Skip to header Skip to main navigation Skip to main content Skip to footer

Major Maps

Strategic Enrollment Management and Student Success

Visit majormaps.vcu.edu for the online version with links.
Sponsored by the Office of the Provost
Major map compass icon [View Image]
2021-2022

Pre-Physical Therapy (advising track)

VCU Student Success

 
Program description

Students interested in the pre-physical therapy advising track must be on track to complete all prerequisite coursework, have a minimum 3.0 GPA, and be on track to receive a baccalaureate degree by the time of applying to be considered for admission to PT school. Students interested in PT school should consult with a pre-professional health & STEM career  adviser to learn about requirements that are specific to the schools to which they hope to apply.


Declaration of the pre-physical therapy advising track through the VCU Career Services PPH & STEM team does not constitute admission to the VCU Physical Therapy program. Students must apply separately to the physical therapy school of their choice at the appropriate time.


Students with an interest in preparing for PT school must declare an academic major and should declare and maintain their pre-physical therapy advising track. Students do not earn a pre-physical therapy degree. Students unsure of their academic majors initially should clarify their academic interests through regular conversations with their advisers. Pre-Physical therapy  students are encouraged to major in fields of greatest interest to them. To declare a pre-pt advising track, please see the Canvas PPH Hub.

Career opportunities

Physical therapists (PT) evaluate and record a patient's progress. Physical therapists help injured or ill people improve movement and manage pain. They are often an important part of preventive care, rehabilitation, and treatment for patients with chronic conditions, illnesses, or injuries. PTs may specialize in fields such as cardiology, pulmonology, geriatrics, neurology, orthopedics, sports medicine, pediatrics, gynecology, or obstetrics.

Change of major requirements

To change to a different PPH Track, students must complete the PPH Module on the Canvas PPH Hub that corresponds to the new track in which they are interested.


Graduate and professional level job titles
  • Healthcare Researcher
  • Physical Therapist
  • Professor
Degree requirements in Bulletin
Plan of study in Bulletin

    n/a

Highest level of math required
  • MATH 151
  • STAT 210
Science required
  • 5+ additional science courses
Foreign language requirements
  • No
Additional tuition/fees
  • No
GPA requirements (to progress/graduate in the major)
  • A minimum GPA of 2.7 is required to apply to become a pre-professional health student and to stay on the pre-professional health advising track.
Department name:
Pre-Professional Health Advising
Building/room location:
Hibbs Hall, First Floor
Campus (where 75% of courses are taken):
Monroe park
Phone:
804-827-8648
Email:
preprofadv@vcu.edu

Major map compass icon [View Image]
Major map

Explore
MAXIMIZE COURSE AND DEGREE PLANNING
GET CONNECTED WITH YOUR COMMUNITY
BUILD CULTURAL COMPETENCE
GET REAL EXPERIENCE
PREPARING FOR LIFE AFTER COLLEGE

Experience
MAXIMIZE COURSE AND DEGREE PLANNING
  • Required to declare the pre-PT track, complete all of BIOL/Z 151, CHEM/Z 101, CHEM/Z 102, and MATH 151 or 200.
  • Schedule an appointment with your advisor to explore minors, certificates, and plan your required REAL experience.
  • Get familiar with the research process with the VCU Libraries Research Basics Guide.
  • Talk to professors about your research interests, electives, and strategies for success in your classes.
  • Explore innovation and business/non-profit creation classes with the da Vinci Center.
GET CONNECTED WITH YOUR COMMUNITY
BUILD CULTURAL COMPETENCE
  • Make friends with diverse perspectives and join a cultural or identity-related student organization.
  • Volunteer with a vulnerable, under-represented and/or underserved community, focusing on depth of experience instead of breadth and reflecting on the challenges these populations might face with their healthcare.
  • Explore social issues, develop cultural competency skills, and engage with faculty through iExcel pop-up courses.
  • Investigate globally-focused courses in your major by pursuing language coursework or setting language proficiency goals with advisors and faculty.
  • Apply for the Critical Languages Scholarship.
GET REAL EXPERIENCE
  • Complete a gap analysis with your career advisor to identify key skills required for your professional field.
  • Highly recommended is to collect and reflect on your experiences using your Pre-Professional Health Journal on Canvas PPH Hub every semester.
  • Seek out practical experience through independent skill-building, internships, shadowing, or part-time work.
  • Explore global career options with a career advisor to set goals for getting your dream job.
  • Organize examples of your academic and professional experiences, accomplishments, and reflections in an ePortfolio.
  • Attend career and internship fairs and other professional development events.
  • Pursue a digital badge to highlight the knowledge, skills, and experiences employers and graduate schools value.
PREPARING FOR LIFE AFTER COLLEGE
  • Connect with alumni on VCULink for career advice, industry contacts, and meaningful professional relationships.
  • Consider who you would like to have serve as future letter of recommendation writers, research the number of letters you need and who can write them, and bear in mind that competitive applicants to PT school need at least 3 letters of recommendation (1 should come from a currently practicing PT.)
  • Review APTA resources for how to pay for professional school and begin to develop your own plan.
  • Conduct informational interviews or shadow someone in a field of professional interest.
  • Ask a faculty or staff member to be your academic and professional mentor and to provide future letters of recommendation.
  • Meet with a coach at The Money Spot to set financial goals, understand student loans, and create spending plans.

