Where most people see a debilitating injury, you see an opportunity to help heal people.

And we see a student in you who we can prepare for the academic rigors of the Physical Therapy profession.

At Florida Southern College, you’ll obtain all the necessary academic training that physical therapy programs require. Our Pre-Physical Therapy program is a Biology degree with coursework focused on getting you the experience necessary for physical therapy programs. Students can also major in other disciplines, such as Athletic Training, that can help them prepare for the road ahead.

Top Reasons to Choose FSC for Pre-Physical Therapy

  • We provide all the academic courses physical therapy schools require for admissions, and other courses that can offer you hands-on experience related to physical therapy.
  • Our extracurricular experiences will help broaden your knowledge and understanding of the world around you. Junior Journeys, internships, shadowing and research will prepare you for working with people and contribute to your development into an excellent health care provider. As most graduate programs require a specific number of shadowing hours at physical therapy clinics, you will benefit from our emphasis on real-world experience.
  • Our Pre-Professional Program will guide you in your quest to become a physical therapist. You will be paired with an advisor who knows what it takes to achieve your goals.
  • Our local chapter of AMSA (The American Medical Student Association) is very active, sponsoring talks throughout the year by health care professionals and field trips to local venues of interest. You’ll meet other students with the same interests as yours, and network with your future colleagues.
  • At Florida Southern College, all Biology majors are required to do original research of their own design, and many of our students have presented at regional and national meetings, and have had papers published in scientific journals. This places our students in excellent standing with the physical therapy school admissions boards.

Engaged Learning in the Classroom

  • In your labs and lecture courses, you’ll participate in guided inquiry experiments, collaborative learning and problem solving, team-based laboratory projects, experiment design, and peer teaching.
  • In the classroom, you’ll expand your abilities as a scientist by engaging in discussions, group projects, and case studies where you’ll apply theories to real-life situations and hone your critical thinking skills.

With all the hands-on learning experiences available, you can be sure you’ll be well-prepared for graduate school.


Pre-Physical Therapy Internships

Students find many opportunities in and around the city of Lakeland, as well as across the country to gain experience. Our local hospital, Lakeland Regional Medical Center, and several large health care clinics as well as local physical therapists have provided excellent experiences for our students. Outside of Lakeland, students have interned at one of the premier joint replacement practices in the country, Joint Implant Surgeons, Inc., in Ohio, and have worked with various collegiate and professional sports teams.

Graduate & Professional Opportunities

Our graduates attend a wide variety of graduate and professional schools, including:

  • Boston University
  • Emory University
  • University of Central Florida
  • University of Florida
  • University of North Florida
  • University of South Florida

Start the Conversation
and Contact…

Dr. Nancy Morvillo
Professor and Chair, Department of Biology; Nelson C. White Chair in the Life Sciences; Pre-Medical Studies Coordinator
863.680.6240
nmorvillo@flsouthern.edu

 

Program Requirements

Pre-Phyiscal Therapy Pre-Requisites*

The minimum course requirements for physical therapy schools typically include:

BIO 1500 Biological Essentials
BIO 2230 General Zoology
BIO 2215
and
BIO 2216
Human Anatomy and Physiology I

Human Anatomy and Physiology II
OR  
BIO 3215
and
BIO 3216
Advanced Human Anatomy and Physiology I

Advanced Human Anatomy and Physiology II
CHE 1111 Principles of Chemistry I
CHE 1112 Principles of Chemistry II
CHE 2221 Organic Chemistry I
CHE 2222 Organic Chemistry II
PHY 2010
and
PHY 2020
General Physics I (Algebra Based)

General Physics II (Algebra Based)
OR
PHY 2110
and
PHY 2120
General Physics I (Calculus Based)

General Physics II (Calculus Based)
One semester of Statistics, 1-2 semesters of Psychology and additional courses in English, Social Sciences and the Humanities.

* Some physical therapy schools also require or recommend other science courses such as organic chemistry and biochemistry. Outside of the natural science, physical therapy schools often require or recommend other courses such as medical terminology, first aid, and kinesiology.

Students need to begin investigating the requirements at specific physical therapy schools early in their career to be sure they take these classes prior to graduation.


