The primary objective of physical therapy is to promote human health and function by assessing and treating disabilities and promoting wellness to individuals of all ages. The physical therapist conducts physical evaluations to determine the patient's potential for rehabilitation and life style changes, and also educates the patient and family. Physical therapists treat patients recovering from injury, surgery or disease using means such as exercise, performance of functional mobility activities, manual techniques, and physical agents. They teach patients how to remain healthy, prevent injury, and stay physically active. Physical therapists work in a variety of environments including elementary and high schools, sports clinics, veterans rehabilitations centers, hospitals, home health care, and nursing homes.
Specific admission requirements vary per physical therapy school. You should consult with schools of interest to determine their specific admission requirements. Additionally, students can consult the PTCAS prerequisites website. A list of UNL courses that will fulfill the prerequisites for the physical therapy programs at the University of Nebraska Medical Center (UNMC) and Creighton University is available by downloading the program checklist above.
Suggested academic preparation:
- Bachelor's degree- A bachelor's degree that incorporates specific required prerequisite courses is required by most physical therapy programs.
- Some physical therapy programs require completion of at least 90 hours of coursework at the undergraduate level; these programs do not require a bachelor's degree for admission, but a bachelor's degree can provide superior academic preparation for the physical therapy program.
- Competitive academic record- Students with an excellent academic record, including high GPAs and multiple upper-level courses, will be at an advantage in the admission process.
- Major in anything- All UNL majors are great options.
We recommend you meet with an Explore Center advisor once a semester to ensure you are progressing with the correct academic coursework.
Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT)
The DPT degree prepares students through didactic and clinical coursework to take and pass the PT licensing exam, which is required to practice physical therapy in all states. Most DPT programs are 3 years in length. A searchable directory of DPT programs can be found at the Physical Therapy Centralized Application Service website.
Nebraska Professional Schools
- University of Nebraska College of Allied Health Professions
- Omaha, NE
Office of Academic and Student Affairs
- Creighton University School of Pharmacy and Health Professions
- Omaha, NE
- 800-325-2830 ext. 1