Pre-Physical Therapy

Success Stories

Kate Nielsen ’14- Accepted Into Des Moines University Doctorate Of Physical Therapy Program

Kate Nielsen Exercise Science – 2014 Why did you decide…

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Students can best prepare for applying to programs for a doctorate of physical therapy degree (D.P.T.) by earning a Bachelor of Arts degree with a major in biology, athletic training or exercise science at Simpson College. Students are required to obtain a significant number of hours observing licensed physical therapists before enrolling in graduate programs.

Faculty in the Biology and Sport Science Departments will assist students in planning for these pre-professional programs by identifying required and recommended coursework and supervise undergraduate research, internships and observational experiences.

A new partnership with Mercy Clinics in the greater Des Moines area provides three Pre-Health and three Pre-Physical Therapy Internships each semester. Students complete 120 hours of on-site experiences at a local Mercy Clinic where they gain valuable professional and clinical skills. Students regularly attend seminars given by Mercy Clinic staff on current trends in health systems management and methods for improving patient outcomes and interventions.

Graduate School Prerequisite Courses & Admission Requirements:

(Programs vary- Be sure to double check with specific school of interest)

  • Biology- 16 Credits 

BIOL 110 & BIOL 111: Principles of Biology w/ lab

BIOL 225: Human Physiology w/ lab

BIOL 322: Human Anatomy w/ lab

  • Chemistry- 8 Credits 

CHEM 101 & CHEM 102: General Chemistry w/ lab

  • Physics- 8 Credits 

PHYS 151 & PHYS 152 w/ lab

  • Psychology- 6-9 Credits 

PSYC 101: Introduction to Psychology

PSYC 201: Developmental Psychology

PSYC 250: Abnormal Psychology

  • English/Composition/Speech/Communications- 2 Courses
  • Humanities/Social Sciences- 2 Courses
  • Medical Terminology- 1 Course 
  • Observation Hours 

50-70 hours  (depends on program)

Recommended to complete at a variety of locations (neuro, peds, ortho, etc.)

  • GRE (Graduate Records Exam) 
  • Obtain a Bachelor's Degree from an accredited institution 
  • GPA minimum of 3.0 (some schools require higher)