Apply | Doctor of Physical Therapy in Downers Grove

Home / Admissions / Apply / Doctor of Physical Therapy in Downers Grove

Physical Therapy Admission

The College of Health Sciences Physical Therapy Program considers for admission those students who possess the academic and professional promise necessary for development as competent, caring members of the healthcare community. To select these candidates, a competitive admissions framework has been established. Within this competitive admissions framework, multiple criteria are used to select the most qualified candidates from an applicant pool that exceeds the number of seats available.

The Midwestern University Physical Therapy Program uses the Centralized Application Service for Physical Therapy Schools (PTCAS) for students applying to the Program. All applicants to the Physical Therapy Program are required to submit their applications to PTCAS ( with all required materials by December 15, 2023. Please refer to the PTCAS website for instructions on submission of PTCAS application materials.

The Physical Therapy program operates on a rolling admissions basis in which completed applications are reviewed throughout the admissions cycle to determine applicant eligibility for interviews. Interviews are typically conducted during the winter and spring. Admission decisions are generally made within one month of the interview. 

Admission Requirements

Students seeking admission to the Physical Therapy Program must submit the following documented evidence:

  1. Completion of a bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited college or university
  2. Minimum cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 3.00 and a minimum science GPA of 2.90 on a 4.00 scale
  3. Completion of prerequisite courses totaling 40 semester/58 quarter credits as listed from regionally accredited colleges or universities
    • Grades of "C" or better (grades of "C -" are NOT acceptable) are required in each course
  4. Minimum requirement of 30 hours of observation, volunteerism, or work in a physical therapy setting
  5. Demonstration of a people or service orientation through community service or extracurricular activities
  6. Motivation for and commitment to healthcare as demonstrated by previous work, volunteer work, or other life experiences
  7. Oral and written communication skills necessary to interact with patients and colleagues
  8. Commitment to abide by the Midwestern University Drug-Free Workplace and Substance Abuse Policy
  9. Passage of the Midwestern University criminal background check


An international student must complete a minimum of 30 semester hours of coursework from a regionally accredited college or university in the United States, or from a recognized post-secondary Canadian institution that uses English as its primary language of instruction and documentation. Of the 30 semester hours, 15 hours must be in the sciences, 6 hours in non-remedial English composition, and 3 hours in speech/public speaking.

Applicants who wish to receive transfer credit for prerequisite coursework completed outside the U.S. or at a Canadian institution that does not use English as its primary language of instruction and documentation must submit an official, detailed, course-by-course evaluation obtained from one of the following evaluation services:

International applicants who do not provide documentation of acceptable US or Canadian course/degree equivalency will not receive credit, and will be required to complete all prerequisite courses at an accredited college or university in the United States, or at a recognized post-secondary institution in Canada that uses English as its primary language of instruction and documentation.

For clarification about recognized post-secondary institutions in Canada that use English as a primary language of instruction and documentation, international applicants should contact the Midwestern University Office of Admissions.

Additional Information

Prerequisite Courses

Science Courses Sem Hrs Qtr Hrs
Biology with lab 4 6
Human/Vertebrate Anatomy with lab 3 4
Human/Vertebrate Physiology 3 4
General Chemistry with lab 4 6
General Physics with lab 8 12
General Courses Sem Hrs Qtr Hrs
Math ( college algebra or above) 3 4
Statistics ( should include inferential statistics) 3 4
English-- must include at least one composition course (oral communication/public  speaking is recommended 6 9
Social and Behavioral Sciences (at least one course in psychology) 6 9

Technical Standards for Admission

The Technical Standards set forth the nonacademic abilities considered essential for students to achieve the level of competence required by the faculty to obtain the academic degree awarded by the college.

