Pre-Physical Therapy

St. Catherine University offers students the opportunity to apply the liberal arts experience to their chosen field of physical therapy through a unique dual-degree program. The departments of biology, exercise and sport science, psychology and public health have developed sequences of courses that include all doctor of physical therapy (DPT) program prerequisites, liberal arts core requirements and major course work in their respective fields. These four areas of study provide students the option of completing their bachelor's degree while pursuing the DPT degree. Each area of study includes prerequisite courses for the DPT program, including biology, anatomy, physiology, chemistry, physics, psychology, statistics, medical terminology and mathematics, while providing a special emphasis in a particular area of study. The first-year courses in each area of study are identical, allowing students time to consider their options and make a decision about the major that is of most interest to them. There are three options for admission to the doctor of physical therapy program.

Option 1: Early Admission Program

Students may apply to the University and to the early admission program during their senior year in high school. Students must meet the following criteria to be eligible for consideration for the DPT early admission program:

Required:

  • Composite ACT score of 24 or better
  • Cumulative GPA of 3.25 or better on a 4.0 scale
  • Declare pre-physical therapy as intended area of study

Recommended:

Eight hours of observation and/or volunteering in a physical therapy setting

Twenty-four students are admitted to the early admission program each year. Students who apply on or before February 15 of their senior year will be given priority consideration for admission to the program. Students will be notified of an admission decision by April 1 of their senior year. Students who apply on or after February 16 will be considered on a space-available basis.

Students who are admitted to the program will be guaranteed a position in the doctor of physical therapy program provided all of the following conditions are met:

  • Cumulative GPA of 3.4 or better
  • Prerequisite GPA of 3.4 or better
  • Letter grades of C or better for all prerequisite courses
  • Completion of the DPT Admission Application (including an essay, GRE and healthcare experience) during the junior or senior year
  • Submit positive recommendations from clinical references
  • Meet with pre-physical therapy advisor each semester
  • Meet with a DPT academic advisor at least once in the freshman year

Option 2: 3+3 Open Admission

In this option, students enter one of the University's four pre-physical therapy areas of study in biology, exercise and sport science, psychology or public health: health sciences that include all DPT prerequisites, liberal arts core requirements and major course work in the particular field of study. During their junior year, students may apply to the DPT program as they are completing one of these sequences. Students must meet all DPT admissions criteria and must possess a minimum overall and prerequisite course GPA of 3.4 in order to apply to the DPT program.  If any of these criteria are not met, students may apply to the DPT program during their senior year as long as they meet DPT admissions criteria, including the minimum overall and prerequisite GPA criteria of 3.0 required of all DPT applicants. In addition, all St. Catherine University students who apply to the DPT program via the 3+3 option must have at least three years of higher education experience beyond high school graduation.

If admitted, students will typically be awarded the St. Catherine baccalaureate degree after one full year in the DPT program. The undergraduate major will be applied science in biology, exercise and sport science or psychology; or public health: health sciences. Following successful completion of all the DPT degree requirements, the doctor of physical therapy degree is awarded. Students not accepted into the DPT program can complete a major in biology, exercise and sport science, psychology or public health: health sciences by taking the remaining courses in the sequences outlined by each department. Upon completion of these requirements, students will be awarded the St. Catherine's baccalaureate degree with a major in biology, exercise and sport science, psychology, or public health: health sciences.

The curriculum for each area of study is listed below.

Biology

Students must complete all liberal arts core requirements, 60 hours clinical experience and the following courses.

This major is available in the College for Women only.

Applied Science in Biology Requirements
BIOL 1710
BIOL 1720
Foundations of Biology I with Lab
and Foundations of Biology II with Lab
8
BIOL 2710Foundations of Biology III with Lab4
BIOL 2720Sophomore Seminar2
BIOL 3120Comparative Vertebrate Anatomy with Lab4
BIOL 3140Comparative Animal Physiology4
Select one from:4
Cell Biology with Lab
Genetics with Lab
Four credits in BIOL at 3000/4000 level
Kinesiology and Biomechanics with Lab
BIOL 4850WSenior Seminar2
Required Supporting Courses
CHEM 1110General Chemistry I with Lab4
CHEM 1120General Chemistry II with Lab4
Select one of the following Statistics courses:4
Statistical Analysis for Decision Making
Biostatistics
Statistical Methods in Psychology
Statistical Analysis with Corequisite
Statistical Analysis
DPT Prerequisites
IPE 1030Healthcare Teams Foundations and Medical Terminology2
MATH 1130Calculus I4
or MATH 1090 Precalculus
Select one of the following:8
Introductory Physics I
and Introductory Physics II
Physics for the Health Sciences I
and Physics for the Health Sciences II with Lab
PSYC 1001General Psychology with Lab4
Select one of the following PSYC electives:4
Lifespan Developmental Psychology
Understanding Psychological Disorders
Total Credits62

