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Pre-Physical Therapy Professional Program

Physical therapy is a relatively young profession, owing its start to the polio epidemics and world wars in the first half of the last century. Physical therapists stepped in to help the large numbers of young people who suffered from movement challenges.

You'll need a thorough grasp of the science of movement to get results as a physical therapist. And you'll start building that knowledge in high school biology and continue to perfect it through graduate school. As an undergrad, you can sign up for a pre-physical therapy program. This is usually not a major, but a program that includes the courses admission officers will look for when you apply to grad school.

Pre-physical therapy programs provide guidance to students as they prepare for graduate study in physical therapy. They are often concentrations within other majors, such as biology, health sciences, and physical education.

Why Grand View?

  • Research opportunities and assistance in pursuing internships
  • Highly individualized advising
  • Small classes taught by faculty who are recognized as accomplished teachers and researchers
  • State-of-the-art facilities and instrumentation
Recommended Courses

The prerequisite courses required by most Physical Therapy schools include:

  • ENGL 101 - English Composition, SPCH 126 - Speech (2 courses)
  • CHEM 111, 111L, 112, 112L - General Chemistry (8 hours with lab)
  • BIOL 101, 101L, 102, 102L - General Biology (8 hours with lab)
  • Additional upper division biology (4 credits with lab)
  • PHYS 131, 131L, 132, 132L - General Physics (8 hours with lab)
  • MATH 122 - Trigonometry / MATH 212 - Calculus, MATH 241 or 261 - Statistics
  • PSYC 101 - Intro to Psychology, PSYC 212 - Human Development, PSYC 320 - Abnormal Psychology
  • BIOL 160 - Introduction to Human Anatomy, or BIOL 420 - Gross Anatomy
  • BIOL 165 - Human Physiology or BIOL 335 - Mammalian Physiology
  • BIOL 220 - Medical Terminology

The following courses are highly recommended, but not required:

  • KINH 376 - Biomechanics
  • KINH 371 - Kinesiology
  • KINH 351 - Exercise Physiology
  • BIOL 360 - Genetics
Former Grand View Student Testimonial

Taylor WoodsA graduate of Grand View University, Taylor Woods, is now enrolled at Des Moines University in their physical therapy program. While at Grand View, Taylor majored in Biology and minored in Psychology. In her own words, Taylor says "Grand View prepared me for physical therapy. The biology program gave me the background knowledge that I needed to build upon in PT school." In addition, Taylor says, "The Gross Anatomy class at Grand View gave me an advanced anatomy experience that many students at DMU never experienced."

Taylor first learned about the PT program at Des Moines University through a class offered at Grand View called Careers in Biology. She completed research at DMU in the Mentored Research Program while she was an undergraduate at Grand View. Thanks to Grand View's guidance, Taylor is now enrolled at DMU.

Furthermore, Taylor says, "I would most definitely recommend Grand View to future students in the physical therapy pre-professional program. Grand View offers many opportunities that most schools do not. The classes offered at Grand View continuously prepare students for future careers and continued education at the graduate level. Unique classes such as Careers in Biology allows for an in-depth look at the PT field while challenging classes such as Gross Anatomy push graduate-level education. The faculty at Grand View work with their students to make connections with clinicians, get involved with research, and purse graduate school."

Student Testimonials

Jori AveryJori Avery

“Jori always takes the time to listen to my concerns and help develop a plan of action. She is knowledgeable and loves to share her wisdom. She was recently a student herself so she relates well to students here at GVU.” - Allyssa Angle

Dr. Bonnie HallDr. Bonnie Hall

“Dr. Hall helped me get back to Grand view.” - Blaze Kahikina

“I have been struggling with multiple health issues throughout this semester. Dr. Hall has gone above and beyond to make accommodations for me and to look out for me academically, physically, and emotionally. She is constantly pushing students to get the very best out of their education and creates inspiration in the daunting field of biochemistry. Because of Dr. Hall I have a greater love for biochemistry and for research. She has introduced me to multiple wonderful opportunities to help me grow and become a better scientist. Dr. Hall is a true inspiration to me and I can't describe in words how appreciative I am for all of her help and support. Thank you for being such an amazing mentor!” - Alli Rupert

“Dr. Hall helped me with my academic processes, like my class scheduling, change of major when I needed to, critical advising about biochemistry, and many more.” - Abubakar Barau

“She encouraged me and gave me confidence to get things done when I didn't think I could do it. She understood me, but also didn't let me take the easy way out.” - Grant Weldon

“She talked me through it when I felt lost in what major I wanted to pursue. She was honest and supportive of what I wanted to pursue and helped me feel at peace with my decision. She also helped by writing a recommendation for a scholarship. I really appreciate everything she has done for me and she really deserves to be recognized for it!” - Alexa Pinos

Dr. Corbin ZeaDr. Corbin Zea

“Dr. Zea is always willing to help with more than just classes and is very easy to get along with and talk to. He gets to know students on a personal level rather than just as another student.” - Tyler Henze

“Dr. Zea is my advisor but has also been my professor for multiple classes. He always makes time for me even outside of his office hours. He is also one of the most enthusiastic professors I know.” - Sunnie Baumgartner

“Dr. Zea brings a whole other level of enthusiasm to his classes that you don't see from other professors. This makes classes more enjoyable and easier to learn.” - Elma Omanovic

Frequently Asked Questions STEM Honors Scholarship


The following supports the pre-physical therapy program:

Frequently Asked Questions

How high should my GPA be in order to go to physical therapy school?
Your grade point average should be at least 3.5 or higher to be competitive.
When should I begin my physical therapy coursework?
All pre-physical therapy students should begin their coursework as early as possible in their academic career.
How long does it take to get through physical therapy school?
It takes approximately 3 years to finish physical therapy school.

Tell Me More

Interested students should contact the Admissions Office for more information regarding our pre-professional preparation program.

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