Pre-Physical Therapy

Pre-Physical Therapy

Pre-Physical Therapy Advisement Track

Dual-advising is available to assist students with timely completion of both the primary major coursework and the pre-health advisement track coursework as of the date of their matriculation at SUNY Oneonta. Students must declare a primary major and are encouraged to declare their intended Pre-Health Concentration for effective advisement. Students should confer with advisors for their primary major and specific Pre-Health Concentration, beginning at the time of admission to SUNY Oneonta. 

Students can review their individual degree progress via DegreeWorks.

  • The Primary Major Faculty Advisor assists with selection of courses for the Primary Major Requirements.
  • The Pre-Health Advisor guides the student through the Pre-Physical Therapy Concentration, listed below.

Pre-Physical Therapy Concentration

  • Satisfies the course requirements for admission at most American physical therapy schools.
  • Additional elective courses are recommended but not required, and can vary depending on the school.
  • 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.
Pre-Physical Therapy Required Courses and Study Hours

Required Coursework

Total: 48-51

BIOL 180, 181, 201, 205-206 20 sh
CHEM 111-112 8 sh
PHYS 103-104 8 sh
COMP 100 3 sh
PSYC 100 3 sh
STAT 101 3 sh
PSYC 240 and/or PSYC 246 *(Lifespan development is the preferred developmental psychology course at most DPT schools) 3-6 sh

Suggested Course Sequencing

The recommended course sequence is based on a student taking the the GRE (or other appropriate standardized test) and applying to physical therapy school the summer BEFORE their final year at SUNY Oneonta, and that the student will graduate in four years. If a student wishes to take a "growth year," or take a different undergraduate path, coursework plans can change accordingly.

Individual student plans may vary depending on when the student hopes to enter physical therapy school and what primary major is chosen, therefore each student should work with their primary major advisor and their pre-health advisor to establish their own personalized schedule.

NOTE: Many pre-physical therapy students are choosing to take at least one year off after they graduate. 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.

Year 1


Credit Hours


Credit Hours
BIOL 180 (Biology I) 4 sh BIOL 181 (Biology II) 4 sh
CHEM 111 (General Chemistry I) 4 sh CHEM 112 (General Chemistry II) 4 sh
COMP 100 (Composition) 3 sh *MATH 105 (as advised) or other course 3 sh
PSYC 100   PSYC 240 or PSYC 246 3 sh
Year 2


Credit Hours


Credit Hours
BIOL 205 (Human Anatomy & Physiology I) 4 sh BIOL 206 (Human Anatomy & Physiology II) 4 sh
BIOL 201 (Cell & Molec. Biology) 4 sh PSYC 240 or PSYC 246 3 sh
STAT 101 (Intro to Statistics) 4 sh upper division courses or research or immersion experience or elective or Gen Ed 1-4 sh
upper division courses or research or immersion experience or elective or Gen Ed 1-4 sh upper division courses or research or immersion experience or elective or Gen Ed 1-4 sh
Year 3


Credit Hours


Credit Hours
PHYS 103 (Gen. Physics I) 4 sh PHYS 104 (Gen. Physics II) 4 sh
upper division courses or research or immersion experience or elective up to 12 sh upper division courses or research or immersion experience or elective up to 12 sh
YEAR 4 * additional experiences to enhance undergraduate experience*


Credit Hours


Credit Hours
upper division courses or research or immersion experience or elective 12-16 sh upper division courses or research or immersion experience or elective 12-16 sh

Applying to Physical Therapy School

Centralized Application Service

  • Application to physical therapy school is made through the centralized application PTCAS.
  • Acceptance rates: 43.5% 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.

Entrance Exams and Requirements

Applicants to physical therapy schools are evaluated on:

SUNY Oneonta & The Sage Graduate School have developed an articulated 4 + 3 agreement in physical therapy for qualified students applying for admission to the Sage Doctor of Physical Therapy Program at Sage Graduate School in Troy, NY. The 4 + 3 program requires four years and a bachelor's degree at SUNY Oneonta followed by three years of graduate study at Sage. Admission to Sage’s DPT program is not guaranteed and is highly competitive.