Students who do not gain entry to the DPT program after their junior year complete the following courses for a major (B.S. degree1) in biology:

Six additional credits in biology at the 3000 or 4000 level including:6
At least one 4-credit field course
At least 4 credits at the 4000 level
BIOL 4602Internship2
CHEM 2010Organic Chemistry I with Lab4
Total Credits12
1

Students who wish to receive a B.A. degree  must complete the liberal arts core requirements for the B.A. degree.

Exercise and Sport Science

Students must complete the liberal arts core requirements, 60 hours of clinical experience and the following courses.

This major is available in the College for Women only.

Applied Science in Exercise Science Requirements
EXSS 2750Introduction to Exercise and Sport Science2
EXSS 2800WIntroduction to Research Methods in Exercise Science4
EXSS 3200Health Behavior Psychology (Only required for students who enter St. Catherine University Fall 2017 or later)4
EXSS 3350Kinesiology and Biomechanics with Lab4
EXSS 3450Exercise Physiology with Lab4
EXSS 3610Motor Learning2
EXSS 3750Care and Prevention of Athletic Injuries2
DPT Prerequisites
BIOL 1710
BIOL 1720
Foundations of Biology I with Lab
and Foundations of Biology II with Lab
8
BIOL 2610
BIOL 2620
Human Anatomy and Physiology I with Lab
and Human Anatomy and Physiology II with Lab
8
CHEM 1110
CHEM 1120
General Chemistry I with Lab
and General Chemistry II with Lab
8
IPE 1030Healthcare Teams Foundations and Medical Terminology2
MATH 1130Calculus I4
or MATH 1090 Precalculus
Select one of the following:8
Introductory Physics I
and Introductory Physics II
Physics for the Health Sciences I
and Physics for the Health Sciences II with Lab
PSYC 1001General Psychology with Lab4
Select one of the following PSYC electives:4
Lifespan Developmental Psychology
Understanding Psychological Disorders
Select one of the following Statistics courses:4
Statistical Analysis for the Social Sciences
Statistical Analysis for Decision Making
Biostatistics
Statistical Methods in Psychology
Statistical Analysis with Corequisite
Statistical Analysis
Total Credits72

Students who do not gain entry to the DPT program after their junior year complete the following courses for a major (B.S. degree1) in exercise and sport science:

EXSS 3500Methods of Strength Training and Conditioning4
EXSS 3550Exercise Testing and Prescription with Lab4
EXSS 4300Advanced Biomechanics2
EXSS 4612Fieldwork2
EXSS 4614Fieldwork4
FSNU 2300Nutrition Foundations4
FSNU 3250Sports Nutrition2
IPE 4200WHealthcare Teams - Evidence-Based Practice4
Total Credits26
1

Students who wish to receive a B.A. degree  must complete the liberal arts core requirements for the B.A. degree.

Psychology

Students must complete the liberal arts core requirements, 60 hours of clinical experience and the following courses.

This major is available in the College for Women only.

Applied Science in Psychology Requirements
PSYC 1001General Psychology with Lab4
PSYC 2025Lifespan Developmental Psychology4
PSYC 1090Statistical Methods in Psychology4
PSYC 2060Research Methods in Psychology4
PSYC 3010Understanding Psychological Disorders4
PSYC 4220WHistory and Systems4
DPT Prerequisites
BIOL 1710
BIOL 1720
Foundations of Biology I with Lab
and Foundations of Biology II with Lab
8
BIOL 2610
BIOL 2620
Human Anatomy and Physiology I with Lab
and Human Anatomy and Physiology II with Lab
8
CHEM 1110
CHEM 1120
General Chemistry I with Lab
and General Chemistry II with Lab
8
IPE 1030Healthcare Teams Foundations and Medical Terminology2
MATH 1130Calculus I4
or MATH 1090 Precalculus
Select one of the following:8
Physics for the Health Sciences I
and Physics for the Health Sciences II with Lab
Introductory Physics I
and Introductory Physics II
Total Credits62

Students who do not gain entry to the DPT program after their junior year  complete the following courses for a major (B.S. degree1) in psychology:

One additional Philosophy elective4
One additional Psychology elective4
PSYC 2850Seminar I: Psychology Engages the World2
Two additional 3000-level Psychology laboratory courses8
PSYC 4850Seminar II: Current Issues in Psychology2
Total Credits20
1

Students who wish to receive a B.A. degree must complete the liberal arts core requirements for the B.A. degree and complete one additional philosophy course.

