Physical therapists help people who have injuries or illnesses improve their movement and manage their pain. They are often an important part of rehabilitation and treatment of patients with chronic conditions or injuries.
Many PT programs require applicants to have a certain number of volunteer or paid experiences working with patients in a physical therapy clinic. The program may specify which settings or types of experiences are required. Applicants also may be required to have a licensed physical therapist verify the number of hours and type of experience. This experience may be an important factor in the admissions process.
To be a physical therapist you should have strong interpersonal and communication skills so that you can educate your patients about their condition and treatments. Physical therapists also need to be compassionate and possess a desire to help patients.
You are not required to select a particular major in order to be eligible for admission to a PT program. In selecting a college major, consider how you will you satisfactorily complete the prerequisite courses for your designated physical therapist programs in addition to the college/university's degree and major requirements. Work with your academic advisor to plan your course schedule.
You have the option to choose from a wide variety of pre-PT undergraduate majors to prepare you for a physical therapy program. There are no major requirements; you can choose any major for physical therapy school. Common undergraduate majors include Exercise Science, Biology, Psychology, Child Development, Therapeutic Recreation, and Neuroscience.
Keep in mind these numbers are averages and various schools can have their own averages that are higher or lower. Also, the average GPA is climbing higher each year and admission is more competitive than ever.