University of California, San Francisco/San Francisco State University Department of Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation Science
UCSF/SFSU Graduate Program in Physical Therapy 1500 Owens St., Suite 400 San Francisco CA 94143 United States
CAPTE Accredited
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Program Description

One of the top ranked programs in the nation, the Entry-level Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) degree is a 3-year joint program with University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) and San Francisco State University (SFSU). The program runs for 36 continuous months beginning in June and includes 34 weeks of full-time clinical experiences. The DPT program is designed to prepare scholarly clinicians, educators, collaborative clinical researchers, administrative managers, and community leaders. UCSF's physical therapy program has maintained continuous accreditation status since the inception of its certificate program in 1942, and the program has been jointly offered with SFSU since 1989.

The program accepts 50 DPT students each year. Our students come from varied academic and cultural backgrounds and experiences. Students' baccalaureate majors range from business to anthropology, exercise science, psychology, English, kinesiology, and many more. The program also participates in numerous outreach events targeted to underrepresented populations in the physical therapy profession. Diversity in the student body strengthens the program and reflects on our constantly changing world.

For the most up-to-date information on our financial aid opportunities, tuition and fees, or other program details, please visit our website

The curriculum is built on a strong theoretical foundation in basic, medical and applied sciences. Critical thinking and clinical reasoning skills are developed within an integrated program that prepares students to work collaboratively with patients across the lifespan to improve health and wellness, address disability challenges, and optimize function. Learning in the program encompasses team-based activities, self-directed learning, and inquiry-driven and case-based formats, ensuring that students are developing the lifelong learning skills required of physical therapy providers.

All students participate in a course sequence throughout the program that addresses concepts related to professionalism, such as: accountability, compassion and humility, professional excellence, social responsibility, and working relationships. Students participate in an interprofessional education curriculum that brings learners from medicine, nursing, pharmacy, dentistry, and physical therapy together at key points throughout the three years of the program.

The core faculty student ratio is one core faculty member to 12.75 students, which is an impressive ratio for physical therapy programs. Many of the core faculty members are active clinicians who provide care at a range of sites, including the UCSF Outpatient Faculty Practice, UCSF Health & Wellness Center, UCSF Medical Center, and SFSU Student Health Center. In addition, the program offers additional instructors who teach in their areas of expertise. More than 200 guest lecturers, lab assistants, practical exam proctors, teaching assistants, and standardized patients volunteer their time and expertise to the program.

Housed within the UCSF School of Medicine, we are the only program in the State of California to be located within a medical school. As a result, our faculty and students have access to state-of-the-art facilities at both the UCSF and SFSU campuses for physical therapy education. The program utilizes combined lecture and laboratory spaces that allow courses to easily switch between educational formats. Additionally, the program has access to a state-of-the-art Anatomy Learning Center, Simulation Centers, a Clinical Skills Center, hospital room set-ups, and classroom spaces that can accommodate lecture and small group discussions.

Our program is located in the heart of San Francisco, with easy access to world-renowned medical facilities, including the UCSF Medical Center, UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital San Francisco, UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital Oakland, Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital and Trauma Center, San Francisco Veterans Affairs Medical Center, UCSF Orthopaedic Institute, and the UCSF Outpatient Physical Therapy Faculty Practice. Each of these sites is used for clinical and academic instruction.

Graduates excel in the National Licensing Examination and are considered top applicants for positions in physical therapy practice.

  • Average Graduation Rate for Classes of 2018 and 2019: 99%
  • Average National Licensing Exam Pass Rate for Classes of 2018 and 2019:
    • First Time Pass Rate 96%
    • Ultimate Pass Rate 100%
  • 12-Month Employment Rate for Class of 2018 and 2019: 92%

UCSF has more than 3,300 students enrolled in professional and degree programs, 1,500 clinical residents or fellows and 1,000 postdoctoral scholars. UCSF's Graduate Division has 19 PhD programs and 11 masters programs and includes the PhD program in Rehabilitation Science and the UCSF/SFSU Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT). The UCSF Department of Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation Science is also home to Orthopedic Physical Therapy Residency and Acute Care Physical Therapy Residency programs.

SF State has more than 26,000 undergraduate students and over 3,000 post baccalaureate/ graduate students. SF State awards doctoral degrees for a Doctor of Education (EdD) in Educational Leadership, PhD in Education with a concentration in special education, jointly with UC Berkeley, and Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) jointly with UCSF.

Program offers a guaranteed freshman admission pathway?
Dual Degrees
Dual-degree programs offered in conjunction with the PT degree
DPT/PhD in Rehabilitation Science: The PhD in Rehabilitation Science program is a traditional PhD program that educates future scientists who will lead research investigations in academia and industry. DPT 2nd year students may apply to the PhD program and, if accepted, can take courses or lab work toward the completion of the PhD during their DPT 3rd year. Upon completion of the DPT degree, the students join the PhD program full-time. Graduates are awarded both the DPT and PhD degrees.
Will the professional (entry-level) PT program offer a satellite or branch campus to applicants during the upcoming admissions cycle?
Admission Interviews
Program conducts interviews as part of the admissions process?
Additional information about interviews
Applicants advancing to the next round in the admissions process are invited for a two-day interview weekend in January or February. This is an important part of the admissions process to enable a holistic review of the applicants' strengths and for applicants to become familiar with the joint UCSF/SFSU DPT program so that they can make the best decision for their career in Physical Therapy.
Is a Deposit Required for Accepted Applicants?
Total cumulative deposit
Additional Information about Deposit
Deposit will be applied towards fall registration fees.
Deposit Refundable?
Due Date of First Required Deposit
Incoming Class Profile
Anticipated Size of the Next Entering Class
Size of Most Recent Entering Class
% of IN-STATE applicants accepted
% of OUT-OF-STATE (non-resident) U.S. applicants accepted
% of INTERNATIONAL (non-U.S/non-Canadian) applicants accepted
% Male
% Female 
% Hispanic 
% American Indian/Alaskan Native
% Asian
% African-American/Black (Non-Hispanic)
% Hawaiian/Pacific Islander
% White (Not of Hispanic Origin) 
% Two or More Races 
% Declining to State 
Additional information about the class profile
UCSF and SFSU share a mission to educate physical therapists who are representative of California's population. We value the various dimensions and history of each applicant that bring a unique life perspective and have the potential to contribute to the UCSF/SFSU learning community.

Our 2021 incoming class is comprised of students who majored in Kinesiology/Pre-PT (34%), Exercise Biology/Sports Science (12%), Biology (16%), Economics/Sociology/Psychology/Anthropology (8%), Integrated/Neuro Biology (4%), Physiological Science (4%), Liberal Arts (10%), and Biochemistry (4%). They range from ages 21 to 45 at time of application. 
Minority-Serving Institution (MSI) Status
Program housed at a Minority-Serving Institution No