PT Education Requirements
- 4 years of undergraduate study and 3 years of graduate school
- Some programs offer a 3 + 3 accelerated degree
- Most programs have a research component
- Clinical rotations/Internships (varies by school) 40-46 weeks
Doctorate of Physical Therapy (DPT) – All PT programs are now Doctorate programs. Individuals are no longer able to graduate with a Bachelor’s or Master’s in Physical Therapy.
PT schools are competitive programs. For example, the University of Minnesota PT program averages 240 applicants, while only 52 are accepted.
Classes in PT School
- Anatomy (study of the human body – muscles, bones, organs), Physiology (the way in which a bodily part functions), Neurology (brain, nerves, stroke, spinal cord)
- Cardiology (heart, circulation), Pulmonology (lungs, airway)
- Biomechanics (mechanical laws relating to movement)
- Integumentary (skin, wounds), Pediatrics (children), Geriatrics (elderly), Orthopedics (joints, bones, muscles)
- Ethics, Research, Statistics
What type of major/degree do you need to apply to PT school?
You can have ANY type of degree to apply to PT school. That’s right, you name it: Chemistry, Biology, English, History, Physics, Music, Art, Psychology. While it may be beneficial to have a strong scientific background, as long as you complete the pre-requisite requirements, you have the choice to study a subject that interests you!
What Pre-Requisite courses are required?
While there are slight differences from school to school, generally speaking PT schools require: 1 year of biology, chemistry, physics, anatomy/physiology. As well as a course(s) in psychology, statistics, mathematics (calculus), medical terminology.
Where can physical therapists work?
There are many places a physical therapist can work including, clinics, hospitals, nursing homes/transitional care, schools, and industrial settings.
- Prior to applying to PT school, an applicant must complete between 50-150 hours of observation with a licensed PT
- Students must take the GRE (Graduate Record Examination)
- Application will consist of written essays and possibly an in-person interview
- Class size ranges from 28-60
Aleksi Moran, ATC/R, SPT
University of Minnesota
Doctorate of Physical Therapy Program
Class of 2017
Quick Facts About Physical Therapy School