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What courses in college are required when majoring in physical therapy?

I am a senior in high school, and I am still trying to decide what to major in for college. I have a few ideas as to what I may want to major in and physical therapy is one of my top choices. Learning about the required college courses can help me understand what to expect for this major. #physicaltherapy #courses #choosing-a-major

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Sheila’s Answer

Hi Bryce:

Thank you for your question. I'm currently going through physical therapy and I appreciate my therapists. They really push me past my pain and I appreciate it very much. I feel so much better after my sessions. Here's a list of classes for your consideration.

• Biology/Anatomy
• Chemistry
• Physiology
• Bio-mechanics
• Neuroscience

I wish you much success on your journey. Best of luck to you! ~ Sheila

Sheila recommends the following next steps:

https://www.apta.org/your-career/careers-in-physical-therapy/becoming-a-pt
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Simone’s Answer

You definitely want to go with general science courses, such as biology, chemistry, and physiology. I recommend looking online at requirements for grad physical therapy programs at a few schools to get a better idea of what you'll need. Also, make good use of your college counselor to help you pick the right courses for this.
Thank you comment icon Thank you so much! Bryce
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Erika’s Answer

Physical Therapy is a very exciting field and career. Many of the initial courses align with that of a pre-med college track: chemistry, biology, etc. If it's a career that truly interests you, set up an appointment with a doctor of physical therapy in your area. Ask them about their daily work, what school was like for them, and the different kinds of physical therapy that you can specialize in. Be aware that there is a lot of schooling involved in becoming a physical therapist, and a lot of certifications required, but it is a very interesting, rewarding field. Best wishes!
Thank you comment icon Thank you so much! Bryce
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Katrina’s Answer

Hi Bryce,

Physical therapy school can be done in one of two ways.

Path One: Entry level program where you are accepted as a freshman into the physical therapy program. In these programs, you generally start off in the first two years collecting your general education requirements (history, English, etc), and you start with building of maths and sciences, biology, chemistry, physics, anatomy etc. As you progress you will start into more specialized sciences, such as kinesiology, musculoskeletal and neurosciences, and these kinds of classes. You should also should expect courses in health care management, healthcare economics as well as a general overview.

Path Two: Start as an undergraduate with a degree in: Your choice, exercise science, health science, biology, pre-med, psychology etc. You should still expect to have science heavy curriculums, but you will also have a lot of major specific courses in the particular major that you chose. After getting the bachelors, you would then go on to the graduate program, where you will still take all of the courses that I mentioned above (give or take -every school is different).

I believe that most schools should have on their website, or be able to provide if you asked a "course map" where it lays out what the general overview of the major looks like and what courses are required to graduate with that major. That might also be a good jumping off point too!
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Beth’s Answer

Most graduate PT programs will accept any major, but a major in the sciences will definitely give you more of the core classes that the grad schools will be looking for. Take a look at Exercise Science and Kinesiology undergrad degrees, as both tend to give a good foundation for PT programs. Also, if you are certain that you want to become a PT, consider undergrad schools with a direct admission option. Direct admits complete their undergrad degree in 3 years, and the DPT in the following 3 years, which reduces the number of years you're in school by a full year. Best of luck to you!
Thank you comment icon Thank you so much! Bryce
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