Prerequisites & Undergraduate Major Selection

Physical Therapy Prerequisite Course Guidelines

PT ProfessorMatriculation into the Doctor of Physical Therapy program requires: 

  • The successful completion of undergraduate prerequisite course work in Anatomy and Physiology, Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Statistics, Mathematics, Psychology (see descriptions below)
  • Science prerequisite courses (A&P, Biology, Chemistry, and Physics) must be taken at a regionally accredited four-year institution
    • Science prerequisite courses taken at a 2 year community college will not be accepted
  • Catalog descriptions must match SHU catalog descriptions listed below, especially lab component
  • AP course credit from high school, accepted by the undergraduate institution, satisfies the prerequisite requirements regardless of where the course was taken. However, AP course grades do not factor into the prerequisite GPA calculation 
  • Completion of all prerequisites AND undergraduate courses prior to beginning the PT program
  • Overall and prerequisite GPA of 3.2 or better 
  • No individual grade less than a "C" in any prerequisite course
  • Repeated courses will not be used in the GPA calculation
  • No more than 2 prerequisites can be outstanding at the time of application

For SHU Undergraduate Students, pre-requisites can be taken:

  • Up to two 2-course science sequences can be taken away from SHU, such as Anatomy I & II (BI 206/208 & BI 207/209) and Chemistry I & II (CH151/153 and CH 152/154).  No more than four courses total may be taken away from SHU.
  • Courses taken during Study Abroad semesters count as being taken at SHU.
  • It is strongly recommended (but not mandatory) that Physics be taken at SHU.
  • Must take the last 30 credits at SHU.

Timing of course completion:

  • Must complete all requirements for UG graduation prior to matriculation into the DPT Program
    • For 3+3 Students: By May of Junior Year
    • For 4+3 Students: By May of Senior Year
  • Includes all course requirements for the Major and Core Curriculum
  • Includes all PT pre-requisite courses

DPT Prerequisite Course Descriptions

BIOLOGY | 8 credits
Two semesters of college biology with laboratories, to include: cell biology, energetics, genetics and evolution. Organismal functions should be studied, including active transport systems, nutrition, control of internal environment, hormonal and neural control and reproduction. (SHU equivalent: BI 111/113, BI 112/114)

A two-semester college sequence with laboratories, to include: laws and theories of chemistry, atomic and molecular structure, chemical bonding, and acid/base theories. Principles of thermodynamics and electrochemistry, ionic relationships and basic concepts of biochemistry should be included. (SHU equivalent: CH 151/153, CH 152/154) A semester of inorganic and a semester of organic chemistry, each with laboratories, will also fulfill the requirement.

A two-semester college sequence with laboratories, to include: (1) systemic human anatomy of cardiovascular, musculoskeletal, neurosensory/motor, respiratory, digestive, excretory and integumentary organ systems; and (2) systemic human physiology of cardiovascular, musculoskeletal, neurosensory/motor, respiratory, digestive, excretory and integumentary organ systems. (SHU equivalent: BI 206/208-207/209)

A two-semester college sequence with laboratories, to include: vectors and forces; linear and angular acceleration; concepts of work and energy including such basic instruments as levers and pulleys; and mechanical and thermal properties of matter. Topics of vibration, light and sound wave forms, electricity, magnetism and properties of electromagnetic fields should also be included. (SHU equivalent: PY 111/113, PY 112/114)

MATH | 3-4 credits
A one-semester course of pre-calculus level math or above to prepare students for the concepts of physics described above. Concepts should include at least set theory, symbolic logic, algebraic functions, polynomial and rational functions and analytic trigonometry. (SHU equivalent: MA 140)

STATISTICS* | 3-4 credits
A one-semester course in probability and elementary statistics to include: descriptive and inferential statistics such as concepts of distribution, central tendency, variation and consideration of both parametric and non-parametric tests. (SHU equivalent: MA 131) For SHU Exercise Science majors: EX 230. For SHU Athletic Training majors: MA 131 or AT 251.

PSYCHOLOGY | 6-8 credits
Two semesters of psychology, to include: general or introductory psychology plus one upper level course of the student's choice. (SHU equivalent: PS 101/PS 102)

*Must have been completed within the past 10 years