Physical Therapy


To become a physical therapist involves earning a doctorate in Physical Therapy.  In order to prepare yourself to apply to the physical therapy programs of your choice, you must complete physical therapy prerequisite courses, get good grades in all of your courses, gain physical therapy experience, and take the GRE test. Here you will find details about what common prerequisite courses for Physical Therapy programs in Washington State are.

Admissions requirements are different at all Physical Therapy schools and are subject to change without notice, so it is very important for all Physical Therapy applicants to carefully research the requirements for admission at all prospective Physical Therapy schools early enough to address any deficiencies in preparation for admission to the schools of your choice.

Common Physical Therapy Prerequisite Courses

The following list of requirements is specific to the courses required for admission to UW Seattle, University of Puget Sound, and Eastern Washington University’s Physical Therapy programs at this time. Prerequisites at other universities may differ, so please consult individual programs prerequisites carefully. A list of all accredited programs is available at the American Physical Therapy Association web site
• Calculus (1 course)
• General Chemistry, with labs (1 year)
• General Biology, with labs (1 year)
• General Physics, with labs (1 year)
• Statistics (1 course)
• Anatomy and Physiology two-quarter sequence, both with labs
• Behavioral sciences: two courses that emphasize human behavior or disability
• 1 course, 300-level or above, in human or animal physiology
• 1 additional 300-level or above biological sciences course

It is important to check every school you’re considering as many have other prerequisites.

Things to be aware of

Most Physical Therapy programs require extensive observational exposure to physical therapists working in a broad variety of PT settings with different types of patients. Begin early. 

Typically, four letters of recommendation, at least one from a physical therapist, are required.

Apply widely! Physical Therapy programs are all very competitive.

When you volunteer in a Physical Therapy setting, ask the therapists where they went to school and ask them to tell you about their experience applying and completing the program.

Helpful Websites

Did You Know?

UW Bothell will celebrate its 25th anniversary during the 2014-15 school year.