The starting point for a career in physical therapy is your undergraduate preparation. You will need to earn a bachelor’s degree and fulfill the necessary pre-requisite courses. Such courses may vary somewhat among physical therapy programs, so be certain to determine the exact pre-requisite courses necessary to gain admission to the physical therapy schools of your choice. In general, undergraduate preparation will entail the following courses.
- General (inorganic) Chemistry I and II plus the laboratory components
- General Physics I and II plus the laboratory components
- Biology I and II plus the laboratory components
- Psychology – general (introductory) psychology
- Developmental Psychology (lifespan, gerontology, etc.)
- Mathematics - statistics
Recommended Courses (these can vary considerably at physical therapy schools; some of these courses may be mandatory at some institutions)
- Human Anatomy plus the laboratory component
- Human Physiology plus the laboratory component
- Organic Chemistry
- Abnormal Psychology
- Medical Terminology
When selecting an undergraduate major you have several choices, bearing in mind that you will need a solid grounding in the basic sciences. You can choose any major you like as long as you successfully complete all of the pre-requisite courses above. However, it may be wise to choose a major that includes many of the above courses. This will make it easier to schedule your course work and stay on track to graduate on time.