PT and OT Requirements

Allied Health Requirements

Physical Therapy

Occupational Therapy

Physical Therapy

1. Core Courses: Each school has its own requirements, so be sure to check the catalog of each school that you may apply to.

Most schools require:

  • Intro Bio – Bio 220, 221, FS Bio201
  • Anatomy – Bio 365 (comparative) or 367 (human)
  • Physiology – Bio 380
  • Statistics – Bio 385 or Psych 207
  • Physics – Phys 101, 102 or 111, 112
  • Intro Chem – Chem 120, 122, or equivalent sequence
  • Psychology 110, 160 or 170
  • Math – Math 140 & 141, or Math 151

Recommended by many and required by some:

  • English – FS 102 and English 100 level literature
  • Economics – Econ 100 or 101
  • Computer Science – Comp Sci 111
  • Organic Chem – Chem 231, 332

2. Volunteer Work: All schools require experience in the field. Some have actual minimum hour requirements. 200 volunteer hours should satisfy most schools requirements. A range of experience is recommended; private practice, hospital in-patient, hospital out-patient, rehabilitation hospital, work hardening, etc.

Note: With all internship/volunteer opportunities, check carefully to see how much “hands on” experience you will be able to get. Some settings are very restrictive; others will allow you considerable participation.

3. Other Requirements:

  • Grade Point Average – 3.0 minimum usually indicated, but experience indicates that 3.3 is a more realistic requirement.
  • GRE – General Exam
  • Certification in First Aid and CPR are required.
  • Interview – required by most schools

4. Application Procedure:

  • Obtain applications from individual schools
  • Present credentials – transcript and scores
  • 3 letters of recommendation – At least one must be from a practicing physical therapist, a second one may be required or recommended. One should be from a faculty member. The third may be from an employer or another faculty member.
  • Time frame – apply Fall of senior year, reply dates – Feb – ?
  • Many schools require the centralized application service PTCAS

Note: Most programs start during the summer following the senior year, many as early as June.

5. For more information:

  • Check the Health Professions Library for catalogs and more general information.
  • Check the following web site: or
  • Be aware of the special program with Chatham University

Occupational Therapy

What do occupational therapists do?

The primary goal of the occupational therapist is to enable individuals with physical, developmental, and emotional disabilities to acquire or regain skills necessary for independent living. This rehabilitation employs the use of educational, vocational, and recreational activities or “occupations”. Patients range in age from children to the elderly. The therapist may serve individuals or groups on an in-patient or out-patient basis. Some of the more common problems include stroke, developmental disabilities, arthritis, hand injuries, and brain injury.


1. Recommended Curriculum: Each school has its own set of requirements. You should contact the individual schools for catalogs and pre-requisites. However, most schools require the following:

  • Intro Bio – Bio 210, 220, FS Bio201
  • Anatomy – Bio 365 (comparative) or 367 (human)
  • Psychology – Psych 110, 160, 170
  • Chemistry – Chem 120, 122, or equivalent
  • Physics – Phys 101, 102, or equivalent
  • English – Eng 100 level literature course
  • Statistics – Bio 385 or Psych 207

Additional work in human (vertebrate) biology, psychology and/or sociology would be recommended.

2. Volunteer (or Paid) Work Experience: All schools will want the applicant to have had experience in the field. You should work (or at least observe) two or more different types of occupational therapy settings. At a minimum, you should work in one setting that treats primarily physical problems and one that treats primarily psychiatric problems.

3. Other Requirements:

  • Grade Point Average – 3.0 minimum
  • GRE – General Exam
  • Letters of Recommendation
  • Interview – required by most schools

For more information contact:

Web site:

4. Scholarship Information: Once you have been accepted, you may request information on scholarships by sending a self-addressed, stamped envelope to:

P.O. Box 1725
Rockville, MD 20849-1725
(301) 948-9626 ext. 199

Loan Information:

Loans for Occupational Therapy Students Program
P.O. Box 407
Beltsville, MD 20705