Pre-physical therapy is a curricular focus for students who plan to enter a graduate degree program in physical therapy.
What is pre-physical therapy?
Most pre‑physical therapy students are biology majors; however, a pre‑physical therapy student can major in virtually any discipline. Pre‑physical therapy students are advised by the pre‑physical therapy advisors with regard to prerequisite courses required by physical therapy programs, Graduate Record Exam (GRE) preparation, physical therapy school application procedures and current trends in physical therapy school admissions. Pre‑physical therapy students are encouraged to participate in internship experiences in private and hospital settings and attend open houses at physical therapy schools.
What is the pre-physical therapy curriculum?
Course requirements vary considerably among the numerous physical therapy graduate programs. Most often, however, prerequisites for entry into PT programs include at least:
- 16 credits of biology (including human anatomy & physiology),
- 8 credits of chemistry,
- 8 credits of physics, 6 credits of English,
- 6-9 credits of psychology, and
- 3 credits of statistics
Other courses might be required by specific programs so students are advised to examine the specific requirements of the schools to which they plan to apply early in their undergraduate program. The health sciences track in biology enables the pre‑physical therapy student to schedule this course work along with other course requirements for the respective major. Pre‑physical therapy students pursuing a non‑science major can include these science requirements as electives; however, physical therapy schools expect non‑science majors to perform very well in these science courses.
What are the characteristics of a successful pre-physical therapy student?
There are 16 physical therapy graduate programs in Pennsylvania and many more nationwide. All are highly competitive and have strict course prerequisites. Shippensburg students who have been accepted into PT graduate programs almost always have QPA’s of 3.3 or better, performed above average on the GRE, and conducted internships in a variety of physical therapy settings. Leadership, community/human service and a willingness to volunteer contribute to the “personal qualities” of successful pre‑physical therapy students. Pre-physical therapy students plan a strategy early in their college career with regard to course sequences, preparing for and taking the GRE, internship experiences and application to physical therapy schools. They should also communicate frequently with their pre‑physical therapy advisor.
Is Shippensburg University affiliated with any physical therapy school?
Shippensburg University is affiliated with Thomas Jefferson University College of Health Professions in Philadelphia. Because TJU offers the doctorate in physical therapy (DPT), a baccalaureate degree is required prior to entering their graduate program. Shippensburg University students do receive preferential consideration in the application process, however, and former students have established a strong track-record of success at Jefferson.
What is the placement rate for Shippensburg University pre-physical therapy students?
In light of the high level of competition for acceptance into physical therapy programs, qualified Shippensburg pre-physical therapy students have fared very well in the admissions process over recent years. Some of the programs to which students have been accepted include: Arcadia University, Drexel University, Shenandoah University, Thomas Jefferson University, Medical College of Virginia, Temple University and Widener University.
Why attend Shippensburg University as a pre-physical therapy student?
Science classes are small at Shippensburg University, usually having no more than 16 students per laboratory section. Lectures and labs are taught by seasoned professors; not by graduate students. State-of-the-art laboratory equipment is available to students, giving them hands-on experience with current techniques. Faculty-directed undergraduate research is highly encouraged at Shippensburg, and each year several biology students present the results of their research at regional, state or national conferences.
These experiences contribute to the excellent quality of education available at Shippensburg. As a result, Shippensburg University has a consistent record of placing qualified students into physical therapy programs. Pre-physical therapy advisors stay current with admissions procedures and standards by visiting a number of physical therapy programs during the summer months. They attend conferences for health professions advisors where they meet colleagues from other universities and share ideas on counseling. This ensures Shippensburg University pre-physical therapy students receive accurate, current, and comprehensive information. Practicing professionals are routinely invited to speak to the Health Sciences Club. Additionally, the diverse health professional interests of Shippensburg University students and the variety of health professionals invited to speak at the university expose pre-physical therapy students to other areas of the health care field as they formulate their plans for advanced education in the health care field.
Where can I get more information about pre‑physical therapy at Shippensburg University?
For more information regarding the pre‑physical therapy curriculum, call or write:
Pre‑Physical Therapy Advisor
Department of Biology
142 Franklin Science Center
1871 Old Main Drive
Shippensburg, PA 17257-2299