Public Health: Health Sciences

Students must complete all liberal arts core requirements, 60 hours clinical experience and the following courses.

This major is available in the College for Women only.

Public Health: Health Sciences Courses 1
HLTH 2050Foundations in Public Health4
HLTH 3150Epidemiology4
HLTH 3250Global Health4
HLTH 4604Internship4
HLTH 4800WSenior Seminar in Public Health4
BIOL 2610
BIOL 2620
Human Anatomy and Physiology I with Lab
and Human Anatomy and Physiology II with Lab
8
MGMT 3850Healthcare Policy4
PSYC 2025Lifespan Developmental Psychology4
or PSYC 3010 Understanding Psychological Disorders
DPT Prerequisites
BIOL 1710
BIOL 1720
Foundations of Biology I with Lab
and Foundations of Biology II with Lab
8
CHEM 1110
CHEM 1120
General Chemistry I with Lab
and General Chemistry II with Lab
8
IPE 1030Healthcare Teams Foundations and Medical Terminology2
MATH 1130Calculus I4
or MATH 1090 Precalculus
Select one of the following:8
Physics for the Health Sciences I
and Physics for the Health Sciences II with Lab
Introductory Physics I
and Introductory Physics II
PSYC 1001General Psychology with Lab4
Select one of the following:4
Statistical Analysis for the Social Sciences
Statistical Analysis for Decision Making
Biostatistics
Statistical Methods in Psychology
Statistical Analysis with Corequisite
Statistical Analysis
Total Credits74

Students who do not gain entry to the DPT program after their junior year complete the following courses for a major (B.S. degree2) in public health:health sciences:

Four additional 2000-level or higher science courses. Suggested courses include:16
Introduction to Microbiology with Lab
Biology of Microorganisms with Lab
Cell Biology with Lab
Genetics with Lab
Organic Chemistry I with Lab
Organic Chemistry II with Lab
1

This list contains the undergraduate courses that apply to the public health major with health sciences concentration. Students who are admitted to the DPT program complete the health sciences concentration with four DPT courses: DPT 5010, DPT 5020, DPT 5030 and DPT 5040.

2

Students who wish to receive a B.A. degree must complete the liberal arts core requirements for the B.A. degree.

Option 3: Senior Open Admission

Individuals who are interested in pursuing this option complete a baccalaureate degree, including the prerequisite courses for the DPT program, and apply for admission to the DPT program. If accepted, upon successful completion of all the DPT degree requirements, the doctor of physical therapy degree is awarded.

Prerequisites for the doctor of physical therapy program include:

BIOL 1710
BIOL 1720
Foundations of Biology I with Lab
and Foundations of Biology II with Lab
8
Select one of the following:8
Human Anatomy and Physiology I with Lab
and Human Anatomy and Physiology II with Lab
Comparative Vertebrate Anatomy with Lab
and Comparative Animal Physiology
CHEM 1110
CHEM 1120
General Chemistry I with Lab
and General Chemistry II with Lab
8
IPE 1030Healthcare Teams Foundations and Medical Terminology2
Select one of the following:8
Physics for the Health Sciences I
and Physics for the Health Sciences II with Lab (algebra-based)
Introductory Physics I
and Introductory Physics II (calculus-based)
PSYC 1001General Psychology with Lab4
PSYC 2025Lifespan Developmental Psychology4
or PSYC 3010 Understanding Psychological Disorders
Select one of the following:4
Statistical Analysis for the Social Sciences
Statistical Analysis for Decision Making
Biostatistics
Statistical Methods in Psychology
Statistical Analysis with Corequisite
Statistical Analysis
MATH 1130Calculus I 14
or MATH 1090 Precalculus
1

The math course must be at the level of trigonometry or higher (i.e., precalculus or calculus I). If a course is not titled "trigonometry" or "calculus" a photocopy of the course syllabus and course topic schedule must be submitted, to verify that the content included vectors and trigonometry functions.