2 answers

What degrees do I need to be a physical therapist?


I'm a junior in high school, and I've been considering physical therapy as a career choice. However, I don't know what college classes I should take or what I should major in. #physical-therapist #physical-therapy #physical #therapy #psychology #school #medicine #college #major

2 answers

G. Mark’s Answer


To be a Physical Therapist you'll generally major in biology or another foundational science as an undergraduate. After graduation, you'll undergo more specialized training in physical therapy at the graduate level. States require physical therapists to get licensed and at least a master's degree in order to practice. If at any time you decide to move to another field because something struck your fancy, you'll have a pretty solid foundation to go into a lot of areas. You really can't lose with this.

Brendon’s Answer

Updated Prosser, Washington

Great question Linzie. To become a physical therapist, you'll need a bachelor's and doctorate degree (seven years total.) Generally, undergraduate students major in movement sciences, exercise physiology, biology or another related degree. However, you can major in anything you'd like as long as you complete the require prerequisite (usually anatomy, physiology, chemistry, physics, math, and some psychology.) You can read more about that in the APTA website I've linked below.

Alternatively, you could become a physical therapist assistant (PTA.) A PTA completes two years of school and is trained in how to treat patients, but not how to diagnose/assess conditions. They work under the phsyical therapist to provide care as a team. Both careers are worth researching heavily.

Brendon recommends the following next steps:

  • Learn about the steps to becomming a PT/PTA http://www.apta.org/For_Prospective_Students/PT_Education/Physical_Therapist_(PT)_Education_Overview.aspx and http://www.apta.org/PTAEducation/Overview/
  • Look at www.capte.org for accredited programs near you and find what they require/recommend.