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Pre-Physical Therapy

Physical therapists work with patients to re-establish basic physical or motor functions that have been impaired due to an injury or stroke. Augustana’s pre-physical therapy (pre-PT) program will prepare you for entrance requirements into physical therapy doctorate programs around the country.

You’ll have access to exceptional clinical opportunities, including internships in settings such as hospital and private clinics, rehabilitation centers and geriatric care facilities throughout the Quad Cities.

Most pre-PT students major in biology, kinesiology or psychology, but you could major in any area. You’ll also complete pre-PT courses in biology, chemistry, physics, mathematics, psychology, sociology, Classics and speech communication.

With your broad liberal arts background, you’ll have the empathy, cultural awareness and communication skills that can make you the best physical therapist you can be.

What you'll learn

Critical thinking and information literacy

Critical thinking and information literacy

Judge and construct arguments, raise questions and define problems. Make a conclusion based on evidence.

Quantitative literacy

Quantitative literacy

Interpret, represent and summarize information. Use math and statistics to solve problems.

Disciplinary knowledge

Disciplinary knowledge

Gain a deep understanding of your subject and how it connects to other subjects.

Communication competence

Communication competence

Read and listen carefully. Express ideas (writing or speaking) suited to the audience.

Creative thinking

Creative thinking

Combine ideas to create something new. Use imaginative ways of solving problems.


• Augustana is one of only two undergraduate institutions with an articulation agreement with the respected graduate program in physical therapy at Washington University in St. Louis. This gives Augustana pre-PT students who have met established criteria a significant admissions advantage over students from other colleges.

• Augustana also has a 3 + 2.5 Doctor of Physical Therapy coordinated degree program with St. Ambrose University in the Quad Cities, where students complete a three-year sequence of coursework including biology, chemistry and kinesiology before continuing at St. Ambrose.

• Augustana’s five-year placement rate for students entering physical therapy graduate programs is 90%.

• Among the high-tech laboratories in Augustana’s newly expanded Hanson Hall of Science are individual labs for anatomy and physiology, cell biology, genetics and human cadaver dissection. Very few undergraduates around the country have the opportunity to work in a human cadaver lab, especially on their own campus—giving our pre-PT students an edge in hands-on experience and graduate school.

• Students interested in athletic training, physical therapy or occupational therapy often join Augustana’s Sports Medicine and Trainer’s Organization, a student group focusing on information about athletic injuries and experiences in related fields.

• The Peter J. Lindberg, M.D., Center for Health and Human Performance is Augustana’s newest facility, combining academics, athletics and student well-being services. Students have access to the latest teaching and research equipment in classes and active learning spaces, including a functional training lab and a human performance lab.

Recent grads

Corey Lepoudre ’18 is a third-year student at Midwestern University working toward a doctorate in physical therapy.

Emily Pavlik ‘15 is a physical therapist with University of Illinois Hospital & Health Sciences System, Chicago.

Mary Brugge ’15 is a physical therapist with Centura Health in Colorado Springs, Colo.

Dave Balzer ’13 is a physical therapist with Team Select Home Care in Phoenix, Ariz.

Jessica Roche ’13 is a home health physical therapist with Georgetown Living in Austin, Texas.

Cassandra Nelson ’13 is a physical therapist with Precision Performance Sports Medicine in Park Ridge, Ill.

Claire Martin
More Than I Imagined Claire Martin
“My advisor, Scott Gehler, and other great professors here helped guide me to reach my goal of admission into physical therapy school.”
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Emily Geison
More Than I Imagined Emily Geison
“My advisors have been amazing in helping me when I need them. They were always there for me to talk to and to give advice.”
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amy walsh
More Than I Imagined Amy Walsh
“I came to Augie not sure of what I wanted to major in, but I am now going to graduate school for physical therapy and very confident in my decision.”
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