College of Science and Health > Student Resources > Office of Advising & Student Services > Pre-Health Advising > Health Careers > Physical Therapy
Physical therapy (PT) is a health care profession designed to enhance the quality of life through the assessment, evaluation and rehabilitation of a variety of anatomical and neuromuscular functions. PTs treat disease, injury or deformity by physical methods such as massage, heat treatment, and exercise. There are currently 246 accredited PT programs in the U.S. and Puerto Rico. For more information about individual PT programs, visit the Physical Therapy Centralized Application Service (PTCAS).
Pre-physical therapy students typically obtain a Bachelor of Science (BS) or a Bachelor of Arts (BA) degree while completing the requirements for admission to PT school. Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) programs do not require or prefer a particular undergraduate major.
American Physical Therapy Association
Students apply to PT programs through a centralized application system called the Physical Therapy Centralized Application System (PTCAS). Similar to the common application for undergraduate school, students can apply to most PT programs through a single application on the PTCAS. However, there are a handful of programs that do not utilize the PTCAS so students should check requirements of each individual school of interest. The PTCAS application opens early to mid July.
The PTCAS application cost: $160.00 for one school and $60.00 for each additional school/program.
Fee Assistance Waiver
Although many physical therapy programs are moving away from standardized tests, some may require students to take the Graduate Records Examination (GRE). However, students should check each individual school to learn their specific requirements.
Cost: The GRE costs $205.00
It is important for students to check each school's requirements carefully as some schools will require courses not listed below. For more information about a specific program, please contact the school directly.
Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science
Governors State University
University of Illinois at Chicago
Students should meet with their academic advisor and pre-health advisor each quarter to make sure they are taking the correct courses for their major/professional interest.
Below is a sample timeline for a Health Sciences major. Please be aware that PT programs do not require or prefer a specific major and the below timeline should not be used to replace meeting with an academic advisor.
Students should meet with their academic advisor and pre-health advisor each quarter to make sure they are taking the correct courses for their major/professional interest. Below is a sample timeline and should not be used to replace meeting with an academic advisor.
Accelerated 3+ physical thereapy program with Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science is only available to Pathways Honors students majoring in Health Sciences.
BS to DPT 3+ Accelerated Program Flyer
Visit the Volunteering and Leadership Opportunities website for the full list.
Ask a PT Student
Marquette Enrichment Program
Shirley Ryan Ability Lab
University of Illinois Hospital Volunteer
Athletico Physical Therapy (Shadowing opportunities for PT and OT)
National Average Cumulative GPA: 3.64National Average Science GPA: 3.5
Physical Therapy Timeline and Checklist.pdf