The SUNY Oneonta-Sage 4 + 3 PT agreement provides for:

  • Preferred acceptance (based on space available) into Sage's PT Program for students who have completed DPT Program course prerequisites (see above list in the PrePT Concentration), with completed PTCAS application and evidence of academic eligibility
  • Waiver of Sage Graduate School application fee
  • Early acceptance (for students who submit applications through the PTCAS early decision process the summer before their senior year)
  • Advisement to coordinate undergraduate electives and coursework to address DPT Program prerequisites
  • Opportunity to apply early for graduate assistantships

Qualified students will:

  • Earn a baccalaureate degree prior to entering the DPT Program
  • Maintain a minimum overall 3.25 GPA in their undergraduate programs and 3.25 GPA in the DPT Program prerequisite science courses (please note: Sage will be allowing some exceptions on this for the next 2 years in order to help the transition process, especially for those students in their last 2 years of undergraduate studies)
  • Apply through PTCAS following the early decision procedures as posted.

Terms of the Agreement: Physical Therapy Admission

SUNY Oneonta students will be given preferred admission to the Sage Colleges School of Health Sciences for the DPT degree, who demonstrates the following:

  1. Earned baccalaureate degree (or in progress)
  2. Minimum overall 3.25 GPA
  3. Minimum science GPA of 3.25 (Anatomy & Physiology I and II with labs or approved equivalents; Physics I & II with labs; Chemistry I & II with labs, and Cell Biology with lab)
  4. Completion of Physical Therapy Program prerequisite courses with grades of C or better (see prerequisite courses listed above)

To qualify for preferred admission to the DPT Program students agree to the following:

By August 15* of the year preceding graduation from SUNY Oneonta:

  1. Submit a completed PTCAS Application ( following the Early Decision Procedures, including:
    1. Official Transcripts
    2. Two (2) letters of recommendation, one of which must be academic
    3. Clinical Observation Hours Documentation (minimum of 40 hours, preferably in at least 2 settings)
    4. Resume
    5. Essay
  2. Submit the supplemental document form (DPT Academic and Technical Program Standards Statement) to the PT Department.
  3. Email the PT Department, indicating that their application has been submitted to PTCAS via Articulation Agreement with indicated school.

Within 30 days of acceptance:

  1. Submit official transcripts from all college institutions attended to the PT Department at the address above.
  2. Make enrollment deposit of $300 (non-refundable, though to be applied toward graduate tuition)

Upon graduation from SUNY Oneonta:

  1. Submit final transcripts documenting completion of undergraduate degree and PT Program prerequisite courses to the PT Department at the address above

* This date is determined by PTCAS and is subject to change each year. Please visit for the most current deadline dates.

While interviews are no longer required, we encourage students to visit our campus and meet with a representative of our program prior to submitting their application to PTCAS. Please contact Kim Wafer at to schedule a visit or ask questions about our program.

SUNY Oneonta has a 3 + 3 articulation agreement in Physical Therapy with SUNY Upstate Medical University providing Early Admission to DPT school for high school seniors.

Application is made by high school seniors via the SUNY Upstate application portal beginning September 1.

  • The 3 + 3 program is highly competitive and requires students to be accepted to BOTH SUNY Oneonta and the DPT Program at Upstate Medical University during their senior year of high school.
  • The 3 + 3 program leads to a B.S. degree with a Biology major from Oneonta and a DPT degree from Upstate Medical University in a total of six years. It is administered by Upstate Medical University.
  • For details, please contact Upstate Medical University at (315) 464-4570.

SUNY Oneonta students not accepted into Upstate Medical University's 3+3 program as a high school senior can apply to Upstate's DPT program through regular decision during their final year at SUNY Oneonta, and would complete the prerequisites as defined by SUNY Upstate.

Students accepted into the 3 + 3 DPT program must meet with the Pre-Health Professions Advisor at SUNY Oneonta during their first semester at SUNY Oneonta to plan out expected coursework for their time at Oneonta based on individual student academic needs to satisfy coursework requirements prior to transfer to Upstate Medical University at the end of their junior year at SUNY Oneonta.

Pre-Health-related questions should be directed to the Pre-Health Professions Program Coordinator.

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