Candidates must be able to perform the following abilities and skills:

    Candidates must be able to perform the following abilities and skills:

    1. Observation: The candidate must be able to accurately make observations at a distance and close at hand, including those on a computer screen or electronic device. Observation necessitates the functional use of vision and sense of touch and is enhanced by the functional use of all of the other senses.  The candidate must be able to accurately auscultate lung/breath, heart and bowel sounds to complete the curricular requirement to individually complete physical examination of a patient/client.
    2. Communication: The candidate must be able to communicate in English, proficiently and sensitively, in verbal and written form, and be able to perceive nonverbal communication.
    3. Motor: Candidates must be able to coordinate both gross and fine motor movements, maintain equilibrium and have functional use of the senses of touch and vision. The candidate must possess sufficient postural control, neuromuscular control and eye-to-hand coordination to perform profession-specific skills and tasks.  Candidates must be able to move at least 50 lbs. vertically and horizontally.
    4. Intellectual, Conceptual, Integrative and Quantitative Abilities: The candidate must be able to problem solve, measure, calculate, reason, analyze, record and synthesize large amounts of information in a timely manner. The candidate must be able to comprehend three-dimensional relationships and understand spatial relationships.
    5. Behavioral and Social Attributes: The candidate must possess the emotional health required for full utilization of the candidate's intellectual abilities, the exercise of good judgment, the consistent, prompt completion of all responsibilities, and the development of mature, sensitive and effective relationships. Candidate must be able to tolerate physically, mentally and emotionally taxing workloads and to function effectively under stress.  The candidate must be able to adapt to changing environments, to display flexibility, and to learn to function in the face of uncertainties.  Compassion, integrity, concern for others, effective interpersonal skills, willingness and ability to function as an effective team player, interest and motivation to learn are all personal qualities required during the educational process.  The candidate must agree to participate in touching/palpating on the skin and being touched/palpated on the skin by individuals regardless of gender in all academic settings, including manual techniques.  These activities will take place in large and small group settings as directed in the College’s curricular requirements. 

    Candidates are required to verify that they understand and are able to meet these Technical Standards at least 4 weeks prior to matriculation (or if admitted later, within 1 week of deposit).  Candidates who may only meet Technical Standards with accommodation, must contact the  Office of Student Services to make a formal request for accommodation.  The Dean of Students, in consultation with the College Dean/Program Director, will determine what reasonable accommodations can be provided.  The College is not able to grant accommodations that alter the educational standards of the curriculum.

    Students must meet the Technical Standards for the duration of enrollment at the College.  After matriculation, if a student fails to continue to meet the Technical Standards during subsequent enrollment, the student may apply for accommodation by contacting the Office of Student Services.  If the accommodation needed to meet the Technical Standards alters the educational standards of the curriculum, the student’s ability to satisfactorily progress in the curriculum will be evaluated by the appropriate College’s Student Graduation and Promotion Committee.

    Apply Online at PTCAS

    Apply Now

    Application Process and Deadline

    1. PTCAS Application

    Applicants are required to submit their applications to PTCAS at by  December 15th. Please refer to the PTCAS application instructions for specific details about completing the application, required documents, and processing time. The PTCAS application should be available for applicants beginning during the summer months. Due to the large number of applications and the limited number of seats available, applicants are strongly encouraged to complete their PTCAS application early in the cycle. Midwestern University operates on a rolling admissions basis where applications are reviewed throughout the admissions cycle.

    2. Letters of Recommendation

    Applicants are required to submit a minimum of two letters of recommendation from professionals to PTCAS ( The Office of Admissions will only accept letters of recommendation received directly from PTCAS. It is preferred that one letter is written by a science professor who has actually taught the student or a pre-health advisory committee. The second letter can be written by any one of the following: pre-health advisory committee, pre-health advisor, college professor, or healthcare professional (preferably a physical therapist) who knows the applicant well. The applicant should refer to the PTCAS application instructions for specific guidelines and requirements for submitting letters of recommendation.

    3. Completed Applications

    The Office of Admissions will send letters verifying receipt of PTCAS applications with all required materials to all applicants who meet the minimum cumulative science GPA of 2.90 and overall GPA of 3.00. The letters will also include instructions on checking the status of the required application materials online. Applicants are responsible for tracking the receipt of their application materials and ensuring the submission of all required documents. Only applicants who submit completed applications with all required application materials will be considered for potential entrance into the Program.

    Please Note: Applicants are responsible for notifying the Office of Admissions of any changes in their mailing address or email address. All application withdrawal requests must be made in writing via e-mail, fax, or letter to:

    Midwestern University
    Office of Admissions
    555 31st Street
    Downers Grove, IL 60515
    Phone: 630/515-7200 or 800/458-6253
    Fax: 630/971-6086

    Interview / Selection Process

    When applicants are considered eligible for interviews after review of their completed admissions files, they are notified of available interview dates and invited by the Office of Admissions to schedule an on-campus interview.

