Health Sciences : Pre-Physical Therapy


Why study Health Sciences : Pre-Physical Therapy?

The University of Cincinnati offers a Pre-Physical Therapy track within the Health Sciences major that specifically prepares you for entry into graduate-level physical therapy programs. The program also provides alternative options at the bachelor’s level, including various fitness-related certifications and careers.  

The program gives you a hands-on undergraduate experience where you can gain direct patient care experiences through service learning and research opportunities in some of the top health care facilities, learn alongside other allied health professions, and develop a strong foundational understanding of the human body through active labs.

Our Pre-Physical Therapy program offers comprehensive exercise science and kinesiology education, ensuring you gain the knowledge and skills needed to thrive in this dynamic field. Our expert faculty members will guide you through cutting-edge concepts and practices, preparing you for a successful future. 

The Health Sciences bachelor’s degree program meets and exceeds the requirements for application to most physical therapy graduate programs to ensure you are prepared for the rigor of any future professional program. The comprehensive background in the basic sciences combined with applied studies in exercise physiology, biomechanics, kinesiology, and sports and wellness puts most graduates in a position to be competitive graduate school candidates.

Early Assurance Programs

The UC Doctor of Physical Therapy program offers two opportunities for Health Sciences – Pre-Physical Therapy students to save their spot early for their top-ranked highly competitive graduate program. High performing incoming first-year students can apply to the High School Early Assurance Pathway and high performing juniors can apply to the Junior Early Assurance Pathway.

Admission Requirements

The University of Cincinnati has established academic success criteria for first-year applicants to bachelor's degree programs. All students are encouraged to apply. Please visit High School Student Admissions for more information about first-year student admission requirements.  

The most common career path for students in the Health Sciences – Pre-Physical Therapy track is becoming a physical therapist. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the job outlook for physical therapists is expected to grow 15% by 2032 (much faster than the national average) and the current median pay is $97,720 per year.

Physical therapists work with people across the lifespans and generally work in:

  • Private offices and clinics
  • Hospitals
  • Home care
  • Nursing and rehabilitation facilities
  • Military and more

If you decide not to pursue a physical therapy degree, you will be prepared for various other graduate programs, certifications and employment opportunities.

Graduate Education Opportunities

  • Athletic Training programs
  • Occupational Therapy programs
  • Orthotics and Prosthetics programs (CO or CP)
  • Public Health programs (MA, MS, or PhD)
  • Exercise Physiology or Biomechanics programs (MS or PhD)
  • Nutrition programs and more.

Professional Certification Opportunities

American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM)

  • Certified personal trainer - Many professionals who hold this certification work in public or medical facilities that offer organized programs for healthy people or for people with mild, controlled health conditions such as arthritis.

  • Health/fitness instructor - Most professionals who hold this certification work in programs offered through medical facilities with people with low-risk medical conditions or controlled disease such as outpatient cardiac and pulmonary rehabilitation or diabetes programs.

National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA)

  • Certified personal trainer (NSCA-CPT)- Many professionals who hold this certification work in or start small businesses in fitness and health
  • Certified strength and conditioning specialist (CSCS) -Most professionals who hold this certification work in high school, collegiate or professional athletics. Some professionals work in public/retail fitness and health as facility managers responsible for the design and implementation of the facility's programs

Career Opportunities

  • Advanced coaching opportunities
  • Activities director/fitness director at recreation facilities or camps
  • Medical or biomedical equipment representative/sales
  • Exercise equipment representative/sales
  • Pharmaceutical product representative/sales

Advisors will be there to help you at every step of your academic journey. If you have advising-related questions, please visit the College of Allied Health Sciences' Academic Advising.

Students who have earned a high school diploma or GED and have attended a college or university other than the University of Cincinnati since earning their high school credentials are considered transfer students. Please visit UC Admissions for information about applying to the university as a Transfer Student.

If you are currently enrolled in an undergraduate program at the University of Cincinnati (including UC Blue Ash and UC Clermont), but want to change your major to one in the College of Allied Health Sciences, please visit Transition Students for more information.

Application Deadlines

Application deadlines can be found at Admissions Deadlines.

The University of Cincinnati and all regional campuses are accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

Contact Information

CAHS Admissions
Health Sciences Building
3225 Eden Avenue
Cincinnati, OH 45267
(513) 558-0236

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