Physical Therapy

Physical Therapy (PT) is a dynamic profession with an established theoretical and scientific base and widespread clinical applications in the restoration, maintenance, and promotion of optimal physical function. Physical therapists diagnose and manage movement dysfunction and enhance physical and functional abilities for their patients. 

The Professional School Advising (PSA) team offers a variety of tools to help you become a competitive physical therapy school applicant. As you explore this field, we encourage you to schedule an appointment with a pre-PT advisor to discuss your goals and for help with your timeline. 



Meeting with an advisor - To find a time to meet with your advisor, please call 979.847.8938 or stop by 209 Koldus to speak with one of our student assistants.  They will find a time to fit your schedule.

Visit to watch the Intro to pre-PT advising at Texas A&M, then schedule an appointment with your advisor so your first appointment will be more personalized.

Do you know the difference between OT and PT?  Go to and click the Interested in a Career in Rehabilitative Care video.

Thinking about Physical Therapy School?

What is a Physical Therapist?

Physical Therapists (PT)  - provide care to people of all ages who have functional problems resulting from back and neck injuries (sprains, strains, fractures, arthritis, amputations), neurological disorders (such as stroke or cerebral palsy), injuries related to work and sports, and other conditions.

PTs are trained to use a variety of different techniques—sometimes called modalities—to care for their patients. These techniques include applying heat and cold, using assistive devices (such as crutches, wheelchairs, and walkers) and equipment (such as adhesive electrodes which apply electric stimulation to treat injuries and pain.)

What does a PT do? - The work of a physical therapist varies by type of patient. For example, a patient experiencing loss of mobility due to stroke needs different care from that given to an athlete recovering from an injury. Some physical therapists specialize in one type of care, such as orthopedics or geriatrics, while some may work at preventing loss of mobility by developing fitness and wellness programs to encourage healthier and more active lifestyles.

Job components can include:

  • Review patients’ medical history and any referrals or notes from doctors or surgeons.

  • Diagnose patients’ dysfunctional movements by observing them stand or walk and by listening to their concerns, among other methods.

  • Set up a plan of care for patients, outlining the patient’s goals and the expected outcome of the plan.

  • Use exercises, stretching maneuvers, hands-on therapy, and equipment to ease patients’ pain.

  • Evaluate a patient’s progress, modifying a plan of care and trying new treatments as needed.

  • Educate patients and their families about what to expect from and how best to cope with the recovery process.

PT job ranking-PT rank #3 in Best Health Care Jobs for 2023 and #6 in The 100 Best Jobs in 2023, according to the U.S. News & World Report.

What should I major in? - Since PT programs do not prefer one major over another and Texas A&M doesn’t have a designated pre-PT major, students may choose from over 200 major fields of study. Most students select majors which include the prerequisites and provide an alternate career choice. Common majors include Kinesiology, Biology, Health, and Nutrition.

Research PT Schools

Prepare to Apply

Application Requirements:

Grade Point Average: PT programs will look at your Science/Math, overall, last 60 hours, and prerequisite GPA.  At least a 3.5 in all areas is considered competitive.  

  • Science and Math - This GPA varies per program.
  • Last 60 hours - Your last 60 graded hours.  This is an indication that the programs are looking at your grade trends (which need to be upward). It is a great opportunity to prove yourself academically especially if you had a rough academic start to your college career.
  • Prerequisite GPA - Students must complete all required prerequisite courses prior to beginning a PT program. Some schools require all prerequisite courses be completed prior to applying, so it is important for you to review the admissions requirements on each school’s website.
    We have a prerequisite chart on the PT handout as a guide to assist you. Prerequisites can change, so it is ultimately the applicant’s responsibility to check with each PT school on a regular basis.  Applicants must get any course exceptions approved by individual PT schools. The classes listed below are what most Texas programs require: 
       BIOL (111 & 112)
       CHEM (119 & 120, or 101/111, 102/112)
       PHYS (201 & 202) (junior college credit is acceptable)
       Anatomy and Physiology (BIMS is accepted by some)
       PSYC/PBSI 107 & 225*PSYC 2314 is a common substitute for PBSI 225
       STAT 301, 302, 303, or 312

Most TX PT schools have additional prerequisites, so be sure to check the PT handout and PT school websites for specifics and recommended courses.
PT Observation Hours: Texas PT schools require a certain number of documented hours, it varies from 50-100 hours; however, having just these required hours will not make you competitive.  Competitive hours would be 200+.  It is a good idea to start on these hours as a first-year student or as soon after high school graduation, as you can. PT programs also like to see that you have been in a variety of settings. Try to get experience in a hospital, a privately owned clinic, and/or a clinic or rehab center. These hours can be from working, volunteering, or shadowing.

Letters from evaluators:  Schools have different requirements, so it is important to review the PTCAS program directory.  Be prepared to ask a professor and at least one PT.  You are encouraged to start building relationships with your professors and the PTs you observe. You want to stay in touch with all the PTs you observed because you may need them to officially verify the time you spent with them when it is time to apply.

Experiences: Employment, extracurricular activities, healthcare experience, internships and clinical experiences, research, teaching experience, volunteer, and leadership experience are all hours you can include on your PTCAS application. You are encouraged to keep a spreadsheet of all experiences, dates, hours worked, etc., so you do not forget important information and you can copy and paste the information when it is time for you to apply.

