Physical Therapy Program

Health Science Building – PT Wing
9200 University Blvd., Charleston, SC 29406

For questions about the DPT program and any upcoming meetings, please contact the Department of Physical Therapy at

The Charleston Southern University Doctor of Physical Therapy program encourages everyone to apply and supports an inclusive admission criterion while we reserve the right to give preference to CSU graduates. Inclusive criteria suggests that we seek applicants from various cultures, with racial and ethnic diversity, first generation college graduates, those with foreign language proficiency, advanced degree, veteran status, and various/diverse religious backgrounds.

CSU is a private institution. We do not distinguish between in-state and out-of-state applicants.

Classes begin at the end of May.

The DPT program is 2½ years. The program begins at the end of May and finishes in December, 31 months later.

According to the most recent data from the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA), approximately 500 applications are submitted annually to each physical therapy school. Since this is our first year for accepting applications, we expect a much smaller number.

PTCAS will be available starting June 15th, 2021 to accept applications.  Please note, only qualified applicants who meet our admissions requirements are invited for interview.

Yes, we will have a rolling interview and admissions cycle. First cycle of interviews are scheduled for early Fall and will continue until all seats are filled.

No, applicants are required to apply through PTCAS.

Yes, PTCAS will open June 15th, 2021.

We accept a bachelor’s degree from any USDE regionally accredited institution, as long as you complete the specific course prerequisites. While the degree you choose will not affect your admissions process, some degrees encompass more prerequisites and better prepare you for PT school. These degrees include kinesiology, public health, biology, health science, and exercise science.

All applicants must earn a Baccalaureate degree, in any major/discipline, and complete prerequisites from an institution that is accredited by the US Department of Education (USDE). All prerequisite coursework must be awarded a letter or numeric grade and completed with a grade of “C” or higher. The following courses are required for matriculation into the DPT Program:

  • General Biology I&II with lab; or,
    • General Biology I and upper-level Biology related course (≥ 200 level course)
    • All biology courses must include a lab component
  • Human Anatomy and Physiology I&II, with lab; or,
    • Human Anatomy and Physiology with lab
  • General Chemistry I&II with lab
  • Physics I&II with lab
  • Statistics
  • Psychology
    • 1 course, beyond introductory level, that includes the study of behavioral, developmental, and/or abnormal psychology in adolescent and adulthood population.
  • Medical Terminology or an approved self-study course
Candidates may apply before completing all the prerequisite courses but must have a reasonable chance of completing all the requirements by the time of enrollment in the DPT program.
Any completed prerequisites are recommended to be completed within 10 years prior to the application deadline.

When transcripts show a course that has been repeated, the most recent grade will be used to calculate GPA.

The Department of Physical Therapy will not accept the following to satisfy prerequisite requirements for entry into the DPT program: survey courses, Advanced Placement (AP) credit, CLEP credit, exam credits, competency, testing, work experience. Medical Terminology is the only exception to this policy.

Only applicants that have met all minimum GPA requirements  and has application completed through PTCAS will be considered for the program.

There is no minimum to apply to the DPT Program. However, to be competitive, we recommend the following scores: verbal = 54th percentile, quantitative = 48th percentile, and analytical writing = 58th percentile. According to PTCAS, this is the most recent data for applicants accepted into a DPT program.

The GRE code for our school is 2904.

The highest score from each section will be used.

The GRE must be taken within five years of the application cycle opens.

No, it is recommended that you have an understanding of the physical therapy profession. This can be accomplished through observation, volunteer experience, and communication with other health care professionals. It is, also, recommended that you review the APTA website for any current topics/trends.

Yes. The most qualified applicants are invited for an interview.

The DPT program requires all students to produce research with faculty mentorship. Travel stipends are available for students that present their research at state or national meetings.

A variety of clinical experiences are available  in and around the Charleston area.  However, students may be required to attend full-time clinicals at a site outside of the Charleston area and will be responsible for all expenses related to such assignments.

If a student wishes to establish a new clinical site for the program, we are open to facilitating agreements with other facilities. The student should discuss the feasibility of this process with the Director of Clinical Education.

  • Cost for total tuition is $88,000 for the 31 month program*
  • Program and Lab Fees (year 1): $750
  • Program and Lab Fees (year 2): $750
  • One-time fee: $1,300

*Based on $11,000 paid at beginning of each of the 8 semesters.

** Estimated costs vary for students based on clinical site location.

Classes typically meet 8 a.m. – 5 p.m., Monday through Friday. The best opportunities for working are during the weekends and over breaks.

A limited number of assistantships are typically available to DPT students. Those selected for these positions are assigned to a faculty mentor to assist in his/her research and/or teaching. Graduate Assistants will be selected from interested students by individual faculty members based on availability and student’s prior performance in the curriculum. Additionally, a limited number of work study positions are available at the Writing Center.

