2019-20 Applicants

University of California, San Francisco/San Francisco State University

Contact Information more...

Sondra Morishima
Admissions and Student Affairs Specialist
UCSF/SFSU Graduate Program in Physical Therapy
1500 Owens St., Suite 400
Box 0736
San Francisco CA, 94143
(415) 514-6774

General Information

PT program start date for entering class
Dual-degree programs offered in conjunction with PT degree
DPT/PhD in Rehabilitation Science: The PhD in Rehabilitation Science program is a traditional PhD program that educates future scientists who will lead research investigations in academia and industry. DPT 2nd year students may apply to the PhD program and, if accepted, can take courses or lab work toward the completion of the PhD during their DPT 3rd year. Upon completion of the DPT degree, the students join the PhD program full-time. Graduates are awarded both the DPT and PhD degrees.
Additional information about the class profile
UCSF and SFSU share a mission to educate physical therapists who are representative of California's diverse population. We value the various dimensions and history of each applicant that bring a unique life perspective and have the potential to contribute to the UCSF/SFSU learning community.

For the Class entering 2018, 20% of our students identify as two or more ethnicities or races.

For the Class entering 2019, we anticipate a distribution of 15% Hispanic, 8% African American/Black, 38% Asian, 40% White. 15% of the students identify as two or more ethnicities or races.

Incoming Class Profile

Size of most recent entering class
Anticipated size of next entering class
% of IN-STATE applicants accepted
% of Class Taken via Early Decision Process


% Male
% Female
% Declining to State

Race / Ethnicity

% Hispanic
% Asian
% African-American/Black (Non-Hispanic)
% Hawaiian/Pacific Islander
% White (Not of Hispanic Origin)

Program Description more...

One of the top ranked programs in the nation, the Entry-­level Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) degree is a 3­-year joint program with University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) and San Francisco State University (SFSU). The program runs for 36 continuous months beginning in June and includes 34 weeks of full­-time clinical experiences. The DPT program is designed to prepare scholarly clinicians, educators, collaborative clinical researchers, administrative managers, and community leaders. UCSF’s physical therapy program has maintained continuous accreditation status since the inception of its certificate program in 1942, and the program has been jointly offered with SFSU since 1989.

The program accepts 50 DPT students each year. Our students come from varied academic and cultural backgrounds and experiences. Students' baccalaureate majors range from business to anthropology, exercise science, psychology, English, kinesiology, and many more. The program also participates in numerous outreach events targeted to underrepresented populations in the physical therapy profession. Diversity in the student body strengthens the program and reflects on our constantly changing world.

The curriculum is built on a strong theoretical foundation in basic, medical and applied sciences. Critical thinking and clinical reasoning skills are developed within an integrated program that prepares students to work collaboratively with patients across the lifespan to improve health and wellness, address disability challenges, and optimize function. Learning in the program encompasses team­-based activities, self-­directed learning, and inquiry­-driven and case­-based formats, ensuring that students are developing the lifelong learning skills required of physical therapy providers.

All students participate in a course sequence throughout the program that addresses concepts related to professionalism, such as: accountability, compassion and humility, professional excellence, social responsibility, and working relationships. Students participate in an interprofessional education curriculum that brings learners from medicine, nursing, pharmacy, dentistry, and physical therapy together at key points throughout the three years of the program.

The full-­time faculty student ratio is one faculty member to 11 students, which is an impressive ratio for physical therapy programs. Many of the core faculty members are active clinicians who provide care at a range of sites, including the UCSF Outpatient Faculty Practice, UCSF Health & Wellness Center, UCSF Medical Center, and SFSU Student Health Center. In addition, the program offers additional instructors who teach in their areas of expertise. More than 200 guest lecturers, lab assistants, practical exam proctors, teaching assistants, and standardized patients volunteer their time and expertise to the program.

Housed within the UCSF School of Medicine, we are the only program in the State of California to be located within a medical school. As a result, our faculty and students have access to state-­of-­the-­art facilities at both the UCSF and SFSU campuses for physical therapy education. The program utilizes combined lecture and laboratory spaces that allow courses to easily switch between educational formats. Additionally, the program has access to a state-of-the-art Anatomy Learning Center, Simulation Centers, a Clinical Skills Center, hospital room set-ups, and classroom spaces that can accommodate lecture and small group discussions.