Experience
MAXIMIZE COURSE AND DEGREE PLANNING
  • Discuss with your PPH and STEM Career Advisor whether you should apply this year or apply next year and take a gap year; if not taking a gap year, year 4 of the major map must be completed prior to application.
  • Participate in the Pre-Health Advisory Committee (PHAC) in the spring.
  • See your academic and career advisors to discuss graduation progress and career planning.
  • Enhance your business, software, technology, and creative skills using LinkedIn Learning.
GET CONNECTED WITH YOUR COMMUNITY
BUILD CULTURAL COMPETENCE
  • Build language proficiency and cultural competence by carrying out your plans for study abroad, internships, and service-learning.
  • Volunteer with a vulnerable, under-represented and/or underserved community, focusing on depth of experience instead of breadth and reflecting on the challenges these populations might face with their healthcare.
  • Get required REAL experience and effect community change by using iExcel’s Active Citizen’s Toolkit to vote and volunteer.
  • Explore new cultures at one of Richmond’s wide array of festivals.
  • Prepare for future work on multidisciplinary and multicultural teams by showcasing your interpersonal skills on your resume.
GET REAL EXPERIENCE
  • Look for opportunities at VCU, your place of employment, and/or in your greater community that allow you to apply for a leadership role or assume greater responsibility and to focus on areas that you are passionate about.
  • Highly recommended is to collect and reflect on your experiences in your pre-professional health journal on Canvas PPH Hub every semester.
  • Take advantage of mock interview opportunities through InterviewStream or meeting with a career advisor.
  • Update your ePortfolio.
  • Apply for the Graduate School Mentorship Program to learn more about graduate school and the graduate student experience.
PREPARING FOR LIFE AFTER COLLEGE
  • Make a plan with your academic, career, and faculty advisors for applying to graduate school or land a micro-internship.
  • Research scholarship opportunities and application fee waivers at APTA.
  • Review test materials, begin studying for the GRE, and plan to incorporate multiple study skills and techniques.
  • Study for and complete any standardized exams required for graduate school the summer before senior year. 
  • Prepare for job offer negotiation by researching salaries, benefits, and other opportunities for flexibility.

