To be considered for admission to the Doctor of Physical Therapy program, applicants must have a bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited college or regionally accredited university within the United States prior to the start of orientation.

A minimum cumulative grade point average of a 3.0 on a 4.0 scale or higher is recommended. A minimum science grade point average of a 3.0 on a 4.0 scale or higher is recommended. No grade lower than a C will be accepted for prerequisite coursework. AP credits will be considered for non-science prerequisites, but all science prerequisites (biology, chemistry and physics) must be completed for graded credit.

Required Courses

The courses below are required for admission; you may apply while coursework is in progress. Coursework completion is required prior to matriculation, and pending coursework during the application cycle is acceptable.

Anatomy - 1 Course with Lab

Physiology - 1 Course with Lab or a two-course sequence in anatomy and physiology with lab.
• Exercise physiology does not fulfill the physiology requirement

Biology - 2 Courses
• Labs required, when available
• Botany is not accepted

General Chemistry - 2 Courses
• Two-semester sequence is preferred
• Labs required, when available

Physics - 2 Courses
• Two-semester sequence is preferred.
• Labs required, when available

Psychology - 2 Courses

Statistics - 1 Course

Highly recommended courses include 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 inpatient and outpatient physical therapy settings. While applicants have until matriculation to complete the physical therapy observation requirement, at least 15 total hours of observation must be complete at the time of application to be considered for an interview. Observations may be in-person or virtual.


Submission of GRE scores is required. Des Moines University's PTCAS GRE code is 0463.

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 and drug screen 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 accepted student. Accepted students 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.

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.

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