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Doctor of Physical Therapy


Pre-Professional College Course Prerequisites

Students wanting to pursue a degree in physical therapy come from several different majors, the most popular being Exercise ScienceHuman Performance and FitnessSport ManagementPsychology, and Biology. Certainly, other majors also pair well with Physical Therapy; it's important to talk about these options with your advisor.

Along with satisfying requirements for the declared major, students must also complete these prerequisites before applying to the DPT program:


CourseSAU EquivalentCredits
General Biology (with labs) Biology 199 & 200 8
Human Anatomy & Physiology I & II (w/ labs)*       Biology 230 & 232 8
General Chemistry (with labs) Chemistry 105 & 106 8
College Physics (with labs) Physics 203 & 204 8
Statistics / Biostatistics Statistics 213 3
Introduction to Psychology Psychology 105 3
Upper Level Psychology / Sociology elective Psychology 255** 3

* At SAU, human physiology is combined with anatomy in a two-semester sequence of courses with labs. A human physiology course with labs fulfills this requirement.
** At SAU, any upper level psychology/sociology will meet this requirement.  PSYCH 255, Brain and Behavior, is strongly recommended.

Non-Course Requirements
  • Cumulative undergraduate GPA of at least 3.0 / 4.0
  • Official Graduate Record Exam results
  • The following information submitted through PTCAS:
    Official transcripts from all institutions attended
    Two references
    Statement of purpose several paragraphs in length
    Documentation of at least 50 hours of observation in two or more physical therapy settings including inpatient and outpatient, hours must be completed at the time of submitting application
  • CLEP Policy: The Physical Therapy Department will follow guidelines set forth by the St. Ambrose University Office of the Registrar for accepting College-Level Examination Program (CLEP) exam results towards prerequisite courses. For example, students can take the psychology CLEP exam and receive course equivalent for PSYC 105. This would count as meeting one of our psychology prerequisites. While there is a CLEP exam for biology, the Registrar's policy is to only give the equivalent of BIOL 101, which we do not accept as a biology prerequisite. The full list of Course Equivalents for CLEP exam can be found here.