Physical Therapy

Physical Therapy (PT)

WHAT ARE THE ACADEMIC PREREQUISITES?

In making decisions about admissions, PT schools consider a range of factors that may vary from one school to another. All prerequisite courses usually need to be completed with a grade of C or above.

It is recommended, and often required, that you complete the following courses:*

Biology Human Anatomy and Physiology: Cells and Tissues & Human Anatomy and Physiology: Organs and Organ Systems (BIO 143 & BIO 243), Evolutionary Foundations of Biodiversity (BIO 150), Cell Biology (BIO 227), Medical Terminology (BIO 291)
Chemistry 1 year Gen Chem w. lab (CHEM 125 & 126 OR CH/BI 125 & 227 OR CHEM 121, 123, and 126)

(check individual grad schools, some only require one semester of chemistry with a lab)

Physics 1 year Gen Physics with lab (PHYS 124 & 125)

(check individual grad schools, some only require one semester of physics with a lab)

Math & Stats Statistics – (STAT 212)

Calculus (MATH 119 or 120) (check individual grad schools, many do not require calculus)

Psychology PSYCH 125, PSYCH 241, PSYCH 247
Recommended ESTH 373, 374, 375, 376

Some schools are starting to require a sociology course.

 

Prerequisites from different schools (to demonstrate variations in prerequisites)

WHO IS THE DESIGNATED ADVISING SPECIALIST?

Professor Cindy Book (Associate Professor of Exercise Science, Chair of the Exercise Science Department)

Office: SAC 114 Phone: 507-786-3255 Email: book@stolaf.edu

WHAT STANDARDIZED TEST WILL I NEED TO TAKE?

WHAT CENTRALIZED APPLICATION WILL I USE?

WHAT ARE THE EXPERIENTIAL PREREQUISITES?*

  • Shadowing: Completion of a minimum of 100 hours is required in a physical therapy setting. Shadowing should occur with a number of different providers, in a variety of settings (inpatient, outpatient, etc.), and with diverse clientele (geriatrics, athletes, pediatrics, etc.).
  • Internship(s): It is considered an important prerequisite that you gain exposure to multiple and varied areas of practice in physical therapy (and additional health care exposure).
  • Volunteering: It is highly recommended that you volunteer in a position, starting as early as your first year at St. Olaf. Although your volunteer role can be in healthcare or outside of healthcare, we recommend that you aim to volunteer in both capacities. PT schools are looking for applicants with sustained and meaningful volunteer experiences. They don’t want students who are simply checking the “volunteer box.”
  • Leadership: It is strongly recommended that you serve in a leadership capacity (president of an organization, academic tutor, service on an advisory board, etc.). Leaders can enhance their communication and organizational skills, as well as learn how to interact with individuals from a wide variety of backgrounds.
  • Research: It is highly recommended that you complete at least one-10 week research experience. You do not have to find a research opportunity that is related to PT, although that would be desirable.

WHAT DO PHYSICAL THERAPISTS ACTUALLY DO?

From the APTA website:  “Physical therapists (PTs) are highly-educated, licensed health care professionals who can help patients reduce pain and improve or restore mobility – in many cases without expensive surgery and often reducing the need for long-term use of prescription medications and their side effects.

Physical therapists can teach patients how to prevent or manage their condition so that they will achieve long-term health benefits. PTs examine each individual and develop a plan, using treatment techniques to promote the ability to move, reduce pain, restore function, and prevent disability. In addition, PTs work with individuals to prevent the loss of mobility before it occurs by developing fitness- and wellness-oriented programs for healthier and more active lifestyles.

Physical therapists provide care for people in a variety of settings, including hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, home health agencies, schools, sports and fitness facilities, work settings, and nursing homes. State licensure is required in each state in which a physical therapist practices.”

WHAT OTHER RESOURCES ARE AVAILABLE AT ST. OLAF?

Study Abroad: Yes –  you CAN study abroad as a pre-health student! Speak with your advisor early in order to plan for when a semester or year abroad will fit into your academic plan.

Student organizations:

Full list

Pre-PT/OT Club

Pre-health Professionals Club

Pre-health Moodle site

Pre-health Google calendar

Collaborative Undergraduate Research and Inquiry

Website created by two Ole alumna: http://olept.weebly.com/

American College Sports Medicine – certifications

PROFESSIONAL ORGANIZATIONS

*Ultimately, it is the responsibility of applicants to ensure that they complete all prerequisite coursework and experiential opportunities required for successful admission to physical therapy graduate school.

To download and print, please click on this link: Physical Therapy