Pre-Physical Therapy Roadmap

Pre-Physical Therapy

Start your journey to becoming a physical therapist.

Prereqs. prerequisite





Take Prerequisites Courses.

University of Nebraska Lincoln offers the classes you need to apply for a Physical Therapist program while earning your bachelor’s degree. See the list below for a brief overview of required prerequisite courses.


experience, network, shadow





Get Experience.

Start building your shadowing and volunteer hours to be a more competitive physical therapy school applicant. Don’t forget to keep track of your hours!


Compass, Explore Center, Pre-Health Advisor

Talk to an Advisor Each Semester.

There’s a lot of coordination and planning that needs to happen to make sure you do everything you need before graduate school. The Explore Center’s advisors are here to help you navigate this journey. Meet with an advisor today to get a personalized 4-year pre-physical therapy plan!

Pre-Physical Therapy Roadmap at UNL

Physical Therapy Prerequisite Classes

Depending on the school you plan to attend, you may need additional prerequisite courses. Meet with an advisor for more information.


Typical Physical Therapy School Requirements

Biology – 2 semesters

Chemistry – 2 semesters

Anatomy - 1 semester

Physiology with lab - 1 semester

Physics – 2 semesters

Statistics – 1 semester

Psychology/Social Science – 1-2 courses

English – 1-2 courses

What to Take at University of Nebraska-Lincoln

Some classes require prerequisites. Meet with an advisor for help planning your courses.


Biology – LIFE 120/120L & LIFE 121/121L*

Chemistry – CHEM 109A/L & CHEM 110A/L or 113A/L, 114, & 221L

Anatomy – BIOS 214

Physiology with lab – BIOS 213/213L

Physics – PHYS 141 & 142 or 211/221 & 212/222

Statistics – STAT 218, ECON 215, EDPS 459, or PSYC 350

Psychology/Social Science – PSYC 181, 289, or 380*

English – ENGL 150, 151, 254, or 354

The above courses are entrance requirements for the physical therapy programs at UNMC, Creighton University, and College of St. Mary (CSM). Students interested in other programs should work with their pre-health advisor and contact schools directly for guidance on prerequisite courses.

Other Notes:

  • *Courses with an asterisk have additional options depending on your desired school.
  • AP/CLEP: Creighton will accept AP & CLEP credit if listed on a transcript from your undergraduate institution. AP/CLEP is not accepted for prerequisites at UNMC or CSM.
  • GPA: Creighton & CSM require a minimum C grade in each prerequisite course; UNMC requires a minimum C- in each prerequisite.
  • Math Requirement: Students need to be calculus ready to enroll in Chemistry (MPE into Math 106 or complete Math 102 or 103)


Extracurricular Involvement and Activities:

Pursuing physical therapy school requires more than just coursework. Your extracurricular activities, employment, and healthcare experiences like shadowing and volunteering will contribute greatly to your success in this field. See a pre-health advisor in the Explore Center to plan extracurricular activities that will prepare you for this program.

Application and Admission

Application: Applications to UNMC, Creighton, & CSM are completed through the Physical Therapist Centralized Application Services (PTCAS). More information about PTCAS can be found at:

Entrance exam: UNMC and Creighton require that students take the Graduate Record Examination (GRE). Information about the GRE can be obtained at

Additional admission requirements: Most physical therapy programs require letters of recommendation from a physical therapist, professors, and/or persons who know you in a professional setting. PT observation hours verified by a licensed PT are often required. Interviews are usually required for admission.