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Can I still become a physical therapist with the major sports health?

I may of choose the wrong major & the major for kinesiology is filled. Can I still do PT with my major?

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To: Friend
Subject: Career question for you

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Patrick’s Answer

Denise, it's important to realize that you absolutely can pursue a career as a physical therapist even with a sports health major. Although kinesiology is a common and straightforward choice, a sports health degree can also lay a robust groundwork for a physical therapy career. Both areas of study delve into vital topics like anatomy, physiology, biomechanics, and injury prevention, which are all key for a physical therapy career.

To meet the entry requirements for physical therapy school, you should concentrate on completing courses that are usually required, such as biology, chemistry, physics, and psychology. It's also advantageous to acquire relevant experience through internships, volunteering, or part-time jobs in physical therapy environments. These experiences can bolster your application and offer practical understanding of the profession.

Moreover, it's essential to keep your GPA high and establish good relationships with professors and professionals who can provide compelling letters of recommendation. If you notice any gaps in your coursework, think about taking extra classes or obtaining certifications that align with physical therapy prerequisites.

Denise, it's crucial to understand that even if your major isn't the conventional choice, with thoughtful planning and strategic course selection, you can successfully transition into a physical therapy program and achieve your dream of becoming a physical therapist.
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Donna’s Answer

Denise,
There really isn't a "wrong" major for PT school entry. As a PT professor for 20 years, serving many years on admission boards, I recommend that no matter what your undergrad degree major is, that you make sure you meet the prerequisites of the PT schools where you intend to apply. Most importantly, you must have taken the prerequisites and done well in them.
So, first, identify several PT schools that you want to apply to then go into the school's on-line catalog and see what each particular school requires for admission to PT school. For example, some schools may require a microbiology course or an advanced chemistry but others may not. You may need to take a semester or two more to finish these prerequisites. And always apply to more than one PT school!
Study hard and good luck...
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Elizabeth’s Answer

Dear Denise,

Thanks for reaching out and expressing interest in a Physical Therapy career. To earn your Doctorate in Physical Therapy (DPT) from an accredited Physical Therapy Program, you'll need to complete certain prerequisites and meet specific requirements during your undergraduate studies.

There's no particular undergraduate major that's mandatory or favored for pursuing a DPT. A great resource to determine the required courses for each school is the Physical Therapist Centralized Application Services (PTCAS) program directory. Many schools necessitate that these courses be finished within a 7-10 year period before enrollment. As per the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) website, the most frequently required prerequisite courses are:

-Anatomy / A&P 1 with lab
-Physiology / A&P 2 with lab
-Biology 1 (excluding botany or zoology)
-Biology 2 (excluding botany or zoology)
-General Chemistry 1 with lab
-General Chemistry 2 with lab
-General Physics 1 with lab
-General Physics 2 with lab
-Psychology
-Statistics

Choosing Sports Health as your major could cover most, if not all, of these courses. It's advisable to collaborate with an academic advisor to plan your course schedule and include any additional classes needed to meet the school's requirements.

I trust this information is beneficial to you.

Best regards,
Elizabeth

Elizabeth recommends the following next steps:

Research perquisite course requirements for schools through the PTCAS website
Contact an academic advisor at your school to plan your course schedule
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