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Undergraduate Preparation

Choosing a Major

There is no formal “pre-PT” major. Physical Therapy schools are interested in broadly educated students who have developed excellent writing and speaking skills, possess analytic and synthetic thinking ability, and are enthusiastic, life-long learners. Understanding of the social aspects of rehabilitation medicine is just as important as understanding the science. Your major will not determine your success in applying to PT school. Your interests should determine your choice of major. Majoring in an area that you enjoy is more likely to lead to academic success than pursuing a field for which you have little enthusiasm. Regardless of your major, it is necessary to demonstrate a mastery of science; proficiency in other areas will not compensate for lack of science ability.

Prerequisites Coursework

Entrance requirements for the Physical Therapy Education Program include:

  • Bachelor of Science or Bachelor of Arts degree from an accredited college
  • A minimum grade point average of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale
  • The Graduate Record Examination (GRE)
  • To obtain credit for volunteer/work experience each applicant must complete 100 hours specifically in physical therapy AND must obtain a confidential volunteer/work evaluation form documenting as such from a supervising physical therapist.  The confidential volunteer/work evaluation form must be from a physical therapist who supervised the applicant for 50 or more of the 100 volunteer/work hours.
  • The Physical Therapy Educational Program also requires completion of one reference form in addition to the volunteer/work evaluation form.  A current or former instructor, advisor, or non-physical therapist supervisor should complete this reference form.
  • Completion of all specifc prerequisite courses based on semesters prior to starting the program


Semester Hours

English Composition


Mathematics (algera or above)




Chemistry (for science majors, must include lab)


Physics (for science majors, must include lab)


Biology (mammalian or vertebrate for sciences majors, must include lab)


Anatomy (for science majors, must include lab)


Human Physiology (for science majors, must include lab, general physiology to include the endocrine system, gastrointestinal, musculoskeletal, neurological, cardiopulmonary, renal/urinary, and reproductive systems)


General Psychology


Abnormal Psychology

Child Growth and Development


Social sciences: Three semester hours from any of the following: anthropology, economics, history, sociology, or political science


Humanities from at least two categories: education, fine arts, speech, foreign language, literature, or philosopy


Recommended electives: biochemistry, biomechanics, biostatistics, calculus, embryology, exercise physiology, kinesiology, microbiology, histology

CPR certification through the American Heart Association's
BLS for Healthcare Providers course

All applicants must have computer proficiency with word processing, presentation development and spreadsheet/data management software.

Volunteer Service

Students are required to do VOLUNTEER SERVICE in a Physical Therapy setting prior to applying to professional school. You must be dependable and your activities should extend over a significant period of time. The PT program at the Medical Univeristy of South Carolina requires 100 hours of supervised volunteer experience (check the specific requirements of other schools of interest).The experience component of your applicant profile is increasingly important for some programs, so you should make the most of this opportunity. Also, you should ensure that someone familiar with your performance can serve as a reference.