Pre-Physical Therapy

Program Overview

Admission to most health profession schools in the United States is very selective. Only students with excellent grades and admission test scores, knowledge of their health profession and in most cases, health care experience are being admitted. Personal qualities and commitment are also important.

All pre-professional programs at ORU start with a general set of courses based on the admission requirements of several representative schools in that field. Often these schools have unique preparatory requirements, and it is recommended that a catalog be obtained from each school being considered for professional degree application to determine the exact requirements. This allows for inclusion of the appropriate courses in an ORU program and facilitates a judicious transfer from ORU to the professional program.

Unlike medical schools, requirements and prerequisites for allied health careers vary among programs and schools. Anyone planning a career in one of these fields should consult the health professions advisor to develop a specific undergraduate curriculum to successfully meet their goal.

The ORU majors best suited for students interested in pre-physical therapy include health and exercise science with a pre-physical therapy concentration, biology with a health professions concentration or biomedical chemistry.

The physical therapy concentration in the health and exercise science major is specifically designed to meet the needs of the student pursuing a professional degree in sports medicine and offers the following courses:

  • Introductory Biology lecture/lab I and II
  • General Chemistry II lecture/lab
  • General Physics lecture/lab I and II
  • Developmental Psychology
  • Introduction to Sociology
  • Scientific Terminology
  • Internship in Health and Exercise Science

The health professions concentration incorporates the following classes into a biology degree: Human Anatomy lecture/lab and Human Physiology lecture/lab.

The biomedical chemistry major requires a minor in biology and is designed to provide a combination of studies in the biological sciences and chemistry for students planning to enter a professional health training program.

All pre-professional health services majors are encouraged to closely with their degree advisor.

Physical Therapy Articulation Agreements

ORU has two articulation agreements enabling students to begin physical therapy degrees at ORU and complete them at other universities. ORU has an articulation agreement with the University of Oklahoma-Tulsa (OU-Tulsa) for earning a doctoral degree in physical therapy. This program provides an opportunity for area students to complete a bachelor's and doctoral degree in physical therapy in Tulsa. The first 60 hours, which includes general education and science classes, are taken at ORU and the remainder of the degrees at OU-Tulsa. Information is available in the ORU Health, Physical Education, and Recreation Department and at OU-Tulsa.

ORU also has an articulation agreement with Southwest Baptist University (SBU). A student who completes a baccalaureate degree in any major at ORU and the requirements for admission to the Doctor of Physical Therapy Program at Southwest Baptist University as listed here will automatically receive preference and be eligible for the admission process.

  • Have a minimum 2.75 overall GPA
  • Complete the graduate record exam
  • Complete and return physical therapy packet by June 15th of year prior to enrollment
  • Document 40 hours experience/observation in physical therapy
  • Meet admissions eligibility requirements in SBU catalog (if international student)
  • Demonstrate computer literacy
  • Complete the following prerequisite courses with a minimum of a "C" and 3.0 prerequisite GPA. (Prerequisites should not be taken pass/fail.): CHE 111 and 112, PHY 101 and 102, BIO 111, PHS 223 and 224, MAT 232, and two psychology courses except PSY 232.

ORU Points of Distinction

Our health professions program has successfully trained students to enter a variety of health programs. Our overall rates of acceptance are approximately:

  • 75% for pre-dental
  • 60% for pre-medical
  • 85% for graduate school applicants

Over the past six years, 86% of our premedical applicants with a GPA of 3.4 or higher were accepted to medical school. Over 300 of our alumni are practicing physicians throughout the United States. Our students have been accepted into 70 medical schools including Duke University, Johns Hopkins University and Washington University.

Student Societies, Clubs and Extracurricular opportunities

Alpha Epsilon Delta
Alpha Epsilon Delta is the National Pre-Health Professions Honors Society dedicated to the encouragement and recognition of excellence in pre-professional health scholarship, including medicine, dentistry, veterinary science and many others. This society welcomes all engaged in the pursuit of a healthcare career. AED offers opportunities for intellectual and professional development, provides a forum for students with common interests and extends a program for service to benefit the university community.

Cadaver Dissection
The Biology Department at ORU is one of the few undergraduate departments in the southwest U.S. that offers the opportunity to participate in the dissection of human cadavers as part of the honors biology program. Cadaver dissection is a priceless opportunity for any biology student, but is especially exciting for our pre-med students. This program offers a distinct advantage to aspiring physicians as they apply to medical schools across the U.S.

Medical Seminar
This class is offered through the ORU Biology Department. Get an in-depth look at family practice medicine while earning college credit and real life experience.

Shadow Local Health Professionals
Shadowing opportunities are available for physician, nurse practitioner, physician's assistant, occupational therapist, physical therapist and more.

ORU Missions
Each year ORU sends out several teams with a distinctive medical mission. Experience medical missions with a body, mind and spirit emphasis.

Good Samaritan
Good Samaritan Health Services (GSHS) provides a mobile clinic to underserved areas in Tulsa. Operated by Family Medical Care of Tulsa, GSHS welcomes ORU student volunteers. Experience health care in a Christian environment.

Degree Plan for Health and Exercise Science Pre-Physical Therapy major
Degree Plan for Biology Pre-Health Professions major


HPER Department

Biology and Chemistry Department

Biomedical Engineering Department