Physical therapists work with individuals across all age ranges to improve their quality of life through exercise, hands-on care and education. They help evaluate patients and provide preventative care, rehabilitation, and treatment for injuries. Careers in physical therapies are diverse, and include work in clinics, hospitals, at-home, schools, fitness facilities, workplaces and in nursing homes. 

In the U.S. physical therapists must have a Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT), which requires three years of education. Curriculum is both in the classroom and in the clinic. Upon completing their degrees about a third of physical therapists work in a clinical setting, with 26% working in a hospital setting.

The American Physical Therapy Association website has information on Becoming a PT, to help you learn more about the career field.

Prerequisites:  The academic requirements for admission to physical therapy school typically include courses in anatomy, physiology, biology, general chemistry, general physics, psychology and statistics. Physical therapy schools may vary in their prerequisites, so be sure to check prerequisites by program. For Texas these are listed in the Texas Physical Therapy Association. For the U.S. these are listed at the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education.

Major: Pre-Physical Therapy is more of a pathway than a degree at MSU. Students may major in anything and still be eligible to apply to Physical Therapy school if prerequisite requirements are met.  However most pre-physical therapy students will pursue degrees in either in biology or exercise physiology because they include prerequisite requirements of physical therapy school.

  • Biology: Curriculum is the BS Option D Pre-physical therapy, and includes more science courses.  The degree plan can be found on the MCOSME degree plans page. The MCOSME academic advisor helps to advise pre-physical therapy students.

It can be helpful to consult with each department before making a final decision on the best pathway. 

The Physical Therapist Centralized Application Service (PTCAS) is used to apply to physical therapy school.

For most programs applicants must have volunteer or paid experiences working under the supervision of a licensed physical therapist, and your experience may be an important factor in the admissions process. Early in your undergraduate career you should contact physical therapy clinics, hospitals, long-term care facilities and other health care settings to finaid observation opportunities.

The focus for pre-physical therapy students needs to be on GPA and experience. Most programs require a minimum of a 3.0 GPA, but some highly competitive programs require GPA as high as 3.75. Most programs also require students take the Graduate Record Exam (GRE) for admission.