Pre-Physical Therapy

Offered by Health Science Programs

The educational requirements for admission to a physical therapy program vary from school to school. Many programs require a BS degree; some will accept applicants after three years of undergraduate education. The following courses are those required by the University of Nebraska Medical Center's Division of Physical Therapy Education for admission to their program. These courses also meet the requirements for entry into the Creighton University Program in Physical Therapy. Students pursuing a pre-physical therapy program are also expected to pursue a college major.1

Competition for places in professional schools of physical therapy is intense and admission is not guaranteed.

Required Courses
BIOL 225Anatomy and Physiology4
BIOL 226Anatomy and Physiology4
CHEM 160
General Chemistry
and General Chemistry Laboratory
CHEM 161
General Chemistry
and General Chemistry Laboratory
ENG 101Introduction to Academic Writing3
ENG 102Special Topics in Academic Writing and Research3
PHYS 205
General Physics I
and Physics I Laboratory
PHYS 206
General Physics II
and Physics Laboratory II
Select 2 of the following:8
General Biology
Biology I
Biology II
Human Microbiology
Select one of the following:3-4
Behavioral Statistics
Elementary Statistics
PSY 230Human Development3
or PSY 231 Abnormal Behavior and Society
Select 3 credit hours of elective courses in social science 23
Total Credit Hours49-50

Additional Requirements

  • University of Nebraska Medical Center (UNMC) requires a Bachelor's Degree for admission.
  • Creighton University does not require a Bachelor's Degree. Students must identify their major emphasis of study and satisfactorily complete 9 upper level (300/400) credit hours towards that emphasis prior to matriculation.
  • Shadowing/Observation Requirements: Creighton University requires a minimum of 60 hours of observation supervised by a physical therapist. UNMC has no formal requirement for volunteer, observation, or employment experiences in the field of physical therapy. However, broad exposure to the field is to the applicant's personal benefit and is encouraged.
  • UNMC and Creighton University require students to submit scores from the Graduate Record Exam (GRE).
  • Students applying to Schools of Physical Therapy outside Nebraska should check with these schools to ensure that other requirements are fulfilled.

Students pursuing a program of study in pre-physical therapy are expected to choose a major so that they can be working towards a baccalaureate degree concurrently with the pre-physical therapy program. This requires a major/minor combination or a comprehensive major as well as completion of the UNK general studies requirements and other degree requirements as set forth in the college catalog. (Students who are accepted into physical therapy school prior to completing a baccalaureate degree at UNK may be eligible to receive a BS Degree in Applied Health Sciences if they have completed all General Studies requirements and have at least 85 semester credit hours completed in pre-PT studies.)


Appropriate options include courses in anthropology, community health, criminal justice, cultural geography, ethnic studies, human sexuality, marriage/family, personal health, psychology, social science, social work, sociology and women's studies.