To be considered for admission, you must have a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited college or university prior to the start of orientation.  A minimum cumulative grade point average of 3.0 is required for consideration. In addition, applicants should have a minimum science grade point average of 3.0 to be considered competitive.

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. Prerequisite courses must be completed before orientation in August.

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

Beginning with the 2017-18 application cycle, a minimum cumulative and science grade point average of 3.0 is recommended for consideration. In addition, Humanities/Social Science coursework will no longer be included as prerequisites.

Required Courses

Biological sciences: 16 hours

  • One course of human anatomy must be taken.
  • One course of human physiology must be taken.
  • The anatomy and physiology requirements can be fulfilled by a series of two courses of combined anatomy and physiology. They can also be fulfilled by one combined anatomy and physiology course plus a human physiology course.
  • All courses should be taken through the biology department if possible. If taken through another department, the course may be subject to review by the admissions committee, and a possibility exists that the course will be unacceptable.
  • Exercise physiology does not fulfill the human physiology requirement.
  • Labs are required for all biology classes. If labs are not offered in anatomy and physiology at your institution, please include a course description for review by the admissions committee.

Chemistry: 8 semester hours

  • Each course must include a lab.
  • A two-semester chemistry sequence is required.  Courses designed for science or health science majors are preferred.

Physics: 8 semester hours

  • Each course must include a lab.
  • A two-semester physics sequence is required.  Courses designed for science or health science majors are preferred.

Statistics: 1 course

  • This can be taken either through the math or psychology department.

Psychology: 3 courses

  • One course of general or introductory psychology is required.
  • Two upper division courses (other than statistics) are required. Abnormal and developmental psychology courses are strongly recommended to fulfill this requirement.
  • Psychology courses must be taken through the psychology department.

English composition/speech/communications: 2 courses

  • One course of English composition is required.
  • Testing out is acceptable if it is reflected on an official transcript.
  • Literature courses do not fulfill this requirement.
  • Writing across the curriculum and writing-intensive courses will be considered. Course descriptions should be included with your application.

Humanities/social sciences: 2 courses

  • Literature, history, philosophy, sociology, theology, foreign language and art, music or theater appreciation will fulfill this requirement.

Medical Terminology: 1 course

  • One course in medical terminology is required

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 in various settings. We require that you spend at least 50 hours observing licensed physical therapists in both inpatient and outpatient settings.  While applicants have until matriculation to complete the physical therapy observation requirement, you must complete at least 40 total hours of observation to be considered for an interview.


GRE scores are required for an application to be complete. 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

Accepted students will be required to pay for and complete a criminal background check prior to matriculation.  All students must complete a criminal background check by the DMU selected vendor prior to enrollment. If you have a pending misdemeanor or felony which results in a conviction, it is your responsibility to immediately inform the university. You are required to inform the university of any charges or convictions which occur following completion of the initial criminal background check. Incoming students will then be required to participate in annual background checks through the Dean’s office and/or Clinical Affairs.