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Pre-Physical Therapy Track at Hope College
The pre-professional requirements for application to physical therapy (PT) programs vary widely at the different graduate PT programs. Most programs require completion of a bachelor's degree; a few programs will admit students following two or three years of undergraduate work. Physical therapy graduate programs now award the Doctor of Physical Therapy Degree (DPT) as the terminal degree. The total number of years required to earn both an undergraduate bachelor's degree and the DPT will depend on the graduate program you select and on your undergraduate preparation. Students are advised to select a course of study that could lead to completion of all Hope College undergraduate requirements, including core and major requirements, regardless of whether they intend to complete a bachelor's degree at Hope College or apply to physical therapy programs following their third year.
Students who indicate an interest in physical therapy will work closely with the health professions advisor and their academic advisor to determine the most appropriate course of study. Since the prerequisite courses for application to different physical therapy programs vary widely, it is essential for early academic planning that students identify several PT programs that they would want to apply to eventually. Then in consultation with the health professions advisor and their academic advisor, they can design an undergraduate academic program that will meet these entrance requirements at the graduate programs of choice.
Although the requirements vary at different graduate programs, required or recommended courses typically include:
Other recommended courses may include:
Students should also be aware that most PT admissions committees require that a student has learned about the PT profession through first-hand experience and demonstrated an interest in serving others. This experience should include volunteer work in a PT unit at a hospital or rehabilitation clinic and job-shadowing with a physical therapist. Most programs require at least fifty hours of PT experience and will require documentation that shows you have completed these hours prior to submitting your application.
There is no "best" academic major for a student who wants to pursue a career in physical therapy. A student should choose their academic major based on their academic interests and the options that they wish to keep open for the future. Many Hope College students who plan to go on to graduate PT programs major in Exercise Science, Biology, or Psychology since they have academic interest in one of these areas. The courses for the Exercise Science major in the Kinesiology Department most closely match the requirements for addmission to graduate PT programs.
Specific admissions requirements for each physical therapy program can be found on the website for that institution. Some key web links for information are the following:
Links to General Information
For academic advising related to the Pre-Physical Therapy track at Hope College please contact Professor T Prokopow.