Physical therapy is a profession dealing with the development and administration of programs of care to restore motor function, relieve pain, and prevent disability in individuals whose abilities are threatened by disease, injury, loss of a body part, or conditions existing at birth. Evaluation includes performing and evaluating tests to determine the extent of injury, the cause of dysfunction, and the selection of appropriate therapeutic procedures.
A licensed physical therapist requires a doctoral degree (DPT, Doctor of Physical Therapy). In order to be admitted to the doctoral program, student should complete the following pre-requisites: one year of general chemistry with labs, one year of physics with labs, one year of general biology (can include zoology), human anatomy, physiology, pre-calculus (or higher math), one year of psychology (general + advanced course – some schools are specific about the second PSY course) and statistics. Additional suggested courses of value include: sociology, exercise physiology, biochemistry, medical terminology, and management courses. In addition, interested students must document 50-100 clock hours of work or volunteer experience directly related to physical therapy. Specific requirements vary by institution, so students should consult the websites of schools that are of interest.
Suggested pre-Physical Therapy courses in addition to the University’s Liberal Studies requirements include:
- BIO 111 Principles of Biology
- BIO 210 General Zoology
- BIO 301 Human Anatomy
- BIO 303 Human Physiology
- CHE 101/110 General Chemistry I/Lab
- CHE 102/120 General Chemistry II/Lab
- MAT 120 Precalculus
- PHY 207 Physics in Biological Sciences I
- PHY 208 Physics in Biological Sciences I
- PSY 200 General Psychology
- SOC/POS/PSY 300 Statistics for the Behavioral and Social Sciences
- PSY 400 Abnormal Psychology (some schools are specific about the second PSY course needed)
Additional courses of value include:
- BIO 220 Medical Terminology (recommended, but KSU does not offer)
- CHE 315 Biochemistry (highly recommended)
- SOC 203 Principles of Sociology
- PHE 330 Physiology of Exercise
- MGT 301 Principles of Management 3
Many schools require that students take the GRE (Graduate Record Exam) as part of the admission process. Students may also be asked to apply through a special website, PTCAS (Physical Therapist Centralized Application Service), one year before they desire admission.
Interested students should maintain close contact with the Division’s Pre Health Professions advisors.