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Preparing for a Career in Physical Therapy

Physical therapists (PTs) provide treatment to those of all ages that have medical conditions that prevent them from moving or adequately performing daily functions. PTs develop treatment plans to help patients move, reduce their pain, restore function, and prevent further injury. Today’s physical therapist is required to complete a graduate degree – either a master’s or clinical doctorate – from an accredited education program. A growing majority of programs offer the Doctor of Physical Therapy (D.P.T.) degree. Currently, there are 199 colleges and universities that support 212 accredited professional physical therapist education programs; 96% of those now offer the D.P.T., and the remaining programs are planning to convert in the future.

Pre-requisite requirements:

  • One course in biology (pre-medical level)
  • One year of general chemistry with laboratory
  • One year of anatomy and physiology with laboratory
  • One year of physics with laboratory
  • One course in statistics
  • One course in psychology
  • Standardized test scores (GRE, MCAT, or other exam, which varies by school)
  • Exposure to a variety of physical therapy experiences
  • Interpersonal skills (determined by the interview process)

For more information on this career, visit the American Physical Therapy Association Web site.