Other Professional Schools (PT, PA)

Numerous other paths lead to careers in the health professions. Other advanced health-related careers you may consider include:

  • Physical Therapy
  • Physician Assistant
  • Chiropractic
  • Optometry
  • Pharmacy
  • Podiatry

Some of these programs lead to a bachelor's degree, others provide a Master's degree or similar post-graduate degree. The requirements for admission to these programs are not universal and often vary between different schools. However, most programs require a strong basic background in biology and chemistry.

What are the minimum course requirements?

p>Specific course requirements vary with the different programs. Within a program, requirements may not be the same for different schools offering the same degree. Requirements for many of these programs are often fairly extensive and specific in terms of the classes you must take. As a result, you must check with the specific schools to which you intend to apply to ensure that you take all of the necessary prerequisites.

 Typical requirements include:

  • 6 hours of English,
  • one year of chemistry (or more, may include one year organic chemistry)
  • one year of physics
  • one or two years of biology (anatomy/physiology often required, other courses may be specifically stated)
  • one year of psychology
  • statistics
  • college algebra or higher, and
  • 6-10 hours of social sciences/humanities

In addition, some schools require specific courses such as biochemistry, calculus, communications, computer science, exercise physiology, and organic chemistry. Check with the schools and talk with your advisor.

Do I need to major in the natural sciences?

Not always. Students can usually major in any discipline that they want, so long as they complete the course requirements for each school. Most programs require that applicants have a four-year degree, and some require a degree in a relevant discipline.

What standardized tests are required?

Most programs use GRE scores for assessment; some do not require that you take a standardized test. Once again, check with specific schools.

What other criteria are used to assess applicants?

Your grade point average is a very important criterion for evaluation. Applicants that are accepted into programs typically have grade points > 3.2 (this varies with the program). Many schools require/expect experience within the discipline (this is especially true for Physician Assistant programs, and extra experience always helps with any of the programs). Letters of recommendation are usually required, and often one of these letters must come from an active practioner in the field (which reflects the emphasis on prior experience within the discipline). Evidence of activity and leadership roles in the university and community is also beneficial.

What will I do if I do not get accepted to the school of my choice?

Acceptance to these programs is competitive, so it is always wise to consider other alternatives. In particular, you should give much thought to your major, and pursue an area of study that interests you. If you are not accepted, then your future career pathways may be limited by your background and choice of major. Your advisor can help you formulate back-up plans.