Students who are considering a career in physical therapy must graduate with a bachelor’s degree and meet specific requirements necessary to enter a postgraduate physical therapy program. The Department of Health, Nutrition, and Exercise Sciences offers an exercise science degree that provides the background and foundation for students planning to apply to a physical therapy program while completing degree requirements. Students who are interested in working with an activity related population may consider majoring in exercise science.
Pre-Physical Therapy Curriculum
To be eligible to apply to a physical therapy program, a student must complete a four year degree while incorporating specific courses that are required by each individual physical therapy program. North Dakota State University does NOT offer a degree in pre-physical therapy. However, the exercise science major can be tailored for students who plan to pursue a career in physical therapy. It is a student’s responsibility to obtain the current pre-requisites to the physical therapy school to which he or she chooses to submit an application.
Advisors for the exercise science major are experienced in assisting students in scheduling appropriate courses to meet the requirements of the bachelor’s degree in addition to incorporating the pre-requisites to complete the respective requirements for a student’s physical therapy school of choice.
Applying for Physical Therapy School
It is strongly recommended the student contact the physical therapy program(s) of choice to obtain a current list of requirements prior to meeting with an advisor. Most programs have applications and pre-requisites listed on their respective web pages. A complete list of physical therapy programs can be obtained on the American Physical Therapy Association’s web page. Students should consider a physical therapy program in the state in which they declare residency.
Local Physical Therapy Programs
University of North Dakota
University of Minnesota
Mayo Clinic - Minnesota
University of South Dakota
Des Moines University (Iowa)
University of Mary
University of Jamestown
See the American Physical Therapy Association website for a complete list (www.apta.org).
Potential Physical Therapy Pre-Requisite Courses
Since prerequisite courses vary at each university, it is the student’s responsibility to contact each individual physical therapy school for a current list of pre-requisite courses and admission requirements. The following are suggested:
- BIOL 220/220L and 221/221L Human Anatomy and Physiology I and II/Lab
- BIOL 150/150L and 151/151L General Biology I and II/Lab
- CHEM 121/121L and 122/122L General Chemistry I and II/Lab
- PHYS 211/211L and 212/212L General Physics I and II/Lab
- PSYC 250/270 Abnormal and Developmental Psychology
- STAT 330 Introductory Statistics
- CHEM 342 Organic Chemistry II
- HNES 260 Athletic Training Medical Terminology
- MICR 202 Introductory Microbiology
- SOC 110 Introduction to Sociology
A current list of course prerequisites may be found at: www.ptcas.org/ProgramPrereqs; then select “course prerequisite summary”. (Remember PT education programs may change course prerequisites at any time and may have additional requirements, preferences, or policies that are not reflected in this summary or on the PTCAS website. Students should review the PTCAS Directory for program-specific details.)
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