Non-DegreePre-Physical Therapy

PT students

Three Ways to Apply to the DPT Program.

Undergraduate students interested in a career in physical therapy are encouraged to pick an undergraduate major based on interests and talents and not by what seems to be a “popular” undergraduate choice. There is no one-preferred undergraduate major for admission to physical therapy programs. Please be assured that any undergraduate major can be adapted to allow for major courses, general education courses and physical therapy prerequisite courses to be taken in a four-year time span.

Options for applying to our DPT program

“Bachelor's+3” Path
Interested applicants can apply and may be potentially admitted into the Doctor of Physical Therapy program after completion of a bachelor’s degree in a major of choice from Bellarmine University or another accredited institution. Applicants must complete all program prerequisites (complete list of all program prerequisite courses listed above) and application requirements.

“3+3” Path
Open to Bellarmine University undergraduate students who have completed at least 60 credits (generally two full years) at Bellarmine University. Apply for the DPT program the summer/fall before the junior year. If accepted, would begin DPT school after 3 years of undergraduate coursework. These students must still fulfill all requirements for an undergraduate baccalaureate degree from Bellarmine (completion of all general education requirements + completion of the first year in the DPT program = students would earn a Bachelor's Degree in Health Sciences).

Launch to DPT: Early Assurance Program aka “LEAP” Path
Highly selective program open to high school seniors to apply. If accepted, students matriculate as undergraduates at Bellarmine, are engaged in program activities and research, and are eligible to apply to the DPT program either the summer prior to Junior year or the summer prior to Senior year. Students must complete all application requirements and meet all standards for university admission in order to be accepted. Learn more on our LEAP Path page.


The Physical Therapy Program at Bellarmine University is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE), 1111 North Fairfax Street, Alexandria, Virginia 22314; telephone: 703.706.3245; email:; website: If needing to contact the program/institution directly, please call 502.272.8356 or email

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Pre-Physical Therapy a major?

No. As a Pre-Physical Therapy student, you are advised throughout your undergraduate career on ways to gain the prerequisites required for application to graduate programs in physical therapy.

What is the best major if I want a career in PT?

Many students choose to major in exercise science or biology, but there is no rule here. Any undergraduate major is acceptable as long as prerequisite course work is successfully completed.

If I complete Pre-PT, am I guaranteed entry into Bellarmine’s DPT program?

No. Our DPT program is a nationally competitive program. Bellarmine faculty know very well the skills and expertise you’ll need to enter in our DPT program, or another program. It is up to you to do the hard work to ensure your own success but we will help you every step of the way.

Is financial aid available?

Yes. When you complete your application to Bellarmine, you’ll receive a comprehensive financial aid award, based on your experiences and need.

Prerequisites for DPT Program

Bellarmine course equivalencies in parentheses.

  • 2 semesters of anatomy and physiology with lab (BIOL 108 & 109)*
  • 1 semester of general biology with lab (BIOL 130)
  • 1 semester of advanced physiology such as vertebrate physiology, mammalian physiology, exercise physiology or pathophysiology (EXSC 240, BIOL 300, or BIOL 314)
  • 2 semesters of college chemistry with lab (CHEM 103 & 104)
  • 2 semesters of college physics with lab (PHYS 201 & 202 or PHYS 205 & 206)
  • 1 semester of psychology (PSYC 103 or 203)
  • 1 semester of statistics (MATH 205)
  • Twenty-five clock hours of documented work or volunteer experience in a physical therapy setting

Pre-Physical Therapy Club

The purpose of the Pre-Physical Therapy Club is two-fold. Purpose one is to serve Pre-Physical Therapy student/majors on campus by promoting the interests and current events regarding recent developments in the professional field. Secondly, the club hopes to promote the profession of Physical Therapy to Bellarmine University and the surrounding community, especially by aiding in the provision of health-related services on campus and in the community at large. Please contact Dr. Dawn Hall-Bibb for more information at

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