Prerequisite Courses and Eligibility

A bachelors degree must be completed prior to beginning our Program. (grades do not appear on a transcript).

Prerequisite Courses

  • Prerequisite courses may be taken at any regionally accredited college, including two year campuses, technical schools, and on-line courses.
  • A grade of C or higher is required for each prerequisite course.
  • Advanced placement credits meet our prerequisites.
Required Prerequisites UW-Madison Courses that satisfy each requirement
General Biology with Lab
(any biology course including a lab except botany)
ZOO 101: Animal Biology and ZOO 102: Animal Biology Lab; or BIO 151: Introductory Biology with Lab; or BIOCORE Curriculum
General Chemistry with Labs, two sequential courses
(or one semester of general chemistry and one semester of biochemistry; or one semester of advanced/accelerated general chemistry)
CHEM 103: General Chemistry I and CHEM 104: General Chemistry II; or CHEM 109: Advanced General Chemistry
General Physics with Labs, two semesters
PHYSICS 103, 201, or 207: General Physics and PHYSICS 104, 202, or 208: General Physics, OR EMA 201: Statics and EMA 202: Dynamics
Human Anatomy - Lab not required
(or Anatomy and Physiology I*)
ANA 328/KINES 328: Human Anatomy or ZOO 430: Comparative Anatomy of Vertebrates
Human Physiology with Lab
(or Anatomy and Physiology II*)
PHYSIOL 335: Physiology or PHYSIOL 435: Fundamentals of Human Physiology

Exercise Physiology
KINES 314: Physiology of Exercise
(any course that includes ANOVA and linear regression)
STAT 301: Introduction to Statistical Methods or an intermediate level statistics course; or PSYCH 210: Basic Statistics for Psychology (this course does not qualify as a psychology prerequisite)
Psychology and/or Human Development (not motor development): Six Credits
(courses do not need to be taken in a psychology department)
No particular courses are required. Recommended courses are: PSYCH 201 or 202: Introduction to Psychology, PSYCH 509: Abnormal Psychology, ED PSYCH 320: Human Development in Infancy & Childhood, ED PSYCH 321: Human Development in Adolescence, ED PSYCH 331: Human Development: Childhood & Adolescence, HDFS 362: Development of the Young Child, and HDFS 363: Development from Adolescence to Old Age. (NOT KINES 360: Lifespan Motor Development.) There is NO preference for admission if these or other courses are taken.
* Completion of Anatomy and Physiology I and II will fulfill our Human Anatomy and Human Physiology requirements.

Course Equivalence

Our curriculum is based on all students having similar knowledge in all the prerequisite courses. Students completing prerequisite courses at other institutions need to take courses that have similar names to UW-Madison courses; however these courses do not have to transfer to UW-Madison for credit. If you question a course's equivalence, please email the course description to the Program Admissions Advisor (see box on the left).


All application materials must be received by the admission deadline. Minimum Graduate Record Exam (GRE) and Grade Point Average (GPA) scores noted below must be achieved for your application to be considered.
GRE code: 0315
  1. GRE scores are accepted up to 5 years old. Minimum required scores are:
    • Verbal = 144
    • Quantitative = 144
    • Writing = 3.5
  2. Overall GPA at least 3.0. This is calculated by PTCAS and includes all undergraduate, graduate and professional courses.
  3. Science GPA at least 3.0.  This is calculated by PTCAS and includes all Biology, Chemistry, and Physics courses, in addition to Anatomy and Physiology courses completed in a biology, neuroscience, anatomy, or an integrated physiology departments. Science GPA will include UW-Madison ANA 328, and PHYSIOL 335 & 435. It will NOT include KINES 314: Physiology of Exercise.
  4. All prerequisite courses must be complete prior to the Program beginning in June and no more than two prerequisites can be outstanding when you apply.

Non-Academic Factors

The Program does not have an admission interview.
Non-academic factors are strongly considered and include all parts of your PTCAS application, except for your transcript(s), course work, GPAs, and GRE scores. No particular community or extracurricular activities are preferred. However, evidence of community service and leadership are valued, as is your unique background and life experiences. We strongly encourage you to include these in your application materials.

Physical Therapy Observation Hours:

Applicants must have a minimum of two PT Observations for a total of at least 40 hours. Observations have to be verified and be from at least two different types of PT settings. Types of PT settings identified in PTCAS include:
  • Acute Care Hospital
  • Rehabilitation/Sub-Acute Rehabilitation
  • Nursing Home/Extended Care Facility
  • Free-standing PT or Hospital Clinic
  • School/Pre-school
  • Wellness/Prevention/Fitness
  • Industrial/Occupational Health
  • Home Health
  • Other Outpatient Facility - Please use this choice for unique types of outpatient facilities, such as sports medicine or pediatric clinics.

Program-Related Essential Functions

Be sure to read the Program-Related Essential Functions . If there is anything that may interfere with your ability to successfully complete the Program, including fulfilling course requirements and participating in Program activities, please contact the Admission Advisor or Program Director in advance to discuss accommodations. Reasonable requests for appropriate academic adjustments will be granted. All requests are treated confidentially.

Background Checks

The state of Wisconsin requires that all licensed caregivers and others associated with health and child-care facilities have criminal background checks. This law applies to students receiving clinical training. All students who enter our Program must complete background checks.
A convicted criminal offense may not prevent your admission into the Program. However, due to Wisconsin state law, a conviction may preclude you from internships, licensure, or employment.

International Applicant Requirements

In addition to all the above requirements, international applicants must have:
  1. A degree comparable to an approved US bachelor degree (World Education Services evaluation of foreign transcripts.)
  2. Quality of work high enough to warrant admission.
  3. Evidence of adequate financial resources for the duration of the Program.
  4. Applicants whose native language is not English, or who have not completed all their undergraduate work in English, must provide Test of English as a Second Language (TOEFL) scores that are current within the past two years. Preferred TOEFL scores are: 580 paper based, 237 computer based, 92  internet based.
Further information for international students is available from the International Student Services web site.
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