School of Health Sciences Physical Therapy

Application Instructions

New application information will be updated annually in July.

There are three separate components of the application process that must be submitted:
  1. PTCAS Web-Based Application:  The Physical Therapists Centralized Application Service (PTCAS) is a service of the APTA and allows you to use a single web-based application and one set of materials to apply to multiple PT education programs 
    • Your PTCAS application, submitted online prior to the appropriate deadlines, must include:
    • *Official transcripts from ALL colleges and universities attended
      • Academic Updates must be received by USD from PTCAS by January 15, 2015 in order to be considered as part of your application.
      • CLEP & pass/fail coursework - Applicants may not use these classes for pre-requisite courses that require a lab component.
      • AP coursework - A minimum score of 4/5 must be met for any pre-requisite coursework. A syllabus and score report must be sent to the PT department to verify qualification of AP coursework.
      • Applicants with a minimum cumulative and prerequisite GPA below 3.2 will not be considered.
      • Applicants can have no more than 2 incomplete pre-requisites at the end of the fall semester. No exceptions will be made for the 2014-15 cycle.
    • *Three references
    • *Essay
    • Minimum of 50 observation hours
      • No signatures are required for our program; however, your hours may be verified via the physical therapist contact information you provide
      • If you desire a method for tracking observational hours, PTCAS has worksheets on their web site to track your hours or use the  optional worksheet
      • Minimum hours must be completed when your application is submitted
      • Diversified shadowing experience is highly encouraged. 

    **Please note that these items are NOT required when submitting your supplemental application referenced below.  The department will provide these items to the Graduate School on your behalf. 

  2. USD Graduate School Application and Fee 
    • This application is required in addition to the PTCAS application
    • PTCAS applications will not be reviewed until the Graduate School application and fee are received
  3. GRE Scores:  Submit your GRE scores directly to PTCAS from the testing service using the USD PT/PTCAS Code - 7814. You only need to use the USD PT/PTCAS code and NOT the individual university and department codes. Due to changes in the GRE, you must complete your GRE exam by the following dates:
    • Early applicants (Sept. 15th application deadline) who apply for the 2015 entering class MUST take the GRE before July 31, 2014
    • General applicants (Dec. 1st application deadline) must take their exam by November 1, 2014
    • The oldest GRE scores considered will be November 1, 2010

Upon provisional acceptance into the USD Physical Therapy Program, you will be asked to pay a $200 seat deposit, submit and pay for a criminal background check and sign off that you are able to perform the tasks outlined in the Essential Functions and Technical Standards document.

Application Checklist 
(We encourage you to refer to this checklist to keep your application organized!)

General questions about your application or application status may be directed to:
Rita Humphrey (, 605-677-3938

For specific questions concerning prerequisites or decision processes, please contact:

Dr. Becca Jordre (, 605-677-5087