Our program is located in the heart of San Francisco, with easy access to world-­renowned medical facilities, including the UCSF Medical Center, UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital San Francisco, UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital Oakland, Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital and Trauma Center, San Francisco Veterans Affairs Medical Center, UCSF Orthopaedic Institute, and the UCSF Outpatient Physical Therapy Faculty Practice. Each of these sites is used for clinical and academic instruction.

Graduates excel in the National Licensing Examination and are considered top applicants for positions in physical therapy practice.

Outcomes of this program include a 3­-year average of 98% graduation rate, 97% first-­attempt pass rate on the National P.T. Licensing Examination, and 100% employment rate for graduates of the program.

UCSF has more than 3,300 students enrolled in professional and degree programs, 1,500 clinical residents or fellows and 1,000 postdoctoral scholars. UCSF’s Graduate Division has 19 PhD programs and 11 master’s programs and includes the PhD program in Rehabilitation Science and the UCSF/SFSU Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT). The UCSF Department of Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation Science is also home to Orthopedic Physical Therapy Residency and Acute Care Physical Therapy Residency programs.

SF State has more than 26,000 undergraduate students and over 3,000 post baccalaureate/ graduate students. SF State awards doctoral degrees for a Doctor of Education (EdD) in Educational Leadership, PhD in Education with a concentration in special education, jointly with UC Berkeley, and Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) jointly with UCSF.

Application Deadlines

PTCAS application deadline
Deadline type
Program has rolling admissions process?
Important dates

*APPLY EARLY! It can take up to 4-5 weeks for PTCAS to process and verify your application after it's been submitted*

July 5, 2019:  PTCAS and UCSF Supplemental Applications open.

* READ the PTCAS instructions and UCSF/SFSU program requirements!

* Create a new PTCAS application account and a UCSF Supplemental Application account

* Check the box authorizing PTCAS to release your name and contact information prior to e-submitting your application

* Select UCSF/SFSU as one of your school designations

* Configure your email account to ensure messages from the following email addresses do not get filtered into your Spam/Junk Mail folders:

1. noreply@ptcas.org

2. donotreply@webadmit.org

3. PTadmissions@ucsf.edu


• Complete the "Institutions Attended" section first by listing every institution you attended

• Print the PTCAS Transcript Matching Form for each United States institution attended

• Arrange for your official transcripts to be sent to PTCAS with the request form enclosed

• Enter ALL of your US college courses using personal copies of your transcripts. Do not enter your courses from memory

September 15, 2019:

**UCSF Supplemental Application Due if paying by check or requesting a fee waiver** 

If you are paying by check, the UCSF Graduate Division must confirm receipt of the payment before you will be able to submit the application. The Graduate Division will notify you of the status of your payment by e-mail and when you will be able to submit the application. The option must be entered into your UCSF Supplemental Application and checks must be postmarked no later than September 15.

Applicants are strongly encouraged to pay electronically by credit card if possible.

If you are requesting a fee waiver, your application for a waiver of the UCSF Supplemental Application fee will be reviewed by the UCSF Graduate Division, and you will be notified via e-mail of the outcome. You will not be able to submit the application until the UCSF Graduate Division has determined and notified you of the status of your request for an application fee waiver. Fee waiver requests must be entered into your UCSF Supplemental Application by no later than September 15.

October 1, 2019: PTCAS & UCSF Supplemental Application Deadline (11:59pm EST for PTCAS & 11:59 PST for UCSF Supplemental)


Login to your PTCAS application and select the STATUS menu option to check the real-time status of your:

1. Official transcripts

2. References/Letters of Recommendation (3 letters, at least 1 must be from a licensed PT)

3. Official GRE scores (Sent to code #7591)

4. Verified PT Clinical Observation Hours (At least 100 observation hours must be electronically verified.)

Please refer to the admissions timeline posted on our webpage for more information. 

Early Decision

Program participates in PTCAS Early Decision?


