pt/ot

Physical/Occupational

Therapy 

The role of a physical therapist is to restore mobility, reduce pain and the need for surgery or medication, as well as improve overall function. Education and training takes three years.

An occupational therapist engages in rehabilitation therapy to help patients in every day activities. Examples include helping patients return to normal level of functioning after an injury or helping children with disabilities participate in school and social situations. Education and training is two years.

EXPLORE Physical/Occupational Therapy

PREPARE for Physical/Occupational Therapy School

Confirm your interest in PT/OT, prepare academically and develop the necessary skills and experience:

Academic Pre-Requisites: Physical Therapy

Pre-Req Comparison Chart
Read about the PT Admissions Process and Requirements,
This is a general guideline. Please check individual schools for their specific pre-requisites.

  • Biology + 4 unit lab (BILD 1, 2, 3)
  • General Chemistry + lab (Chem 6ABC, 7L)
  • Anatomy + lab (take at Extension or community college)
  • Physiology + lab (BILD 26, BIPN 100, or BIPN 102) *take human physio lab at a community college
  • Psychology
  • Statistics (Math 11, Psych 60,etc.)

Academic Pre-Requisites: Occupational Therapy

Read FAQs about OT Education.
This is a general guideline. Please check individual schools for their specific pre-requisites.
  • Biology + 4 unit lab (BILD 1, 2, 3)
  • General Chemistry + lab (Chem 6ABC, 7L)
  • Anatomy + lab (take at Extension or community college)
  • Physiology + lab (BILD 26, BIPN 100, or BIPN 102) *take human physio lab at a community college
  • Psychology
  • Statistics (Math 11, Psych 60,etc.)
  • Oral Communications
  • Art (painting, drawing, sculpting) recommended
  • Talk To, shadow or volunteer with a PT or OT. Find them through your network of family and friends or Professional Associations

Prepare

Click to learn more about gaining experience - clinical, service, leadership, and research.

APPLY for Physical/Occupational Therapy School

You apply to PT or OT school in the fall or winter before you want to start the program. Identify programs that match your interests and complete an application. Some steps take more time to complete than others, so plan ahead!

Schools & Programs

Consider curriculum, clinical training options, location and cost

GRE

If required, Prepare, Practice and take the Graduate Record Examination

Applications

Physical Therapy

Occupational Therapy

  • OTCAS - the application service for Participating OT Schools
  • Supplemental applications from individual OT schools when required
  • Individual school applications to PT or OT schools that do not participate in PT/OTCAS
  • Personal Essay
    • Your personal essay should address why you selected OT as a career and how an Occupational Therapy degree relates to your immediate and long term professional goals. Describe how your personal, educational, and professional background will help you to achieve your goals.
    • 7500 characters (~1 page)

Apply

Click here for more info and resources on your personal essay, interview tips, letters of evaluation and taking a gap year.

Student Organizations