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Physical Therapy student working with patient

Our Doctorate in Physical Therapy (D.P.T.) program is a clinical doctorate-level program for individuals seeking entry-level professional education. The course of study is offered in three consecutive years of coursework. You may apply in the senior year of your undergraduate education. 

Admission Requirements -  COVID Updates

Students applying to the program must obtain a bachelor's or master's/graduate degree prior to entrance into the D.P.T. program unless they are applying as a part of the Accelerated DPT at USD. Applicants may apply during their senior year of undergraduate study. In addition to the degree, certain prerequisite coursework is required. Additional consideration will be given to applicants that have completed a graduate degree prior to matriculation. All admission requirements must be met by June 1 of the year of matriculation.

Enrollment is limited to 32 students that begin coursework in the fall (July) each year and are selected through a competitive application process. USD PT does not accept transfer credits toward the doctoral degree for previous courses, time in other programs, or work experience.


Application Process

Applicants are responsible for verification of receipt of all documents to PTCAS and the USD Graduate School. 

  • All applicants are required to apply through the Physical Therapy Centralized Application Service (PTCAS). Your PTCAS application must include:
  • Official transcripts from all colleges and universities attended.
  • Three references where at least one reference is from a physical therapist. No references from family members will be accepted.
  • Essay
  • Minimum of 50 hours observing a licensed Physical Therapist. Hours must be verified through PTCAS and completed prior to the application deadline. Diversified shadowing experience is highly encouraged.
  • Official GRE scores submitted. using the USD PT/PTCAS Code - 7814. GRE scores can be no more than 5 years old.
  • In addition to the PTCAS online application, all applicants are required to apply to the Graduate School by paying a $35 application fee. In order to submit the application fee, please go to and select USD Graduate Application Fee ($35.00).
Questions about the application, forms, or processing can be directed to:
Rita Humphrey, Assistant Admissions Officer

Becca Jordre, USD PT Admissions Chair

Drop-in information sessions will be held from 4-5 pm on September 17, October 8, November 12, and December 10, 2021. To access the Zoom session, enter Dr. Jordre's phone number as the Meeting ID.


Full Admission Policies and Procedures

Deadlines and Interview Dates

  Fall Application Review* Spring Application Review*
 Application deadline  September 15, 2021  December 1, 2021
 Academic update deadline  Not applicable  January 3, 2022
 Scheduled interview dates (by invitation)  November 4 & 5, 2021  February 10 & 11, 2022
 *while we review and interview applicants twice a year, all accepted students begin coursework in the fall (July) each year

Application Requirements

Fall application review

  • 9 of 12 prerequisites must be completed by the application deadline with no more than two prerequisites to be completed after the fall 2021 semester

Spring application review

  • 10 of 12 prerequisites must be completed by the end of the fall 2021 semester

All application reviews

  • Cumulative GPA of 3.2 (as calculated by PTCAS based on 4.0 scale)
  • Prerequisite GPA of 3.2 (as calculated by PTCAS based on 4.0 scale)

WICHE Applicants

The University of South Dakota participates in the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education’s Professional Student Exchange Program. Learn more about this program, including states that participate in physical therapy programming.

Initial Acceptance

Upon contingent acceptance into the physical therapy program, applicants are required to complete three steps to secure your seat.