Physical Therapy (also known as Physiotherapy in some countries) uses physical modalities to help patients heal from disease or injury, regain lost motion, improve gait, and treat acute or chronic pain. Frequently, the disorders a physical therapist sees are neurological or musculoskeletal in origin. Specialty areas may include Sports Medicine, Neurologic or Pediatric Physical Therapy.
The entry-level degree is now the Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT). In the United States, masters degrees are no longer acceptable for practicing as a physical therapist, so they are not offered. Most states in the U.S. have one or more DPT programs.
Admission to a DPT program is highly competitive. Applications are made through the Physical Therapy Centralized Application Service.
- General Biology (2 semesters with lab)
- General Chemistry (2 semesters with lab)
- Anatomy and Physiology (1 semester each with lab), or Anatomy & Physiology (2 semesters with lab)
- Physics (2 semesters with lab)
- Statistics (1 semester)
- Psychology (1 or 2 semesters)
Recommended courses may include exercise Physiology, Kinesiology, Biomechanics, and Functional Anatomy.
There is not a pre-physical therapy major; like medicine or dentistry, you may choose any major and then add in other required courses you will need. If you choose to major in the sciences (Exercise Science, Biology, Chemistry) the majority of the prerequisite courses are included in the major. At Asbury, Exercise Science with a concentration in Kinesiology is the major that includes most of the required and recommended courses for applying to a DPT program.
Take specific prerequisite courses (General Biology, General Chemistry, Physics, Anatomy and Physiology, Statistics, etc.), shadow physical therapists, participate on mission trips, volunteer, participate in mock interviews, etc. Investigate Doctor of Physical Therapy programs to which you might apply.
Take the Graduate Record Exam (GRE); request letters of recommendation from faculty and physical therapist(s); complete application to physical therapy schools (AADSAS online applications); send copies of all college transcripts.
Complete major requirements, all Foundations requirements and electives needed to complete degree; interview; receive acceptance(s) to physical therapy program(s).
Contact Dr. Vins Sutlive, Asbury’s Pre-Physical Therapy Advisor, for more information and help in preparing for a career as a physical therapist.