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Thinking About Physical Therapy?
Physical therapists, sometimes called PTs, help injured or ill people improve their movement and manage their pain. These therapists are often an important part of the rehabilitation, treatment, and prevention of patients with chronic conditions, illnesses, or injuries.
Physical therapists are specialists in evaluating and treating disorders of the human body primarily by physical means. Whether the condition results from injury, disease or other causes, they focus primarily on those individuals who have disturbed function or impairment related to the musculoskeletal, neurological, cardiopulmonary, and integumentary (skin) systems. PTs evaluate the functioning of these systems and apply the appropriate treatment to alleviate pain and improve physical function. These services are in great need by people of all ages and backgrounds.
--Definitions from KUMC Physical Therapy homepage and Bureau of Labor Statistics
Physical Therapy at a Glance
Track or Major?
Physical Therapy is a track made up of pre-requisite courses you complete along with a major of your choice. This prepares you for admission into a Physical Therapy Doctoral program.
- Track hours to complete: 43+
- Time to compete: PT pre-requisite courses and Bachelors Degree of your choice (4 years), 3+ years, 111 credit hours at the graduate level
Level of degree - Doctoral
Does KU have a program?
Yes. Students spend their first 4 years on the Lawrence campus completing their pre-physical therapy courses and a Bachelor’s Degree. Once admitted, 3+ years are spent on the University of Kansas Medical Center campus in Kansas City, KS.
Quick Tip: If you have specific questions related to courses, contact your academic advisor.
NOTICE: KU participates in the Physical Therapist Centralized Application Service Early Decision program. This is a binding option for applicants who have selected a physical therapy degree program as their first choice and have committed to enroll in that program if accepted. The early decision application deadline is August 15th.
***Early Decision applicants MUST take the GRE and request scores no later than July 31. If application materials arrive after August 15, PTCAS will automatically change the application from early decision to regular status.
GPA applicatoin requirement: 3.0
Competitive GPA accepted: 3.5+
Special KU application information
- Applicants are expected to possess a general understanding of health care and physical therapy based upon employment, observation or volunteer experiences.
- Healthcare experiences with direct patient contact and working/volunteering with people with special needs are highly recommended.
- Graduate Record Exam (GRE) is required and must be taken within the last 5 years.
- To be a competitive applicant, recommended scores on the GRE should be within the 50th percentile range on the verbal, quantitative, and analytical sections.
- GRE scores must be reported to KU's Physical Therapist Centralized Application Service (PTCAS), not to KU directly; use the PTCAS program code 7815.
Quick Tip: If you need assistance with your application resume and/or personal statement, schedule an appointment at the KU Writing Center and/or University Career Center!
Gain Experience Before You Apply!
Applicants are expected to possess a general understanding of health care and physical therapy based upon employment, observation or volunteer experiences. Although specific hours are not required for most application, we encourage you to invest the time you need to acquire knowledge of the role of physical therapists in health care.
Quick Tip: The University Career Center can assist you in finding experiential opportunities. Schedule an appointment online or by calling 785-864-3624.
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Also, consider the following:
- Lawrence Memorial Hospital
- Heartland Community Health Center
- Douglas County Senior Services
- Lawrence-Douglas County Health Department
- Midland Care
- Trinity In Home Care
- Overland Park Regional Volunteering
- Lawrence Community Shelter Medical Services
- Special Needs Summer Camp Volunteering
- Midnight Farms
- American Stroke Foundation
- Children's Mercy
- MS Achievement Center