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A basketball player with a torn ACL. A grandparent with arthritis. A child with a birth defect. A bricklayer with a back injury. The road to recovery for these people goes through physical therapists, who work with them to restore function, improve mobility, stretch the bounds of physical limitation and relieve their pain. Using electrical stimulation, ultrasounds, therapeutic exercise, gait training, and adaptive devices like prosthetic and crutches, physical therapists work with other health care providers to devise the best remedy to improve each individual's function.


Unlike many PT programs, Marquette's physical therapy major gives you the latitude to develop your interest in a variety of areas — such as sports, orthopedics, neurological, cardiopulmonary, wellness and pediatrics — by offering advanced-practice electives, specialty clinicals, projects and mentoring by top experts in those fields.

Get out of the classroom.

As a physical therapy major, you'll enjoy 30 weeks of clinical experience in Milwaukee and throughout the country during the final two years of your professional phase.

Competence and compassion.

Marquette's major in physical therapy provides more than advanced technical training. The values-centered University Core of Common Studies will help equip you to make a difference in your patients' lives.

Academic freedom.

Unlike many physical therapy programs that limit your choices of undergraduate majors, Marquette gives you a wide variety of majors from which to choose. Exercise physiology and athletic training are the most popular majors for physical therapy students, providing training in fitness, wellness, disease prevention and the care of sports injuries. These two majors, combined with physical therapy, provide a second expertise in human performance training, or sport medicine, that complements a physical therapy education and enhances a student's marketability.

Flexible and profitable.

Physical therapists choose from traditional 9-to-5 careers to more flexible private practices, often combining part-time positions.

Oh, my aching back!

Promotion of good physical health has created popular demand for employers (and opened new opportunities for physical therapists) to provide employee training in safe work habits to reduce workplace injuries.

The six-year doctor of physical therapy program.

Marquette's physical therapy program consists of a three-year pre-professional phase and a three-year professional phase. Students graduate with a bachelor's degree in an academic area of choice and a doctor of physical therapy degree. You may enter Marquette's physical therapy program in one of two ways: direct freshman admission to the six-year program or separate admission to the three-year professional phase.

Direct freshman admission (high school seniors only)

Strong candidates for this program typically rank in the top quarter of their high school classes (when applicable), have comparable ACT or SAT scores, and have done well in science and math courses. Completion of the following high school courses is required for admission to the physical therapy program:

  • 1 year of biology
  • 1 year of chemistry
  • 3 years of college-preparatory math (algebra, geometry, advanced algebra and/or trigonometry)
  • 1 year of physics is recommended

Separate admission to the three-year phase

If you aren't offered direct freshman admission, you may still enroll at Marquette and match the program's academic requirements. You need to complete at least 12 credits of physical therapy prerequisites at Marquette to apply to the professional phase. Admission is not guaranteed, and competition for these spots is strong. In recent years, we have been able to offer up to 10 spaces to students applying at this point. Transfer students are also welcome to apply.

D.P.T. prerequisites Course credits
Biology 3
Chemistry I & II 8
Physics I & II 8
Statistics 3
Introduction to Physical Therapy* 1

* Optional for transfer students

Suggested curriculum

Major courses are bolded.


  • Contemporary Issues in Physical Therapy
  • Rhetoric and Composition I & II
  • Histories of Cultures and Societies Elective
  • Introduction to Theology
  • General Psychology
  • General Biology I & II
  • General Chemistry I & II
  • Elective


  • Human Anatomy
  • Calculus for the Biological Sciences
  • Principles of Biological Investigation
  • Philosophy of Human Nature
  • Theory of Ethics
  • Organic Chemistry I & II
  • Statistics Course
  • Elective


  • Biochemistry
  • Human Microbiology
  • Human Physiology
  • General Pathology
  • Physical Therapy Elective
  • General Physics I & II
  • Literature/Performing Arts Elective
  • Health and Society Elective
  • Two Electives


  • Molecular Pathology
  • Pharmacology
  • Two Physical Therapy Electives
  • Diverse Cultures Elective
  • Theology Elective
  • Electives
  • Applied Ethics for the Health Sciences

Physical therapy

You might like the Physical therapy major if you

✓ Excel in science, especially human sciences

✓ Enjoy working with people

✓ Are sensitive to people with special needs

What can you do with a major in Physical therapy?

Physical therapy majorOne hundred percent of our physical therapy graduates are employed within six months of graduation. Many work in hospitals, outpatient clinics, sports medicine settings, school systems and rehabilitation centers around the country.

Learn more about what you can do with a major in physical therapy.

Visit the department that offers the physical therapy major.

Contact us


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