Pre-Physical Therapy

Physical therapists commonly provide non-invasive treatment for musculoskeletal injuries and diseases, but may be involved in treatment of other body systems as well. In addition to treatment of existing problems, they may also provide therapies and strategies to maintain function and/or prevent future injury from occurring. Most PTs are found in primary care settings, such as hospitals, outpatient clinics, rehabilitation centers, and nursing homes. There are also options to specialize in a variety of subspecialties such as orthopedics, pediatrics, geriatrics, cardiology, sports medicine, and neurology. The PT field is rapidly growing as demand steadily increases and interest in the profession expands.

Physical therapy programs award the Doctorate of Physical Therapy (DPT) degree. The professional program takes 3 years to complete.

There are currently 10 accredited DPT programs in North Carolina:

UNC Charlotte does not offer the professional-level DPT program.

Recommended Core Courses

The following classes are recommended for completion of the basic pre-physical therapy core at UNC Charlotte. The classes are recommended to cover the minimum basic requirements at the majority of physical therapy schools.

General Biology with labsBIOL 2120+2130Some schools will accept survey-level biology (BIOL 1110 + BIOL 1115).Some schools require an upper-level biology course (3000/4000 level); Exercise Physiology can often substitute for the upper-level biology course.
Human Anatomy & Physiology with labs  BIOL 2273 +2274  orEXER 2168+2169NC DPT programs will accept either sequence.
General Chemistry with labsCHEM 1251+1252 
General Physics with labsPHYS 1101+1102 orPHYS 2101+2102 
StatisticsSTAT 1220 or 1221 or 1222 
MathMATH 1100 or higher-level math 
General PsychologyPSYC 1101 
Additional Psychology CoursePSYC 2151 (Abnormal Psych) or PSYC 2120 (Child Psych)Some programs only accept Abnormal Psychology.

Each physical therapy school establishes their specific prerequisites; always check the websites of the programs that you want to attend.

More Resources


Exercise Science Student Organization