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Prerequisites - Before Applying

The DPT Department Chair holds informational sessions throughout the academic year to provide applicants with the opportunity to visit the Program and learn about how to improve your candidacy for admission. Any questions you may have will be answered at these sessions. Dates and additional information are posted on this page.

We suggest you read and print every page in the Admissions portion of this website before applying, especially the information about the clinical experience requirement. You should also print out and save the applicant checklist and clinical experience form. The data on your filled in checklist must be entered into the online application.  You will also need to submit both of these to the PT Department.

The following prerequisites are required when applying for our DPT program. The course numbers listed below are examples of courses offered at Hunter College.

  1. Applicants must have completed a bachelor's degree (BA or BS) from an accredited four-year institution by the end of the spring semester prior to entry. You are not required to be a graduate of Hunter College to apply to this program. If you have taken courses in a non-accredited institution and/or you have taken courses outside of the U.S., please read the statement at the end of this page! The bachelor's degree requirement for entry is based upon the CAPTE criteria which mandates that physical therapy programs are "built on a balance of course work in social sciences, humanities, and natural sciences, which is appropriate in depth and breadth, to develop the ability in students to think independently, to weight values, to understand fundamental theory, and to develop skill for clinical practice, including critical thinking and communication."
  2. Two semesters of Anatomy and Physiology, with labs (e.g., Biol. 120 & 122).  Minimum of four credits per semester. 
  3. Two semesters of physics, with labs (e.g., General Physics; Phys 110 & 120).  Minimum of four credits per semester. 
  4. Two semesters of chemistry, with labs (e.g., Chem 102, 104 & Chem 106, which is lab for Chem 102 & 104.  Minimum of four credits per semester. 
  5. One semester of mathematics (e.g., Math 12400 College Algebra and Trigonometry).
  6. Two semesters of psychology. We recommend, but do not require, one semester of developmental or child psychology.  Sociology or other non-psychology courses do not meet this requirement. 
  7. One semester of statistics (e.g., Stat. 113, or Statistics for Psychology majors)
  8. One semester of English composition (e.g., Expository Writing) or its equivalent. 
  9. Basic Life Support by the American Heart Association (212-878-5900 or or Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation Certification by the Red Cross (212-787-1000 or An advantage of taking CPR through the American Heart Association is renewal every two years, not annually.
  10. Two letters of recommendation. We suggest at least one be written by a physical therapist. The second letter can be from a college faculty member. The letter of recommendation is not acceptable toward meeting the clinical experience requirement.  Both of these can be submitted by one therapist, but the form is different than a letter of recommendation.  You must enter an email address for the recommenders on the online application system in order to be able to submit the application, even If the recommenders submit paper reference letters directly to the Physical Therapy program your online graduate degree application.  Without an email address entered, your application will not be considered complete.
  11. An undergraduate cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 3.0 or above (expected)
  12. Documented clinical experience of at least 100 hours in the United States under the supervision of a licensed physical therapist, with a minimum of 50 hours in a hospital-based or rehabilitation setting. See documented experience for additional information on meeting the Clinical Experience requirement. You cannot complete all of your clinical experience in a private practice! The most common error made by applicants is not fully meeting this requirement by November 1st!
  13. Filing of the Hunter College Graduate Admissions Online Application. The online application becomes available approximately August 15th.  You can use this link to access the application:  The application is available under the tab for programs that begin in the "Fall".  There is no tab for summer programs.  The deadline for all application materials is NOVEMBER 1ST, including transcripts and all clinical experience form(s).  Apply early!
  14. The TOEFL examination is required for applicants who have not earned a bachelor's degree in an English speaking country. We expect a score of at least 550 on the paper based; 79-80 on the Internet based; and 213 on the computer based examination. Contact the Educational Testing Service, Princeton, New Jersey for information on taking this examination. Their telephone number is 609-771-7100 or you may visit their web site at
  15. Students who have not completed all course prerequisites may be conditionally accepted for the incoming class; but all requirements must be met prior to the starting date of the program in early June. You may apply during the year you are completing your requirements. Indicate on the checklist what courses are completed and what is in progress, and submit student copies or scanned copies of transcripts before November 1st. We will expect updated transcripts after completion of each semester once the application is submitted. DO NOT WAIT TO SUBMIT TRANSCRIPTS UNTIL AFTER FALL GRADES ARE POSTED.
  16. The GRE is required and scores must be forwarded to the Hunter College Graduate Admissions Office. Their code number  for the GRE's is 2301.  We do accept scores from the previous version of the GRE (before the Fall of 2011).  If you are first taking the exam this Fall, be sure to indicate when you have taken the GRE's and be sure we get the scores sent to the Admissions Office ASAP.  We do not have a specific cutoff score required for being considered for admission.  For information on the GRE, go to  
  17. Payment of the application fee is required. 

Meeting these minimum requirements does not guarantee acceptance to the program, which is based, by necessity, on the limitations of space and resources. The Hunter College Physical Therapy Program is dedicated to equal opportunity for all applicants who meet admission requirements. Please read the section below which describes our acceptance process.

What type of bachelor's degree should you get?

We are often asked for advice on what type of bachelor's degree an applicant should earn. It makes no difference what your undergraduate degree is, as long as you are completing our prerequisites. You may pursue a bachelor's degree (BA or BS) in a major that suites your interests and is related to working with people and/or is related to health care. Our philosophy is for you to obtain a marketable undergraduate degree in an area of interest. This degree, coupled with a DPT degree upon completion of our program, will give you great credentials for working in any area of Physical Therapy and health care in the future.

Trimester Schools & Quarter Hour Credits

Schools that use the trimester calendar award quarter hour credits for courses. One quarter credit equals 0.7 semester credits. If a course was 4 quarter credits, then it is equal to 2.7 semester credits, if the course was 5 quarter credits, then it is equal to 3.3 semester credits.  The online application asks you to list information about each prerequisite, but only leaves two lines for each science course.  Therefore, since you took three trimesters of these courses, the admissions offices suggests you try to fit two of the courses in one slot and indicate two separate trimesters. 

Recently, we have reviewed transcripts of students who have taken courses in institutions not accredited. These courses will not be accepted as equivalent to Hunter College courses, and will not be accepted as helping to meet the number of credits required for earning a bachelor's degree or as counting toward our prerequisites. Even if another U.S. college accepts those credits, we will not. For example, if you have taken 30 credits abroad or in the U.S. within a non-accredited institution, these credits will not be accepted as meeting the minimum of 120 credits to have earned a bachelor's degree, even if you were granted a bachelor's degree by another college in the U.S. Be sure the credentials you are paying for are valid elsewhere.

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