Admission to graduate programs is competitive. You need a bachelor's degree, good grades, and good test scores.
Additional requirements at some schools include:
- Graduate Record Exam (GRE) General
- Letters of recommendation
- Personal statement
- Volunteer or professional experience related to physical therapy
- Courses in biology, chemistry, social sciences, physics, and physiology
Typical course work
This graduate program typically includes courses in the following subjects:
- Assessment, Examinations, and Treatment
- Human Biology
- Human Growth and Development
- Manifestations of Disease
- Therapeutic Procedures
In addition, depending on your interests, you can take courses in other areas such as:
- Cardiopulmonary Systems
- Sports Medicine
Physical therapy programs require you to participate in several clinical and laboratory rotations. This means that you work and study in hospitals, clinics, and other medical centers under the supervision of professors and licensed physical therapists. Students continue learning about human biology, injury, and illness while also practicing the skills and techniques of physical therapy. This usually includes observing therapists working with patients, creating treatment plans, and working directly with patients themselves.
All physical therapists are required to become licensed to practice and treat patients. You must graduate from an accredited physical therapy program and pass a national exam.
The physical therapy field is moving toward phasing out the master's degree training option. Thus you should consider enrolling in a doctoral degree program.