Admissions Requirements and Prerequisite Courses

Admissions Requirements

The following requirements must be met to apply to the WVU Physical Therapy Program:

  1. Completion of a baccalaureate degree: Applicants must have earned a baccalaureate degree, or plan on completing a baccalaureate degree by May of the year of entering the program. Students may apply with an undergraduate degree in any major. Two common undergraduate majors for students interested in physical therapy are exercise physiology and biology; graduates of the WVU undergraduate program in exercise physiology will be able to complete all of the required prerequisite courses during their course of study. However, these majors are only recommendations and students can apply with any degree background, as long as all prerequisite courses are completed.
  2. Completion of prerequisite courses (see below): College coursework will only be accepted from accredited institutions in the United States, and must include the listed prerequisite courses. Applicants may be enrolled in prerequisite courses at the time of application. However, all prerequisite courses and the undergraduate major must be successfully completed by the end of the spring semester (typically mid-May) of the year of entering the program. The applicant must earn a minimum grade of C in each prerequisite course.
  3. Overall cumulative GPA: An overall cumulative GPA of 3.0 is required. The cumulative GPA includes all previous college coursework at all institutions the student has attended.
  4. Prerequisite science GPA: A GPA of 3.0 in the prerequisite courses is required.
  5. Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores: Submit your official GRE scores to code #7639 for the [West Virginia U Sch Med Phys Therapy]. Using this code will ensure your GRE scores are included in your PTCAS application to our program. Please do NOT send your GRE scores to the main [West Virginia U] code. If you do not use the correct reporting code, your application may not be considered.
  6. Volunteer/work experience in physical therapy: A minimum of 60 hours of volunteer or work experience is required. This experience must be under the direction of a licensed physical therapist, and experience from two different practice settings is recommended. Practice settings include acute care/hospital, outpatient, adult rehabilitation hospital/center, nursing home, school system/pediatrics, and home health. Though these hours may be obtained during high school and college, some volunteer hours obtained during the junior or senior college years is strongly recommended. Volunteer/work experience must be completed within the US. Hours devoted to internships in undergraduate majors in other fields (such as exercise physiology or athletic training) may NOT be used as part of the 60 hours of volunteer experience. Verification of this experience must be submitted as part of the application process following the instructions in the PTCAS application for submitting verification of PT observation hours.
  7. Three letters of recommendation: We require two references from US-licensed physical therapists with whom the student has worked in a clinical setting, either on a volunteer or work basis. The third reference must be from a professor/instructor who taught the student in at least one course, or an academic advisor who is familiar with the applicant’s academic background and performance. We do NOT accept letters from: physical therapist assistants or other healthcare providers; or relatives of the applicant, even if the relative is a physical therapist or professor.

Prerequisite Courses

College course work will only be accepted from accredited institutions in the United States and must include the following prerequisite courses. The applicant must have a minimum grade of C in each prerequisite course. Each course must be completed prior to mid-May of the year entering the program.

Subject / Credit Hours / WVU Course Equivalent

  • Biology with lab (8 hours): BIOL 101/101L and 102/102L
  • Chemistry with lab (8 hours): CHEM 115/115L and 116/116L
  • Physics with lab (8 hours): PHYS 101/101L and 102/102L
  • Introductory statistics (3 hours): STAT 211 or ECON 225
  • General psychology (3 hours): PSYC 101
  • Developmental psychology (3 hours)1: PSYC 241
  • Human anatomy (3 hours)2
    • EXPH 350 or EXPH 440 (Anatomy for Exercise Physiology)
    • ATTR or PASS 219 (Basic Human Anatomy)
    • PALM 205 (Introduction to Human Anatomy)
    • BIOL 345 and 345L (Human Anatomy and Laboratory)
  • Human physiology (3 hours)3: PSIO 441 (recommended) or PSIO 241 or BIOL 235

Important Notes

  1. A course in developmental psychology is strongly recommended, although other psychology courses (abnormal, social) are accepted. Students should seek developmental psychology courses that cover the entire human lifespan, from birth through older adulthood, when possible. Courses in sports psychology may not be used for this prerequisite.
  2. The anatomy courses included in the DPT curriculum are extremely rigorous. Students should seek out the highest level anatomy course(s) available. The minimum prerequisite is a 3 credit hour course in human anatomy, ideally with a laboratory. We will accept a 2-semester, 8-credit sequence of combined human anatomy & physiology. Courses in comparative, mammalian, or animal anatomy will not be accepted.
  3. For the physiology prerequisite, we will accept a 2-semester, 8-credit sequence of combined human anatomy & physiology. A separate human physiology course with lab is preferred. Courses in comparative, mammalian, or animal physiology will not be accepted.

It is recommended that prerequisite courses in human anatomy and human physiology be completed within two years prior to admission.

Recommended Courses

A course in medical terminology, and courses related to pathophysiology and mechanism of body function (i.e. WVU courses EXPH 460, PSIO 441) are recommended, but not required.