The goal of the admission process is to compare all applicants on the same course work, as much as possible. The Admission Committee uses the basic level courses in each prerequisite field, which all applicants are likely to have taken. Not all courses taken in a prerequisite field are used to compute the prerequisite GPA. Only enough credits to satisfy the minimum requirement are counted in the prerequisite GPA. High-level electives may be used to meet credit requirements, but they are not necessarily used in the prerequisite GPA calculation, since the Admission Committee has no information about how other applicants would perform in those courses.

We recognize that applicants may have performed better in elective courses than in the basic course sequence. These elective grades will improve the overall GPA. However, rather than taking new electives, applicants may repeat a maximum of three basic courses to improve their GPA.

All prerequisite courses must be taken for a letter grade and must have been completed within the past seven years. If prerequisites are retaken, only the grade received in the most recent course is calculated into the prerequisite GPA. Pass/Fail courses are not used in the prerequisite GPA calculation. Prerequisite courses may be in progress and/or yet to be taken at the time of application (no more than three), but must be completed prior to enrollment in the DPT Program.

Applicants are allowed to complete no more than 4 semester/5 quarter credits of prerequisite course work, plus a medical terminology course, during the summer prior to Fall enrollment. All other prerequisite course work must be completed by the end of winter/spring term. If an applicant appears to be "short" the required number of credits in several prerequisite areas, the Admission Committee has the authority to deem the applicant ineligible to continue in the review process.

We do not accept course work from technical colleges unless the course work was taken after the technical college merged with an accredited community college.

We will consider courses completed in an online format from a regionally accredited institution. However, we encourage students to complete courses that include a lab component in a face-to-face format, if possible.

The following requirements are in place for the Doctor of Physical Therapy program.

Baccalaureate degree

A completed bachelor’s degree from an institution that is accredited by one of the regional accrediting associations (e.g. Higher Learning Commission), or an approved dual-degree plan for completing the baccalaureate degree during the DPT program. No specific baccalaureate major is required.

Grade-point average

Both an undergraduate cumulative and prerequisite grade-point average (GPA) of 3.0 or higher on a 4.0 scale is required for application to the DPT Program.

Prerequisite course work

Prerequisite course work must be completed for a letter grade of C or higher (pass/fail or S/U grading is not acceptable), with a cumulative prerequisite GPA of 3.0 or higher on a 4.0 scale.

  • Biology (8 semester credits)
    A general biology sequence is preferred. The following courses will be considered in descending order of preference: general biology I, II, cell biology, microbiology, genetics, immunology, molecular biology, histology.
    • St. Kate's equivalent: BIOL 1710, BIOL 1720, BIOL 2200, BIOL 2800, BIOL 2900, BIOL 3210, BIOL 3250, BIOL 3350 or BIOL 4220.
  • Human Anatomy (4 semester credits)
    Courses in order of preference are: human anatomy (often first half of combined anatomy and physiology sequence) or mammalian/vertebrate anatomy. These credits must be from an anatomy, biology, physiology or kinesiology department and must cover individual muscle function.
    • St. Kate's equivalent: BIOL 2400, BIOL 2510, BIOL 2610 or BIOL 3120
  • Human Physiology (4 semester credits)
    Courses in order of preference are: human physiology (often second half of combined anatomy and physiology sequence), mammalian/vertebrate physiology or pathophysiology. These credits must be from a biology or physiology department.
    • St. Kate's equivalents: BIOL 2410, BIOL 2520, BIOL 2620 or BIOL 3140
  • Chemistry with lab (8 semester credits)
    A chemistry sequence for science or health-science majors is preferred at a level beyond high school remedial.
    • St. Kate's equivalent: CHEM 1110 and CHEM 1120
  • Physics with lab (8 semester credits)
    A physics sequence for science or health-science majors is preferred at a level beyond high school remedial.
    • St. Kate's equivalent: PHYS 1080 and PHYS 1090
  • Psychology (6 semester credits)
    Courses in descending order of preference include: general psychology and developmental psychology/lifespan developmental psychology or abnormal psychology.
    • St. Kate's equivalent: PSYCH 1000, PSYCH 2025, or PSYCH 3010
  • Statistics (3 semester credits)
    Course content should include: reliability, validity, experimental control and design, statistical inference and comparison of group means, correlation and regression. These credits must be from a math, psychology or statistics department.
    • St. Kate's equivalent: MATH 1080, MATH 1084, HLTH 4994 or PSYCH 2050
  • Mathematics (4 semester credits)
    These credits must be at the level of pre-calculus or higher.
    • MATH 1090 or MATH 1130
  • Medical Terminology (1 course)
    • St. Kate's equivalent: INDI 2220 or HIMP 1020

