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

We are looking for well-rounded applicants who will help us achieve our mission statement as a department. Preferential consideration is offered to the following applicants: CSU graduates, veteran/active military service members, students who demonstrate proficiency in any foreign language, students with an active medical license, and/or an advanced degree.

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

Classes begin in mid-May.

The DPT program is 2½ years. The program begins in mid-May and finishes in December, 31 months later.

According to the most 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.

Applications will be accepted starting July 2021 on the CSU website. Applicants should have their materials submitted with ALL supporting documents before December 1, 2021. Please note, only qualified applicants who meet our admissions requirements are invited for interview.

No. Interviews are only held once.

We do not have a supplemental application or additional fee to apply to the program.

Due to PTCAS policy, the inaugural cohort must apply directly to CSU. Applications for subsequent years can be submitted directly to PTCAS.

We accept a bachelor’s degree from any 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 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, 8 semester hours with lab
  • Human Anatomy and Physiology I&II, 8 semester hours with lab course; or,
    • Human Anatomy and Physiology (4 semester hours each, with labs)
  • General Chemistry I&II, 8 semester hours with lab
  • Physics I&II, 8 semester hours with lab
  • Statistics, 3 semester hours
  • Abnormal Psychology, 3 semester hours
  • 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 must 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 prerequisite GPA. We will not accept courses that have been repeated more than once. A maximum of two courses can be repeated.

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 meet all prerequisite requirements 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 5079.

The highest score from each section will be used.

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

The Department of Physical Therapy requires that you accumulate at least 100 hours of experience under the direct supervision of a licensed physical therapist. It is recommended that you acquire these hours in a variety of settings.

  • Acceptable areas of experience:
  • Hospital
  • Outpatient Clinic
  • Inpatient Clinic
  • Skilled Nursing Facility
  • Assisted Living Facility
  • School Systems
  • Medical Centers
  • Home Health Care Agencies
  • Unacceptable forms of patient care experience include:
  • Administrator, Business Manager, or Receptionist for PT or medical Office
  • Athletic Trainer (unless dual licensed as a PT)
  • Occupational Therapy (unless dual licensed as a PT)
  • Chiropractor (unless dual licensed as a PT)
  • Massage Therapist
  • Personal/Group Fitness Trainer
  • Exercise Physiologist
  • Inpatient Patient Transport or Orderly
  • Medical Interpreter
  • Research Assistant
  • Nanny or Babysitter
  • Home Care Provider (unless direct supervision by a licensed PT)
  • Physical therapy received as a patient
  • Supervision by a PTA

Yes. The most qualified applicants are invited for an on-campus 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.

All integrated clinical experiences will be located 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*
  • University fees: $500/year
  • Criminal background check and drug screen: $100/year
  • APTA Membership: $100/year
  • Clinical Education: $3500-$5000**
  • Technology fee: $400

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

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

The Department of Physical Therapy strongly discourages any form of employment while enrolled as a DPT student. Classes typically meet 8 a.m. – 5 p.m., Monday through Friday. However, in today’s world of increasing educational costs, some students may need to work. 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. Our program will also require annual criminal background checks and drug screens to verify an individual’s suitability to participate in clinical education experiences, confirm student’s eligibility for licensure, and ensure patient safety.

We have excellent faculty, a new state-of-the-art health science building, including dedicated research space. We have several service-learning opportunities where students can work with pro bono (free care) medical clinics to provide services to people in the community.

Graduation from a physical therapist education program accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE), 1111 North Fairfax Street, Alexandria, VA  22314; 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.