Pre-Physical Therapy Program

Pre-Physical Therapy Curriculum

The University of St. Francis offers excellent undergraduate preparation for physical therapy and other health related professional schools. There is not a specific major required for admission to physical therapy programs so USF offers a biology degree with a pre-professional track for students interested in becoming physical therapists. USF students complete a core of courses which prepare them for entrance into professional school and still enjoy the freedom and flexibility to design a curriculum in advanced science courses which are appropriate to their interests.

Physical therapy schools are looking for students who have completed a core of specific course work in biology, chemistry, math and physics and who have performed at a high academic level. The listing below details additional coursework required by most schools and is based upon data obtained by the Physical Therapy Centralized Application Service (PTCAS) for admission in the 2015-16 academic year. These requirements may change, and students should inquire about specific requirements at their school(s) of choice.  Physical therapy schools also often require volunteer work or other specific types of clinical experience such as observational hours outside the classroom.



BIOL 150 Fundamentals of Ecology and Evolution (3)

BIOL 151 Beginning Investigative Experiences in Biology (2)

BIOL 160 Cell Biology (4)

BIOL 255 Genetics (4)

BIOL 345 Perspectives in Evolution (3)

BIOL 375 Advanced Investigative Experiences in Biology I (3)

BIOL 376 Advanced Investigative Experiences in Biology I (3)

BIOL 410 Senior Seminar (3)

*Required of Biology Fellows


The following sections detail courses that are either required or highly suggested for admission into most Physical Therapy Programs in the country. Courses marked with * are required in at least 85% of schools using the PTCAS application system in 2015-16[1].

The suggested biology electives are listed below:

BIOL 221 Human Anatomy* (4)

BIOL 252 Human Physiology* (4)

BIOL 321 Human Dissection Anatomy (3)

BIOL 355 Exercise Physiology (3)

BIOL 481-483 Topics in Biology (3-4)

Biomechanics (3)


Mathematics Requirement: (Statistics and 1 other Math)

MATH 175 Statistics* (4)


MATH 170 Applied Calculus (4)


MATH 181 Calculus with Analytic Geometry I (5)



CHEM 121/123 General Chemistry I (5)

CHEM 122/124 General Chemistry II (5)

CHEM 224/5 Organic Chemistry I and Lab (5)

PSCI 111 General Physics I (4)

PSCI 112 General Physics II (4)



2 Psychology courses (6)

Clinical Observational Hours


USF Catalog
For more curriculum information, click here.