Physical therapists work with individuals with movement or mobility problems in order to prevent, restore or resolve the dysfunctional condition. They find work in hospitals, private clinics, public schools, health maintenance organizations, nursing homes, rehabilitation centers and home health agencies. In order to become physical therapist, students complete a Doctor of Physical Therapy program (DPT). Preparing yourself to apply to the physical therapy program of your choice involves completing a bachelor’s degree, taking the necessary prerequisites required by DPT programs, getting good grades in all of your courses, gaining experience in the field (through work, volunteering, and shadowing), and taking the GRE. Many DPT programs require extensive observational exposure to physical therapists working in a broad variety of PT settings with different types of patients. Begin early.
As a pre-PT student, you can major in anything. There is not a specific major that all pre-PT students must have. DPT programs care that you do well in your major and your pre-PT coursework. Think about what interests you and what will best prepare you to be the best physical health provider you can be.
Students should apply the year prior to their intended start date. Deadlines for application vary by program.
- Take the GRE (Graduate Record Exam), if needed
- Submit the PTCAS application (Physical Therapy Centralized Application Service)
Visit the Apply page for more on prerequisite coursework and grades, transcripts, activities, personal statements and letters of recommendation in general.
When you are invited, submit secondary applications as necessary for the schools to which you are applying. These typically involve school-specific writing responses and interviews.
Some PT schools will conduct interviews as part of the secondary application process. Students are advised to prepare for their interviews by scheduling a mock interview with the Natural Science & Pre Health Professional Pathways Advisor. Students should also become familiar with the type of questions that may be asked during their interview.