Interested in becoming a physical therapist?

Physical Therapy

We are excited that you have selected Tennessee State University as one of your options for earning a Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) degree. We are happy to help you with any questions you may have about our application and admission process. However, we ask you to please read the instructions and all details very carefully.

If there is anything you cannot find on our website or in our PTCAS homepage, or if you would like advisement regarding the profession and/or your application, feel free to contact us. We are very proud of our program and take pride in our customer service. We are willing to set up meetings and schedule class visits or campus tours.

Information and Questions

All application and admission information is available in the Tennessee State University PTCAS homepage. Please read the instructions and all details very carefully. A summary of  the admissions requirements may be obtained here. If you still have any questions after reading all information and instructions, please to contact our Administrative Assistant, Ms. Dorothy Fisher, at (615) 963-5881 or by email at

Applying to the Program

  • PTCAS Application - The application process for our program must be completed through the Physical Therapy Centralized Application Service (PTCAS). Please visit the Tennessee State University PTCAS homepage for specific application information and admission criteria. A summary of  the admissions requirements may be obtained  here

  • Reservation Fee - Applicants who have been recommended to the Graduate School for acceptance into the DPT program are required to pay a non-refundable $250.00 reservation fee to secure their slot in the program. The reservation fee goes toward the cost of tuition once the applicant matriculates into the program.

Clinical Practicum  Requirements

All students accepted for admission into the graduate program in Physical Therapy must meet the following requirements prior to enrollment in the clinical practicum:

  • Proficiency in medical terminology
  • Documentation that they are free from communicable disease
  • Tuberculosis screening and all required immunizations
  • Current Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) and Basic First Aid certification
  • Health/Accident insurance coverage
  • Professional student liability insurance coverage
  • Criminal Background Checks: Criminal background checks and or drug screens may be a requirement for training at some affiliated clinical sites. Based on the results of these checks/screens, an affiliated clinical site may determine to not allow your participation in training at their facility. This could result in your inability to successfully complete the requirements of this program. Additionally, a criminal background may preclude licensure or employment.
  • COVID vaccinations:  COVID vaccinations are not required by the University.  However, COVID vaccinations and/or boosters may be a requirement for training at some affiliated clinical sites.  Some affiliated clinical sites allow medical and/or religious exemptions to the vaccine while others do not.  Not having the vaccine could result in your inability to successfully complete the requirements of this program.
  • The following are Essential Functions that students should be able to meet, whether unaided or with reasonable accommodation, for a clinical practicum:
    • Critical thinking ability sufficient for clinical judgment;
    • Interpersonal abilities sufficient to interact with individuals, families and groups from a variety of social, emotional, cultural, and intellectual backgrounds;
    • Gross and fine motor abilities sufficient to provide safe and effective physical therapy care;
    • Auditory abilities sufficient to monitor and assess health needs;
    • Visual acuity sufficient for observation and assessment necessary in physical therapy care;
    • Tactile ability sufficient for physical assessment and treatment;
    • Physical ability to assist moving, transferring and ambulating patients who have physical impairment or dysfunction.

If students are unable to perform the aforementioned Essential Functions, they have the right to request reasonable accommodations from the Office of Disability Services as outlined in the  TSU Student Handbook.

Tuition and Fees

Information about tuition and fees may be accessed through the Bursar's Office. The information below is only an estimate based on the Fall 2022/Spring 2023 fees and a full time load of 15 credit hours in the fall, 15 credit hours in the spring, and 9 credit hours in the summer. The figures may change.


Instate Fees

Out-of-State Fees

Summer Session 



Fall Semester 



Spring Semester 



One Year Total 



Three Year Total 



The figures in the table above do not represent total cost for attending the program.  Details of program total costs can be found here. Tuition and fees can change each year and thus the total cost for the program can change. Tuition and fees differ whether or not the student is classified as instate or out-of-state. Read more.

Grants, Scholarships, and Aid

  • Scholarships - A number of physical therapy scholarships exist, but some scholarships have application qualifications and may be institution specific. Read more.

  • 250-Mile Radius Tuition Rate Program - Out-of-state students in a county within a 250-mile radius of Nashville, Tennessee are eligible for a discounted 250-Mile Radius Rate. Read more.

  • POTUS Fellows Program - Qualifying students who have been accepted into the program may also avail of the Preparing Our Tomorrows Uniquely in STEM (POTUS) Fellows program. Read more.

  • Rhonda Hodge Memorial Scholarship Fund (RHMSF) - The fund assists DPT students currently enrolled in the professional DPT program.  Applicants for the RHMSF are screened by faculty based on GPA, written statement, and need.  Generally, depending on sufficient funds, 1-2 DPT students are chosen to receive money from the fund.  Half of the amount is applied to the student’s account the following fall semester and the remainder in the spring semester.

  • Financial Aid - The Office of Financial Aid administers federal, state, institutional and private sources of aid in accordance with federal and state laws. Read more.

  • Physical Therapy Scholarships - Sponsored by the website, this website is presented for informational purposes only and is not an endorsement of the site. Read more.

 Admission Decision Plan

  • Deadline date for all applications - October 2
  • Decision date for the program to decide and extend invitations for interview - October 31
  • Date for interviews - November 17

webpage contact:
Physical Therapy