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.
Typical prerequisite courses for acceptance into PT programs include the following: (please see specific program requirements for more detail)
* 3-4 biology courses (intro to biology I/II, anatomy, physiology)
* 3 psychology courses (intro to psychology, abnormal psychology and developmental psychology)
* 2 physics courses
* 2 chemistry courses
* calculus or trigonometry