Interested in Studying 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?

The Pre-Healthcare Pathway is not a major; rather, it is a carefully designed plan intended to prepare you to achieve your unique academic and career goals.

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
  • EXSI 345: Healthcare Ethics
  • 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

Additional information, including descriptions of specific courses and their corresponding credit hours, is available in the Academic Catalog.

Next Steps

Physical Therapy Program Admissions

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


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.

Click here to learn more about physical therapists.

Ready to take the next step?

Apply Now
My professors at GWU were so invested in truly helping students learn, which I soon found to be beneficial for my graduate studies, especially with courses such as anatomy and kinesiology."
— Bonnie Baczewski, EXSI '13
Looking back at my time at Gardner-Webb, I am very impressed by the curriculum and professors that tailored my education to prepare me so well for graduate school."
— AJ Francioni, EXSI '16
Gardner Webb helped me get there by giving me a supportive environment of professors, coaches and peers who helped me prepare academically and personally to be accepted into physical therapy school and handle the stresses of school once I was accepted.”
— Mary O’Doherty, EXSI '15


of the DPT curriculum is classroom and lab study


average weeks in final clinical experience


median salary for a physical therapists