School of Health Professions

Prerequisites FAQ - Physical Therapy

What are the requirements to enter the Physical Therapy program?

Please see our full list of requirements for details.

Does it matter when prerequisite courses were taken? For example, do you accept courses taken over 10 years ago?

We do not have an expiration date for prerequisite courses. However, students are responsible for being prepared for the Doctor of Physical Therapy curriculum.

Does it matter if I take my prerequisite courses at a two-year college instead of a four-year university?

The GPA is calculated the same way, whether it was taken at a community college or a four-year university.

No preference is given to courses taken at either institution. We understand the cost of education and want to have as many options as possible in obtaining the prerequisite courses required for our programs.

Please note that for your required Doctor of Physical Therapy admission requirement academic coursework, vocational and/or technical courses will not satisfy these requirements.

What course can I take if my institution does not offer courses in “Human Anatomy” and “Human Physiology?”

If a combined Human Anatomy & Physiology course is taken, applicants must complete both Anatomy & Physiology I and Anatomy & Physiology II with the appropriate laboratories.  Neither Anatomy & Physiology I nor II, alone, satisfies the Anatomy and Physiology requirements. Therefore, the prerequisite series of Anatomy and Physiology I and II may be taken in lieu of separate Anatomy and Physiology courses (total of 8 semester credit hours).

What is considered acceptable for the developmental psychology, motor development, or human development prerequisite course requirement?

Preapproved courses can be found on the Prerequisite Equivalency List for Physical Therapy. If your institution is not listed or you are not sure, the key elements for consideration is that the course must be three semester credit hours and cover the lifespan of a human’s development. If you need additional assistance, please see the instructions for “How can I find out if the prerequisite courses I took at my college/university meet the required prerequisites?” below.

What will be acceptable for the medical terminology course requirement?

Completion of a medical terminology course can be taken at an accredited community college, university, or through an online certification course. If you are completing an online medical terminology course, be sure to select a course which includes the certificate of your completed course.

Do you accept CLEP or AP courses for prerequisites?

We accept this type of credit as long as your courses have been recognized by your undergraduate institution and the credit is recorded on your college/university transcript.

How does the department calculate GPA?

We calculate two GPAs – the overall GPA of every college/university course ever taken and the math/science prerequisite GPA (this includes the biology, anatomy/physiology, physics, chemistry, and statistic courses). GPAs are calculated on a flat grade system (a C is counted as a C).

If I retake a course, how does this affect my prerequisite GPA?

If an applicant retakes a math/science prerequisite course, the program will use the higher grade in calculating the prerequisite GPA. If an applicant retakes a non-science/math prerequisite course both the low score and high score are used in calculating the overall GPA.

Does my GRE score affect my application?

The GRE is a requirement for your application. All items in your application will be considered.

What if I attended an institution where college credit is awarded in quarter hours?

Semester credit hours and quarter hours are not the same equivalent credit hours. Please refer to the quarter hour to semester hour equivalency chart below. If your quarter hours do not equate to the required semester credit hours, you will be missing the prerequisite requirement hours. 

Quarter Hour to Semester Hour Equivalency Chart

Quarter hours Semester hours credit equivalent
1 0.67
2 1.33
3 2.0
4 2.67
5 3.33
6 4.0
7 4.67
8 5.33
9 6.0
10 6.67

I’ve reviewed all admission prerequisites and requirements but don’t quite meet all of them. What are my options?

We encourage you to continue to work toward entrance to the program of your choice but, the School of Health Professions has many other programs that may fit your career and educational goals.

If you are interested in working directly with patients, our Master of Science in Respiratory Care program may be for you. This two-year master’s program will prepare you for a career in one of the fastest-growing health care careers in the country. Graduates work in ICUs, emergency rooms, home health and as pediatric flight team members.

If you are interested in the research and science behind medical diagnostics and treatment, our Master of Science in Medical Laboratory Sciences program may be for you. This two-year master’s program will prepare you work as a medical laboratory scientist in a variety of settings including hospitals and research labs. As a medical laboratory scientist, your work affects up to 70 percent of all major patient care related decisions.