Pre-Physical Therapy/Pre-Occupational Therapy

Max Hunter, PhD, PPHS Coordinator
PPHS Faculty Advisors

Preparing for admission to a physical therapy or occupational therapy program

To meet American Physical Therapy Association accreditation standards, all physical therapy graduate programs must lead to a doctorate degree in physical therapy (DPT).

Most programs have transitioned to doctorate programs, but a few schools still offer a master’s degree. If you are seeking admission to a physical therapy graduate program, you need to complete a bachelor’s degree in any field, plus the prerequisite coursework listed below.

While many of these courses are not required for occupational therapy, following the Pre-Physical Therapy track makes students strongly competitive for a master’s in occupational therapy (MOT). There are doctorate programs in OT called the OTD, as well.

The main pre-physical therapy and pre-occupational therapy track is the BS in Applied Human Sciences. You should contact individual PT and OT schools for their admissions requirements or consult the APTA or AOTA websites.

  • General Biology (15 credits)
    • BIO 2101, 2102, 2103
  • Human Anatomy and Physiology (10 credits)
    • BIO 2129, 2130
  • General Microbiology (5 credits)
    • BIO 3351
  • General Chemistry (10 credits)
    • CHM 1211, 1212
  • Survey of Organic Chemistry (5 credits)
    • CHM 1330
  • Introductory Inorganic Chemistry (5 credits)
    • CHM 2540
  • General Physics (15 credits)
    • PHY 1101, 1102, 1103
  • Statistics (5 credits)
    • MAT 2360
  • General Psychology (5 credits)
    • PSY 1180
  • Life Span or Developmental Psychology (5 credits)
    • PSY 2470 or 4420
  • Abnormal Behavior (5 credits)
    • PSY 3360
  • Biomechanics (5 credits)
    • PE 3570
  • Exercise Physiology (5 credits)
    • PE 3580

Total: 95 credits

Suggested additional courses include human nutrition, communication, and two courses in English. Check the requirements of the individual schools that interest you.

SPU students

Health Sciences Graduate Programs Consider:

  • Grades
  • Scores on standardized tests (e.g., MCAT, DAT, GRE)
  • Health-related clinical experience
  • Letters of recommendation
  • Leadership and service experience
  • Research experience