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What college has the best program that will prepare you to major in physical therapy

I want to be a physical therapist senior college-major physical-therapist

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Thomas’s Answer

"Best Colleges with Pre-Physical Therapy Studies Degrees in the U.S.

If you are seeking a degree in Pre-Physical Therapy Studies, you'll find there are three different degrees that can be earned. A major in Pre-Physical Therapy Studies is a somewhat popular major and offered at a decent amount schools, all of which are listed below. Our 2021 ranking of the best colleges that offer Pre-Physical Therapy Studies degrees is based on the compilation of our data from reliable government sources, student surveys, college graduate interviews, and editorial review. You can find more information about a Pre-Physical Therapy Studies degree below along with a look at schools that offer online degrees in Pre-Physical Therapy Studies."

-University of Dayton
-Western Washington University
-Campbell University
-The University of Findlay
-Ball State University

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Miriam’s Answer


Physical therapists remain in high demand, and it’s a very rewarding career. From my personal experience, I don’t think the particular college you go to for studies prior to applying for a physical therapy program will have a significant impact on whether you are accepted into a physical therapy program. However, it will be important that the college offers the courses and degrees that will help you be best prepared.

This link to the American Physical Therapy Association has a lot of good information about common prerequisites and typical majors of applicants for DPT programs.

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Susie’s Answer

Hi Trinity, Some schools with DPT programs have early entry, or I think they call it "Early Assurance", meaning you enter as a college freshman and spend 6-7 years at the same university, graduating with a DPT. Check out Marquette University, in Milwaukee. I went to MU when it was "just" a BS in PT, so back then we only did the 4-year degree, but now it is a DPT program, like all USA-based PT programs. I am sorry that I don't know which college is the "best" in terms out outcomes with DPT school placements. I know it is very competitive now. I would guess the school which offer more rigorous coursework and a strong lab science curriculum would give you a better chance than a school that is less rigorous. UIC in Chicago looks like it has a Pre-PT curriculum and it is an amazing PT school. Everyone I know who has graduated from their DPT program has loved it. It is very competitive though, 60 places for every 800 applicants, per their website. Northwestern, in Chicago, is also a good program.

Wherever you go, I'd recommend a major in whatever is SUPER exciting to you, follow your passions, while also making sure you hit on all of the pre-requisite coursework you will need to apply to a graduate DPT program. My eldest will apply to DOT school next year and is majoring in psychology, neuroscience, and studio art, while also knocking out anatomy, physiology, Spanish, and a few other lab science courses. Some pre-PT students major in kinesiology, biology, and neuroscience, but I think our field also needs people who have majored in sociology, child development, political science, and psychology. If you can, add/upgrade a second language while in undergrad. In Chicago, where I work in the pediatric PT field, I think Spanish, Polish, ASL, and Arabic are most helpful, but I think any second language can be a big asset.

You will also need to gather observation hours, in different PT settings. Here is some information about getting ready to apply, from the UIC PT website,

Good luck. Let me know if you have more questions, happy to help.
Susie Donohue