General Physical Therapy School Pre-Requisites

Specific admission requirements vary for physical therapy schools in the U.S. and Canada. The 2012-13 Physical Therapist Centralized Application Service(PTCAS) Course Prerequisites Summary is intended to help applicants and advisors more easily compare course requirements across PT education programs.  Programs may change course prerequisites at any time and may have additional requirements, recommendations, or policies that are not reflected in this summary or on the PTCAS website. Programs may also allow applicants to substitute courses or choose different prerequisite tracks. Applicants should review the program-specific data posted in the PTCAS Directory or contact programs directly to determine whether a particular course will fulfill a prerequisite.

In general, Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT programs) require the following coursework at your undergraduate institution:


Department Course Number/Course Name


BIO 141 and BIO142 - Foundations: Organismal Biology and Foundations: Cellular Biology
BIO 329 and BIO 330 - Anatomy & Physiology I & II*


CHEM 121 and CHEM 122 - Chemical Principles I and Chemical Principles II     (OR)  CHEM 161 - Accelerated General
CHEM 225 - Organic Chemistry I**


STA 201 - Statistical Methods I


MATH 119-120 - Calculus of a Single Variable Part 1 & 2
(OR) MATH 121 - Calculus of a Single Variable


PHY 141, PHY 142, and PHY 263 - Introductory Physics I and II and Laboratory Physics 


PSY 161 - Fundamentals of Psychological Science

PSY 381 - Abnormal Psychology

 *One semester of both anatomy and physiology are required. As this is a two-block series at Cornell, both courses must be taken. However, some KIN courses in physiology will count as the one semester of physiology.

**Organic Chemistry I is a prerequisite to Anatomy and Physiology at Cornell, but is not a prerequisite for DPT programs.

***74% of graduate programs do not require a course in math. For those that do, 23% accept calculus, 19% accept trigonometry, 10% accept algebra, 14% accept pre-calculus, and 1% accept statistics.

****Two semesters of physics with lab are required for DPT programs. At Cornell, this is a three-block series of Introductory Physics I (PHY 141), Introductory Physics II (PHY 142), and Laboratory Physics (PHY 263).