Excel
MAXIMIZE COURSE AND DEGREE PLANNING
  • Highly recommended is to schedule an appointment with a PPH and STEM Career Advisor to assess your progress through the application process and discuss gap year options.
  • Review your true cumulative GPA, science GPA, non-science GPA, grade trends, and semester course difficulty to see a full picture of your academic profile.
  • Schedule an appointment with your academic advisor the semester before you graduate to ensure that all graduation requirements will be met.
  • Choose REAL electives to diversify your skillset and round out your degree.
GET CONNECTED WITH YOUR COMMUNITY
BUILD CULTURAL COMPETENCE
  • Carry out globally-oriented research projects with multilingual faculty and international partners.
  • Reflect on your own cultural competency and be prepared to answer interview questions that outline how you have worked with diverse populations based on community connection competencies in your pre-professional health journal.
  • Read scholarly articles about diversity in your field.
  • Master your answers to interview questions about your experience working with diverse populations.
  • Plan for how you will grow your cultural agility after graduation.
GET REAL EXPERIENCE
  • Highly recommended is to collect and reflect on your experiences using your Pre-Professional Health Journal on Canvas PPH Hub every semester.
  • Meet with your academic or professional mentor and identify examples of your experiential learning to share with employers.
  • Reflect on the experiential learning you have engaged in thus far and discuss with current or potential mentors like peers, faculty, advisors, alumni, and practicing physical therapists.
  • Publish your original research in Auctus: The Journal of Undergraduate Research and Creativity.
  • Consider becoming an educator through programs like RTR, which prepare graduates from a variety of majors to become teachers in high-need schools.
PREPARING FOR LIFE AFTER COLLEGE
  • Prepare for graduation by making a plan to complete licensing exams, applications, and self-marketing activities.
  • Review test day information, register and sit for the GRE, then meet with your PPH and STEM career advisor to review your test score and how it impacts your application competitiveness.
  • When accepted to a professional healthcare program, make sure to understand the steps to your acceptance including tuition deposits, background check, and traffic rules.
  • Single out prospective employers and create a job or graduate school search strategy at least 8 months before graduation.
  • Have a personal statement or cover letter reviewed by Career Services. 
  • Connect with the Office of VCU Alumni Relations at Grad Fair, Grad Bash, and the VCULink Industry Network or alumni chapter.
Visit majormaps.vcu.edu for the online version with links.
Sponsored by the Office of the Provost
Major map compass icon [View Image]
2021-2022

Pre-Physical Therapy (advising track)

