Physical Therapy Requirements
Most physical therapist education programs require applicants to earn a bachelor's degree prior to admission into a professional physical therapy program.
- Certain coursework
- Good GPA
- Test scores (GRE)
A competitive applicant for PT programs will have taken the recommended coursework (see below), have a GPA of 3.3-3.5, taken the GRE, have good references, and have some PT experience (shadowing, observation, volunteer, etc, ...).
There is some variation in the pre-requisite coursework needed at the undergraduate level. Below is a listing of LU courses that meet the minimum undergraduate coursework required by most programs. Also listed is some additional coursework that may be required by some programs.
- Biol 130 – Cells to Organisms
- Biol 150 – Organisms to Ecosystems
- Biol 310 - Human Anatomy
- Biol 370 - Human Physiology
- Chem 116 – Energetics and Dynamics (may need 115 Structure and Reactivity)
- Phys 141 – Principles of Mechanics
- Statistics (Math 107, 207, or Biol 170)
- Psyc 100 – Principles of Psychology
- Psyc 270 – Social Psychology
Additional courses for some programs:
- Another biology course
- Another chemistry course
- Another physics course (req by UW-Milwaukee)
- Another math course
- Another one or two psychology courses
Usually a biology major works well for preparing for physical therapy school. A psychology or chemistry major also works well.
PROGRAM COST and LENGTH
The length of professional physical therapy programs is typically 3 years and the average cost per year for programs in 2017-18 were as follows:
To practice as a physical therapist in the US, you must earn a PT degree from a CAPTE-accredited physical therapist education program and pass a state licensure exam.
PROGRAMS attended by LU ALUMS
Drexel University, Marquette University, Northwestern University, UW-La Crosse