Pre-Physical Therapy

Pre-Physical Therapy

Pre-Physical Therapy Advisement Track

  • The Pre-Physical Therapy concentration coursework satisfies the course requirements for admission at most physical therapy schools.
  • Additional elective courses are recommended but not required, and can vary depending on the physical therapy school to which students intend to apply.
  • Students must consult SUNY Oneonta's current undergraduate catalog for descriptions of courses, course prerequisites, and time of year when courses are offered, in order to plan properly in advance
  • Students have the responsibility to check entrance requirements for schools to which they intend to apply.
  • Highly qualified SUNY Oneonta students have the opportunity in the spring of their junior year to apply for Preferred Acceptance at The Russell Sage Graduate School Doctor of Physical Therapy Program via the SUNY Oneonta-Russell Sage 4+3 Preferred Acceptance Agreement.
  • Highly qualified High School Seniors have the opportunity in the fall of their senior year to apply for Early Assurance in the Doctorate of Physical Therapy Program at Upstate Medical University via the SUNY Oneonta-Upstate Medical 3+3 DPT partnership.


Pre-Physical Therapy Advising Meetings can be scheduled using the Bookings App


NOTE: four digit course numbers reflect the new course numbers, effective Fall 2022, as developed via the College-wide Course Renumbering Project.

  • BIOL 133 / 1001: Investigative Biology Laboratory
  • BIOL 130 / 1002: Cellular Perspectives in Biology
  • BIOL 131 / 1004: Organismal Perspectives in Biology
  • BIOL 201 / 2000: Cell & Molecular Biology
  • BIOL 205 / 2200: Human Anatomy & Physiology I
  • BIOL 206 / 2202: Human Anatomy & Physiology II
  • CHEM 111 / 1111: General Chemistry I
  • CHEM 112 / 1121: General Chemistry II
  • COMP 100 / 1000: Composition
  • PHYS 103 / 1030: General Physics I (Non-Calculus)
  • PHYS 104 / 1040: General Physics II (Non-Calculus)
  • PSYC 100 / 1000: Introductory Psychology
  • Developmental Psychology Course (choose at least ONE)
    • PSYC 240 / 2420: Child Development
    • *PSYC 246 / 2450: Lifespan Development (the preferred developmental psychology course at most DPT schools)
    • PSYC 242 / 3430: Adolescent Development
  • STAT 101 / 1010: Introduction to Statistics

NOTE: Other courses recommended or required by some physical therapy schools include Exercise Physiology, Pre-Calculus, Speech, Sociology, and additional Psychology Courses.

NOTE: DPT education programs may change course prerequisites at any time and may have additional requirements, preferences, or policies that are not reflected in this advising track course list or on the PTCAS Prerequisite Comparison list. Programs may also allow applicants to substitute courses or choose different prerequisite tracks. Applicants should review the PTCAS Directory for program-specific details and contact programs directly to determine whether a particular course will fulfill a prerequisite.

  • BIOL 180, 181, 201, 205-206
  • CHEM 111-112
  • PHYS 103-104
  • COMP 100
  • PSYC 100 and PSYC 240 and/or PSYC 246 *(Lifespan development is the preferred developmental psychology course at most DPT schools)
  • STAT 101

The timeline for applying to physical therapy school varies among students and is dependent on a variety of factors, including successful completion of prerequisite coursework, competitive GRE examination scores, and appropriate healthcare experience.

Many Pre-Physical Therapy students are choosing to take at least one year after they graduate SUNY Oneonta to work in healthcare or pursue other academically or intellectually enriching experiences after they graduate.

In fact, across the United States many first-time applicants to physical therapy school apply after their senior year or later. Having a “Growth Year” between undergraduate studies and beginning physical therapy school is often beneficial for applicants and does not hurt your chances of admission as long as you continue to strengthen your application. It allows time to gain additional life experiences, continue volunteering or pursue non-academic interests.

If a student wishes to take a "growth year," or takes a different undergraduate path, students will need to adjust the course sequence plan accordingly, based on their personal planning needs. Individual student plans may vary depending on when the student hopes to enter dental school and what major is chosen, therefore each student should work with their Primary Major Advisor and their Pre-Health Concentration Advisor to establish their own personalized schedule.

Students should regularly review the Physical Therapy School Admission Requirements, including required prerequisite coursework

Applicants are evaluated on:

Application to physical therapy school is made through the centralized application PTCAS.

  • The 2022-2023 PTCAS Application Cycle opens July 1, 2022
  • applicants are encouraged to apply early as many DPT programs have early September PTCAS submission deadlines

Additional information is available at the PTCAS Applicant Help Center

Most Physical Therapy Programs require the GRE General Test

GRE preparation options include free and paid test prep programs

Students generally request two or three letters of recommendation to be submitted on their behalf for physical therapy school applications. Appropriate recommenders include science faculty, other course instructors, healthcare professionals, current or former employers, and professional references.

Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT Programs)

  • 44% of SUNY Oneonta Pre-Physical Therapy students who applied for entry into a DPT program for Fall 2016 were accepted (PTCAS data, 2015-2016 Advisor Report).
  • Schools students are attending include Boston University, New York Medical College, The SAGE Colleges, SUNY Upstate Medical Center and Stony Brook University, among others.

Pre-Physical Therapy questions should be directed to Tami LaPilusa, M.S., Program Coordinator, Pre-Health Professions

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