Pre-Physical Therapy Program
Physical therapists are movement experts who improve quality of life through prescribed exercise, hands-on care, and patient education. Physical therapists diagnose and treat individuals of all ages, from newborns to people at the end of life. Many patients have injuries, disabilities, or other health conditions that need treatment. But PTs also care for people who simply want to become healthier and to prevent future problems. Physical therapists examine each person and then develop a treatment plan to improve their ability to move, reduce or manage pain, restore function, and prevent disability (www.apta.org).
The academic and extracurricular experience at Westminster College, ranging from coursework to on- and off-campus service and experiential activities to international study and/or travel, contribute strongly to the appeal of the well-trained and well-rounded individuals who graduate from our school. Most often, students on the pre-PT track will major in Biology, since the curriculum includes most, if not all, required and recommended courses for PT schools.
It is imperative that you work closely with both academic and health professions advisors to ensure completion of all requirements for PT schools and for your undergraduate degree. Students will typically apply to PT programs between their junior and senior years, allowing for a direct transition following graduation. Westminster students may also be eligible to participate in our Bachelor's Degree Plus Program that guarantees entry to Chatham University's Doctor of Physical Therapy program through the satisfactory completion of specified admissions requirements.
Core Requirements for Physical Therapy School (and for GRE Exam Preparation) generally include:
The following courses should also be completed prior to taking the GRE exam:
Additional course requirements may vary from one professional program to another, so it is the responsibility of the student to be aware of specifics regarding their schools of interest. Students pursuing the Doctor of Physical Therapy program with Chatham should note the specific admissions requirements for that program, which differ from those listed above. Good planning and working closely with academic and health professions advisors are essential to maximize chances of success in the highly competitive medical school application environment.
This is a sample schedule for a Biology major preparing to take the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) between their junior and senior year and matriculating to PT school following graduation. Please note that an individual student's schedule will vary based on the major selected and the schedule of course offerings. First-Year Program (FYP) courses, Intellectual Perspectives (IP) courses, the Cluster Course (CC), which are Westminster graduation requirements, are indicated in italics.
With the exception of the core requirements and courses strongly recommended ahead of the GRE exam, there is curricular flexibility within any chosen major and among the elective courses that are part of the liberal arts curriculum at Westminster College. Students planning to study abroad for a semester must also plan accordingly to meet all requirements and timelines. It is also advisable for students to budget time during the spring semester of their junior year to prepare for the GRE exam that will test knowledge in Biology, Organic Chemistry, General Chemistry as well as Reading Comprehension, Perceptual Ability and Quantitative Reasoning.
Many PT programs require volunteer or work experience in physical therapy locations or settings for admissions. Examples could include
For more information about the program, please contact Westminster’s Health Professions Advisor, Dr. Joshua Corrette-Bennett.
Bachelor's Degree Plus Programs
In addition to participating in our Pre-Physical Therapy program, qualified students may also be guaranteed admission to Chatham University's Doctor of Physical Therapy program.
Students accepted to the 4+2.3 program will be guaranteed acceptance into Chatham’s Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) program upon graduation from Westminster if they meet the entry requirements.