Course equivalencies for St. Catherine prerequisites

Use the online Transfer Evaluation System (TES) resource to determine if a specific course you have taken (or plan to take) will fulfill a DPT prerequisite requirement.  All St. Catherine course equivalencies listed in TES are fully verified by our Registrar’s Office.

How to use TES

1. Make note of the St. Catherine department abbreviation (BIOL, CHEM, MATH, etc.) and course numbers in the DPT prerequisite list above.

2. Connect to TES

3. Identify the institution from which you have completed courses (or plan to complete courses). You may search for institutions using the “Find Transfer College by Name” search box, or use the alphabetical index provided.

4. Enter the course code for one of our DPT prerequisites (e.g., MATH 1080). Select “Home Course” and click on Search. This will identify any courses from the institution that are equivalent to the St. Catherine prerequisite course. You could also enter the code for the other institution’s course, and select “Transfer Course” and Search. This will identify any St. Catherine courses that might be equivalent to the other institution’s course. Be sure to review any notes with additional information for a given course.

If you have searched via TES and can’t find a specific school or course listing, contact your admission counselor for assistance. Please include the institution, course name and number, and course description in your email.

GRE Scores

Official scores from the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) must be submitted to PTCAS directly from the Educational Testing Service (ETS). The test date must be within five calendar years prior to the term of intended enrollment. Use the code 7594 when selecting where to send your GRE scores.

Clinical experience

Applicants must have a minimum of 60 hours of physical therapy experience during the three years prior to applying to the DPT program. It is strongly recommended that these experiences be in two or more settings. These experiences may be as a paid employee or volunteer, or a combination of both.

Credential Evaluation

Applicants with a college or university degree completed outside of the United States must submit a credential evaluation from World Education Services (WES). Official evaluation results must be reported in PTCAS. If admitted into the DPT program, an official evaluation must also be submitted to St. Catherine University directly from WES.

TOEFL Scores

Applicants whose native language is not English are required to complete the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) with a minimum score of 550 on the paper-based test or 80 on the iBT.  This requirement is waived for students who have completed a baccalaureate or graduate degree in the United States. Candidates must report official TOEFL scores in PTCAS. If admitted into the DPT program, official test scores must also be submitted to St. Catherine University directly from the Educational Testing Service (ETS).

International Applicants

Applicants who are not U.S. citizens or permanent residents must submit an International Student Supplement, in addition to the entry-level or dua​l-degree DPT program application. There is no additional application fee.

Essential functions and technical standards

A practicing physical therapist must be physically, cognitively, emotionally and mentally capable to meet the rigorous demands of clinical practice. The Description of Essential Functions and Technical Standards defines the essential functions and technical standards that PT students must meet in order to successfully progress through the program. All students must be capable of meeting these requirements or similar with or without reasonable accommodation.

All prospective students are encouraged to review this document prior to applying to the DPT program. All admitted students are required to read and sign this document prior to beginning their DPT program at St. Catherine.

Petition process

Applicants may petition for an exemption to the requirements. Common examples include waiving the seven year requirement for a prerequisite course, or applying with a GPA below 3.0. Applicants who wish to petition for an exemption should send an explanatory statement via email to the DPT Admission Committee co-chair, Cort Cieminski, at Petitions will not be considered unless a PTCAS application has also been submitted.

Background ch​eck

Minnesota State Law requires that any person who provides services that involve direct patient contact with patients and residents at a health-care facility licensed by the Minnesota Department of Health have a background study conducted by the state.