FAQs for Residential Pathway

General FAQs

Admissions FAQs

Tuition and Financial Aid FAQs

Student Handbook 2023-2024


What is the average size of a residential pathway cohort of a DPT class?

The average size of a typical entering residential cohort of a DPT class is 95 students. The total size of the average entering class (residential and hybrid) is about 145 students.

When does the residential pathway begin?

Classes typically begin in mid August of each year.

How long is the residential pathway?

Students complete the DPT program – residential pathway in three years (eight semesters).

What is the graduation rate?

On average, 95 percent of USC DPT students graduate on time, which means they graduate in the expected three years.

What is the pass rate on the national licensing exam?

The pass rate for USC DPT students on the national licensing exam is consistently above the national average.

Visit our Graduate Outcomes page to learn more.


What degree do I need to have in order to enroll in the DPT program?

A bachelor’s degree or higher in any field except physical therapy is needed to enroll. It is permissible to apply before the bachelor’s degree is completed, but enrollment in the program will not be allowed until the bachelor’s degree is awarded.

What documentation and forms are required to apply to the residential pathway?

In order to apply to the residential pathway of USC’s DPT program, an online PTCAS application must be submitted. Access the PTCAS application here.

Note: GRE scores are not required.

Are interviews a required part of the application process?

No. Formal interviews are not a required part of the admissions process, but the admissions committee may contact an applicant to clarify questions they have during the application review process.

Applicants are encouraged to visit the campus and attend an information session. These visits can be arranged through the Office of the Admissions Coordinator at 323.442.2890.

How many applications do you receive each year?

Each year, the residential pathway receives between 900-1,100 applications.

When are decisions made on applications?

Application decisions are typically made on a rolling basis, beginning in November and continuing until all applications are reviewed. All applicants should receive notification of a decision by late March or early April.

What is the minimum grade point average (GPA) for admission?

The minimum recommended cumulative GPA is 3.0 (on a 4.0 scale). Competitive applicants typically have cumulative GPAs of 3.4 or higher.

What is the minimum GPA for successful completion of the DPT program?

In order to successfully complete and receive a DPT degree from the University of Southern California, a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.75 is required.

Is volunteer or work experience in physical therapy required in order to apply?

Substantial clinical experience (150 hours) is recommended. The prior experience can be either voluntary or paid (i.e., physical therapy aide) and is intended to expose the applicant to the profession of physical therapy and affirm their desire to pursue a career in the field.

Do all the prerequisite courses need to be completed before applying in December?

No. Applicants can submit an application including in-progress courses and still be considered for the current admission cycle. However, all prerequisites must be completed prior to entering the program in August.

Do all prerequisite courses in anatomy, physiology, chemistry and physics need to have a laboratory component?


Do you accept Advanced Placement (AP) credits and “pass/no pass” grades in lieu of college-level courses or a letter grade to fulfill science prerequisites?

No. All science courses must have received a letter grade to fulfill prerequisite requirements.

Do prerequisite courses have an expiration date?

No. All letter-graded prerequisite coursework is acceptable, no matter when the coursework was completed. However, it is highly recommended that students take refresher courses when needed to be prepared to take full advantage of the curriculum.

Can I take prerequisite courses at a community college?

Yes. If you are unable to take prerequisite courses at an accredited four-year college or university, courses taken at an accredited community college are acceptable.

Tuition and Financial Aid

What are the tuition rates for USC’s DPT program – residential pathway?

The tuition rates vary each year. Visit our tuition and financial aid page for the current tuition structure for entering students.

Does the Division of Biokinesiology and Physical Therapy offer scholarships?

Yes. There are a limited number of competitive, merit-based scholarships awarded to students throughout the three-year program. All incoming students are considered for these awards, and there is no need to submit a formal application. In past years, 10 to 15 incoming students were awarded scholarships ranging from $5,000 to $10,000 for the first year. Scholarships are awarded to second- and third-year students based on their meritorious academic, professional, and clinical performance.

Is financial aid available for international students?

No. Governmental financial aid is not available for international students. International students must provide proof of ability to pay tuition and living expenses while enrolled in the program; however, international students are considered for merit scholarships.

Does the DPT program give priority or apply different tuition rates to in-state applications?

No. USC is a private university and does not give priority nor apply reduced tuition rates to in-state applications.