Physical therapy involves using physical methods (e.g., manipulation, traction, exercise, massage, hot/cold therapy, etc.) to assess, diagnose, and treat injury, disability or disease. Physical therapy professionals work closely with patients of all ages, to help them recover from or manage a wide variety of physical challenges.
Undergraduate requirements (varies by program):
|Biology (1-2 courses)||BIO 150, BIO 233|
|Anatomy and physiology (2 courses)||BIO 143, BIO 243|
|Chemistry (2 courses)||CHEM 125, CHEM 126*|
|Physics (2 courses)||PHYS 124, PHYS 125|
|Psychology (1-3 courses)||PSYCH 125, PSYCH 241, PSYCH 247|
|Math (1 course)||MATH 120|
|Statistics (1 course)||STATS 110 or STATS 212|
|Medical terminology (1 course)||BIO 291|
|Social sciences (2-3 courses)||Variety of course options|
*St. Olaf general chemistry options:
- CHEM 125 (Fall), CHEM 126 (Spring)
- CHEM 121 (Fall), CHEM 123 (Interim), CHEM 126 (Spring)
- CH/BI 125 (Fall), CH/BI 126 (Interim), CH/BI 127 (Spring, also counts as a semester of general biology)
Completion of 80-100 hours of shadowing, volunteer, or work experience in a variety of physical therapy settings is considered an important pre-requisite for many programs. Most programs require a letter of recommendation from a professional within the field.
Some schools require CPR certification.
PTCAS – Costs $130 for first school and $35 for each additional school.
Doctor of physical therapy graduate programs are three years with coursework and clinical experience.
- Cindy Book, Exercise Science Chair
- Extension: 3255
- Office: Skoglund Athletic Center 114E
- http://olept.weebly.com/. This is a website created by two St. Olaf graduates to help students navigate being a pre-PT student at St. Olaf!
- Move Toward a Physical Therapist Career. This is a PowerPoint slideshow intended for use by high school and college students who are interested in learning more about physical therapist education and careers.
- Video: You Can Be Me: A Career in Physical Therapy. Watch this video to get a sampling of the wide variety of ways physical therapists help their patients restore and improve motion to achieve long-term quality of life.
- American College of Sports Medicine
- American Physical Therapy Association
- Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education
- National Athletic Trainers’ Association
- The Federation of State Boards of Physical Therapy