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Pre-Physical Therapy

  • Location IconBrookings Main Campus

Improving mobility and reducing pain through movement.

Physical therapists are licensed healthcare professionals dedicated to improving and restoring patients’ physical function and mobility. They employ a holistic approach to assess and treat a variety of musculoskeletal and neuromuscular conditions and injuries. Through a combination of manual therapies, therapeutic exercises and specialized modalities, physical therapists create personalized treatment plans to reduce pain, enhance strength and flexibility, and promote overall improved quality of life. Their expertise extends to patients of all ages, from athletes recovering from injuries to individuals managing chronic pain or recovering from surgery. By fostering relationships through patient education and empowerment, physical therapists play a critical role in helping individuals improve and maintain their quality of life. Physical therapists provide care in a variety of settings, including hospitals, private practice, outpatient clinics, home health agencies, schools, sports and fitness facilities and nursing homes.

The pre-physical therapy program is a pre-professional curriculum whereby all the necessary prerequisites can be completed in preparation for applying to a school of physical therapy. All physical therapists must earn a graduate degree from an accredited program. The School of Health and Consumer Sciences provides advising to assist each student in developing a plan best suited to their needs. Acceptance by physical therapy schools is on a competitive basis, therefore, a strong undergraduate academic record is essential. Students must declare an undergraduate major along with the pre-professional curriculum. Students must earn a bachelor’s degree, have a basic science background and complete a certain number of required courses before applying to a professional physical therapy program. Exercise science is the most common major accepted into Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) programs.

Is it for you?

This program will be a good fit if you:

  • Are drawn to helping people.
  • Are detail-oriented.
  • Easily adapt to changes.
  • Have strong interpersonal skills.
  • Enjoy physical activity.

Clubs and Organizations

  • Exercise Science Club
  • HEROH (Helping Everyone Reach Optimal Health)

Professional Schools Admitting Graduates

  • University of South Dakota
  • Des Moines University
  • Creighton University
  • Mayo School of Health Sciences
  • University of North Dakota
  • University of Nebraska Medical Center
  • Saint Scholastica
  • University of Mary
  • University of Minnesota
  • Saint Catherines University

Undecided or still deciding on a major and future career?

If you are uncertain about your major and have questions about career planning, you are not alone. Choosing a major or career can be a very difficult decision. The exploratory studies program may be a good fit if you are unsure of your major and career focus. Entering the university in the exploratory studies program will help you gain confidence and valuable insights on majors and minors available at SDSU and future career choices. 

In addition, FOCUS 2 Career, a self-guided assessment, education and career planning program, will help you reflect on your values, interests, personality traits and skills to provide valuable insight as you explore major and career choices. SDSU students may access FOCUS 2 Career by using their student email and password. After completing FOCUS 2 Career, you may find it helpful to discuss your results with a career coach in the Office of Career Development.