Deposit Required
Deposit Amount Required for Accepted Applicants
Additional Information about Deposit
Deposit will be applied towards fall registration fees.
Due Date of First Required Deposit


Program conducts interviews as part of the admissions process?
Additional information about Interviews
Applicants advancing to the next round in the admissions process are invited for a two-day interview weekend in January or February. This is an important part of the admissions process to enable a holistic review of the applicants' strengths and for applicants to become familiar with the joint UCSF/SFSU DPT program so that they can make the best decision for their career in Physical Therapy.


GPA Scores
AVERAGE GPA score for accepted students
Overall Undergraduate Cumulative
Program-specific Prerequisite
Additional information about program's GPA requirements
All grades including grades from repeated coursework are included in the GPA calculations.

Graduate Record Examination (GRE)

Is GRE Required?
Program's PTCAS GRE code
Last acceptable GRE test date for this cycle
Oldest GRE test date considered for this cycle
GRE Scores
MINIMUM GRE score considered
AVERAGE GRE score for accepted students
Verbal reasoning % score
Quantitative reasoning % score
Analytical writing scaled score
Additional information about program's GRE requirements
All applicants must take the Graduate Record Examinations (GRE) General Test. Scores must be no more than five years old. In order to be competitive, we recommend applicants score at the 50th percentile on both the verbal and quantitative reasoning sections of the GRE exam. A score of 4.0 on the analytical writing section is also suggested. Applicants are encouraged to retake the exam if they score below the recommended minimums. If an applicant submits multiple GRE scores, the overall best score from each section is counted.

Scores must be sent to GRE code #7591 U CA San Francisco Physical Therapy. DO NOT send scores to institution codes UCSF 4840 or SFSU 4684.

GRE scores sent to codes other than #7591 will not be counted!

Applicants must take the GRE exam and request for scores to be submitted to code 7591 before the application deadline. Any scores sent after the deadline are not guaranteed to be evaluated as a part of the application. Scores are considered in conjunction with other criteria in assessing the applicant's potential for success in the program.

Observation Hours

All applicants must be able to demonstrate some understanding of the physical therapy profession, which is demonstrated by completing a minimum of 100 hours of paid or volunteer experience in a variety of physical therapy settings (e.g. outpatient, inpatient).

Experiences must be under the direct supervision of a licensed physical therapist, and must be completed and verified by the application deadline. Extensive clinical experience, while valuable, will not overcome a weak academic record. Clinical experiences are documented in the PTCAS application.

The program prefers to receive electronic PT observation hour forms verified via the PTCAS application.
Program's PT hours requirement
PT hours are required - a licensed PT must verify hours w/ signed form uploaded or online via PTCAS
Total number of PT hours REQUIRED

Supplemental/Upload Requirements

Supplemental FEE required?
Supplemental fee amount
Supplemental APPLICATION required?
Supplemental MATERIALS required?
Link to supplemental forms or instructions
Applicant must send one reference from this SPECIFIC type of evaluator
Applicant must send reference from ONE OR MORE evaluators in category to fulfill program's requirements
Evaluator type ACCEPTED
Evaluator type NOT accepted

Evaluator Types

Physical Therapist
Physical Therapist (additional)
Professor in Major
Teaching Assistant
Pre-PT Advisor
Health Care Professional
Family Member
Number of references required by program
Additional information about program's reference requirements
Letters of recommendation are required from three individuals who personally know you and your abilities well. At least one recommendation must be from a licensed physical therapist. Instructors of basic science coursework, health professionals, or employers are suggested for other letters of recommendation. Letters must be submitted through the PTCAS application by the program's application deadline.

Foreign Applicants and Transcripts

Citizenship types eligible for admission U.S. citizens
  • U.S. citizens
  • U.S. permanent residents
  • Canadian citizens
  • Foreign (non-U.S.) citizens with a visa
  • Foreign (non-U.S.) citizens
  • Other non-citizens (e.g., refugees)
Non-native speakers must submit official TOEFL scores?
Program policy for non-U.S. (foreign/international) coursework
Send WES foreign transcript evaluation to PTCAS
Program policy for CANADIAN coursework
  • Send original Canadian transcript to PTCAS
Additional information about program's policy on foreign coursework
Please review the International Applicants page of our website for more information:


