Physical Therapy

Improve quality of life through prescribed exercise, hands-on care, and patient education.

Physical therapists (PTs) are highly-educated, licensed health care professionals who can help patients reduce pain and improve or restore mobility—in many cases without expensive surgery and often reducing the need for long-term use of prescription medications and their side effects.

What will I study?

Professional program requirements vary widely, especially with regard to advanced biology courses and English requirements. Be sure to check all graduate programs you are considering applying to early during your undergraduate studies for specific prerequisites needed to apply to that school’s program.

Within Gardner-Webb’s pre-professional employment track, you will want to review the Biology major and Exercise Science Pre-professional concentration four-year plan if interested in Physical Therapy.

The most common prerequisite courses include:

  • BIOL 111: General Biology
  • BIOL XXX: Specialized Biology
  • BIOL 203: Anatomy and Physiology I
  • BIOL 204: Anatomy and Physiology II
  • BIOL 222: Medical Terminology
  • CHEM 111: General Chemistry
  • CHEM 112: General Chemistry II
  • EXSI 335: Kinesiology or EXSI 347: Sport and Exercise Physiology
  • MATH 105: Statistics
  • MATH 151: Calculus
  • PHYS 203: General Physics I
  • PHYS 204: General Physics II
  • PSCH 201: General Psychology
  • PSYC 206: Developmental Psychology
  • SOCI 201: Introduction to Sociology
  • RELI 341: Christian Ethics

Additional information, including descriptions of specific courses and their corresponding credit hours, is available in the opens in a new windowAcademic Catalog.

~80%

of the DPT curriculum is classroom and lab study

27.5

average weeks in final clinical experience

$85K

median salary for a physical therapists

What can I do with this degree?

Physical therapists can teach patients how to prevent or manage their condition so that they will achieve long-term health benefits. PTs examine each individual and develop a plan, using treatment techniques to promote the ability to move, reduce pain, restore function, and prevent disability. PTs also work with individuals to prevent the loss of mobility before it occurs by developing fitness- and wellness-oriented programs for healthier and more active lifestyles.

Physical therapists provide care for people in a variety of settings, including hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, home health agencies, schools, sports and fitness facilities, work settings, and nursing homes. State licensure is required in each state in which a physical therapist practices.

opens in a new windowClick here to learn more about physical therapists.

Admissions

  1. Review the PTCAS program pages for important  opens in a new windowprogram-specific admission requirements and descriptions. Review the  opens in a new windowPTCAS checklist for an overview of the application process.
  2. Obtain the required  opens in a new windowreferences opens in a new windowprerequisite courses and  opens in a new windowobservation hours for your  opens in a new windowdesignated programs.
  3. Complete the  opens in a new windowGraduate Record Examination (GRE®) at least a semester prior to  opens in a new windowprogram deadline.
  4. Submit official  opens in a new windowtranscripts from every college/university attended as required by the DPT program. APPLY EARLY! Many PT programs have multiple  opens in a new windowdeadline dates (i.e., preferred, priority, or early decision) or operate on a rolling admissions process.