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From athletic training to physical therapy degree?

Hi everyone, I'm interested in pursuing a career in physical therapy and I'm currently majoring in athletic training. Is it possible to transition from an athletic training degree to a physical therapy degree later? If so, what do I need to know or prepare for? Thanks!

6 months ago

Hello! It's definitely possible to transition from an athletic training degree to a physical therapy degree later, and in fact, it can be a great foundation for your PT career. Here are some factors you need to consider and steps you should take:

1. Prerequisite courses: The first thing you'll need to do is to ensure that you complete the prerequisite courses required for physical therapy programs. These typically include general biology, anatomy and physiology, general chemistry, physics, psychology, and statistics. You may already be covering some of these courses in your athletic training major, but make sure to cross-check with the specific PT programs you're aiming for.

2. Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) program: After completing your bachelor's in athletic training, you'll need to apply for a DPT program, which is the essential degree to become a licensed physical therapist. These programs generally take about 3 years to complete. Be prepared for a competitive application process, as PT schools often have low acceptance rates.

3. Volunteer or work experience: Before applying for a DPT program, it would be helpful to have volunteer or work experience in a physical therapy setting. It not only strengthens your application but also provides you with practical experience and insight into the PT field.

4. Graduate Record Examination (GRE): Most DPT programs require applicants to submit GRE scores. Make sure to prepare appropriately for the exam and schedule a test date allowing yourself ample time for preparation.

5. Licensing exam: After graduating from a DPT program, you'll need to pass the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) to obtain your license and practice as a physical therapist in the U.S.

6. Networking: Start networking with physical therapists, professors, and fellow students to learn more about the profession and to keep yourself up-to-date with new developments or opportunities in the field. This will also help when it comes to seeking recommendation letters for your DPT applications.

In summary, transitioning from athletic training to a physical therapy degree is a viable option and can offer strong foundational knowledge for your future PT career. Be proactive in taking the necessary courses and gaining practical experience in the field to ensure a smoother transition. Good luck!

6 months ago

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