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What classes would you have to take to be a physical therapist?

Classes that will prepare you the most for this career path.

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Alison’s Answer

Many states now require Physical Therapists to have a doctorate degree or DPT. As LaTerricka said above, it would be wise to look at the curriculum for PT programs in your area to get an idea as to what coursework is required.
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LaTerricka’s Answer

Usually you would do a lot around the body such as anatomy, physiology, kinesiology and things like that.

LaTerricka recommends the following next steps:

If you know you have an interest in this field look at the schools in your area that offer the program and see if you can either do a tour or see if they have some of their curriculum online to get a better feel for it.
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Rachel’s Answer

Hi Liv!

To echo what everyone said, you'll want to look into that PT programs require. But for the most part if your school offers a "pre-med" track, that should check off many, if not all the classes, that will be required. That being said, this does not mean you need to major in a science! I know plenty of people who majored in things like Philosophy and History- two areas they were very interested in- while also following the pre-med track.
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Beth’s Answer

Hi Liv,
To expand on the previous answers - all states now require at post graduate degree of 2-3 years giving you a DPT. (Total of 6-7 years of college)

You also have to pass a national board exam to practice. Each state has slightly different requirements to pass the exam and there are 31 states who will accept you if you passed the test in one of the other consortium states.

Each graduate program has slightly different prerequisites from undergraduate school. Go to the American Physical Therapy Association web site (APTA.org) to explore programs in your area or where you want to live. Then go to the individual schools websites for a list of prerequisites required for admission. Some schools want calculus, some want comparative zoology, some want more psych classes etc. like Rachel said, you can major in anything, but you need to get the right classes.

Grades will be very important! There are usually many more applicants then spaces available in the program. (Last I heard it was 500 applicants for 50 positions.) Different schools use different criteria for admission. That information is in their website also, but you really have to search. Schools always look at your grades, especially science grades, test scores like GRE, SAT, but also community activities like volunteer at special Olympics or nursing home, dance/sports participation, They want smart, personable applicants.

The pre- med curriculum advice is accurate. PT also has psychology requirements, English/ grammar/ writing requirements ( we have to write to insurance companies about why our patients need equipment like a new wheelchair, or even more therapy), math, physics, chemistry, and extra curricular activities like student council, or sports, or job in healthcare ( nurse aide, therapy tech, receptionist).

Good luck! Physical therapy is an amazing profession!

Beth recommends the following next steps:

APTA.org for graduate programs in the area.
University physical therapy program web site for prerequisites.
Keep your grades up!
Get involved with community activities/sports
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