Physical Therapy

To print a copy of this information, click on this link:prephysical_therapy_curriculum_rev_8-2013.pdf

The Major

The “prephysical therapy curriculum” is just a list of courses that are required for admission to a physical therapy program. It is NOT an academic major, a minor, or an emphasis area.

Physical Therapy (PT) schools do not require a particular major. Although many pre-PT students at Southern Miss choose an academic major in the College of Health’s School of Human Performance (such as Kinesiotherapy, Exercise Science, or Athletic Training), other majors are acceptable including those in the sciences, humanities, social sciences, or business. Students should select the major in which they feel the most comfortable and in which they would like to work if they are not accepted into PT school.

Students wishing to pursue a DPT degree in Mississippi apply to the doctoral program at University of Mississippi Medical Center in Jackson after receiving a baccalaureate degree (more details below).

Visit the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) student web pages for more information about PT schools: http://www.apta.org/ProspectiveStudents

Progress toward a Baccalaureate Degree

Course work toward a baccalaureate degree at Southern Miss must be planned so the student meets all the requirements for the preprofessional curriculum, a major, a minor if appropriate, the University General Education Curriculum, and the College core. At Southern Miss, a minimum of 124 hours is needed for most baccalaureate degrees, with 45 of these hours from courses at the 300-level or above.

Requirements for Applicants

The following requirements are needed for admission to the Doctorate of Physical Therapy (DPT) in the School of Health Related Professions at the University of Mississippi Medical Center in Jackson.

Link to UMMC SHRP: http://www.umc.edu/shrp/

Link to UMMC Physical Therapy:  http://www.umc.edu/Education/Schools/Health_Related_Professions/Physical_Therapy/Physical_Therapy_Home.aspx

Preference is given to Mississippi residents; out-of-state applicants will be considered only if there are positions available after all qualified Mississippi applicants are accepted.

Following satisfactory completion of all requirements for this professional program, students will be awarded the Doctor of Physical Therapy degree from the University of Mississippi.

New application forms for the Doctor of Physical Therapy are posted on or before July 1 each year for the subsequent application deadline. Application deadline is November 1 of the year proceeding potential entry into the program.

Students must consult the specific admission requirements and application deadlines for the school(s) to which they plan to apply, including UMMC.

Admission to a physical therapy program is very competitive.

  • Applicants to the UMMC Doctor of Physical Therapy program must have a baccalaureate degree from an accredited college or university.
  • Students must provide evidence of at least 40 hours observation in at least two physical therapy clinical departments or practices at the time of application.
  • It is up to the individual student to set up his or her own observation hours.
  • There is a link to the “Verification of Observation Form” on the UMMC website that students use to verify observation hours:
  • http://www.umc.edu/uploadedFiles/UMCedu/Content/Education/Schools/Health_Related_Professions/Physical_Therapy/New%20PT%20Observation%20Form%20for%20May%202013%20%20Posted%20on%20Website.pdf
  • Applicants must have an overall minimum GPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale. (Applicants interviewed and accepted typically have a higher GPA.)
  • Applicants must have a minimum GPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale for the 8 required pre-PT courses, which must have been taken within the past ten years:
    1. two biology courses with laboratory
    2. two chemistry courses with laboratory
    3. two physics courses with laboratory
    4. one advanced physical or biological sciences courses (courses numbered 300 or above) with laboratories, and all prerequisite for the advanced courses
    5. one statistics course; must be taken at a four-year college from either department of education, psychology or mathematics
    6. 5 of the 8 prerequisite courses above must be completed by the end of the fall semester of when the application is submitted
  • Science courses for non-majors are NOT acceptable
  • A minimum grade of C is required on each required science course.
  • If a course is repeated, both grades are used in calculating the GPA.
  • Applicants must submit an official report of Graduate Record Exam (GRE) scores.
  • An interview with the Physical Therapy Admissions Committee is required.

Students must provide evidence of 40 hours observation in at least two physical therapy clinical departments or practices at the time of application.

Suggested Course Sequence & Strategies for Success

The suggested pre-PT professional course sequence is merely a guideline for taking the courses required for the UMMC DPT program in a timely manner. Courses to fulfill the major must be worked into the student’s schedule.