After you select the program and enter your coursework on the application, you may be required to match your courses to the program's course prerequisites in the "Prerequisites" tab of the "Program Materials" section.
General information
All required prerequisites listed below must be completed prior to enrollment. No prerequisite course may be taken on a Pass/No Pass basis. Applicants may have no more than two outstanding prerequisite courses left to complete at the time of application. Anatomy and Physiology may not be outstanding at the time of application.The Admissions Committee considers final grades when evaluating academic performance and determining an applicant’s suitability for the program. If an applicant does not have the majority of his/her prerequisite course grades available at the time of application, it is difficult for the Admissions Committee to determine the applicant’s potential for success in academics. Competitive applicants meet or exceed the stated minimum requirements. Please see http://ptrehab.ucsf.edu for more information.

Program may accept or require other courses not shown.
Bachelor's degree required prior to matriculation into PT program?
Anatomy and/or Physiology (A&P) course prerequisites MUST be completed in biology, neuroscience, anatomy, or integrated physiology department
Link to program's prerequisite instructions
Abnormal Psychology
Contemporary theories of and approaches to psychological dysfunction and disabilities. Prerequisite: General Psychology.
Course Level
General or College
Lab Required
Not Required
SH: 3
QH: 4
Acceptable Courses
  • Psychology: Abnormal
Human anatomy with dissection or prosection laboratory. Laboratory courses utilizing human cadaver specimens are recommended. Comparative Mammalian Anatomy or a combined Anatomy/Physiology course is acceptable only if Human Anatomy is not available. The combined Anatomy/Physiology course must be a full year of study.
Course Level
General or College
Lab Required
SH: 3
QH: 4
Acceptable Courses
  • A&P: COMBINED Course (eg, A&P)
  • A&P: SEPARATE courses
  • A&P: Comparative
  • A&P: Human
Biology / Biological Science
General microbiology with basic concepts of microbiology or one of the following upper division biology courses: Genetics, Cell Biology, Vertebrate Histology, Biochemistry, Cell Physiology, Histology, Immunology, Medical Microbiology, Molecular Biology, Neurobiology, Neuroscience, Pathogenic Bacteriology, Stem Cell Biology, Virology. Note, an introductory biology course is also required, and should be listed separately in PTCAS.
Course Level
Upper Division
Lab Required
SH: 3
Acceptable Courses
  • Biology: Advanced
  • Biology: Cell
  • Biology: Genetics
  • Biology: Histology
  • Biology: Immunology
  • Biology: Microbiology
  • Biology: Molecular
Chemistry I
Lower division general chemistry with laboratory for chemistry majors, science majors or pre-medical students. In-person lab required. Online course are not accepted for the laboratory portion of this prerequisite.
Course Level
General or College
Lab Required
SH: 4 or 5
Acceptable Courses
  • Chemistry: Inorganic
Chemistry II
Lower division general chemistry with laboratory for chemistry majors, science majors or pre-medical students. In-person lab required. Online courses are not accepted for the laboratory portion of this prerequisite.
Course Level
General or College
Lab Required
SH: 4 or 5
Acceptable Courses
  • Chemistry: Inorganic
Physics I
Lower division physics with laboratory for physics majors, science majors or pre-medical students. In-person lab required. Online courses are not accepted for the laboratory portion of this prerequisite.
Course Level
General or College
Lab Required
SH: 4
Acceptable Courses
  • Physics I
Physics II
Lower division physics with laboratory for physics majors, science majors or pre-medical students. In-person lab required. Online courses are not accepted for the laboratory portion of this prerequisite.
Course Level
General or College
Lab Required
SH: 4
Acceptable Courses
  • Physics II
Human physiology with laboratory. A combined Anatomy/Physiology course is acceptable. The combined Anatomy/Physiology course must be a full year of study.
Course Level
General or College
Lab Required
SH: 4
Acceptable Courses
  • A&P: COMBINED Course (eg, A&P)
  • A&P: SEPARATE courses
  • A&P: Animal
  • A&P: Comparative
  • A&P: Human
This statistics course should include descriptive statistics and an introduction to inferential statistics (e.g., correlations, Chi square, t test, ANOVA).
Course Level
Lab Required
Not Applicable
SH: 3
QH: 4
Acceptable Courses
  • Biology: Biostatistics
  • Mathematics: Statistics
  • Psychology: Statistics