Dec 01, 2023  
2023-24 Western Washington University Catalog 
2023-24 Western Washington University Catalog

Pre-Physical Therapy


Students prepare for entry to a graduate program in physical therapy by obtaining a baccalaureate degree, completing the prerequisite course work for entry into specific programs, and by obtaining a broad variety of volunteer clinical experience under the direction of a physical therapist (200-500 hours). Students may complete an undergraduate degrees in any area. Physical therapy programs are three-year programs offered at the doctoral level, and require submission of scores for the Graduate Record Exam (GRE – general test only).

Specific information on each physical therapy program can be obtained from the PT Education link on the American Physical Therapy Association home page at Program prerequisites, statistics, and curriculums are presented by geographic location. Students are encouraged to review prerequisite courses early in their academic planning and to develop a plan of study within the first quarter of entry to Western.

Pre-Physical Therapy is not a major at WWU. PT schools do not require a specific major. A student can complete any major at Western, and fulfill the course pre-requisites for specific PT schools to be qualified to apply.

 Contact Information

Pre-Physical Therapy Advisor
Gordon Chalmers
Carver 201G

Pre-Physical Therapy Advisor
Dave Suprak
Carver 201M


How to Indicate you are Pre-Physical Therapy:

Although Pre-Physical Therapy is not a major, the university maintains a record of students who have indicated their intention to pursue healthcare careers. In order to gain access to our Health Professions Advising Canvas site and advising that is relevant to your intended area, send an email to with your name, W number, Western email address with “Pre-PT” as the subject line.

Course Requirements

Freshman/Sophomore Years:

Meet with a Pre-Physical Therapy advisor to complete a plan of study. Complete the following courses:

Junior Year

Work on completing the following:

  • Credits: 5
  • Only HHD and Biology/Anthropology majors are allowed to resister for BIOL 348 at WWU. Students in other majors requiring BIOL 348 for professional school may be granted an override if they request one from the instructor at least three weeks prior to phase I of registration.

  • Credits: 5
  • Other Physical Therapy prerequisites. You must examine the requirements of PT schools you wish to qualify to apply to, and ensure you complete their requirements by discussing these requirements with your advisor so they can be included in your plan of study.
  • Clinical experience hours. See your pre-PT advisor for assistance setting up clinical experience hours.
  • Major requirements.
  • Prepare for the Graduate Records Examination (GRE). 

Senior Year

  • Take the GRE in the fall.
  • Request letters of recommendation from professors, administrators and professionals.
  • Complete remaining Physical Therapy prerequisites.
  • Complete major requirements.
  • Two quarters before graduation, meet with major faculty advisor for major evaluation and apply for graduation.