Students must consult the USM Undergraduate Bulletin, the USM Class Schedule Guide for each semester, and their academic advisor. During the last semester of the Sophomore year, students should develop a more detailed plan for the Junior and Senior years because many upper level courses in all majors are offered in specific semesters (Fall or Spring only) and/or on a rotating two-year cycle.

YEAR 1

Fall Spring  
BSC 110&L OR BSC 111&L a4 h BSC 111&L OR BSC 110&L a4 h
CHE 106&L1b 4 h CHE 107&L 4 h 
MAT 101c  3 hMAT 103c 3 h
ENG 101 d 3 hENG 102 3 h
1 other coursee 6-7 h 1 other coursee6-7 h

a, The order in which students take the introductory Biological Sciences (BSC) courses does not matter; BSC 110/L covers molecular and cellular topics whereas BSC 111/L covers ecology and organisms.

b, Students enrolling in CHE 106&L must have passed high school chemistry or passed CHE 100 at USM. CHE 100 is required when the chemistry background is not adequate. Students may enter CHE 100 directly, if they choose. Students enrolled in CHE 106/L will take a test about two weeks into the class to determine if they should remain in CHE 106/L. If they do not meet the minimum score, these students are strongly recommended to move to a CHE 100 class, which is offered at the same time as CHE 106.

c, Placement in mathematics (MAT) courses depends on the student’s ACT subscore.

Calculus is required for most majors in the College of Science and Technology (CoST), but is not required for PT school or for majors outside of CoST.

  • ACT mathematics subtest score 19 or below:  must take MAT 99 (Intermediate Algebra)
  • ACT mathematics subtest score 20 or above:  MAT 101 (College Algebra)
  • ACT mathematics subtest score 24 or above (or grade of C or better in College Algebra):  MAT 103 (Trigonometry). NOTE:  Trigonometry is a prerequisite for Physics I and pre-PT students are advised to take MAT 103.
  • ACT mathematics subtest score 24 or above (or grade of C or better in Trigonometry): MAT 114 (Calculus for the Arts and Sciences)
  • ACT mathematics subtest score 26 or above:  MAT 167 (Calculus I)

d, Placement in English Composition courses depends on the student’s ACT English subscore.

  • ACT English subtest score 16 or below:  ENG 99E (Expanded Composition Studio) and ENG 100E (Composition I expanded)
  • ACT English subtest score 17-19:  ENG 100E (Composition I expanded)
  • ACT English subtest score 20 or above:  ENG 101 (Composition 1)

e, “Other” courses include those in the General Education Curriculum and in the major and/or minor.

Strategy for Success

  • Students should focus on doing well in their academic studies, particularly the required science and math courses.
  • Students should become involved with extracurricular activities, including meaningful community service learning, volunteer activities, and leadership positions that will demonstrate effective interactions with diverse people and effective time management skills.

Students should maintain a record of the dates and total hours spent performing such activities. This may be needed when it comes time to apply to PT school.

  • Students could start getting some hands-on exposure to physical therapy. Students must provide evidence of 40 hours observation in at least two physical therapy clinical departments or practices at the time of application.

There is a link to the “Verification of Observation Form” on the UMMC website that students use

  • Students may join AED (Alpha Epsilon Delta), the national Health Preprofessional Honor Society, as associate members at any time even if they do not fulfill the requirements for full membership (must be enrolled at Southern Miss for a minimum of three semesters and meet specific course and GPA requirements). Full members are inducted during the Spring semester.

Information and links to AED Full and Associate Member applications are available on the Southern Miss Preprofessional website: http://www.usm.edu/science-technology/alpha-epsilon-delta

YEAR 2

Fall Spring  
PHY 111&L 4 h PHY 112&L 4 h 
Statisticsf  3 h4 other classese 12-14 h 
3 other classese 9-11 h  

f, PSY 360 recommended, depending on student’s major; MAT 320 or another upper level statistics course may be recommended or required by a specific major. The PT program at UMMC accepts only statistics courses in education, math, or psychology.