The Department of Physical Therapy has established “The Charleston Southern University Department of Physical Therapy Service and Leadership Funded Scholarship.” This is awarded to DPT students that demonstrate outstanding service and leadership within the community and physical therapy profession.

Graduate students may be eligible for unsubsidized federal student loans. Information regarding federal student aid, including the application process, can be found at: Students may also apply for Graduate PLUS loans at


Students may also contact the Financial Aid Office at:

Charleston Southern University
Hunter Center
9200 University Blvd., Charleston, SC 29406
Phone: 843-863-7050 / 1-800-947-7474

All applicants are required to disclose any previous felony or misdemeanor convictions. A criminal record will not necessarily prevent an applicant from enrolling in our program. However, failure to disclose any past or pending changes may be grounds for immediate dismissal.

Several things make us unique and here’s why:

  • Students can graduate  in 2 1/2 years.
  • Our tuition is below the national average for private institutions.
  • Students can apply for a dual degree (MBA and DPT).
  • New state of the art Health Science Building.

Our university has been approved to offer the DPT degree by our regional accreditor, the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC). Our profession’s accreditor, CAPTE, does not permit a new program to begin instruction of students without first being evaluated for the program’s ability to provide a quality educational program in relation to established standards of quality, and requires us to provide you the information contained here:

Graduation from a physical therapist education program accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE), 3030 Potomac Ave., Suite 100, Alexandria, Virginia 22305-3085; phone; 703-706-3245; is necessary for eligibility to sit for the licensure examination, which is required in all states.

Charleston Southern University is seeking accreditation of a new physical therapist education program from CAPTE. The program is planning to submit an Application for Candidacy, which is the formal application required in the pre-accreditation stage, on or before December 1, 2021. Submission of this document does not assure that the program will be granted Candidate for Accreditation status. Achievement of Candidate for Accreditation status is required prior to implementation of the professional phase of the program; therefore, no students may be enrolled in professional courses until Candidate for Accreditation status has been achieved. Further, though achievement of Candidate for Accreditation status signifies satisfactory progress toward accreditation, it does not assure that the program will be granted accreditation.

The standard practice of the Program is to not accept credit transfers, from another university, in lieu of completing the required Program curriculum.

Immunization Requirements

The Department of Physical Therapy requires students to provide proof of the following immunizations prior to admittance to CSU. Each immunization must be dated and signed or stamped by a health care professional or office. Parental signatures are not acceptable.

  • Meningitis Vaccine: CSU recommends the meningitis vaccination for all students.
  • Measles, Mumps, Rubella: Two vaccine doses required and positive antibody titer for each – Measles, Mumps, Rubella. You may be exempt from this requirement only if (1) you are pregnant or trying to conceive, or (2) you are allergic to eggs.
  • Tetanus-Diphtheria: Primary series with DtaP or DTP and booster with Tdap in the last ten years meets requirements. Renewal documentation is required after 10 years.
  • Varicella (Chicken Pox): A positive Varicella antibody and two doses of vaccine given at least one month apart if immunized after age 13 years meets the requirement.
  • Hepatitis B: Three doses of vaccine and a positive Hepatitis surface antibody meets the requirement.
  • TB Skin (PPD) Test: Tine test (prong test) is not acceptable. If above TB skin test is equal to or greater than 10mm, a chest x-ray is required. If there is a history of a positive TB skin test, a chest x-ray within 6 months prior to enrollment is required. Thereafter, all students are required to be screened yearly for tuberculosis and must provide documentation to the Director of Clinical Education at the beginning of each academic year.
  • An annual flu shot is required each year during the flu season (October 1- March 31, or dates defined by the CDC) while enrolled in DPT program.
  • All students must also meet the SC State Law Immunization Requirements for health care workers per the health care industry standard.

Students will not begin the program until candidacy from CAPTE is achieved. In the unlikely event that candidacy would not be achieved, all students who have been accepted and deposited to begin the program in May 2022 will receive a full refund of their deposit.

Applications will follow the PTCAS cycle, opening each year in summer (approximately July 1), and remain open until the date we publish for closing. For the cohort beginning May 31, 2022, that closing date is April 15, 2022.

The $1,500 seat deposit is applied to your student account when you matriculate into the program.

CAPTE will perform an on-site visit for initial accreditation during the penultimate term that the charter class is enrolled, Fall 2024. The accreditation decision will be made at the next regularly scheduled meeting of CAPTE following the on-site visit. Ordinarily, the initial accreditation decision occurs prior to the graduation date; in some cases, it may occur within thirty (30) days after the graduation date.

Students are eligible to register for the NPTE to gain a license to practice physical therapy after completing all graduation requirements for the DPT Program. December graduates will be eligible to take the NPTE in January.

Minimum prerequisite GPA ≥ 3.0/4.0

Preferred cumulative GPA ≥ 3.0/4.0