Physical Therapy

Physical therapists (PT) focus on enabling patients to live at their most optimal level, helping them to learn to work with impairments and through health events that may cause movement limitations. In both inpatient and outpatient settings, they examine their patient’s movement, evaluate symptoms, and develop an individualized treatment plan to help promote mobility, flexibility, strength, and prevent further damage. They implement a variety of techniques for treatment including physical exercises, electrical stimulation, joint mobilization, and massage. Physical therapists treat a variety of patients including athletes who have suffered sports injuries, the elderly, and those recovering from surgery.

Please note: This is an informational page for current SPU students and does not represent a program that SPU offers.

Three years of an undergraduate bachelor’s degree must be completed before applying to a physical therapy program. Biology, physics, chemistry, and psychology classes are typically required as undergraduate coursework. There are several different physical therapy programs offered either as a masters or doctoral degree. After graduating from a physical therapy program, students are expected to pass a national exam before receiving a license.

Professional Website

General Information


The graduate degree acquired has two possibilities: Masters of Physical Therapy or Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT). Once the graduate degree is completed, the option of continuing education with a residency or fellowship in a multitude of areas allows for more refined specialization in a topic.


Consideration to schools usually requires the following:

  • Undergraduate education that consisted of the basic sciences such as:
    • Chemistry and Physics, Statistics, Anatomy, and Behavioral Sciences
  • Graduate Record Examination (GRE)
  • A minimum of 50-100 hours of PT-related work experience

Standardized Tests

To become licensed, the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) must be passed along with additional accreditation requirements that vary by each state.

Content provided by PPHS students Mariah Schultz, Christine Spatacean, and Charlotte Ritchie