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Pre-Physical Therapy

Department of Physical Therapy: Central Michigan University offers a Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT). For a student to become eligible to apply for entry into the graduate DPT program, they must complete both: 1) the requirements for their undergraduate major, and 2) a series of prerequisite courses (listed below).

The student has the option to choose from a wide variety of undergraduate majors to prepare them for the physical therapy program. Suggested undergraduate majors include Exercise Science with an option in Kinesiology, Health Fitness or Clinical Exercise Science, Biology, Neuroscience, Psychology, Child Development, Therapeutic Recreation, Athletic Training and Health Administration. Students should consult with an advisor to identify the most appropriate undergraduate major for their interests, skills and career goals. Students must be assigned an advisor from their chosen undergraduate major to identify the courses that they need to take to complete the requirements of their undergraduate major.

Students also must complete a series of required prerequisite courses to prepare them for the graduate curriculum.

Prerequisite Courses for Physical Therapy

Biology/Health Science.

14 credits are required, including courses in Anatomy (recommended CMU courses include HSC 214 OR BIO 337), Physiology (recommended CMU courses include HSC 215 OR BIO 392), and Exercise Physiology (recommended CMU course is HSC 308). Laboratories required for both Anatomy and Physiology14 credits are required, including courses in Anatomy (recommended CMU courses include HSC 214 OR BIO 337), Physiology (recommended CMU courses include HSC 215 OR BIO 392), and Exercise Physiology (recommended CMU course is HSC 308). Laboratories required for both Anatomy and Physiology.


8 credits are required. Recommended sequences at CMU include

CHM 131General Chemistry I



CHM 132General Chemistry II



CHM 120Survey of Chemistry




CHM 342Survey of Organic Chemistry


Laboratory experience required for all courses.


9 credits are required, including a course in developmental psychology. A course in rehabilitation or health psychology is strongly recommended.


8-10 credits are required, including a laboratory experience. Suggested course sequences at CMU include either

PHY 130QRCollege Physics I


PHY 170College Physics Laboratory I


PHY 131College Physics II


PHY 171College Physics Laboratory II



PHY 145QRUniversity Physics I


PHY 146University Physics II


PHY 175University Physics Laboratory I


PHY 176University Physics Laboratory II



A background in algebra and trigonometry sufficient for success in chosen physics sequences. MTH 109 is a recommended course prior to PHY 130QR at CMU.


An introductory course in statistics is required. Recommended CMU courses include

BIO 500Biological Statistics


PSY 211QRIntroduction to Psychological Statistics


HSC 544Biostatistics



To gain admittance into the professional portion of the program, students need to complete a secondary application. Applications will be considered only if students have completed (or are in the process of completing) their major requirements, university program requirements and physical therapy prerequisite courses. Admission to the program is competitive. Students should contact their advisor for specific information on this process.

For a complete description of the application process and the Graduate Program in Physical Therapy, please consult the current Central Michigan University Graduate Studies Bulletin.

Note for Transfer Students: The recommended prerequisite courses have been chosen to provide students with the appropriate background to be successful in the professional curriculum. For students transferring from other institutions, the specific courses taken may vary and the equivalency of the content in those courses to meet the prerequisite requirements will be determined by the faculty of the physical therapy program. Under special circumstances, students may be admitted who have not completed the exact series of recommended prerequisite courses but can demonstrate that they possess an academic background that provides them an equivalent preparation. In those cases, the faculty of the program determines whether a student has received an equivalent preparation.

Accreditation: The Graduate Program in Physical Therapy at Central Michigan University is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE) of the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA).