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Preparing for Physical Therapy School

DO YOU WANT TO BE A PHYSICAL THERAPIST?

IMPORTANT INFORMATION FOR CHOOSING COURSES!!

Dear Beloit College Health Professions student,

We hope to be able to help you in your choice of courses as you prepare for admission to the professional school of your choice. The courses that are required for Physical Therapy programs are similar to Medical Schools, but different schools have slightly different requirements. Please check the school in your home state or others that you are interested in.

All physical therapy programs require:

            Experience in 2 different physical therapy practices, with different populations. 

            (40 to 100 hours required, depending on school)

            1 semester of introductory biology           

            2 semesters of Chemistry, usually Chem 117 and Chem 230

            2 semesters Anatomy and Physiology

            2 semesters Physics

            Exercise Physiology

            Biomechanics (which we consider Dance Kinesiology)

            Statistics

            Introduction to Psychology

            LifeSpan Developmental Psychology

Other courses that may be required include Cell Biology, Mathematics, English Composition.

Physical Therapy schools require you to take the Graduate Record Exam (GRE) by the fall of your senior year.

Physical Therapy schools are highly competitive.  You need a grade point average above 3.2 to be considered by most schools.  Remember, you are competing with students from all over the country for admission.  

The Health Professions advisors can help you set up internships with local physical therapists. Experience is essential to your admission.  Schools are also interested in your volunteer activities, your leadership abilities, and your commitment to working with people.  

The professors on the Health Professions Advisory Committee are available to advise you on what you need to do to get in to a physical therapy program.  You will need to select a major; Students who have gone on to physical therapy programs have majored in biology, psychology, chemistry and health and society.

It is important that you take 2 laboratory courses during your first year at Beloit College.  We strongly recommend that you take Chemistry 117 and an introductory Biology course such as Human Biology.  Plan to take a dance class in your first 2 years, so that you can enroll in Dance Kinesiology.

Resources:

Alumni suggestions on preparing for a graduate Physical Therapy program

University of Wisconsin Physical Therapy Program Patient Care Experience Form