Admission Requirements

The first step in your career

Our program admits approximately 40 students each year. Admission is competitive. Successful candidates have completed the academic prerequisites and are prepared to undergo rigorous clinical preparation in a team-oriented environment.

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Admission requirements

Minimum requirements
  1. Admission into the Physical Therapy Program is highly competitive and the number of students who can be admitted each year is limited;  therefore, completion of all prerequisites and other requirements does not assure acceptance into the program.  Competitive applicants will be invited for an interview as part of the admission process.
  2. The Physical Therapy Program at Missouri State University, Springfield Campus, participates in the Physical Therapist Centralized Application Services (PTCAS).  Applicants applying to the program must apply online using the PTCAS application. To learn more about the PTCAS application process, please visit http://www.ptcas.org/. Application deadline is October 1 (all application documents must be received by this date). Classes begin in May of each year.
    • Submit Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores to PTCAS.  No minimum score is required; however, scores among students are compared.  
    • Submit two letters of recommendation to PTCAS:  one from the applicant's undergraduate advisor at the institution where the majority of science courses were taken, and one from a licensed physical therapist.  
    • Complete all other requirements listed in PTCAS.
  3. A baccalaureate degree from an accredited college or university. The undergraduate major may be in any field, but students must have completed the prerequisites (or their equivalents) listed under “prerequisite courses”.
  4. A minimum overall GPA of 3.00 on a 4.00 scale.
  5. Ability to meet the technical standards of the program in order to successfully undertake the course of study (available upon request from the program).
  6. Verification observation experience is required in at least two (2) different areas of physical therapy specialty.
Program Requirements 

Physical Therapy students will be required to:

  1. Complete a yearly physical examination including a TB skin test or chest X-ray.  In addition, MMR, Hepatitis B, and other vaccinations are required. 
  2.  Have the capacity for performance of the technical standards (essential functions) and tasks required of a physical therapist.
  3. Pass periodic drug and alcohol screening and periodic criminal background checks (Missouri State Highway Patrol, Federal Bureau of Investigation, or other approved agency).  These program requirements are the result of health organizations' requirements for placement at their clinical sites.  Students will be financially responsible for security checks and drug/alcohol screens and for housing/transportation costs during clinical internships.  Students who do not pass the appropriate screenings may not be able to complete the program or practice professionaly.
  4. Maintain current professional liability insurance for the duration of the program.
  5. Maintain current health insurance for the duration of the program.
  6. Maintain current American Heart Association Basic Life Support Certification for the duration of the program.
  7. Maintain current membership in the American Physical Therapy Association for the duration of the program.
  8. Abide by the American Physical Therapy Association's Code of Ethics for the Physical Therapist (https://www.apta.org/uploadedFiles/APTAorg/About_Us/Policies/Ethics/CodeofEthics.pdf) and Guide for Professional Conduct (http://www.apta.org/uploadedFiles/APTAorg/Practice_and_Patient_Care/Ethics/GuideforProfessionalConduct.pdf).
  9. Abide by the policies and procedures for physical therapy students that are explained in the Handbook for Physical Therapy Students at Missouri State University.  This handbook may be found online.
Academic and Clinical Standards

The Physical Therapy program enforces high academic standards and ethical behaviors.  To remain in the program, students must earn a “C” or better in all academic courses or a pass when pass/not pass grading is used.  A student who earns a “D” or “F” in any academic course in the curriculum, or receives more than 12 semester hours of “C” will be dismissed from the program.  A student who earns a failing mark in a clinical internship may be dismissed from the program.