/semester. The 4-Year Deceleration Pathway is only available to students who have demonstrated academic difficulty (cumulative GPA 2.89 to 2.75) in the summer or fall semesters of Year 1. The 4-Year Deceleration Pathway provides students with an additional option allowing them to remain in the program but with a lighter course load per semester. The student will take some courses with their original cohort, and they will take some courses with the cohort that is one year behind. The student will graduate with the cohort that is one year behind the matriculating cohort. All SOPT program policies and procedures remain in effect for the students on the 4-Year Deceleration Pathway. See Appendix 1 [of the School of Physical Therapy Student Handbook] for the 3-Year and the 4-Year DPT curricula. Students will have seven (7) days from the end of the summer (year 1) or fall (year 1) to make a decision to switch to the deceleration program. The student must sign an educational contract signifying that they are switching to the deceleration pathway. Once a student has switched from the 3-year to the 4-year deceleration pathway, they are unable to switch back. The student who elects to participate in the 4-Year deceleration pathway will incur an additional year of tuition. While the SOPT has made every effort to work with the financial aid office in the development of the deceleration pathway, the student is responsible for communicating with the Marshall University Financial Aid Office and insurers of any third-party scholarships.

Plan of Study

Plan of Study Grid
First Year
First SemesterCredit Hours
Summer (11 weeks)
PT 700 Gross Anatomy for PT 5
PT 710 Clinical Skills I 3
PT 750 Foundations of Phys Ther 2
PT 761 EBP I 2
 Credit Hours12
Second Semester
Fall I (15 weeks)
PT 701 Neuroanatomy 4
PT 711 Kinesiology & Biomechs in PT 3
PT 720 Advanced Clinical Physiology 3
PT 731 Clinical Skills 3
PT 741 Medical Pathology in PT I 2
PT 751 Legal & Ethical Issues in PT 2
 Credit Hours17
Third Semester
Spring I (15 weeks)
PT 712 Human Movement II 4
PT 732 Therapeutic Interventions 3
PT 742 Medical Pathology in PT II 2
PT 744 Med Pathology in PT IV 3
PT 763 EBP II 2
PT 781 Musculoskeletal 1 3
PT 790 ICEs in Physical Therapy I 1
PT 745
 Credit Hours18
Second Year
Fourth Semester
Summer II (10 weeks)
PT 713 Human Movement III 2
PT 747 Pharmacology in Rehab 2
PT 782 Musculoskeletal II 4
PT 771 Clin Application Seminar I 1
PT 733 Therapeutic Modalities 1
PT 734Clinical Skills III 1
PT 748 Pain Science 1
 Credit Hours12
Fifth Semester
Fall II (8 weeks clinical; 7 weeks didactic)
PT 702 Neuro Evaluation 1
PT 721 Applied Ex Phys 3
PT 754 Health Care Delivery Systems 1
PT 764 EBP III 1
PT 772 Clin Application Seminar II 1
PT 758 PM&BC in PT Practice 1
PT 791 Clinical Internship I 4
 Credit Hours12
Sixth Semester
Spring II (15 weeks)
PT 704 Neurorehabilitation 4
PT 755 Service Learning Practicum 1
PT 765 EBP IV 1
PT 775 Clin Application Seminar V (CASES) 1
PT 783 Cardiopulmonary in PT 4
PT 786 Rehab in Select Pops I 3
 Credit Hours14
Third Year
Seventh Semester
Summer III (11 weeks)
PT 756 Administration in PT 3
PT 766 EBP V 1
PT 773 Clin Application Seminar III 1
PT 784 Integumentary 2
PT 787 Rehab in Select Pops II 2
PT 799 Integration & Review 1
 Credit Hours10
Eighth Semester
Fall III (6 weeks didactic; 12 weeks clinical)
PT 788 Rehab in Select Pops III 1
PT 714Movement Integration 1
PT 789 MSK III 2
PT 794Int Clin Exp in PT II 1
PT 792 Clinical Internship II 6
 Credit Hours11
Ninth Semester
Spring III
PT 767 EBP VI 1
PT 785 Health Promo and Nutrition 2
PT 793 Clinical Internship III 6
 Credit Hours9
 Total Credit Hours115