Pre-Physical Therapy | Pre-Professional Health Fields | TJC

Pre-Professional Health Fields

Pre-Physical Therapy

The decision to become a physician therapist requires a good deal of thought and research on the student’s part. Attending a professional school takes time and is not cheap, so students should take their preparation seriously. TJC offers students the pre-requisite coursework they need and can prepare them for admission into a physical therapy program.

Being a Physical Therapist

Physical therapists work with patients who have lost certain physical abilities through injury or illness to relieve their pain, help them regain physical strength, help them recover the use of an afflicted limb, or relearn how to perform the activities of daily living. Evaluating a patient's physical ability through testing, which includes range-of-motion tests, manual-muscle tests, gait and functional analysis and other diagnostic tools, helps the therapist establish a program for the patient, teach the patient the techniques they need to use, and monitor their progress. They confer with the patient's physician prior to initiating treatment and evaluation. Physical therapists work in rehabilitation, community health, industry, sports, research, education and administration.

In Texas, students must receive a four-year bachelor's degree from an accredited college before enrolling in a doctor of physical therapy (entry-level DPT) program. Admission requires successful completion of pre-requisite core courses in science, math and the social/behavioral sciences. In addition, the PT programs want applicants to document several hours of observation of physical therapists, preferably in a variety of settings. Most schools also require that students take the Graduate Record Exam (GRE), the standard test required for admission into graduate school. With more applicants than there are available slots, admission to PT school is a competitive process. Besides intellectual ability and a strong record of academic achievement, the professional schools are looking for applicants who demonstrate motivation for their chosen field, communicate well with people, and exhibit important characteristics like compassion, maturity and integrity.

The typical physical therapy program is a three-year sequence of academic and clinical courses. After graduating from PT school, the state of Texas requires that all physical therapists pass a national exam administered by the Executive Council of Physical Therapy and Occupational Therapy Examiners. According to the Texas Workforce Commission, the median annual salary of a physical therapist in Texas is $88,000.

Related career fields include physical therapy assistant/aide and occupational therapist.

Required Coursework

Note: The required courses for admission to a physical therapy program can vary substantially from one school to the next. Individuals are STRONGLY advised to visit each school’s website to obtain the latest updates. Please use the links at the bottom of this page for the schools with a PT program to obtain more information.

The following TJC courses are required for admission by many of the PT programs in Texas. This is by no means a complete list of all the pre-requisites for admission.

  • BIOL 1406/1407 - Majors Biology I and II
  • BIOL 2401/2402 – Anatomy and Physiology I and II
  • CHEM 1411/1412 General Chemistry I and II
  • PHYS 1401/1402 College Physics I and II
  • MATH 1314 College Algebra
  • MATH 1342 Elementary Statistical Methods
  • PSYC 2301 Introduction to Psychology
  • PSYC 2314 Lifespan Growth & Development
  • HITT 1305 Medical Terminology I

Additional TJC courses required by a few PT programs are: 

  • SOCI 1301 Introduction to Sociology
  • ENGL 2311 Technical and Business Writing
  • SPCH 1315 Public Speaking

Click on the following link to view the Pre-Requisite Courses for Physical Therapy organized by school and course: Physical Therapy Prerequisites.

Texas Schools of Physical Therapy