Western Washington University · Bellingham, Washington
Students prepare for entry to a graduate program in physical therapy by obtaining a baccalaureate degree, completing the prerequisite course work for entry into specific programs, and by obtaining a broad variety of volunteer clinical experience under the direction of a physical therapist (200-500 hours). Students may complete undergraduate degrees in any area. Most physical therapy programs are three-year programs offered at the doctoral level, and require submission of scores for the Graduate Record Exam (GRE – general test only).
Specific information on each physical therapy program can be obtained from the PT Education link on the American Physical Therapy Association home page at www.apta.org. Program prerequisites, statistics, and curriculums are presented by geographic location. Students are encouraged to review prerequisite courses early in their academic planning and to develop a plan of study within the first quarter of entry to Western.
Pre-Physical Therapy is not a major at WWU. Examples of Western majors that cover some or all of the prerequisites include: Biology-Anthropology, Community Health and Kinesiology/Pre-Physical Therapy.
- Meet with a Pre-Physical Therapy advisor to complete a plan of study.
- MATH 114, 115 (see GUR note1).
- Chemistry series (Chem 121, 122, 123) (see GUR note2).
- PSY 101 (see GUR note3), plus another course in a behavioral science, such as psychology, sociology, or anthropology4.
- BIOL 204, 205 (or BIOL 101)5.
- Physics series (Physics 114, 115, 116).
- Statistics (MATH 240, KIN 307, or BIOL 340).
- Other GURs.
- Work on completing:
- BIOL 348, BIOL 349 (see warning below6).
- Other Physical Therapy prerequisites7. (e.g., BIOL 2458 or BIOL 345+346).
- Clinical experience hours
- Major requirements.
- Prepare for the Graduate Records Examination (GRE).
- Take the GRE in the fall
- Request letters of recommendation from professors, administrators and professionals.
- Complete remaining Physical Therapy prerequisites.
- Complete major requirements.
- Two quarters before graduation, meet with major faculty advisor for major evaluation and apply for graduation.
Example of how WWU classes may be used to meet EWU DPT school requirements (7/10)
Lower Division Anatomy: Bio 348
Lower Division Physiology: Bio 349
Upper Division Biology:
- Bio 469
- or Biol 245 or Bio 345 and 346 (lab) (Microbiology)
- or Any other upper division Biology Course as described in EWU PT Prerequisite Information list
- or KIN 410 (Motor Control)
- or KIN 308 (Human Growth and Motor Development)
Upper Division Physiology: Bio 467 or KIN 413 (Physiology of Exercise)
Chemistry: Chemistry 121, 122, 123
Physics: Physics 114, 115, 116
Behavioral Science: Any two courses in behavioral science including psychology, sociology and anthropology.
Stats: Math 240 or KIN 307 or Bio 340
- Math 114 or Math 115 fulfills QSR GUR requirement.
- Completion of Chemistry or Physics series fulfills Natural Sciences GUR requirement.
- PSY 101 contributes to fulfillment of SSC GUR requirement.
- Select a behavioral science course beyond Psychology 101 by examining the requirements of PT schools you are interested in being qualified to apply to, to see if they have any specific requirements.
- Biol 101 alone, or combined with a 200-level biology class will not meet the requirements for some PT schools (e.g., U of WA requires BIOL 204, 205)
- Only PEHR and Biology/Anthropology majors are allowed to resister for Biol 348 at WWU. Students in other majors requiring Biol 348 for professional school may be granted an override if they request one from the instructor at least three weeks prior to phase I of registration.
- This list of possible other PT school requirements is an example. You must examine the requirements of PT schools you wish to qualify to apply to, and ensure you complete their requirements by discussing these requirements with your advisor so they can be included in your plan of study.
- Check the requirements of PT schools you are planning to apply to, to determine if Microbiology is needed as a pre-requisite.
Pre-Physical Therapy Information:
WWU Pre-Physical Therapy Advisors for all majors:
Dr. Gordon Chalmers
ET 275, 360-650-3113
Dr. Dave Suprak
CV 105, 360-650-2586
To schedule a meeting with an advisor: Contact Sherena Geariety (CV 102, Sherena.Geariety@wwu.edu, 360-650-3505) and she will assign you to an advisor. Then you should contact your assigned advisor to schedule an appointment.