To be considered for admission, you must have a bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited college or university within the United States prior to the start of orientation.  A science GPA and cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher are recommended to be considered for admission.

All prerequisite science courses need to be taken for a grade; pass/fail is not accepted. Testing out of a non-science prerequisite course may be acceptable upon approval by the physical therapy admission committee. Grades below a C- are not accepted for any prerequisite.

The courses below are required for admission; you may apply while coursework is in progress. Coursework completion is required prior to matriculation.

Required Courses

  • One course in anatomy with lab.
  • One course in physiology with lab. Exercise physiology does not fulfill the physiology requirement.
    OR a two-course sequence in anatomy and physiology with lab.
  • Two courses in biological sciences (not botany); labs required when available.
  • Two courses in general chemistry with lab; two-semester sequence is preferred.
  • Two courses in general physics with lab; two-semester sequence is preferred.
  • Two courses in psychology.
  • One course in statistics.

Highly Recommended Courses

  • Biomechanics, kinesiology, exercise physiology, genetics, abnormal psychology, developmental psychology, math (trigonometry or calculus).

Observational Experiences

Applicants are required to observe physical therapists at work for at least 25 hours. The most competitive applicants will have observed in a variety of physical therapy settings.


Submission of GRE scores is highly recommended. Des Moines University's PTCAS GRE code is 0463. More information.

Permanent Residents

Applicants who are legal permanent residents of the U.S. will be required to provide a notarized copy of their permanent resident card ("green card") prior to admission.
Note: Permanent residency status "pending," is not eligible for admission.

Non-U.S. Citizens

Applicants who are not U.S. citizens or permanent residents are not eligible for admission to the physical therapy program at Des Moines University.  For additional information regarding the international student policy, please click here.

Technical Standards

Please see technical standards section of the catalog for more information. Further information about accommodations can be found in the Accommodations in Education Policy.

Background Checks

All accepted students are required to complete a criminal background check through the DMU preferred vendor. Results must be released to DMU prior to matriculation, and the cost of this process will be paid by the applicant. Applicants are required to disclose all past or present charges, convictions, dismissals, deferred judgments and expunged records as related to a misdemeanor or felony. They are also obligated to disclose any additional charges and convictions which occur following completion of the initial criminal background check.  Admission to the program may be revoked if misrepresentations or omissions from the application are noted in the background check.  DMU students are required to complete annual criminal background checks, which may include drug screening, while enrolled at DMU.

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