Strategy for Success

  • Students continue to focus on doing well in their studies.
  • Students remain involved with meaningful community service learning, volunteer activities, and leadership positions.
  • Students continue to participate in hands-on exposure to physical therapy. Students must provide evidence of 40 hours observation in at least two physical therapy clinical departments or practices at the time of application.

YEAR 3

Fall Spring  
Advanced science electivef 4 h Advanced science electivef 4 h 
Classes to fulfill major, etc.12-14 hClasses to fulfill major, etc.12-14 h 

f, Advanced science electives must be at the 300 level or above, and must be taken at a 4-year college or university. Associated labs, whether incorporated or offered separately, must also be completed.

Not all physical or biological sciences course offered at Southern Miss satisfy the prerequisite requirements for an advanced science elective. Courses need to be related to human biology, health, or medicine, such as Cellular Biology (BSC 360), Comparative Anatomy (BSC 361), Genetics (BSC 370), Microbiology (BSC 380/L), Physiology [BSC 451 (Human Physiology) or BSC 450 (Comparative Animal Physiology)], Immunology (BSC 486); CHE 420 (Principles of Biochemistry) is suggested for student seeking only a single semester of Biochemistry. Otherwise, students may take courses in the series intended for majors: CHE 421 (Biochemistry I), CHE 422 (Biochemistry II), CHE 424 (Biochemistry III).

Strategy for Success

  • Students continue to focus on doing well in their studies.
  • Students remain involved with meaningful community service learning, volunteer activities, and leadership positions.
  • Students continue to participate in hands-on exposure to physical therapy. Students must provide evidence of 40 hours observation in at least two physical therapy clinical departments or practices at the time of application.
  • Students applying to UMMC PT program must have completed at least 5 of the 8 required courses by the end of the fall semester in which the application is submitted. Applicants accepted for admissions must complete the remaining prerequisite courses by the end of the subsequent spring semester.

YEAR 4

Fall  Spring  
Classes to fulfill major, etc.15-18 h Classes to fulfill major, etc.15-18 h 

The Application Process

Students apply online directly to the Doctorate in Physical Therapy program at the UMMC School of Health Related Professions: http://www.umc.edu/Education/Schools/Health_Related_Professions/Physical_Therapy/Application_Procedure.aspx

The deadline for application is November 1.

Many other PT schools use the Physical Therapist Centralized Application Service (PTCAS). Participating PTCAS schools are listed at: http://www.apta.org/Educators/PTCAS/Participation/

  • Scores from the general Graduate Record Exam (GRE) are required (verbal, quantitative, analytical writing sections). Check the schools to which you apply for the deadline for receipt of scores and for how old the scores can be.

The “old” GRE was administered until July 31, 2011 and the “revised” GRE went into effect on August 1, 2011. Many PT schools are recommending scores from the revised GRE, so be sure to check this.

Link: www.gre.org

Students should study on their own to prepare for the GRE and/or they may take one or more of the USM GRE review classes:

MTC 480 (Conquering the GRE Computer Adaptive Test)

MTC 481 (GRE Preparation: Quantitative)

MTC 482 (GRE Preparation: Verbal)

Check the Class Schedule Guide to determine when these courses are offered.

Students are strongly encouraged to take an online practice GRE before taking the GRE that they will use on their application. There are a number of websites that have practice questions or practice tests; use Google to search for “practice GRE questions”.

The Interview

Students are advised to practice their interview skills BEFORE attending their first interview.

For More Information about a Career in Healthcare, Contact the Preprofessional Office

The Healthcare Preprofessional Office is located in Bobby Chain Technology Building (TEC) Room 103.

Website:  http://www.usm.edu/science-technology/preprofessional

Phone number: 601.266.4741

Mailing address:

Healthcare Preprofessional Office
College of Science and Technology
118 College Dr., #5165
Hattiesburg, MS 39406-0001

Preprofessional Assistant:

Ms. L. Machell Haynes
601.266.4741
ladonna.haynes@usm.edu

Preprofessional Advisor:

Dr. Jeffrey Evans, Preprofessional Advisor
601.266.4883
jeffrey.evans@usm.edu