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Pre Physical Therapy

Pre-Physical Therapy Coursework

Physical therapy or physiotherapy is the health care profession primarily concerned with the remediation of impairments and disabilities and the promotion of mobility, functional ability, quality of life and movement potential through examination, evaluation, diagnosis and physical intervention.

SMSU provides the required pre-professional courses for students who intend to enroll in a physical therapy (PT) program. Students seeking admission to a PT program need to complete a bachelor’s degree. Undergraduate students do not have to major in one of the sciences. However, much of the pre-professional coursework is science focused and so most students major in one of the science areas. We encourage students to pursue a major that they find interesting so they will be successful. Currently, exercise science is among the most popular majors for pre-PT students.

Most applicants are also required to take the Graduate Record Exam (GRE) for admission into the program. Please check with each program as this requirement varies between schools. The GRE measures the applicant’s verbal reasoning, quantitative reasoning, and analytical writing. For more information about GRE and preparation for the exam visit

Acceptance to PT school is highly competitive. High GPA, high test (GRE) scores, an impressive personal statement, and good recommendations are critical. Good applicants also have research experience, have clinical experience through job shadowing or internships, and participate in university/community service. Some programs may require a certain number of observation hours for acceptance into the program.

Science Department Office

SM 178
Southwest Minnesota State University
1501 State St.
Marshall, MN 56258

Course Guidelines

Due to variation in each school’s curriculum, the following is merely a guideline of typical requirements. To determine the exact requirements for each program, the student should work with their academic advisor to review each school to which he/she is applying.

Typical Course Requirements
SMSU Course Number Pre-Requisite courses for Program Semester Credit Hours
Biol 200

Introduction to cellular biology with lab

Biol 305/306 Anatomy and Physiology I and II with Lab 8
Biol XXX An additional biology course—check with school to determine best choice. 4
Chem 231/232 General Chemistry I and II with lab 10
Phys 141/142 College Physics I and II with lab 8
Math 150 and/or Math 200 Calculus I and/or Statistics 3+
Psych 101 General Psychology 3
Psych XXX One or two additional applied psychology courses covering developmental and/or abnormal psychology 3-6
Additional Recommended Courses
Exsc 100 Anatomical kinesiology with lab 4
Exsc 300 Biomechanics of Human Motion 3
Exsc XXX Upper level courses in exercise science 3
Biol 104 Medical Terminology 1
Biol 303 Microbiology 3
Chem 473 Biochemistry 3
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  • Rank in the upper half of graduating class
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  • Score a composite of 21 or above on the ACT or 990 on the SAT

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Last Modified: 8/21/23 5:10 PM | Website Feedback