If you're interested in a career in physical therapy there are some requirements you need to get into physical therapy (PT) school. When you graduate it will be worth it because there are plenty of jobs available. The projected growth for physical therapists is about 22% according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, which is much faster than the national average for all occupations.
So, what does it take to become a physical therapist? Here are 3 steps you need to take to get into PT school.
Take the Required Courses as An Undergrad
Before you can get into a PT school, there are several classes you're required to take as an undergraduate. Just about every doctor of physical therapy school requires applicants to take general and advanced biology, general and organic chemistry, physics, behavioral sciences, and statistics.
Simply passing these courses is not good enough to get you into a PT school. You need to have at least a 3.0 GPA to get into most of them. Some schools require a 3.75 minimum GPA. So, having good grades is an important part of this career path..
Complete Physical Therapy Observation Hours
Most schools require applicants to complete observation hours in a variety of physical therapy settings. You need to get as many hours as you can under the supervision of a licensed therapist.
The Physical Therapist Centralized Application Service (PTCAS) provides information on the number of observation hours required by each physical therapy program. They vary from zero to 300.
You should try to obtain a significant number of PT hours of observation. These can be done in a variety of practice settings such as at an acute care hospital, rehabilitation hospital, a long-term care facility, nursing home, private outpatient clinic, or a private physical therapy facility.
Take The GRE
Many PT programs require applicants to take the Graduate Record Examination (GRE). You must score a minimum of 500 to get accepted into most PT schools. However, the average GRE score for most applicants is 1160. Just like a GPA, the higher your GRE score, the better your chance is of getting into the school of your choice.
Getting into PT school is not an easy path. Once you're accepted and graduate, a rewarding career awaits you. Contact us to get more information about careers in physical therapy.
To learn more about this and related topics, visit the Healthcare section of our blog.
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