Share page: 

Pre-Physical Therapy

This is an online information and orientation source for students seeking information about Pre-Physical Therapy at PSU.

The Biology Department program is a pre-professional program in physical therapy. The curriculum includes these courses needed to qualify for a BS in Biology and those needed for admission into Physical Therapy Graduate Programs at other universities, including Kansas University and Wichita State University. Graduate PT programs require a BS degree, but not necessarily a biology degree. However, since there are many science requirements, it is difficult to get a non-biology degree in four years and still meet the PT course requirements.

Get all of this including the linked material here (PDF).

See additional information on the Academic Programs page and on the Biology Careers page under Health and Laboratory Sciences.

General Curriculum Information: Pre-Physical Therapy Curriculum

Students take the standard biology coursework, plus a minor in chemistry, psychology or physical science. A Physical Science Minor is "standard' with our Pre-PT curriculum. A normal course load is around 16-credit hours/semester and can be completed in 4 years. Freshmen will take one biology course plus one chemistry or physics course per semester and perhaps one summer to finish the degree in 4 years. The schedule is filled in with General Education Courses, but remember to save a few Gen Eds for near the end of your degree since you will need to get out of Heckert-Wells Hall occasionally.

Transfer students as entering juniors will need to take two biology courses plus chemistry or physics course per semester with most likely one summer to finish the degree in 2 PSU years. This will be very busy for you since you are doubled-up on the science curriculum to finish on time. Keep in mind that mainly lower division courses are offered over the summer, so it may be to your advantage to take summer classes as a Freshmen or Sophomore!

Biology Pre-Physical Therapy FAQ

1. How do I find out more about physical therapy careers?

Read about Careers in Physical Therapy [link]. Contact a physical therapist and ask about the job, plan a visit.

2. What courses do I take?

See the current catalog or, if you have earlier enrollments, the appropriate catalog.

3. Who is my advisor?

The Biology office will assign an advisor to you from those Biology faculty who advise pre-PT students. GUS will have this information when it is available. Advisors are here for you and provide: help, moral support, letters of recommendation, advice, insight, and guidance.

4. What are the most important items for me to act on?

  • Apply early
  • Get all your observation hours
  • Be sure you have the right required coursework for your intended school
  • Get good letters

5. How do I get observation hours?

Contact a physical therapist or physical therapy clinic (free-standing or hospital-affiliated). Be professional! Get the right number of hours needed for your school. Here are some common guidance pointers for a successful observation experience:

  • Adopt a professional attitude
  • Arrive for appointments on time
  • Always call ahead if you can't make it or will be late
  • Wear appropriate professional clothing (no jeans, flip-flops, revealing clothing, clothing with messages or printing)
  • Always be aware of HIPAA and patient confidentiality issues

6. How do I apply for physical therapy school?

  • About DPT Programs [link]
  • PT Program Application Process [link]

Faculty in the Pre-Physical Therapy Program

 Peter A. Chung, Ph.D.
Professor of Microbiology
Department of Biology
Office: 303 Heckert-Wells Hall
Phone: 620-235-4736