Pre-Physical Therapy

pre-physical therapy, pre-occupational therapy, iupui

Interested in a Career in Physical Therapy?

The School of Science office for Pre-Professional & Career Preparation (PREPs) will support you throughout the process of preparing for a physical therapy program.

From advising you on pre-requisite courses and professional development activities to helping you through the application process, PREPs can assist you in every step.

Admission to physical therapy program is very competitive. You need to plan thoroughly from the start to be successful. The links below include detailed information on everything from the courses to the application process.

If you are an IUPUI School of Science student, we strongly encourage you to make an appointment to meet with a pre-professional advisor. The "Make An Appointment" link is on the right!

Join the PREPs Pre-Professional Advising Canvas Site


Prior to entering the DPT Degree Program, each student must also complete the following pre-requisite courses:

  • Statistics (must include study of inferential statistics) (1 semester) STAT 30100, PSY-B305, SPEA-K300 or other approved course
  • Human Anatomy (1 semester with lab) BIOL-N261
  • Human Physiology (1 semester with lab) BIOL-N217
  • General Chemistry (2 semesters with labs) CHEM-C105/CHEM-C125 and CHEM-C106/CHEM-C126
  • General Physics (2 semesters with labs) PHYS-P201/PHYS-P202
  • Introductory Psychology (1 semester) PSY-B110
  • Human Lifespan Development (must include study of birth to death) (1 semester) PSY-B310

Each prerequisite course must be at a level for science majors and must be at least 3 semester credit hours or equivalent quarter hours and be completed with a C letter grade at minimum.

If offered admission to the DPT program, Medical Terminology is also required and must be demonstrated by:

  • Formal course work, or
  • Online instruction with certificate of completion

Please Note:

  • Online courses are acceptable EXCEPT science courses with labs
  • Dual credit courses are acceptable if recorded on a college transcript with a grade.
  • Any AP course with a score of 3 or higher will be accepted to satisfy a prerequisite requirement.
  • Student may retake up to fifteen (15) credit hours of prerequisites.  The higher grade will be used to compute prerequisite GPA but all grades will be used to compute cumulative GPA.

Download a Timeline!

Entrance Exams

Graduate Record Exam (GRE) – revised test

As part of the application process, most physical therapy graduate programs require that you take the GRE revised General Test.

The Indiana University Physical Therapy Program GRE requirement

The IU DPT program requires that you take the GRE prior to applying. While no minimum score is required for any component of the test, the verbal portion is weighted as 50% of the admission formula. (Neither the total score nor the quantitative score is taken into account in any way for IU DPT admissions.)

Gaining Relevant Experience

Professional Shadowing

Professional shadowing, or job shadowing, is another means of career exploration in which you observe a professional at work. With a professional shadow, you can learn more about a profession before you invest too much time preparing for a career that may not be right for you.

For more information on job shadowing, visit our Job Shadowing Page. There you can download a free copy of our Professional Development Directory for a list of professional shadowing contacts. 

The Application Process

The IU DPT application process

  • The IU DPT program requires that applicants apply through the Central Application Service for Physical Therapists- PTCAS- Physical Therapy Centralized Application Service.
  • IU DPT application deadline: The program accepts applications from the beginning of July up to the beginning of October, for admission to the program the following fall. Refer to the program's website for specific dates. Try to submit all application materials several weeks before the deadline to allow leeway in case there is something you overlooked or need to correct.
  • Try to complete the GRE at least four weeks before you plan to submit your PT applications, in case there are any delays in score reporting.
  • All but two of the IU PT prerequisites must be completed by the time you submit your application to the IU DPT program. (Many other PT programs have similar policies.) You may complete the final two prerequisites in the fall and / or spring semester prior to the start of the DPT professional coursework.
  • You must complete all admission requirements, and the IU PT program must receive all your materials, on or before June 1 (including final spring grades) in order for you to matriculate into the program (i.e., start PT school).
  • Applicants who are not IU students need only to complete the School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences application; there is no need to complete a separate IU application.

Updating your application

PTCAS has an "academic update" process, through which you may update coursework completed after you originally submitted your application. You can only do updates one time, so make sure you enter complete, correct information. Contact non-PTCAS programs directly with updated information.

Early Decision

"Early Decision" is an admission practice whereby programs admit a certain number of especially strong applicants well before the standard application deadline.

The Early Decision application option usually comes with some caveats. For example, some programs offer an Early Decision application option through PTCAS, but you may initially apply to one and only one PTCAS program, and then must wait until that program decides whether or not they will admit you. In the meantime, you will not be allowed to apply to additional PTCAS programs. If they do admit you, you are required to accept. If they do not admit you, you may then apply to additional PTCAS programs. An additional caveat may be that while you are waiting to hear back about your Early Decision application, you may miss the optimal application window for another program (but whether this is the case depends on the timing of rolling admission cycles, if any, for your other programs).

Admission waitlists

If you learn that all spots have been filled, but that you have been put on an admissions waitlist, immediately contact the program to express your continued and enthusiastic interest. Not everyone who is offered admission, accepts. Therefore, programs often go fairly deep into their waitlist, so don't give up! Sometimes applicants who take the time to express continued interest are among the first to be contacted if spaces do open up. If after doing so you don't hear back for a week or two, feel free to contact them to again express your interest.