Modern physical therapists are prepared to treat patients ranging in age from infants to the elderly. Their work is performed in settings as diverse as outpatient clinics, schools, and specialized departments within hospitals. Within these settings, physical therapists assist patients in dealing with problems such as orthopedic maladies (neck and back pain, the rehabilitation of joints following corrective surgery and assisting patients in pain reduction and increased mobility) and aiding patients in regaining an acceptable quality of life (the result of developmental abnormalities, disease, severe accidents, heart attacks, or strokes). Within the context of today’s health care system, physical therapists are specialized in examining and treating individuals with impairment of their daily lives, the result of musculoskeletal and neuromuscular problems. To prepare for the demands of such a profession students must attend a postgraduate program of physical therapy and upon the successful completion of that program they are required to pass a national examination and be licensed in the state in which they wish to practice.
Pre-Physical Therapy at Mount Saint Mary College
The pre-physical therapy program at Mount Saint Mary College is designed to prepare students for admittance into postgraduate programs in physical therapy. This program is a distinctive blend of courses in the life and physical sciences, while also including courses in psychology, other social sciences, and the humanities. Along with their course work, students are required to obtain experience in a variety of physical therapy settings. The assortment of courses taken in the sciences provides the student with the knowledge and skills necessary to successfully complete a graduate program in physical therapy.
The Pre-Physical Therapy Program offered at Mount Saint Mary College consists of two tracks leading to a Bachelor of Arts in biology or psychology from the Mount and a doctorate in physical therapy (D.P.T.) from New York Medical College (NYMC). The typical program for most students will be a 4 + 3 program. In this program, students will complete their bachelor’s degree either in biology or psychology, while taking the prerequisite courses for entrance into the Physical Therapy Program at NYMC. Upon meeting the requirements of the program, candidates will make application to NYMC. After successful completion of the program, students will be awarded a D.P.T. from NYMC.
Through a special agreement with NYMC those students whose academic performance is outstanding can apply for admissions to NYMC after attending only three years at the Mount. Upon the completion of the first year at NYMC the student will be awarded a Bachelor’s degree from Mount Saint Mary College. After completing the program at NYMC the student will be awarded a D.P.T. from NYMC.
Program Requirements for Pre-Physical Therapy
The following prerequisite courses are taken during the first three years of study at Mount Saint Mary College and represent the minimum prerequisites for entrance into NYMC:
Three courses in biology, including human anatomy and physiology
||Two courses in chemistry (with lab)
Two courses in physics (with lab)
Two courses in psychology of which one must be general or introductory psychology
One course in mathematics
One course in statistics
To be eligible for our special admissions agreement with NYMC, students must earn a minimum overall GPA of 3.0 in their freshman year and after the completion of 50 credits the student’s GPA should be a 3.2 or higher. At the time of application, the minimum GPA in prerequisite courses must be a 3.0. Throughout the course of the program a student is only permitted to earn one (1) grade lower than a B-. All remaining courses must be B’s or higher. Students must also demonstrate computer literacy and have acquired 50 hours of on-site volunteer observational experience in a physical therapy setting, of which 20 hours must be in an acute care/hospital environment. Candidates must also be certified in first aid and cardiopulmonary resuscitation. After these requirements are met, the student then applies and interviews for admission into the Physical Therapy Program at New York Medical College.