Pre-Health Pathway: Physical Therapy

Department: Pre-Health

An overview of the profession 

The Pre-Health: Physical Therapy program in the 鶹ý School of Sciences prepares students for further study toward a profession as a physical therapist. Physical therapy (also known as physiotherapy) involves using physical methods (e.g., manipulation, traction, exercise, massage, hot/cold therapy, etc.) to assess, diagnose and treat injury, disability or disease. 

Physical therapy professionals work closely with patients of all ages, to help them recover from and/or manage a wide variety of physical challenges. 

Physical therapists (PTs) provide services that help restore function, improve mobility, relieve pain, and prevent or limit permanent physical disabilities of patients with injuries or disease. PTs work closely with patients and clients to restore, maintain, and promote their overall fitness and wellness for healthier and more active lifestyles. Patients may include accident victims and individuals with disabling conditions such as low back pain, fractures, head injuries, arthritis, heart disease, and cerebral palsy. 

PTs take the patient’s/client’s history and conduct a systems review, and perform tests and measures such as strength, range of motion, balance and coordination, posture, muscle performance, respiration, and motor function, to identify potential and existing problems. Based on the examination and the physical therapist’s evaluative judgment, PTs determine a patient diagnosis, prognosis, and plan of care that describes evidence-based treatment strategies and the anticipated functional outcomes. Finally, as a part of the plan of care, PTs determine the patient’s ability to be independent and reintegrate into the community or workplace after injury or illness. 

Working Conditions 

Physical Therapists (PTs) practice in a variety of settings including hospitals, outpatient clinics, private offices, home health agencies, schools, sports and fitness facilities, work settings, and skilled nursing facilities. Most full-time PTs work a 40-hour week, which may include some evenings and weekends. 

This position can be physically demanding, because PTs often have to stoop, kneel, crouch, lift, and stand for long periods. In addition, physical therapists move heavy equipment and lift patients or help them turn, stand, or walk. 

Pre-Health: Physical Therapy Coursework 

The following is a listing of the prerequisites for a DPT Degree, as listed for the University of Tennessee Health Science Center, which is similar to most other DPT programs, along with equivalent courses at 鶹ý that can be taken for the Pre-Health: Physical Therapy program: 

What they want# HoursWhat we call it at 鶹ý
General Biology 8BIOL 111 & Lab
BIOL 112 & Lab
General Chemistry8CHEM 113 & Lab
CHEM 114 & Lab
General Physics8PHYS 201 & Lab
PHYS 202 & Lab
English Composition6ENG 111 &
ENG 112
Anatomy & Physiology*8BIOL 217 & Lab
BIOL 218 & Lab
Mathematics (1)3Any one of the following:
MATH 117
MATH 131
MATH 105
Computer Sciences (2)3MIS 153
Statistics (3)3Must include descriptive, t-test, Chi-square, ANOVA
Psychology (4)6PSYC 105
PSYC 218
Sciences (5)
12Four courses with any
of the following prefixes: PSYC, SOC, POLS, Foreign language, fine or performing arts, communication arts
Free Electives30

*Must include laboratory experiences 

  1. Students must complete coursework that fulfills physics prerequisite. 
  2. If coursework has not been taken, must demonstrate computer literacy in computer technology. 
  3. Course should cover nonparametric and parametric statistics, including analysis of covariance and multivariate analysis of variance. Use of statistical techniques with data sets, interpretation of statistical results and computer interaction in data analysis strongly recommended. Biomedical statistics, education statistics, business statistics, psychology statistics as well as statistics courses in the math department are acceptable. 
  4. Must include General Psychology I and II or General Psychology I and Human Growth and Development. 
  5. Recommended courses to complete humanities/social science courses are: (child, adolescent or abnormal) psychology, personality development, psychology of adjustment, sociology, anthropology, economics, counseling, human relations, political science, humanities, art history, philosophy or logic, English literature, history, foreign language, fine arts, religion 

Acceptance/Admissions Statistics for the University of Tennessee Health Science Doctorate in Physical Therapy Program 

  • Graduation Rates: Our department has achieved graduation rates of 98.3%, 93.6% and 98.2% for the last three graduating classes (2012, 2013, 2014). 
  • Licensure examination pass rates: UTHSC DPT graduates have achieved a 96.5%, 96.6% and 98.2% pass rate on the National Physical Therapist Examination for the last three years (2012, 2013, 2014).
  • Employment rate: 100% of graduates, for the classes of 2012, 2013, and 2014, were employed as PTs within six months of passing the licensure exam. 

The Graduate Record Exam (GRE) 

Test Content and Structure

The GRE® revised General Test features question types that closely reflect the kind of thinking you’ll do — and the skills you need to succeed — in today’s demanding graduate and business school programs. The test-taker friendly design lets you skip questions within a section, go back and change answers and have the flexibility to choose which questions within a section you want to answer first. Get a look at the structure of the or GRE revised General Test.

The GRE revised General Test measures your verbal reasoning, quantitative reasoning, critical thinking and analytical writing skills — skills that have been developed over a long period of time and are not related to a specific field of study but are important for all. Here’s a look at content covered in the three test sections — Verbal Reasoning, Quantitative Reasoning and Analytical Writing.

Verbal Reasoning

The Verbal Reasoning section measures your ability to understand what you read and how you apply your reasoning skills. 

  • Get a quick view of the . 
  • Take a closer look at the , including sample questions with rationales, tips and more. 
Quantitative Reasoning

The Quantitative Reasoning section includes an on-screen calculator. If you are taking the paper-delivered test, a calculator will be provided at the test center. 

  • Get a quick view of the . 
  • Take a closer look at the , including sample questions with rationales, tips and more. 
Analytical Writing

The Analytical Writing section requires you to provide focused responses based on the tasks presented, so you can accurately demonstrate your skill in directly responding to a task. 

  • Get a quick view of the  
  • Take a closer look at the , including sample questions with rationales, tips and more.
Modified Versions of Verbal Reasoning and Quantitative Reasoning Questions 

The test you take may include questions that are modified versions of published questions or of questions you have already seen on the test. Some modifications are substantial; others are less apparent. 

Even if a question appears to be similar to a question you have already seen, it may in fact be different and have a different answer. Pay careful attention to the wording of each question. 

Contact information regarding careers in Physical Therapy 

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