Factors considered for admission include academic performance and knowledge of the physical therapy profession. Applicants are expected to demonstrate personal and professional behaviors consistent with those expected in professional practice: characteristics and skills such as integrity, initiative, sound judgment, acceptance of responsibility, and interpersonal communication are evaluated through the application, essays, and recommendations. Interviews are typically not required but may be requested at the discretion of the Admissions Committee. All applications from eligible persons that are submitted to PTCAS by the application deadline will be evaluated.
All applicants must submit the PTCAS application. Please review the PTCAS application instructions and submit all necessary materials by the deadline.
To be eligible for admission, applicants must have successfully completed a bachelor's degree at a regionally accredited college or university by the time of entry in the DPT program with a minimum, cumulative grade point average of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale. Please see the PTCAS site for information about how GPAs are calculated.
Applicants are encouraged to complete most of the prerequisite courses, especially core science courses, prior to application. Enrollment in the DPT program is contingent on satisfactory completion (a grade of C or better) of all course requirements from regionally accredited institutions. Candidates are encouraged to take prerequisite courses at 4-year colleges or universities to better prepare for study at Northwestern.
All applicants must submit official results of the GRE to ETS institution code 7756, "Northwestern University, Feinberg School of Medicine – PTCAS". Official GRE scores must be received by the application deadline. Please note, Northwestern University uses more than one GRE institution code and we can only access scores sent to the correct PTCAS code. There is no minimum score requirement for the GRE to be eligible for admission.
Application essays are evaluated for content as well as writing ability. Applicants must submit 3 essays: the PTCAS essay and 2 Northwestern essays (submitted via PTCAS, after adding Northwestern as a Program Designation):
1. PTCAS Prompt (max 4,500 characters, including spaces): What is professionalism in the context of being a student in a doctor of physical therapist degree program?
Northwestern Essays (max 1,200 characters, including spaces):
2. In the Department of Physical Therapy and Human Movement Sciences, we value individual differences and diversity as a measure of excellence. We define diversity as the collective richness of traits, characteristics, experiences and skills. We are seeking a diverse incoming class of learners who can contribute to the educational environment and the capacity of our graduates to serve a diverse patient population. Please comment on the diverse traits and experiences you will bring to our DPT class and the patients we serve.
3. For the 2nd Northwestern essay, applicants may select 1 of the following 3 options:
- How does Northwestern University, as you know it now, satisfy your desire for a particular kind of learning, community, and future?
- Why do you want to pursue a career in physical therapy?
- Please describe a challenging situation you had to face and how you overcame it.
3 letters of reference are required and should be submitted directly through PTCAS. Within the 3 references, 1 must be a physical therapist who has supervised the applicant in a health setting and 1 must be a college professor or instructor.
Physical Therapy Observation Hours
Applicants must acquire first-hand knowledge of physical therapy by working, observing, or volunteering in a health-related facility. Experience in a variety of physical therapy settings is beneficial and most successful applicants report at least 100 hours completed by the time of application. All hours must be verified via electronic signature in PTCAS by a licensed physical therapist.
All applicants whose native language is not English* must demonstrate proficiency in the English language by scoring 100 (internet based)/600 (paper-based) or higher on the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL). Official TOEFL scores must be submitted to PTCAS via ETS code 5312.
*Applicants who have earned a post-secondary degree from an institution where the official language of instruction is English are not required to submit TOEFL scores.
For degrees completed outside of the US and Canada, an official evaluation from World Education Services is required and should be sent directly to PTCAS.
Supplemental Application Fee
A supplemental application fee of $50 is due by the application deadline. This is the only item sent to Northwestern University, all other materials are submitted via PTCAS.
The supplemental fee may be submitted electronically here. If you prefer, a check or money order payable to "NUPTHMS" may be mailed to:
Office of Admission, Application Fee
Northwestern University, PTHMS
645 N. Michigan Ave, Suite 1100
Chicago, IL 60611
The supplemental Northwestern fee will only be waived for applicants who have received the PTCAS fee waiver: please forward your PTCAS fee waiver confirmation email to email@example.com.
It is the policy of Northwestern University not to discriminate against any individual on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, marital status, age, handicap, or veteran status in matters of admissions, employment, housing, or service or in the educational programs or activities that it operates, in accordance with civil rights legislation and University commitment.
Any alleged violations of this policy or questions regarding the law with respect to nondiscrimination should be directed to the Office of the Provost, Rebecca Crown Center, Evanston, Illinois 60208-1101, phone 847.491.5117 or the Director of Equal Employment Opportunity, Affirmative Action, and Disability Services, 720 University Place, Evanston, Illinois 60208-1147, phone 847.491.7458. Northwestern University reserves the right to change without notice any statement in this bulletin concerning, but not limited to, rules, policies, tuition, fees, curricula, and courses.
Early Decision: August 15, 2017
Regular Decision: October, 2, 2017