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Best major to choose to become a PT?

I'm a senior who is about to graduate and go off to college but I was wondering if majoring in Biology would be the best route to take to become a Physical Therapist? If not, which major would you recommend? #physical-therapist #physical-therapy #hospital-and-health-care #sports #athletics

Thank you comment icon I am not sure what would be the best major in becoming a PT but you definitely will have to learn anatomy/physiology as well as the physics behind being a PT. Angela Redito Ichinose

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Mikal’s Answer

When actually applying to PT school your major does not matter. You will have to fulfill the pre requisite courses which oftentimes includes physics, anatomy/physiology and calculus. Therefore science related majors will meet those pre reqs without taking additional classes.

I graduated from PT school with a class size of 50. One classmate was an English major and two did career changes from engineering , the other from a marketing job. And of course there were several biology and kinesiology-exercise science majors. Don’t think you have to go the traditional route if PT interest you. A non traditional major on one hand makes you stand out amongst so many applicants and will spark conversation if granted an interview for PT school.

In college, you may change your mind , possibly several times. So whatever you major in, if you decided PT school is for you, make sure you have your prerequisite completed.

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James Constantine’s Answer

Dear Akilah,

Choosing the Right Major for a Career in Physical Therapy

If you're aiming to be a physical therapist, you'll usually need to earn a Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) degree. This requires a robust grounding in the sciences. Although a Biology major can offer a sturdy base for the science courses in a DPT program, it's not the sole choice you have. Physical therapy programs don't necessitate a specific major, provided you've completed the prerequisite courses.

Exploring Other Majors Beyond Biology

There are several majors that can equip students for a DPT program:

Exercise Science: This major delves into the scientific exploration of human movement, often including classes in anatomy, physiology, and biomechanics. These subjects are directly linked to physical therapy and can lay a strong groundwork for the DPT program.
Kinesiology: Much like exercise science, kinesiology centers on human movement and its impact on health and wellness. It often involves studies in anatomy, physiology, and biomechanics, as well as psychology and sociology.
Public Health: This major is all about disease prevention and health promotion in communities. While it might not have as many direct ties to physical therapy as exercise science or kinesiology, it can offer a wider perspective on health and wellness, which can be advantageous for physical therapists.
Psychology: This major delves into the study of human behavior and mental processes. Even though it might not have as many direct links to physical therapy as the other majors, it can offer insights into patients' thinking and behavior, which can be beneficial for physical therapists working with patients suffering from chronic pain or disabilities.

Deciding on a Major

When deciding on a major, consider what interests you and where your strengths lie. If human movement fascinates you and you enjoy studying anatomy, physiology, and biomechanics, then exercise science or kinesiology could be suitable choices. If health promotion and prevention appeal to you, then public health could be a good match. If you're intrigued by human behavior and mental processes, then psychology might be a fitting choice.

No matter what major you opt for, it's crucial to complete the prerequisite courses for DPT programs, usually including studies in anatomy, physiology, chemistry, physics, and statistics. It's also vital to gain patient-related experience through internships or volunteer work.

To sum up, while a Biology major can offer a firm base for a DPT program, it's not the only path you can take. Exercise science, kinesiology, public health, and psychology can also offer relevant studies and prepare students for a career in physical therapy. Ultimately, the best major for you will depend on your personal interests and strengths.

God Bless!
James Constantine Frangos.
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MICHAEL’s Answer

Akilah. Biology is a good start. I would recommend PreMed. That way you would get anatomy and physiology as well. Psychology would also help in handling the personal issues of he patients are dealing with after serious injury or illness. It would also help to speak with an admissions officer in a PT school. Good luck, Michael
Thank you comment icon I agree with Michaels recommendations. Theresa Boyd, M.D., FCAP
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Rachel’s Answer

<span style="background-color: transparent;">Collegeboard.org is a great resource for this! I poured through the pages of universities all over the U.S. when I was a senior in high school. Collegeboard was my go-to site! They put all of the information in one place and it is very easy to use. They even have various filters you can apply to see only colleges that have programs you are interested. To determine academic rigor, look at the admissions requirements, G.P.A. of past admitted applicants, SAT/ACT scores, class rank etc. This will give you an idea of what scores and grades you need to be accepted. However, don't be discouraged your application will be reviewed based on the full picture! College-board will help you get an idea of what is most important to the specific school you are applying to.</span>


This professional recommends the following next steps:

  • <span style="background-color: transparent;">Chat with your Guidance Counselor</span>
  • <span style="background-color: transparent;">Create a Collegeboard.org account</span>
  • <span style="background-color: transparent;">Start using CollegeBoard as a resource to look up schools.</span>


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