 

Course Descriptions

Biology

BIO 1500 BIOLOGICAL ESSENTIALS
Four hours. The first in a three-course sequence required for biology majors. A rigorous introduction to the principles that lay the foundations for the biological sciences. Examines the relationships between metabolism, genetics, cell biology, and evolution. Students learn the mechanics and style of scientific reporting on laboratory exercises in cell and molecular biology utilizing techniques such as spectrophotometry and electrophoresis. Gen Ed: NW

BIO 2215 HUMAN ANATOMY AND PHYSIOLOGY I
Four hours. No credit awarded if student has completed BIO 2209, BIO 2210, or BIO 4408. Structure and function of the following major organ systems of the human body: integumentary, skeletal (including joints), muscular, and nervous. Gen Ed: NW

BIO 2216 HUMAN ANATOMY AND PHYSIOLOGY II
Four hours. Prerequisite: BIO 2215. No credit awarded if student has completed BIO 2209, BIO 2210, or BIO 4408. Structure and function of the following major organ systems of the human body: endocrine, cardiovascular, respiratory, urinary, digestive, and reproductive.

BIO 2230 GENERAL ZOOLOGY
Four hours. Prerequisite: BIO 1500 or permission of the instructor. Adaptational biology of animals, with emphasis on the vertebrates; group relationships of major phyla; principles of development, ecology, and evolution.

BIO 3215 ADVANCED HUMAN ANATOMY AND PHYSIOLOGY I
Four hours. Prerequisites: BIO 1500 and CHE 1111 or permission of the instructor. No credit awarded if student has completed BIO 2209 or BIO 2210 or BIO 2215 or BIO 2216 or BIO 4408. The first semester in a two semester sequence where students will investigate the structure and function of the major organ systems of the human body with emphasis on pathology and pharmacology. Topics covered will include homeostasis, cells, biochemistry, obtaining energy, tissues, integumentary system, skeletal system, muscular system, nervous system, autonomic nervous system, peripheral nervous system, and special senses.

BIO 3216 ADVANCED HUMAN ANATOMY AND PHYSIOLOGY II
Four hours. Prerequisites: BIO 3215. No credit awarded if student has completed BIO 2209 or BIO 2210 or BIO 2215 or BIO 2216 or BIO 4408. The second semester of anatomy and physiology will investigate the structure and function of the major organ systems of the human body with emphasis on pathology and pharmacology. Systems covered will include endocrine system, respiratory system, cardiovascular system, renal system, reproductive system, immune system, and lymphatic system.

Chemistry

CHE 1111 PRINCIPLES OF CHEMISTRY I
Four hours. Prerequisites: CHE 1000 or one year of high school chemistry. Quantitative treatment of the principles of chemistry including stoichiometry, states of matter, energy, atomic structure, periodicity, ionic compounds, and molecular structure. Gen Ed: NW

CHE 1112 PRINCIPLES OF CHEMISTRY II
Four hours. Prerequisite: CHE 1111. The topics covered in this course will include: intermolecular forces, kinetics, equilibrium, acid, bases, buffers, thermodynamics, electrochemistry, nuclear chemistry, and introduction to basic organic chemistry.

CHE 2221 ORGANIC CHEMISTRY I
Four hours. Prerequisite: CHE 1112. Detailed study of carbon compounds approached through the study of structure, functional groups, reactions, and mechanisms. In the laboratory, emphasis is placed upon illustrating chemical reactivity through experimentation and molecular characterization utilizing state-of-the-art instrumentation.

CHE 2222 ORGANIC CHEMISTRY II
Four hours. Prerequisite: CHE 2221. Continuation of the study of carbon compounds approached through the study of structure, functional groups, reactions, and mechanisms. In the laboratory, emphasis is placed upon synthesis illustrating chemical reactivity and molecular characterization utilizing state-of-the-art instrumentation.

Physics

PHY 2010 GENERAL PHYSICS I (Algebra Based)
Four hours. Prerequisite: High school mathematics through pre-calculus or permission of the instructor. Algebra-based physics. Topics include mechanics, fluids, vibrations, waves, and sound. Gen Ed: NW

PHY 2020 GENERAL PHYSICS II (Algebra Based)
Four hours. Prerequisite: PHY 2010. Algebra-based physics. Topics include heat, kinetic theory of gases, electric fields, AC-DC circuits, magnetism and light.

PHY 2110 GENERAL PHYSICS I (Calculus Based)
Four hours. Prerequisite: MAT 2311. Calculus-based physics. Topics include introduction to Newtonian mechanics, fluids, harmonic oscillators, vibrations and sound. Gen Ed: NW

PHY 2120 GENERAL PHYSICS II (Calculus Based)
Four hours. Prerequisite: PHY 2110. Calculus-based physics. Topics include temperature and heat, kinetic theory of gases, electromagnetism, AC-DC circuits, Maxwell’s equations and optics.