Physical Therapy

School of Medicine and Health Sciences

Doctor of Physical Therapy (D.P.T.)
Location(s): Foggy Bottom - Main Campus

Program Overview

The D.P.T. program reflects the mission of The George Washington University's School of Medicine and Health Sciences:  teaching with creativity and dedication; healing with quality and compassion; and discovering with imagination and innovation.

Doctoral Program

The George Washington University’s Doctor of Physical Therapy (D.P.T.) program is an eight-semester full-time entry-level professional program that prepares graduates to examine, evaluate, diagnose, develop plans of care, provide interventions and assess outcomes for patients with a wide range of musculoskeletal, neuromotor, cardiopulmonary and integumentary dysfunctions. Students explore the legal and ethical aspects of patient care as well as issues of communication, patient education, health promotion, health policy and practice management.

The program is committed to the development of generalist practitioners prepared to practice autonomously; reflective practitioners who think critically and use best evidence to effectively solve problems; compassionate practitioners who demonstrate excellence in communication and interpersonal skills, a respect for individual and cultural differences, and the core values of the profession; and dedicated practitioners who value the tenets of lifelong learning. Small classes enable students to engage in critical thinking activities that facilitate effective clinical decision making and problem solving. Faculty members use innovative teaching strategies and integrate clinical experiences to facilitate learning and retention throughout the curriculum.

The D.P.T. [program is accredited by the Commission on the Accreditation of Physical Therapist Education (CAPTE) of the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA). Students are eligible to sit for the national licensing examination upon graduation.

Admission Requirements

Admission deadlines:

Fall - December 16

The application and all supporting documentation (fees, statement of purpose, letters of recommendation, transcripts, test scores) must be received by the deadline in order for the application to be reviewed.

The Doctor of Physical Therapy Program uses the online application system PTCAS (Physical Therapist Centralized Application Service). Please go to the PTCAS Web site to begin the application process. The fee for using PTCAS is based on the number of programs the applicant designates. A limited number of application fee waivers are available. Meeting PTCAS’ eligibility criterion for a fee waiver does not guarantee a waiver will be granted for supplemental application fees.

In addition to the PTCAS application, all applicants must submit a GW Supplemental Application to the Health Sciences Office of Admissions.

Standardized test scores:

The GRE is required for all applicants. Official GRE score reports must be received by the application deadline for an application to be considered for admission. The institution code for GW is 5246. 

Recommendations required:

Two (2) recommendations must be submitted with your PTCAS application.

Prior academic records:

Official transcripts from every college and university attended must be submitted directly to PTCAS. All transcripts must be submitted, whether or not a degree was earned.

All non-U.S. transcripts (including those in English) must be evaluated by World Education Services and submitted directly to PTCAS. 

Statement of purpose:

In an essay of 250 to 500 words, describe your reasons for undertaking study in the Health Sciences at The George Washington University. You should state your academic objectives, career plans, and related qualifications, including collegiate, professional, and community activities, as well as any other substantial accomplishments not already mentioned on the application form.

Additional Requirements:

Applicants to the program must have a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution.

Prerequisite course work includes the following:

  • Anatomy and Physiology (two semester sequence, or one semester of each; human focus preferred)
  • Physics (two semesters with lab)
  • Chemistry (two semesters with lab)
  • Biology (two semesters with lab)
  • English (two semesters: one composition, one literature)
  • Statistics (one semester; mathematical focus preferred)
  • Psychology (two semesters: must include psychology beyond the introductory level)

All science courses must be for science/health science majors.

All applicants are required to review the Technical Standards/Essential Functions for the Doctor of Physical Therapy Program and the Criminal Background Check and Drug Screening Policy before applying.

Note: Accepted applicants will be required to pay a non-refundable tuition deposit.

International applicants only:

Please review International Applicant Information carefully for details on required documents and English language requirements.

PLEASE NOTE that the Health Sciences programs require the following minimum English language test scores for admission:

  • Academic IETLS: an overall band score of 7.0 with no individual band score below 6.0; or
  • TOEFL: 600 on paper-based, 250 on computer-based, or 100 on Internet-based; or
  • PTE Academic: 68

Supporting Documents not Submitted Online should be Mailed to:
Office of Admissions
Health Sciences Programs
The George Washington University
2100 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Suite 300
Washington, DC 20037

Contact for Questions:
[email protected] ~ (202) 994-8528
202-994-0870 (fax)
9:00am - 5:00pm, Monday through Friday