This is an archive of the 2015-2016 University Catalog.
To access the most recent version, please visit

This is an archive of the 2015-2016 University Catalog.
To access the most recent version, please visit


Program: D.P.T., Physical Therapy


The Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) degree prepares students for licensure as physical therapists. The program requires three academic years and three summers to complete. Full-time enrollment is necessary, including the summers. All students must maintain a GPA of 3.0 or higher throughout the program. To be eligible for licensure, both the didactic and clinical components of the DPT degree must be successfully completed.

Students are required to commute to affiliating hospitals and clinics for some professional courses, and some form of transportation is necessary. Students are also required to provide their own uniforms.

The Doctor of Physical Therapy program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education.

Program Requirements

A. Requirements for Admission to the DPT Program

  1. Completion of a bachelor’s degree prior to enrollment in the program.
  2. Admission to graduate studies at CSUN.
  3. Completion of all prerequisite courses or approved substitutions prior to enrollment with a minimum grade of “C” and a minimum GPA of 3.0.
  4. Completion of the Graduate Examination (GRE) prior to filing the application.
  5. The applicant must score at the 50th percentile or higher on at least one area of the GRE if the undergraduate cumulative GPA is less than 3.0.
  6. The applicant must achieve a 3.0 or better on the analytical writing component of the GRE as the direct assessment of writing for the doctoral program. 

B. The following criteria are reviewed by the Selection Committee:

  1. Academic success as reflected by performance in required prerequisites (GPA 3.0 minimum; a “C-” grade or below is not accepted), and performance in undergraduate coursework.
  2. Three letters of recommendation, with at least one from a physical therapist.
  3. Validation of relevant experience (minimum of 200 documented work/volunteer hours). At least two-thirds of validated hours must be in a physical therapist-supervised setting.
  4. GRE (Graduate Record Examination).

Meeting the above criteria does not guarantee acceptance into the DPT program.

The DPT program begins in the Fall semester. The initial filing period to the University and the Physical Therapist Centralized Application Service (PTCAS) is the previous Fall. The deadline for submitting the supplementary application to the PTCAS for the Doctor of Physical Therapy program is October 1. Applicants are notified by the end of November.

C. Prerequisite Courses

The following courses or approved substitutions (taken at CSUN or another regionally accredited college or university) must be successfully completed prior to enrollment in classes:

CSUN Course

BIOL 101/L General Biology and Lab (3/1)
BIOL 211 Human Anatomy (2)
BIOL 212 Laboratory Studies in Human Anatomy (1)
BIOL 281 Human Physiology (3)
BIOL 282 Lab Experiments in Human Physiology (1)
CHEM 101/L General Chemistry I and Lab (4/1)
CHEM 102/L General Chemistry II and Lab (4/1)
HSCI 390/L Biostatistics and Lab (3/1) (or Statistics)
PHYS 100A/AL General Physics I and Lab (3/1)
PHYS 100B/BL General Physics II and Lab (3/1)
PSY 150 Introduction to Psychology (3) (or General or Developmental Psychology)
PSY 310 Abnormal Psychology (3)

1. Required DPT Courses (111 units)

a. Courses (108 units)

PT 700/L Applied Human Anatomy for Physical Therapists I and Lab (2/2)
PT 702/L Applied Biomechanics for the Physical Therapist I and Lab (2/1)
PT 703/L Applied Biomechanics for the Physical Therapist II/Lab (2/1)
PT 704/L Applied Physiology and Physiological Assessment and Lab (4/1)
PT 706 Applied Neuroscience (4)
PT 708 Pathophysiology (3)
PT 710 Physical Therapy Management I (2)
PT 711/L Physical Therapy Management II and Lab (2/1)
PT 712/L Electrotherapeutics and Lab (2/1)
PT 720/L Musculoskeletal Practice Management I and Lab (3/2)
PT 730/L Musculoskeletal Practice Management II and Lab (2/2)
PT 732/L Neurologic Practice Management I and Lab (2/2)
PT 733/L Neurologic Practice Management II and Lab (2/2)
PT 734/L Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Practice Management and Lab (3/1)
PT 740/L Musculoskeletal Practice Management III and Lab (2/1)
PT 742/L Pediatric Practice Management and Lab (2/1)
PT 744 Geriatric Practice Management (2)
PT 750 Evidence-Based Physical Therapy Practice I (2)
PT 752A Evidence-Based Physical Therapy Practice II (2)
PT 752B Evidence-Based Physical Therapy Practice III (2)
PT 752C Supervised Doctoral Project (1/1)
PT 760 Professional Practice I (2)
PT 770 Pharmacological Interventions (2)
PT 771 Lifespan Sciences (3)
PT 772/L Pathological Gait and Functional Movement Analysis and Lab (1/1)
PT 773 Medical Imaging (2)
PT 774 Medical Screening (2)
PT 775/L Orthotics and Prosthetics and Lab (2/1)
PT 776 Integrated Patient Management (2)
PT 778/L Topics in Therapeutic Exercise, Wellness, and Health and Lab (2/1)
PT 780 Professional Practice II (2)
PT 790 Clinical Practice I (1)
PT 792 Clinical Practice II (1)
PT 794/I Clinical Education and Clinical Internship I (1/3)
PT 796/I Clinical Education and Clinical Internship II (2/4)
PT 798/I Clinical Education and Clinical Internship III (2/4)

b. Culminating Experience (3 units)

PT 797 Directed Comprehensive Exam (3)

2. Electives (3 units)

Select at least 3 units from the following or other graduate courses as approved by an advisor:

PT 785A-Z Special Topics in Physical Therapy (3)
PT 799A Independent Study (1)
PT 799B Independent Study (2)
PT 799C Independent Study (3)

Total Units Required for the D.P.T. Degree: 114


Chair: Sheryl Low
Jacaranda Hall (JD) 1537
(818) 677-2203 

Graduate Coordinator: Peggy Roller
(818) 677-4684

Student Learning Outcomes

The Doctor of Physical Therapy program will foster professional leadership and advancements in physical therapy evidence-based practice, theory, research and education. After successful completion of the DPT curriculum, graduates will be prepared to:

  1. Demonstrate comprehension of the foundational sciences of anatomy, physiology, neurology and pathology for application to the physical therapy clinical setting.
  2. Communicate in a professional manner to a diverse population in classroom activities and in clinical settings.
  3. Practice in an independent and interdependent role in providing physical therapy services.
  4. Practice as a reflective and competent clinician whose clinical decision-making skills are guided by ethical practice standards.
  5. Apply the principles of evidence-based practice to clinical decision making.
  6. Analyze the research literature, formulate an expert clinical opinion on physical therapy practice and defend their position in written and oral form before the physical therapy community.