Physical Therapy Program

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

Information sessions will be held on select dates from June to January and can be accessed here. Family and friends are encouraged to attend.

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

The Charleston Southern University DPT Program encourages everyone to apply and supports an inclusive admissions criterion while we reserve the right to give preference to CSU graduates. Applicants will be considered diverse should they have one or more of the following criteria: 1) racial and/or ethnic minority group, 2) foreign language proficiency, 3) advanced degree, 4) veteran status and 5) first-generation college graduate.

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 400 applications are submitted annually to each physical therapy school.

PTCAS will be available starting in June, one year prior to anticipated enrollment. We will review applications and offer invitations to our on-campus information sessions. These sessions will be in June, August, September, October, and January.

Yes, we will have a rolling admissions cycle. 

No, applicants are required to apply through PTCAS.

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 = 150, quantitative = 150, and analytical writing = 3.8. 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.

No. We will host on-campus information sessions on select dates from June to January that can be accessed here. Family and friends are encouraged to attend.

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.

Please visit Cost & Aid for a comprehensive list of costs.

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.

The Pratt Family has established “The Pratt Family Physical Therapy Scholarship” in honor and support of Pratt Physical Therapy clinic located in Ladson, South Carolina. This scholarship is awarded to a well-rounded DPT student from a resident of the Tri-County area.

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).
  • State-of-the-art Health Science building.

Effective April 26, 2022, Charleston Southern University has been granted Candidate for Accreditation status by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (3030 Potomac Ave., Suite 100, Alexandria, Virginia 22305-3085; Phone: 703-706-3245; Email: If needing to contact the program directly, please call 843-863-7186 or email

Candidate for Accreditation is an accreditation status of affiliation with the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education that indicates the program may matriculate students in professional courses. Achievement of Candidate for Accreditation status does not assure that the program will be granted Initial 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 beginning clinical experiences at 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 (MMR): The student must provide documentation of 2 MMR vaccines given at least 28 days apart or a positive titer showing immunity (this can be from childhood). Students with two documented doses of MMR are not recommended to be serologically tested for immunity. However, if serological testing is completed and the student has a negative titer, the student will need to repeat the 2-shot series. You may be exempt from this requirement only if you are pregnant or trying to conceive, or you are allergic to eggs.
    • Tetanus-Diphtheria: The student must provide documentation of a single Tdap vaccination. If documentation of Tdap is not within the past 10 years, documentation of Tdap vaccine OR Td booster within 10 years is required to be uploaded.
    • Varicella (Chicken Pox): The student must provide evidence of varicella immunity in one of the following ways: 1) Documentation of 2 doses of varicella vaccine given at least 28 days apart (this can be from childhood) OR; 2) Laboratory evidence of immunity through a qualitative titer. PLEASE NOTE: If the student has a negative titer, the student will need to get 2 doses of varicella vaccine, 4 weeks apart and upload all documentation OR; 3) Verification of history of varicella or herpes zoster by a healthcare provider.
    • Hepatitis B: The student must provide documentation of 3 doses of vaccine.
    • TB Screening: All students are required to complete the Health Care Personnel Baseline Individual TB Risk Assessment Form annually.
      • If “Yes” is marked on any of the statements on the Health Care Personnel Baseline Individual TB Risk Assessment Form, the student should begin the process of completing a 2 step PPD and submit it to the DCE.
      • If the student has a history of positive PPDs, a clear chest x-ray will need to be completed before the start of the student’s first clinical experience and as required by clinical sites.
      • A negative Quantiferon TB Gold test will also be accepted in place of a 2-Step PPD.
      • Please note – many clinical sites require PPDs completed no more than 30 days before the rotation start date, so students may be required to complete additional PPD testing.
    • Annual Flu Shot: The student must provide documentation of the annual flu vaccination during the flu season (October 1- March 31, or dates defined by the CDC) while enrolled in DPT Program.
    • COVID-19:  The student must provide documentation of either one dose of the Johnson and Johnson vaccine or two doses of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines.
    • All students must also meet the SC State Law Immunization Requirements for health care workers per the health care industry standard:

We do not consider refunds after the seat deposit deadline of January 15th, 2024.

Applications will follow the PTCAS cycle, opening each year in summer, and remain open until the date we publish for closing. For the cohort beginning May 28, 2024, that closing date is March 1, 2024.

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