Application Requirements

The Duke University Doctor of Physical Therapy program receives over 1000 applications each year, and during the 2019 - 2020 application cycle we will accept 82 students to our program. Our curriculum is rigorous and rewarding; as a result, our students have a 99 percent licensure exam pass rate and a 100 percent employment rate after graduation.

Only full-time students are accepted and credits from other DPT programs cannot be transferred. North Carolina residence does not influence acceptance or tuition.

Currently, Duke DPT students represent 34 states in the United States and 7 countries.


Applications must be submitted through the Physical Therapy Centralized Application Service (PTCAS). Learn more about the application process.

Important dates

  • July 3: Applications open
  • August 15: Early decision application deadline

  • October 15: Application deadline


  • A baccalaureate degree from an accredited college or university at the time of matriculation (the college or university must be accredited by one of the accrediting agencies found here). A bachelor's degree in natural sciences is not required, however a strong background in natural science coursework is recommended.

  • Completion of all prerequisites prior to matriculation. See our prerequisites. All prerequisite courses must be completed at a college or university accredited by at least one of the accrediting agencies found here.

  • Three letters of recommendation, one each from:

    • A professor who has taught the applicant in a collegiate academic course and can attest to the applicant’s academic abilities. Letters from teaching assistants, lab instructors, academic advisors, and similar positions will NOT fulfill this requirement.

    • A licensed physical therapist the applicant has observed and/or worked with.

    • A person of the applicant’s choice. This can be a professor, physical therapist, academic advisor, teaching assistant, lab instructor, mentor, and similar positions. Letters from family members will not be accepted.

  • 100 verified physical therapy observation hours at the time of application. The Admissions Committee encourages applicants to observe in a variety of clinical settings and specialties.
  • The GRE must be taken within five years of application.  All GRE scores must be submitted to the Duke DPT PTCAS GRE code 5473.  If GRE scores are sent to any other code they will not be able to be retrieved.
  • Interview

International students

In addition to the requirements listed above, all international applicants (Canadian institutions included) must have their foreign transcripts evaluated by the World Education Service and have that evaluation submitted directly to the Physical Therapy Centralized Application Service (study abroad courses do not apply if they are listed on the USA-transcript).  Please note that the PTCAS transcript verification process can take 4-5 weeks.

Contact us

If you have questions regarding admissions after thoroughly reviewing our website, contact the Admissions Office via email, or by calling 919-668-5206.