Colleges with Physical Therapy Majors

To become physical therapists, individuals must have a graduate degree in physical therapy. But first, they must complete a bachelor's degree in a separate discipline. Read on to learn about pre-physical therapy programs that can prepare someone for graduate programs in this field of study.

How to Select a Pre-Physical Therapy School

Individuals who would ultimately like to study physical therapy can find pre-physical therapy undergraduate programs at 4-year colleges and universities. Those interested in pursuing a career in physical therapy are first required to attain a bachelor's degree. There is no mandatory major field of study; however, students must complete specific classes to qualify for admission to graduate school programs in this field.

Further considerations when searching for a school in this field:

  • Check with schools to determine which classes are required for admittance and confirm that undergrad school offers necessary curriculum.
  • Look for schools with a dedicated physical therapy program that offers both undergraduate and graduate options.
  • Search for accredited schools approved by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE).

Pre-Physical Therapy Degree Program Overview

Bachelor's Degree

Common majors of study for prospective physical therapy students include biology, psychology, sociology and chemistry. These programs tend to include the courses that are necessary to enter a graduate-level physical therapy program. Although course requirements vary by schools, there are certain areas of study a prospective physical therapy student should pursue regardless of his or her major. Some of these courses include:

  • General psychology
  • Human anatomy and physiology
  • Chemistry
  • Communications
  • Physics

Continuing Education in Physical Therapy

With a bachelor's degree, individuals can apply for admittance into a physical therapy graduate program. Most states require prospective physical therapists to have a master's or doctoral degree to qualify for licensure. Both physical therapy assistant and physical therapy candidates must pass the National Physical Therapy Exam (NPTE) to earn a license.

Top Schools with Physical Therapy Programs

College/University Institution Type
University of Southern California 4-year, Private not-for-profit
University of Delaware 4-year, Public
University of Pittsburgh 4-year, Public
Washington University in St. Louis 4-year, Private not-for-profit
University of Iowa 4-year, Public
U.S. Army - Baylor University 4-year, Private not-for-profit
Emory University 4-year, Private not-for-profit
MGH Institute of Health Professions 4-year, Private not-for-profit
Northwestern University 4-year, Private not-for-profit
University of Miami 4-year, Private not-for-profit

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