Pre Occupational Therapy/Physical Therapy
TCU offers undergraduate coursework designed to meet the requirements for admission into a doctorate program in physical therapy (PT) or occupational therapy (OT) program at another university. There is not a specific major required for graduate study in PT or OT; however, movement science, biology, or some other natural science-based major are logical choices. In addition to your major, PT and OT schools require the following science and math courses:
- General Biology (for science majors) – 8 hours
- Chemistry (with lab) – 8 hours
- Anatomy and Physiology (w/ lab) – 8 hours
- Physics (with lab) – 8 hours
- College Algebra or higher – 3 hours
- Statistics – 3 hours
- Psychology (including developmental) – 6-9 hours
In addition to the above courses, PT and OT schools require additional coursework to total 75-90 hours. Many of these are satisfied by the university core requirements and include:
- English – 6 hours
- Government – 6 hours
- History – 6 hours
- Computer Literacy – 3 hours
- Sociology or other social science courses – 3-6 hours
- Speech – 3 hours
Prior to applying to PT or OT school, you should also have acquired:
- Proficiency in medical terminology
- PT or OT clinic internship experience totaling 150 contact hours
Because each PT or OT school has slightly different requirements, it is recommended that, as you approach the end of your undergraduate studies, you gather specific requirements from the schools you would like to attend. Note that it is possible to be admitted to PT school with 75-90 hours, prior to completing the bachelor’s degree. Most schools list an undergraduate GPA of 3.0 as a minimum for admission to their program; however, because of the competitiveness of gaining admission to these programs, successful candidates typically have a GPA of 3.5 or higher, both for the cumulative and for their science GPA.
Dr. Esposito, Dr. Mitchell, and Dr. Phillips are the advisers for pre-PT and pre-OT. Feel free to contact one of them for help with advising, even if you are pursuing a major other than movement science.
The purpose of an internship is to give you a chance to experience what a profession is actually like. In many cases, this will reinforce your desire to pursue a given field. On the other hand, you may come away from the experience realizing that it is not for you. An internship is required as part of the movement science major, and it is a prerequisite for admission to a master’s level PT or OT program. The 150 hours required for KINE 40903 is considered a minimum for that prerequisite. It will be to your advantage, for admissions purposes, to acquire more extensive exposure to PT or OT settings, emphasizing a variety of types of internship, shadowing or observation experiences. In addition, PT and OT schools will want letters of recommendation from practicing therapists, and your internship supervisors will be able to write those letters.
The general procedure for the internship is for you to meet with the departmental internship supervisor, Dr. Melody Phillips, prior to initiating contact with an internship facility. In consultation with Dr. Phillips, you will identify a clinic or other PT or OT setting that matches your interest, and then contact the facility supervisor to set up an interview. If a mutually-beneficial arrangement can be found, you then set up a schedule with a list of activities for the semester. The list of activities and the schedule must be approved by Dr. Phillips prior to beginning the internship. For the requirements of KINE 40903, there are also some written materials that you will need to turn in. Following are a few PT internship locations that we have used in the past:
- Sport Therapy
- Harris Methodist
- Cook Children’s
- Health South
- Metroplex Sports Care
There are many other clinics in the Metroplex where you can set up an internship. In addition, it may be possible to do your internship elsewhere during the summer if you have a contact in another location. We offer KINE 40903 every semester and during the summer.