Medicine Physical Therapy
The physical therapist works with patients to help improve their strength and mobility, relieve pain, and prevent or limit permanent physical impairment. A physical therapist’s duties may range from rehabilitation of accident victims, to educating in the schools and community on health issues, to sports-related assessment, conditioning and preventive medicine.
The necessary prerequisite courses vary significantly among institutions. However, most physical therapy programs require:
1 Year General Biology — Bio 111 and 112
1 Semester Anatomy — Bio 221
1 Semester Physiology — Bio 315 (Bio 212 is a prerequisite)
1 Year Chemistry — Chem 111, Chem 211
1 Semester Calculus — Calculus 111
1 Year Physics — Physics 111, Physics 112
1 or 2 Semesters Psychology — Psych 101; Psych 220 or Psych 221
Programs might also require Organic Chemistry (Chem 221 and 321), composition, statistics, or other social sciences. Students can learn more about core prerequisite course requirements for each physical therapy program at the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) web site. A PDF of program prerequisites can be found here.
There is now a centralized application service for physical therapy programs, PTCAS. Not all PT programs accept the PTCAS, so students must investigate which schools will accept a centralized application and which they need to apply to individually. The standardized test required for entrance into most physical therapy programs is the (GRE).
Typically, a student needs a minimum GPA of 3.3 on a 4.0 scale to be a competitive applicant.
The Education and the Degree: All physical therapists are college graduates. In the past, baccalaureate and master’s degrees were awarded to physical therapists. However, as of 2002, the accreditation organization for Physical Therapists (CAPTE) no longer certifies baccalaureate programs, and most programs today award a Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT). The DPT takes 2.5 to 3 years to complete depending on the program.
All physical therapists are also required to take a national examination and be licensed by the state in which they practice.
Contact Jill Rogers, the Wabash Pre-Health Profession’s Advisor, with questions.
MAJORS, MINORS AND OTHER PROGRAMS OF STUDY
- ACCOUNTING (DUAL-DEGREE)
- BUSINESS (MINOR)
- COMPUTER SCIENCE (MINOR)
- EDUCATION STUDIES (MINOR)
- ENGINEERING (DUAL-DEGREE)
- FINANCIAL ECONOMICS
- GENDER STUDIES (MINOR)
- HISPANIC STUDIES
- INTERNATIONAL STUDIES (MINOR)
- MODERN LANGUAGES
- MULTICULTURAL AMER. STUDIES (MINOR)
- PRE-MEDICINE (PRE-PROFESSIONAL)
- POLITICAL SCIENCE