VCU Student Success

Concentration(s):
No concentration
MAXIMIZE COURSE AND DEGREE PLANNINGGET CONNECTED WITH YOUR COMMUNITYBUILD CULTURAL COMPETENCEGET REAL EXPERIENCEPREPARING FOR LIFE AFTER COLLEGE
ExploreYear 1
ExperienceYear 2
  • Required to declare the pre-PT track, complete all of BIOL/Z 151, CHEM/Z 101, CHEM/Z 102, and MATH 151 or 200.
  • Schedule an appointment with your advisor to explore minors, certificates, and plan your required REAL experience.
  • Get familiar with the research process with the VCU Libraries Research Basics Guide.
  • Talk to professors about your research interests, electives, and strategies for success in your classes.
  • Explore innovation and business/non-profit creation classes with the da Vinci Center.
  • Make friends with diverse perspectives and join a cultural or identity-related student organization.
  • Volunteer with a vulnerable, under-represented and/or underserved community, focusing on depth of experience instead of breadth and reflecting on the challenges these populations might face with their healthcare.
  • Explore social issues, develop cultural competency skills, and engage with faculty through iExcel pop-up courses.
  • Investigate globally-focused courses in your major by pursuing language coursework or setting language proficiency goals with advisors and faculty.
  • Apply for the Critical Languages Scholarship.
  • Complete a gap analysis with your career advisor to identify key skills required for your professional field.
  • Highly recommended is to collect and reflect on your experiences using your Pre-Professional Health Journal on Canvas PPH Hub every semester.
  • Seek out practical experience through independent skill-building, internships, shadowing, or part-time work.
  • Explore global career options with a career advisor to set goals for getting your dream job.
  • Organize examples of your academic and professional experiences, accomplishments, and reflections in an ePortfolio.
  • Attend career and internship fairs and other professional development events.
  • Pursue a digital badge to highlight the knowledge, skills, and experiences employers and graduate schools value.
  • Connect with alumni on VCULink for career advice, industry contacts, and meaningful professional relationships.
  • Consider who you would like to have serve as future letter of recommendation writers, research the number of letters you need and who can write them, and bear in mind that competitive applicants to PT school need at least 3 letters of recommendation (1 should come from a currently practicing PT.)
  • Review APTA resources for how to pay for professional school and begin to develop your own plan.
  • Conduct informational interviews or shadow someone in a field of professional interest.
  • Ask a faculty or staff member to be your academic and professional mentor and to provide future letters of recommendation.
  • Meet with a coach at The Money Spot to set financial goals, understand student loans, and create spending plans.
Year 3
  • Discuss with your PPH and STEM Career Advisor whether you should apply this year or apply next year and take a gap year; if not taking a gap year, year 4 of the major map must be completed prior to application.
  • Participate in the Pre-Health Advisory Committee (PHAC) in the spring.
  • See your academic and career advisors to discuss graduation progress and career planning.
  • Enhance your business, software, technology, and creative skills using LinkedIn Learning.
  • Build language proficiency and cultural competence by carrying out your plans for study abroad, internships, and service-learning.
  • Volunteer with a vulnerable, under-represented and/or underserved community, focusing on depth of experience instead of breadth and reflecting on the challenges these populations might face with their healthcare.
  • Get required REAL experience and effect community change by using iExcel’s Active Citizen’s Toolkit to vote and volunteer.
  • Explore new cultures at one of Richmond’s wide array of festivals.
  • Prepare for future work on multidisciplinary and multicultural teams by showcasing your interpersonal skills on your resume.
  • Look for opportunities at VCU, your place of employment, and/or in your greater community that allow you to apply for a leadership role or assume greater responsibility and to focus on areas that you are passionate about.
  • Highly recommended is to collect and reflect on your experiences in your pre-professional health journal on Canvas PPH Hub every semester.
  • Take advantage of mock interview opportunities through InterviewStream or meeting with a career advisor.
  • Update your ePortfolio.
  • Apply for the Graduate School Mentorship Program to learn more about graduate school and the graduate student experience.
  • Make a plan with your academic, career, and faculty advisors for applying to graduate school or land a micro-internship.
  • Research scholarship opportunities and application fee waivers at APTA.
  • Review test materials, begin studying for the GRE, and plan to incorporate multiple study skills and techniques.
  • Study for and complete any standardized exams required for graduate school the summer before senior year. 
  • Prepare for job offer negotiation by researching salaries, benefits, and other opportunities for flexibility.
ExcelYear 4
  • Highly recommended is to schedule an appointment with a PPH and STEM Career Advisor to assess your progress through the application process and discuss gap year options.
  • Review your true cumulative GPA, science GPA, non-science GPA, grade trends, and semester course difficulty to see a full picture of your academic profile.
  • Schedule an appointment with your academic advisor the semester before you graduate to ensure that all graduation requirements will be met.
  • Choose REAL electives to diversify your skillset and round out your degree.
  • Carry out globally-oriented research projects with multilingual faculty and international partners.
  • Reflect on your own cultural competency and be prepared to answer interview questions that outline how you have worked with diverse populations based on community connection competencies in your pre-professional health journal.
  • Read scholarly articles about diversity in your field.
  • Master your answers to interview questions about your experience working with diverse populations.
  • Plan for how you will grow your cultural agility after graduation.
  • Highly recommended is to collect and reflect on your experiences using your Pre-Professional Health Journal on Canvas PPH Hub every semester.
  • Meet with your academic or professional mentor and identify examples of your experiential learning to share with employers.
  • Reflect on the experiential learning you have engaged in thus far and discuss with current or potential mentors like peers, faculty, advisors, alumni, and practicing physical therapists.
  • Publish your original research in Auctus: The Journal of Undergraduate Research and Creativity.
  • Consider becoming an educator through programs like RTR, which prepare graduates from a variety of majors to become teachers in high-need schools.
  • Prepare for graduation by making a plan to complete licensing exams, applications, and self-marketing activities.
  • Review test day information, register and sit for the GRE, then meet with your PPH and STEM career advisor to review your test score and how it impacts your application competitiveness.
  • When accepted to a professional healthcare program, make sure to understand the steps to your acceptance including tuition deposits, background check, and traffic rules.
  • Single out prospective employers and create a job or graduate school search strategy at least 8 months before graduation.
  • Have a personal statement or cover letter reviewed by Career Services. 
  • Connect with the Office of VCU Alumni Relations at Grad Fair, Grad Bash, and the VCULink Industry Network or alumni chapter.
View graphic versionView graphic versionView graphic version