The Pre-Physical Therapy Program serves students from any science major who are interested in pursuing a career as a physical therapist. The program ensures that students have access to the courses they need (over a 4 year time period) to meet their pre-professional requirements as well as providing support and guidance along the way.
We help our students develop the credentials that physical therapy schools are looking for:
- demonstrated academic excellence in all course work, particularly the core biology, chemistry and physics
- demonstration of a long-term, growing commitment to serving others
- ability to balance a rigorous academic schedule with meaningful extracurricular activities
Many of our graduates have had remarkable success in applying to post-undergraduate professional schools, largely due to our supportive environment and individualized approach to education.
- upper-level science courses with no more than 20 students,
- introductory science courses with fewer than 30 students
- labs that have faculty as instructors and fewer than 16 students
- A Pre-Health Professions Club that allows you to take advantage of events and activities
Dedicated, Comprehensive Advising
Maryville students planning to apply to physical therapy school are guided in their preparation by the Pre-Health Professions advisor, Dr. Kyra Krakos, and the Pre-Health Professions Advisory Committee. The Advisory Committee usually consists of the Pre-Health Advisor, three additional science faculty members spanning the disciplines, a Psychology faculty member, an English faculty member, and someone with a degree in the health professions. The Advisory Committee offers students:
- Information about physical therapy colleges and careers
- Introduction to admissions requirements for physical therapy schools
- The opportunity to conduct undergraduate research in the sciences
- Assistance identifying shadowing and volunteer opportunities
- Evaluation of whether your course mix, GPA, and PCAT scores are competitive for schools you’re considering
- Letters of recommendation to physical therapy schools
- Help preparing for admissions interviews
We encourage you to make an initial appointment with the Pre-Health advisor during your first semester at Maryville to make sure that the process of applying to physical therapy school isn’t overwhelming
Sophomore Review Process
During the spring semester of the sophomore year, students are invited to go through a sophomore review process. The process is explained to the students in the fall of the sophomore year. Students will be required to assemble an application with materials similar to those required for many physical therapy program admissions. The Pre-Health Professions Advisory Committee will review the students’ applications prior to conducting formal interviews with all applicants.
Students going through the sophomore review process will receive feedback from the committee with recommendations for strengthening their application before the start of their junior year. Students that follow the committee recommendations may request a Committee Letter of Recommendation when applying to physical therapy schools. (The Pre-Health Professions Advisory Committee will not write letters of recommendation for students that did not go through the sophomore review process.)
This process, during the sophomore year, allows us to provide feedback to students on ways to strengthen their application materials, life-experiences, academic success and course selection, etc. while they still have time to make the improvements—prior to application to a physical therapy program.
Physical Therapy Graduate Programs
While no one major is prescribed for admission to physical therapy programs, you should build a strong foundation in biological and natural sciences.
Regardless of the major you choose, your course load should be challenging and well-rounded. We also strongly recommend volunteering with a physical therapist to gain practical experience and exposure to the profession. The ideal physical therapist has an in-depth and up-to-date knowledge of medicine, understands the nuances of society, and can communicate well.
There is no universal curriculum recommended for physical therapy school applicants, but most schools want to see that you’ve completed the following courses:
· General Biology I & II
· Anatomy and Physiology I & II
· General Chemistry I & II
· Trigonometry and/or Calculus
· Physics I & II
· English Composition: Theme Writing
· English Composition: The Essay
It is important to learn early the specific application requirements for the program (or programs) in which you are interested in applying. Most programs have application deadlines between November and March of the year prior to commencing study.
Most programs take four years to complete, but there are some three-year programs that are year-round programs.
Physical therapists work in hospitals, clinics, retail drug stores, and some long-term care facilities. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that employment of physician assistants will grow 30 percent from 2008 through 2018.
We typically recommend majoring in biochemistry, biology, or chemistry. Pre-Physical Therapy is a program of study, not a major at Maryville University.
If you’re interested in joining our Pre- Physical Therapy program, you need to meet the general admissions requirements for the University. Specific requirements will be defined by the major you choose.
For more information
Dr. Kyra Krakos
Assistant Professor of Biology
Office: REID 3305
Phone: 314 529 9405