Preparation for Physical Therapy
Ohio University offers a unique opportunity to the prospective physical therapist. Recognized for leadership in the development of preprofessional physical therapy curricula since the 1930s, the Department of Biological Sciences, and the Department of Psychology, both in the College of Arts and Sciences, work cooperatively with the School of Rehabilitation and Communication Sciences in the College of Health Sciences and Professions.
Physical therapy programs are offered at the graduate level only. As of January 1, 2002, undergraduate physical therapy programs are no longer accredited. To be eligible for admission to most accredited professional schools of physical therapy, you must first complete the baccalaureate-level preprofessional preparatory coursework and then apply on a competitive basis to a professional school of physical therapy. If you are accepted, the professional program extends for an additional two to three years, culminating in a degree in physical therapy. The optional plans of study available will prepare you to be highly qualified for admission to most schools of physical therapy. However, some professional programs require special prerequisites—either courses or practical experience as a volunteer—before you apply for admission. It is your responsibility to check the admission requirements for programs you wish to attend and, in consultation with your academic advisor, to fulfill any special prerequisites.
Ohio University has the first entry-level doctoral program in the state of Ohio. Although a master’s degree is sufficient to sit for the national licensing examination, the profession has been making a rather rapid transition to the doctoral degree (DPT). At Ohio University, the entry-level doctoral three-year program in physical therapy admits students on a competitive basis. A baccalaureate degree is required for admission to the program. Although a baccalaureate degree in any field is acceptable, as long as the prerequisites have been attained, the most direct routes at Ohio University are the Biological Sciences—Prephysical Therapy or Psychology—Prephysical Therapy major in the College of Arts and Sciences. A major in exercise physiology in the College of Health Sciences and Professions is also an option.
Application to graduate school should be made in the senior year. The GRE should be taken at the beginning of the senior year, in order to meet requirements for early admission status. Some volunteer experience is possible through Ohio University Therapy Associates.
For additional information, see the Biological Sciences—Prephysical Therapy or Psychology—Prephysical Therapy majors in the catalog, and “Physical Therapy” in the College of Health Sciences and Professions section. Students should consult the Web page (www.ohio.edu/chsp/rcs/pt/) for the most up-to-date information.