Physical Therapy Specialties
General PT | Cardiovascular & Pulmonary | Clinical Electrophysiology | Geriatrics | Neurology | Oncology | Orthopaedics | Pediatrics | Sports | Women's Health
Physical therapists help patients recover from physical limitations due to injury or ailment. The ultimate goal of physical therapy is to bring the patient to optimal health using exercise and movement in the effected area.
Students preparing for a career in Physical Therapy are classified as Pre-Physical Therapy. To qualify for admission to a physical therapy program, students must take the necessary prerequisites for each school. A bachelor's degree is also required for admission.
What do I need to become a physical therapist?
In order to become a physical therapist, an individual must earn a Doctor of Physical Therapy degree, DPT. A bachelor's degree is required for admission to a DPT program. Certification is also required to specialize in a particular area of physical therapy, like pediatrics, geriatrics, or neurology. To learn more about the process of earning certifications, please visit the American Board or Physical Therapy Specialities.
Which major should I select at UNT for a pre-PT path?
Popular/Possible majors for pre-physical therapy students at UNT:
- Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology, Pre-PT/Allied Health Track, College of Education
- Bachelor of Arts in Psychology, College of Liberal Arts & Social Sciences
- Bachelor of Science in Rehabilitation Studies, College of Health and Public Service
- Bachelor of Science in Public Health, College of Health and Public Service
- Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science in Integrative Studies, College of Liberal Arts & Social Sciences
Note: Physical Therapy programs do not require a particular degree. As long as you complete a bachelor's degree, along with all prerequisites, you will meet the education requirements of a DPT program.
What courses do I need for physical therapy programs?
Please refer to our Pre-Physical Therapy Packet for a list of prerequisites for each Texas PT program. To review prerequisites for PT programs outside of Texas, please refer to each individual school's website.
Timeline: When do I apply to physical therapy school?
Students must apply to physical therapy schools one year before entering a program. On the traditional four-year path, students will apply during the summer after their junior year of college, complete their bachelor's degree at the end of their senior year, and enter PT school the following summer/fall semester.
This timeline will show you an example of the traditional four-year path to a physical therapy school.
Note: Each student's timeline is different. Your UNT academic advisor/counselor is committed to creating a plan that accomodates your individual goals and circumstances.
What makes a competitive application to physical therapy school?
Admission to a physical therapy program is very competitive and students should create a strategic plan well in advance. Below you will find typical categories of a competitive application. Please contact our advisors in the UNT Office of Health Professions to further explore each competitive characteristic and to create your pre-physical therapy plan.
Call, click or come by for more information!
Office of Health Professions: 940-369-8606 | HealthCareers@unt.edu | Hickory Hall, Room 256
|Volunteering||200-400 Hrs, schools vary|
What is the GRE?
The GRE, Graduate Record Examinations, is the entrance exam that must be taken before applying to physical therapy programs. The score range for the verbal and quantitative sections of the GRE is 130-170. The range for the writing section is 0-6. For more information about the GRE, please visit the official ETS website.
How do I apply to physical therapy school?
Physical Therapy programs in the United States use one application service to obtain your information:
Are there any scholarships available to pre-physical therapy students?
Unfortunately, there are no specific scholarships offered to pre-physical therapy students. However, general scholarships are offered to students through each department and college across campus. Below you will find scholarship webpages for the popular majors listed above:
- Kinesiology majors should click on the 'College of Education' link for more information.
- Psychology Major Scholarships
- Integrative Studies majors should click on the 'College of Liberal Arts & Social Sciences' link for more information.
- Rehabilitation Studies Major Scholarships
- Public Health majors should click on the 'College of Health and Public Service' link for more information
If you do not see your major listed under one of the two colleges listed above, please visit the scholarship website of the college that houses your major.
What pre-health student organizations and professional associations are there at UNT?
Alpha Epsilon Delta: https://unt.campuslabs.com/engage/organization/alphaepsilondelta
Pre-Health Minority Club (Alpha Delta): https://unt.campuslabs.com/engage/organization/alpha-delta-the-minority-pre-health-organization
Medically Dedicated Students: https://unt.campuslabs.com/engage/organization/medically-dedicated-students-organization
UNT’s Volunteer Organizations: http://studentaffairs.unt.edu/
Hearts for the Homeless: https://unt.campuslabs.com/engage/organization/hearts-for-the-homeless-dallas
UNT’s Pre-PT Club: https://unt.campuslabs.com/engage/organization/pre-physical-therapy-club
American Physical Therapy Association: https://www.apta.org/
Texas Physical Therapy Association: http://www.tpta.org/
Who can help me create a plan for this career path?
If you are a current student, please visit https://universityofnorthtexas.campus.eab.com/ to schedule an appointment.
For general questions email: HealthCareers@unt.edu
To view contact information for individual pre-health advisors, visit this site. On the left, under "Office of Health Professions Pre-Health Advising" you will find all of the pre-health advisors' emails.
If you are a current student, join our canvas course to receive important announcements and view resources related to your pre-physical therapy journey.