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Pre-Physical Therapy

Physical therapists help injured, ill, and physically challenged people of all ages improve their mobility and manage their pain. They are important members of healthcare teams charged with treating, rehabilitating, and preventing chronic conditions among patients.

In order to become a PT, you need to earn a Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) degree from an accredited college or university and be state licensed to practice. Completing the DPT typically takes about three or four years and includes both classroom, lab, and clinical experience. As of 2022, the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy (CAPTE) reports there are 259 accredited programs in the U.S.

Physical Therapy Programs in Indiana

  • Indiana University
  • Indiana State University
  • University of Evansville
  • University of Indianapolis

Pre-Requisite Courses

The following table includes the minimum pre-requisite courses for DPT programs in the US; however, many schools have additional recommended courses. Students should work with their advisor(s) to ensure all pre-requisite courses are completed in a timely fashion.

Introductory BiologyOne, w/labBIO203 or BIO204
Medical TerminologyOneBIO216
Human AnatomyOne, w/labBIO225 or ESS265/266L
Human PhysiologyOne, w/labBIO226 or ESS267/268L
General ChemistryTwo, w/labCHE140/141L and CHE142/143L
General PhysicsTwo, w/labPHY110 and PHY111
StatisticsOneBIO205 or MAT130
Behavioral Sciences
PsychologyTwoPSY101 and PSY220

Preparing a Competitive Application

Admission to PT programs is highly competitive. Since the requirements for entry into these are quite diverse, students should thoroughly explore the requirements of all programs to which they hope to apply. At Marian, meet early and often with your advisor to stay on track for a successful application.

A competitive candidate will generally:

  • Demonstrate strong academic performance in all courses (GPA 3.6 or higher)
  • Score well on the Graduate Record Examination (GRE), as necessary. Many PT programs require the GRE, but not all.
  • Demonstrate extensive familiarity with the field of physical therapy to gain an understanding of the expectations of the profession, including
    • Shadow several physical therapists in different specialties and in different settings to gain a realistic view of the responsibilities in the field
    • Gain extensive first-hand experience with patients through volunteering or a paid position
    • Get involved in community service, volunteerism, and co-curricular activities
    • Seek leadership opportunities in clubs, organizations, church, or sports
    • Conduct independent research to better understand the scientific literature. Note, research is not necessarily required for your PT application, but it will help distinguish you as an applicant.
  • Exhibit strong interpersonal skills, the ability to work with a diverse group of people, and a desire to help others

Want to Know More?

Trisha Staab, Ph.D.
Director of Pre-Medicine and Pre-Health Professions
(317) 955-6544

Office of Undergraduate Admission
(317) 955-6300
(800) 772-7264

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Marian University does not discriminate on the basis of race, ethnicity, color, sex, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, religion, creed, national origin, age or disabilities in the selection of administrative personnel, faculty and staff, and students.
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