Were you originally interested in a different healthcare area when you came to college, and have hours in that area? Those hours will count, not as PT hours but it's something you can list on your application as healthcare experience.

Click here for more information on the different types of experiences you can include on your application.



What is the GRE? - The GRE (Graduate Record Examination) is a multiple-choice, computer-based, standardized exam that is required for admission to most TX PT schools.  This exam consists of 3 sections: Verbal Reasoning, Quantitative Reasoning, and Analytical Writing

Most students take this exam in the spring or early summer of the year in which they apply. The exam can be taken on weekday mornings or afternoons and your score is given to you at the conclusion. You can take the exam more than once, yet you must wait 21 days in between testing. 


When should I take it and how should I prepare? - You can start taking your first practice GRE as soon as you know you are interested in PT. Kaplan offers a free practice exam online.  Magoosh offers a free trial. The PSA office makes no claims about the efficacy of prep programs, but only provides the names of known providers as a service.  After taking the practice exam, you should be able to determine whether you will take a commercial prep course (in-person or on-line), or prepare yourself. The GRE also tests endurance as it is 3 hours and 45-minute online test. If you want to start PT school immediately following graduation, then you want to take your free practice test sooner rather than later. We advise applicants to take the official GRE by the spring semester or the summer of the year you are applying to PT school. Tests can be taken through your personal computer at home or in the General Services Complex multiple times a week.

Many PT schools have minimum GRE requirements and advertise their previous admission scores on PTCAS to help applicants compare competitive scores. You can retake the GRE after 21 days, but when submitting your GRE scores to PT School, you usually share all attempts. You may also bring your practice exam scores to the pre-PT advisor, so she may compare them to the ranges the TX PT schools have shared with her from previous application cycles. This may also help you decide how you’d like to prepare. 

Registration for the exam is on-line at:

What is a competitive score? – This is different for each program. Check the PTCAS program directory for scores.

GRE Prep Companies

The PSA office make no claims about the efficacy of various GRE prep programs, but provide the names of known providers as a service.

GRE Study Tips

The Application Process

How to prepare?

  • Review Intro to PT and/or Interested in a Career in Rehabilitative Care videos as soon as you know you are interested in PT or to help you decide whether OT or PT are right for you.
  • Meet with your PT advisor to get individual questions answered.
  • Keep your overall and prerequisite GPAs up
  • Remember grades from all college level institutions are factored into your overall and prerequisite GPAs in PTCAS.
    • Yes, this includes dual credit.
  • Research PT programs
    • Do the schools you are interested in have a required shadow experience form? If so, be sure to take it with you to your shadowing experiences.
    • Review prerequisites on PT school websites, PTCAS, and the OPSA PT handout
    • Where is the school located?
  • Speak with your professors and PTs
  • Get involved in extracurricular activities (e.g. join student organizations, gain community service hours, work, etc.)
  • Prepare for and take the GRE
  • Attend OPSA’s annual Health Symposium, Graduate and Professional School Day, etc. and speak with PT representatives
  • Shadow PTs-Be sure to create your own verification form, if a school you are interested in doesn’t have a form. If they do, don’t forget to take it with you to shadowing.
  • Decide who you would like to ask for letters of recommendation.
  • Aggies are encouraged to:
    • Attend an OPSA application workshop the spring prior to applying or watch it by visiting
    • Bring their personal statement/essays to the Health Profession Essay Review Session held each spring/summer
    • Attend a Health Professions Interview Workshop, held each summer/early fall semester.
PTCAS - The Physical Therapist Centralized Application Service (PTCAS) simplifies the process of applying to physical therapy programs by allowing you to submit one application that includes all necessary materials to apply to multiple participating programs. TX schools are participating in PTCAS.

Application Timeline - The application process will start during the spring/summer semester, prior to your final undergraduate year.
Aggies are encouraged to:
  • Attend an OPSA application workshop the spring prior to applying or watch it by visiting
  • Bring their personal statement/essays to the Health Profession Essay Review Session held each spring/summer
  • Attend a Health Professions Interview Workshop, held each summer/early fall semester.

PTCAS opens in June each year. Once received by PTCAS, your application and materials go through a verification process before being transmitted to all of your selected programs. The verification process can take up to 10 business days. If a deadline is in October, students are encouraged to have all materials submitted prior to the beginning of the fall semester to give PTCAS time to verify the material and get it to the programs.
Continue shadowing PTs and your extracurricular activities.

Financial Aid

Financial aid is a great way to help pay for PT school. If you are eligible for Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), you are encouraged to apply the October before you plan to start PT school.

You can also search for outside scholarships for pre-health students through TAMU Scholarships and Financial Aid.

Networking and the Profession

Student Group - Joining the Texas A&M Physical Therapy Society (PTS) is a great way to get involved with likeminded students. You will have the opportunity to hear from PT school representatives, PTs, current PT students, your pre-PT advisor, and more. PTS also offers community service opportunities and can point you in the right direction when you are looking for shadowing in the Bryan/College Station area. PTS website for information on meeting dates.