Becoming a physical therapist (PT) can be a challenging road that requires perseverance, service, and academic rigor. Physical therapists develop goals and strategies to care for people recovering from their injuries. Admission to physical therapy programs can be extremely competitive, and schools review a candidate’s eligibility on multiple factors such as GPA, PT observation hours, GRE (Graduate Record Examination) scores, and service and volunteer experience. Pre-Physical Therapy is considered an area of interest, in addition to your chosen major. Physical therapy schools accept a variety of majors, as long as a student fulfills all requirements for admission. To prepare for this profession, students must attend a postgraduate program in physical therapy. Upon completion, students are required to take a national examination to become licensed for practice in a particular state. St. Edward’s University also offers a Bachelor of Arts in Kinesiology with a Pre-Physical Therapy emphasis.
Grades are important to gaining admission, but you could have a 4.0 and still not get into PT school. Most PT programs have minimum GPA requirements, but they vary by institution and may be low compared to the average GPA of applicants actually offered admission. You should plan on earning a 3.5+ GPA to be considered.
Prerequisites vary from program to program. Please review the Summary of Course Prerequisites provided by the Physical Therapist Centralized Application Service (PTCAS) for details.
Service & Volunteerism
Physical therapists and other health care professionals are expected to perform community service while in school. The Pre-Health Professions Office can assist you in researching service and volunteer opportunities; following are a few local opportunities.
What Entrance Exam is Required and When Should I Take It?
The Graduate Record Examination (GRE) is the required entrance exam for PT school. It assesses the following:
- Verbal Reasoning
- Quantitative Reasoning
- Analytical Writing
When selecting a test date, make sure your scores will be reported in time for your application deadlines (which vary from program to program). For computer-delivered tests, score reports are sent to your designated score recipients approximately 10–15 days after your test date. Please allow time for delivery of scores and processing by the institution.
You can take the computer-delivered GRE revised General Test once every 21 days, up to five times within any continuous rolling 12-month period. This applies even if you canceled your scores on a previous test. You may take the paper-delivered GRE revised General Test as often as it is offered.