    A typical interview day involves participation in the following activities, which are coordinated by the Office of Admissions: an interview with at least one interviewer, lunch with current Midwestern University students, a campus tour, and an opportunity to meet with an admissions counselor and a representative from the financial aid office.

    During interview sessions, the interviewer questions applicants about their academic, personal, and professional aspirations and preparedness for admission to the Program. The interviewer rates prospective students on a standardized evaluation form. These evaluations are included in the applicant files provided to the Physical Therapy Admissions Committee. The Physical Therapy Admissions Committee meets periodically to review the files of applicants who have been interviewed. The Admissions Committee, which includes the Program Director, makes decisions for action with oversight from the Dean of the College of Health Sciences. The Dean, via the Office of Admissions, notifies each applicant in writing of the admission action/decision.

    The Dean of the College of Health Sciences may recommend for an interview, applicants who meet the Program’s minimum requirements for which they are applying (e.g. children of alumni, faculty, or staff). These applicants are not guaranteed admission into a Program and will have their application reviewed similarly to other applicants being considered for acceptance. All admissions decisions are made by the program Admissions Committee.

    Matriculation Process

    The matriculation process begins after applicants receive notification of their acceptance. To complete the matriculation process, applicants must:

    1. Submit the matriculation agreement and required deposit monies by the date designated in the matriculation agreement. Deposits are applied towards the first quarter's tuition.
    2. Submit official final transcripts from all colleges attended post-high school by the deadline of two weeks (14 days) prior to the first day of classes. Students who are accepted to MWU less than one month prior to the first day of classes will have 30 calendar days from the date of their acceptance to submit all official transcripts to the Office of Admissions. Any special circumstances or requests for exceptions to this policy must be sent to and approved by the Office of the Dean of the college. Students who fail to submit all official final transcripts by the stated deadline may jeopardize their acceptance or continued enrollment in the College.
    3. Submit completed medical files documenting completion of a physical exam, immunizations, tuberculosis and titer blood testing as instructed by the Office of Student Services and detailed in the Student Handbook.
    4. Meet the Technical Standards for the College.
    5. Submit proof of medical and disability insurance coverage. Students may select either a plan offered by an MWU-approved carrier or a comparable plan offered by an outside carrier of their choice, as determined by the Office of Student Services. Insurance must be maintained throughout the entire period of enrollment.
    6. Submit additional documents as requested by the Office of Admissions or College.
    7. Students who are requesting an F-1 visa or who are not U.S. citizens or permanent residents must prepay tuition and in some cases other mandatory program fees for the first year of their educational program 6 weeks before the first day of the first quarter of each academic year. Furthermore, the student must prepay tuition and in some cases other mandatory program fees for each successive year at the start of each academic year on the University’s stated due date.
    8. Submit a signed Credit Policy Statement.
    9. Authorize and pass the MWU criminal background check and/or fingerprinting background check as required by the specific College/School/Program.
    10. Submit a signed MWU Drug-Free Workplace and Substance Abuse Policy Statement.

    Applicants who fail to satisfy these matriculation requirements or who omit or falsify information required on official admission documents automatically forfeit their seat in the program. Any individual accepted for admission to the college/program who does not comply with stated timelines for submission of all required materials receives no further notification from the college regarding the forfeiture of their seat.

    Transfer Policy

    The Physical Therapy Program does not allow transfer students.

    Reapplication Process

    Students who receive either a denial or an end-of-cycle letter may reapply for the following year's admissions cycle. Individuals contemplating reapplication should seek the advice of an admissions counselor, prior to reapplying.

    To initiate the reapplication process, prospective students must complete and submit new applications and proceed through the standard application process.

    Related Information

    Dual Acceptance Program -- University of St. Francis

    The Physical Therapy Program has a dual acceptance agreement with the University of Saint Francis, Fort Wayne, IN. Students may inquire about the agreement through the Office of Admissions at the University of Saint Francis or Midwestern University.


    Apply Now

    Visit our

    Take Tour

    Support the

    Donate to our future