Before choosing a college major, you need to know the best degree to become a physical therapist. Although no undergraduate program can promise you a guaranteed chance of being accepted into physical therapy schools, you can increase your chances of success with careful planning. This article will help you make an informed decision about which bachelor’s program to enroll in.
Exercise Physiology or Kinesiology
These two degrees accounted for 34% of all applicants accepted to physical therapy programs in the 2014-2015 application year for two reasons, according to the Physical Therapy Centralized Application Service. One, if you’re choosing the best undergraduate degree to be accepted into a physical therapy school, exercise physiology or kinesiology will be your natural choice. These two programs of study give you the perfect foundation for success as a physical therapist because they teach how the body moves and how to evaluate scientific literature to enhance your knowledge base. Two, many of your professors in exercise science courses will be physical therapists who can mentor you on your journey to graduate school.
Major in Business with a STEM Minor
Getting accepted to physical therapy school requires good grades in pre-requisite science courses like biology and anatomy. However, you don’t have to major in a natural science to become a physical therapist. Your long-term plans could be better served by studying business or entrepreneurship to prepare you for managing a private practice. The majority of physical therapists work in private offices, so you will likely work in this environment at some point in your career, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. If you understand how to manage your staff, how to create and follow a budget and how to build your patient base, you will excel at private practice physical therapy.
Any Major You Want
Physical therapy schools want a well-rounded class of applicants with a high average grade point average (GPA). If you have a strong passion for a subject like music or English, you shouldn’t be afraid to declare a major in those areas; just make sure you can get excellent grades throughout your college studies. Students with a wide range of undergraduate degrees are able to excel as physical therapists because your graduate program will teach you the skills and scientific knowledge you need to be a great caregiver. If you’re worried about your ability to do well in a STEM major but know that physical therapy is the right career for you, choosing a liberal arts degree is a smart tactic. You can always add a biology or exercise science minor to round out your education without ruining your GPA.
Regardless of the major you choose, make sure to find a school that offers student services like tutoring, advising and preparation for healthcare sciences. You’ll want to have this support so you can be the strongest possible applicant for physical therapy. Look for pre-physical therapy clubs to join, hospitals and nursing homes that have partnered with your school to offer volunteer opportunities and for a proven track record of getting students into graduate school.
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You can make any undergraduate degree help you in your journey towards a health care career. The best degree to become a physical therapist is one where you will be engaged in the subject matter and successful in your classes.