Skip to main content

Doctor of Physical Therapy, DPT

About the Program

The Doctor of Physical Therapy Program at Georgia Southern University is a full-time, nine-semester program that is comprised of academic coursework and three full-time clinical affiliations (with a minimum of 31 weeks of full-time clinical practice), in addition to other smaller clinical experiences. Upon completion of the program, all students are awarded a Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) degree. All program graduates are eligible to take the National Physical Therapy Examination and apply for state licensure in all jurisdictions.  Admission is limited to 36 students per class.

The Doctor of Physical Therapy program is offered at the Armstrong Campus in Savannah.

Program Contact Information

Admissions Contact
Elizabeth Varner

View Information Session Schedule

Admission Requirements

The Georgia Southern University DPT Program participates in the Physical Therapist Centralized Application System (PTCAS). To learn more about the PTCAS application process and apply online, please visit the PTCAS website, Applicants must review Georgia Southern University’s program page on PTCAS for program-specific prerequisites and application requirements.

Applicants must review Georgia Southern University’s program prerequisites and application requirements and directions on the PTCAS program page. The requirements are also available on the GSU DPT Program page.

ALL application documents will be collected by PTCAS.

  1. Applicants must complete the requirements for a baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited institution. While any major field of study is acceptable, the degree and all prerequisite courses must be completed prior to matriculation. At least 5 of the 8 prerequisite science/math courses must be completed at the time of application.
  2. Applicants need to demonstrate effective oral and written communication skills.
  3. Applicants must demonstrate an understanding of the social, biological and physical sciences and mathematics so that they can comprehend and integrate physiological, pharmacological, behavioral and biomechanical principles into physical therapy practice. Minimal satisfaction of this criterion will include completion of:A one-year sequence of basic (general, inorganic) chemistry with laboratories that is designed for science or health professions majors;
  4. A one-year sequence of general physics with laboratories (both calculus or non-calculus physics are acceptable) that is for science or health professions majors and which include mechanics, electricity, magnetism and light;
  5. A one-year sequence of anatomy and physiology with laboratories (either as two combined anatomy and physiology courses or with one course in physiology and one course in anatomy) which may be lower division human anatomy and physiology courses for health professions majors or upper division vertebrate or human physiology and comparative or developmental anatomy. Applicants are also encouraged to take advanced human physiology and anatomy courses such as exercise physiology, neurophysiology, advanced human physiology, kinesiology and/or biomechanics;
  6. One general biology course with laboratory (botany, ecology, and environmental science are not acceptable substitutes).
  7. One course in statistics (at a minimum, covering measures of central tendency, probability distributions, and linear regression).
  8. Two courses in the social sciences are also required. Abnormal psychology and human development are recommended.
  9. Applicants must have no less than a 3.0 in the PTCAS science grade point average (GPA) and an overall grade point average of 3.0. No grade of D or F will be acceptable for satisfaction of the prerequisite courses. If a grade of D or F is earned in a prerequisite course, that course cannot be repeated more than one time. Only two prerequisite courses may be repeated. Applicants may repeat courses with grades of C or higher to improve their prerequisite course GPA, but repeated courses will be averaged in the calculation of the prerequisite GPA.
  10. Applicants must achieve a score on the Graduate Record Exam (GRE) of no less than 146 on the verbal section and 144 on the quantitative section. For students whose second language is English, a TOEFL score of at least 600 paper-based, 250 computer-based or 80 internet-web-based may be substituted for the minimal verbal GRE score. The TOEFL score is not used in calculating a final application score during review of the applications, as there is no mechanism for converting a TOEFL score into a GRE score. As a result, the applicant’s application score may be lower than those of applicants who took the entire GRE. (Note that when requesting to have GRE scores sent to Georgia Southern University Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) Program, the appropriate codes to be used are: school code 7813)
  11. Applicants are required to take the online CASPer Test ( Applicants must register for the American Professional Health Sciences test (CSP10101) by the appropriate deadline and have their scores submitted to Georgia Southern University’s DPT Program.
  12. Applicants should have an understanding of the scope of physical therapy practice. This understanding is best developed through observation of physical therapists in multiple types of clinical practice. Applicants are required to demonstrate a total of 75 hours of observation under a licensed physical therapist. Observation hours must be verified in PTCAS by a physical therapist. It is strongly recommended that these hours of observation be completed in more than one setting, with at least 10 hours in each setting. It is also recommended that applicants demonstrate additional hours beyond the required 75. Setting types include but are not limited to: acute care, fitness/wellness, general adult outpatient, inpatient rehabilitation, outpatient adult orthopedics/sports, pediatric inpatient, pediatric outpatient, school systems, skilled nursing facilities, and wound care. Receiving physical therapy treatment or being a caregiver for someone with a physical disability can count toward one setting for purposes of this requirement.
  13. Applicants are required to submit three references as part of their PTCAS application. One of the references must be submitted by a physical therapist who has observed and supervised the applicant in a clinical setting. All of the references must be included in the PTCAS application.
  14. All potential and enrolled students in the DPT Program must meet intellectual, physical, and social competencies in order to provide safe patient care and successfully complete the program. Applicants must review the Core Performance Standards posted on the DPT Program website ( and answer a question about this in the Supplemental Questions section of the PTCAS application.
  15. The following documents are required to apply for admission to the Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) program: Physical Therapist Centralized Application Service (PTCAS) application ( transcripts from every college and university attended, official GRE score reports, three completed references, 75 verified observation hours, and CASPer Test results. ALL application documents, with the exception of CASPer Test results, will be collected by PTCAS.
  16. Meeting the minimum criteria for application does not guarantee admission to the Doctor of Physical Therapy program. It should be noted that the pool of applicants for the program includes many highly qualified persons, and the number of available positions is limited.
  17. All accepted students are required to submit evidence of current health insurance, CPR certification, immunizations, TB test, health appraisal, and GSU liability insurance upon matriculation and prior to participation in clinical experiences. Students are also required to complete a background check and drug screening process upon matriculation and as required by clinical sites. Official final transcripts must be submitted upon matriculation.

*International transcripts must be evaluated by World Education Services (WES) through the PTCAS application. Select the WES ‘course by course’ option with grades. Please check the PTCAS website for specific instructions about transcripts.


Program applications for the 2019-20 admissions cycle will be available on PTCAS ( in early July 2019. The Georgia Southern University Graduate Studies application is not used. Applicants admitted during this cycle will begin the program in May 2020.

Georgia Southern University DPT program accepts and reviews both Early Decision and Regular Decision applications. The PTCAS application and required documentation must be submitted by the deadlines below. All application deadlines are firm. If your application is not submitted by the deadline, it cannot be considered for admission.

Application Deadlines (tentative until finalized by PTCAS):

Early Decision Application Deadline: August 15, 2019
GRE Deadline for Early Decision: July 30, 2019
Last CASPer test date for Early Decision: August 20, 2019

*Important Note: Your application must be submitted and complete in PTCAS by August 15, 2019. An application status of Complete means that your application has been submitted, PTCAS has received all of your official transcripts, and your GRE scores have been received by school code 7813. Early Decision applications that are not Complete in PTCAS by August 15 will be moved automatically to Regular Decision.

Regular Decision Application Deadline: October 1, 2019
GRE Deadline for Regular Decision: September 20, 2019
Last CASPer test date for Regular Decision: October 23, 2019

Last updated: 4/15/2021