Although DPT schools do not strictly require particular healthcare experiences, many do require or strongly recommend that you shadow a PT and obtain experience in healthcare prior to applying. Schools that do require observation hours require between 25-100 hours, so it is in your best interest to plan to obtain your experience several months in advance. To expand your experiences, you might consider volunteering to demonstrate your service orientation or gaining other experience in healthcare to ensure your interest in the field. If interested in learning more, see the PA page on Gaining Experience (link).
Advice for Obtaining PT Observation Hours:
Research the shadowing requirements for your programs of interest to gauge their expected number of hours and to plan ahead for shadowing over breaks or the summer
Seek out local PT offices and call to ask if they will allow you to shadow. During COVID, you may want to sign up for Pre-PTGrind's Virtual Observation Hours.
Follow the PTCAS instructions on how to properly report your PT observation