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 prosthetics 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 Marquette Core Curriculum 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 preprofessional 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 physical therapy prerequisite courses 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 who have completed at least half of the prerequisite credits at Marquette are also welcome to apply. More information can be found at this link.

Some of the classes you'll take:

  • Contemporary Issues in Physical Therapy
  • Human Anatomy
  • Biochemistry
  • Human Microbiology
  • Human Physiology
  • General Pathology
  • Physical Therapy Elective
  • Molecular Pathology
  • Pharmacology

For a complete listing of required courses for the program in physical therapy, please visit the Marquette University Online Bulletin at this link.