Pre-Physical Therapy / Pre-Occupational Therapy

Physical Therapy

Physical Therapists (P.T.) seek to prevent injury and functional limitations, to maintain and promote fitness, health and quality of life. They are trained to work with many different kinds of patients, from people with disabilities, to those recovering from accidents, to world class athletes. Physical therapists help improve patients’ strength and mobility, relieve pain, educate on the importance of fitness and conditioning and help people to avoid and recover from injuries at work or play. Physical Therapy involves the evaluation of muscular strength and endurance, muscle tone and reflexes, function of the heart and lungs and performance of activities required for daily living. Physical therapy techniques include, among others, therapeutic exercise, therapeutic massage, joint mobilization and range of motion exercises and utilize ultrasound, hydrotherapy, cryotherapy, electrotherapy and laser therapy. Physical therapists work in a variety of settings including hospitals, private clinics, rehabilitation centers, nursing homes, pediatric centers and colleges and universities. Programs are generally two to three years in length and most require an undergraduate degree with heavy coursework in the sciences in addition to a strong liberal arts background. The majority of programs now offer a Doctor of Physical Therapy (D.P.T.). The Graduate Record Exam (GRE) is required by some schools.

Occupational Therapy

Occupational Therapists (O.T.) work with people experiencing health problems such as stroke, spinal cord injuries, cancer, congenital conditions, developmental problems and mental illness. Occupational therapy helps people regain, develop and build skills that are essential for independent functioning, health and well-being. Occupational therapy services include, but are not limited to, the assessment, treatment and education of individuals, interventions directed toward daily living skills, work readiness or performance, or play skills or leisure capacities; providing for the development of neuromuscular functioning and range of motion; and emotional, cognitive or psychosocial components of performance. Occupational Therapists work in such settings as hospitals, clinics, rehabilitation facilities, extended care facilities and patients' homes. Programs are generally two years in length and typically require the completion of an undergraduate degree. Many programs are now offering a Doctor of Occupational Therapy (D.O.T.). The Graduate Record Exam (GRE) is required by some schools.

Minimum Required Courses

  • Biology
    BIO 123 Biology I
    BIO 222 Cell and Molecular Biology
    BIO 363-364 Human Anatomy and Physiology
  • Chemistry
    CHM 111-112 General Chemistry
  • Physics
    PHY 101-102 General Physics
  • Psychology
    PSY 101 - PT and OT
    PSY 206 Child Psychology - PT
    PSY 209 Abnormal Psychology - OT
  • Mathematics
    MTH 210 Elementary Statistics
  • Sociology or Anthropology - OT
    1 semester introductory course

Special Considerations

  • Additional Courses
    • BIO 403 Cadaver Prosection
    • COM 100 Oral Communication
  • Exercise Physiology
    • Documented shadowing and/or work experience in PT/OT clinic **Required**
    • Community Service

Admissions Test

Graduate Record Exam (GRE) (some schools) -- GRE Home Page


  • Apply to programs directly
    • Check individual programs for application requirements
  • What schools look for:
    • the interview
    • grades
    • PT/OT shadowing/volunteer work
    • recommendations
    • community service
    • interpersonal communications skills

Useful links

Select Physical Therapy Programs

  • Ohio University School of Physical Therapy
  • University of Toledo Department of Physical Therapy
  • Ohio State University Physical Therapy Program
  • Chatham College Physical Therapy Program
  • University of Cincinnati Department of Physical Therapy

Select Occupational Therapy Programs