Prior Degree Admission | Doctor of Physical Therapy

Prior degree applicants are reviewed in the competitive review process with Carroll students and submit their application through the Physical Therapist Centralized Application Service (PTCAS).
The DPT program encompasses three-years of professional graduate level study. Each new cohort begins the graduate DPT program in September.

Application Process

Applications will be accepted beginning in June. The priority deadline is November 1st and regular deadline is January 16th. All application materials and a verified PTCAS application must be received by Carroll by this date for consideration.

STEP 1: Complete the PTCAS Application to Carroll which includes the following:
  • Supplemental application fee of $50 Make your payment online
  • Observation Hours - Verified observations in at least two unique settings for a combined minimum of 16 hours is required. Practice settings include inpatient acute care, inpatient rehab/sub-acute rehab facility, nursing home facility/extended care, outpatient free-standing PT or hospital clinic, school/pre-school, industrial/occupational health, or home health.
  • Three Professional References - Examples include a college instructor, healthcare professional, supervisor, etc.
  • Resume
  • Safety and Technical Standards form
STEP 2: Submit Official GRE Record to PTCAS (PTCAS GRE Code 8829)

STEP 3: Submit PTCAS Application for verification. Please allow 4-6 weeks for verification. A verified PTCAS application is required for review. Early application is encouraged.

Academic Requirements

  • Cumulative GPA of 3.2 or higher (on a 4.0 scale) 
  • *Pre-Professional GPA of 3.2 or higher (on a 4.0 scale)
  • Pre-professional courses may be taken at any accredited University or college, including two-year campuses, and technical schools. A grade of “C” or higher is required for each pre-professional course. Advanced placement credits may fulfill prerequisites.
  • Pre-professional science courses must be completed within seven years of matriculation.
  • Biology, chemistry and physics prerequisites must be taken in a complete sequence, i.e. Anatomy and Physiology I with lab and Anatomy and Physiology II with lab.
  • A maximum of one pre-professional course may be repeated for a higher grade.
  • The DPT program uses the last grade awarded in the pre-professional science GPA calculations if a course was repeated.
  • No more than one pre-professional course may be outstanding at the time of application. All coursework must be complete by the end of the spring term. Pending courses completed in the fall term will be included in GPA calculations.
  • Courses identified with an asterisk are used to calculate the pre-professional science GPA (see the Carroll University catalog for course descriptions).
    • *Biology
      • Two semesters anatomy and physiology with labs or 2 general biology with labs (equivalent to Carroll's: ANP130 and ANP140 or BIO120 and BIO125)
    • *Chemistry
      • Two semesters general chemistry or college chemistry with labs (Equivalent to Carroll's: CHE101 and CHE102 or CHE109 and CHE110)
    • *Physics
      • Two semesters general physics with labs (Equivalent to Carroll's: PHY101 and PHY102 or PHY203 and PHY204)
    • *Psychology
      • One semester (equivalent to Carroll's: PSY101 and above). Up to one additional psychology course, at a 200-level or higher, will be included in the pre-professional GPA calculation if completed.
    • Statistics
      • One semester statistics required for entrance to the DPT program (equivalent to Carroll's: CMP112 or CMP114)
      • You may be required to take multiple semesters depending on your major
      • Not included in the preprofessional GPA calculation
      • Pre-PT business administration/health care administration majors may substitute CMP114 for BUS114
  • International applicants must complete the TOEFL and submit official exam scores and evaluated transcripts directly to PTCAS. Please see for additional information.

Matriculation Requirements

Current CPR and First Aid Certification

CPR certification will be required by the third semester of the Program. The Program will offer CPR training options in the second or third semester of the DPT program.

Some students may choose to become or have been certified before they enter the Program. The following are CPR certification guidelines if students choose to complete CPR before entrance into the Program.
The CPR certification must be through the American Heart Association. Certifications must include CPR and AED for adults and pediatrics, including 2-person rescuer and bag valve mask. Courses must include completing in-person skills checks. Approved course:
  • American Heart Association BLS for the HealthCare Provider
  • A more rigorous certification course, such as EMT or OEM, may be approved at the Program's discretion.
  • Students are responsible for maintaining currency in certifications throughout the Program.

Medical Documentation

Medical Documentation needed for clinical experiences will be discussed in the first year of the DPT program. The faculty will discuss timing of immunizations to help students limit unnecessary cost or health care visits.
Copies of immunization proof and other required forms will be uploaded and stored in the Exxat database. Students should always maintain the original verification documents for their own personal records and should not give the sites or program the original documentation. The student is responsible for the cost of any required lab tests, x-rays, immunizations, or any other medical test required by the clinical facility unless otherwise indicated.
Program required immunizations (based on CDC recommendations):
  • MMR
  • Hepatitis B vaccine/informed declination (Declination form available at Carroll University Student Health Center)
  • Varicella immunization or titer
  • Tdap
  • Annual Flu Shot (to be completed each fall)
  • Annual TB skin test (details below)
  • Other immunizations may be required.
  • To participate in your clinical education experiences, you will need to comply with the host site policies. Students will be working with the program’s clinical coordinators to provide evidence of vaccination status.
  • *All students will be participating in on-campus patient care experiences and will be required to follow the Carroll University College of Health Science vaccination policies including COVID-19.
Per DPT Program policy, student exemptions from the immunization requirements will be considered on a case-by-case basis. If an exemption to the immunization requirements is approved, the University cannot guarantee that its affiliated hospitals and clinics will allow the student to participate in patient care, which is a fundamental requirement of the clinical education component of the Program. Some clinical sites may have limited medical or religious exemptions.

Caregiver Background and Criminal History Check

On October 1, 1998, the State of Wisconsin, Department of Health, and Family Services mandated that all persons who seek to be employed and/or licensed in the caregiver industry must fulfill the Caregiver and Background Check requirements in Section 50.065 of the Wisconsin statute. Completing the background and criminal history check is a DPT Program requirement. If the check uncovers information that may prevent a student from participating in program activities, the student will be notified. When a background check identifies prior unlawful activity, the program does not guarantee clinical education experience placement or accommodation. Results of the background check are shared with program constituencies as appropriate. Background checks are performed by Universal Background Screening.

Admission Questions

Please contact Dave Buehler at 262.524.7359 or email

Candidates are welcome to schedule an individual meeting to discuss any questions about the program or application process at this link.

The entry-level Doctor of Physical Therapy Program admits qualified students regardless of race, color, creed, sex, age, sexual orientation, national or ethnic origin, or disability that does not interfere with the performance of professional physical therapy practice as provided by law. Applications and credentials for admission to the physical therapy program must be submitted for processing to the Carroll University Office of Admission. Decisions are made on applications by selection committees in the program, and applicants are notified through the Office of Admission.

Admission and standards are subject to change based on regulatory, licensing and or certification needs.

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