The attached Bulletin will provide you with important information not contained on the website. Please take a few minutes to peruse its contents for a more thorough understanding of our DPT Program and what the Columbia University Medical Center campus has to offer its students. Program Bulletin 2015-2018




Full-time students are admitted to the program which starts in the fall semester of each year.  The Program invites applications from individuals who have or will have received by the time of enrollment a baccalaureate degree granted by a college or university of recognized standing.

Prerequisites for Admission

Course Work

Foundational Sciences  The following courses should be taken through the appropriate science department.
General Biology
(8 credits)
2 semester courses with laboratory. If College or University on a quarter system, a 3 part biology science sequence or 3 separate basic biology courses need to be completed.
Anatomy and Physiology (6-8 credits) 2 separate courses or 2 semesters of combined Anatomy & Physiology (lab recommended).
Upper divisional biology (3 credits) Considered a 300-400 level course for junior-senior standing. Kinesiology and Exercise Science majors can use either an Exercise Physiology, Motor Control or Motor Learning course to fulfill this prerequesite. All other undergraduate majors or students fulfulling prerequesites as post-baccalaureate candidates must take this course through an appropriate science department.
General Chemistry
(8 credits)

2 courses with laboratory
General Physics
(8 credits)
2 courses with laboratory
Behavioral Sciences
Psychology (6 credits) No preference as to psychology courses taken
Mathematical or Social Sciences  
Statistics (3 credits) Business or Economics statistics does not fulfill this requirement.
Humanities and Social Science
(15 credits)
5 courses that have been taken to fulfill graduation requirements.

At least 14 of the 17 prerequisite courses outlined above should be completed at the time of application. It is strongly recommended that all the biology science courses be completed by the December application deadline date.

Advanced placement credit cannot be used to fulfill prerequisite course work. The courses waived based on advanced credit do not need to be repeated but supplemental courses need to be taken. For example; advanced placement credit for Biology I and II can be fulfilled by taking any 2 biology courses such as Microbiology, Genetics, etc.

Applicants wishing to complete prerequesite courses on line must have approval by the Program's Admissions Committee prior to enrollment.

Standardized Tests

GRE General aptitude portion which includes verbal reasoning, quantitative reasoning and analytical writing.
TOEFL Required for international students who have graduated from a college or university where English was not the language of instruction.
Columbia University's English Placement Test
Can be substituted for the TOEFL

Information regarding the GRE can be obtained at
Columbia University code 7745, GRE code for PT 0619
Information on the TOEFL examination can be obtained at
Information on Columbia's English Placement Test found at

Volunteer or Work Related Experience
Minimum of 75 hours which can be completed at one facility or a combination of practice environments.
Letters of Recommendation 2 from academic sources; 1 from a physical therapist. It is recommend that an applicant still in school to earn a baccalaureate degree use a professor in his/her major as one of the academic references.
Resume Should be sent directly to the program as an email attachment c/o Mrs. Cynthia Worthington, Admissions Coordinator, at
Certification in Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) and First Aid Copies of the certificates can be scanned and sent directly to Mrs. Worthington at the above email address.
Interview Required if found to be competitive for admissions consideration

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The primary requirement for admission into the DPT program is the applicant's ability, as judged by the program's Admissions Committee, to successfully complete the 3-year curriculum. Applicants who are admitted into the program have strong academic records as evidenced by their cumulative and science grade point averages, their breadth and depth of science background and their demonstrated consistency of undergraduate academic performance. A firm and clear commitment to physical therapy is another criterion for admission as manifested by work or volunteer experience. Qualities such as maturity and effective interpersonal relationships, as ascertained from the letters of recommendation and the personal interview are important admissions criteria.

An applicant who receives a provisional acceptance on the basis of course work still in progress must satisfactorily complete all outstanding courses prior to matriculation. All students must submit a final transcript that indicates the receipt of the baccalaureate degree.

The Program in Physical Therapy reserves the right to rescind an acceptance offer if the above are not completed by the start of program classes.

Columbia University is a private university. No preference is given to in-state versus out-of-state residents. Every applicant is considered individually with regard to suitability for graduate study and expectation of scholarly attainment.


All applicants who meet the minimal prerequisites will be considered on an individual basis. Applicants found to be competitive are invited for interview, which lasts the entire day. The interview process serves a dual purpose:

1. It provides a realistic evaluation of eligibility for admission into the program as it assess personality, clarity of thought, strength of academic background, quality of related clinical and work experience, and knowledge of the profession.

2. It gives the applicant an opportunity to learn more about the program's teaching and learning philosophy and to spend time with faculty and enrolled students to appraise the program in terms of meeting personal and professional growth.

During the regular admission process, the program uses a rolling admissions format and applicants are notified of their acceptance status within 1-week post-interview. Interviews can begin as early as November but for the majority of applicants, interviews are held during January and February, on either a Friday or Saturday. A full class is accepted by March 1.


What are competitive GPAs and GRE test scores?
Students are admitted into the program with a range of cumulative grade points from 2.75 - 4.00. The same range has been reflected in the science grade point average.

An average GRE score is 152 (53% rank) for the verbal and 152 (52%) for the quantitative portions of the exam and 4.0 (49%) for the Analytical Writing. Applicants may retake the GRE. Scores are not averaged but the Admissions Committee will consider one set of scores, from one testing date, which provides the highest point totals.

Do you take into consideration steady improvement of the undergraduate GPA or GPA based on courses taken as a post-baccalaureate student to fulfill missing prerequisites?
The Admissions Committee realizes that some prospective students start their undergraduate education with an average performance but improve their grade point average as they advance into their major area of study. This may not deter acceptance as the Committee takes into account academic maturity with an increasing grade point average as the applicant progresses from freshman through senior year.

Should I
repeat courses in the science prerequisites to achieve higher grades?
Prospective students who repeat courses will have the initial grade for the course and the repeat grade averaged to obtain a final course grade. To enhance the science grade point it is recommend that applicants continue to take additional courses, preferably in the upper divisional biological sciences, which is evaluated favorably by the Admissions Committee.

What types of courses fulfill the prerequesites of Humanities and Social Sciences?
These courses cover a broad range of subjects that most institutions require as partial fulfillment of the baccalaureate degree. Courses may include, but are not limited to: anthropology, communications, history, law, political science, economics, government, psychology, sociology, classics, literature, philosophy, religion, art history.

I am a foreign student and have earned a bachelorís degree in physical therapy. Can I apply to the program?

No, Columbia University's program is an entry-level program for individuals seeking their first degree in physical therapy. The program cannot accept applicants with a physical therapy degree wishing to enhance their credentials to the DPT. It is recommended that the applicant go to the American Physical Therapy Association web site at and look for those programs that offer the post-professional DPT degree.


A criminal background check is NOT REQUIRED for acceptance.

In compliance with the drug testing policy established by Columbia University Medical Center, program students are required to undergo drug screening prior to beginning their first clinical education experience. This policy is intended to offer a proactive approach by providing early identification and intervention before the consequences of substance abuse adversely impact a student's health, care of patients, or employability. The policy emphasizes the importance of student confidentiality, and employs intervention and treatment rather than formal disciplinary action, sanctioning or documentation upon a student's academic record. The drug testing policy is implemented through the Student Health Service in partnership with Sterling Infosystems, Inc., who is also responsible for all pre-employment drug testing for Columbia University Medical Center employees. Students are tested in the spring or summer of Year I prior to the start of Clinical Education I in the fall of Year II.

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