Pursue a Pre-Physical Therapy / Occupational Therapy Track at Azusa Pacific University
This is a benefit and advising relationship provided to your Allied Health degree if you’re accepted into the track. APU’s pre-PT/OT track will support you in your career goals, if you plan to apply to physical therapy or occupational therapy (PT/OT) school. You’ll be familiar with the physical and occupational therapy school admission process through step-by-step advising and mock interview preparation with APU’s pre-PT/OT committee. You will also have the opportunity to receive a committee letter in support of your physical or occupational therapy school application. After completing five foundational courses, you will be eligible for application to this track.
Program at a Glance
The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences offers diverse well-rounded degree programs to prepare critical thinkers to make a difference in the world for Christ.
- Normally, you’ll apply to the pre-PT/OT track in your sophomore year, while taking BIOL 251 and/or CHEM 152 which are required. The Department of Biology and Chemistry admits dedicated students with strong academic records and a serious commitment to occupational therapy.
- Azusa (Main Campus)
Gain Hands-on Experience
- Receive mentorship from a licensed physical therapist.
- Prepare for grad school interviews via a mock interview with the pre-PT/OT committee.
- Benefit from focused academic advising tailored toward your career goals.
By the Numbers
Students in this track can anticipate a high success rate for admission to physical or occupational therapy schools as they become familiar with the physical/occupational therapy school admission process (PTCAS/OTCAS) through personalized, step-by-step advising and a mock interview with the pre-PT/OT committee. In addition, students have the opportunity to receive a committee letter in support of their physical or occupational therapy school application.
Students interested in this track should consider the Bachelor of Arts in Allied Health program, which is specifically designed to fulfill the PT/OT graduate program requirements without any need for additional coursework.
Browse the tabs below—if you have questions, visit the Student Services Center page, and we’ll make sure you get the info you need.
Although a private college education may seem out of reach for many, recent research from Kiplinger reveals that the actual value of some private universities may prove this assumption wrong. In 2010, Kiplinger selected Azusa Pacific University for its Top 100 Best Values in Private Colleges rankings. Read more about APU’s ranking in Kiplinger’s Best Values in Private Colleges.
APU students may take advantage of three types of financial aid: scholarships and grants, education loans, and student employment.
Scholarships and Grants
Scholarships and grants are considered “gift aid” and do not require repayment. They can come from federal, state, or private sources. Scholarships are typically merit-based, meaning they are awarded depending on demonstrated academic ability or other specific talents.
Scholarships are often available from sources outside of APU. You can search for these scholarships through websites such as finaid.org or fastweb.com. The Student Services Center is sometimes notified of scholarships available through APU departments or local organizations, and can provide information about any available scholarships on request.
Education loans are usually repaid after graduation, may be deferred until after graduate school, and often have very low interest rates.
Military members—and in some cases their spouses and dependents—qualify for financial assistance covering tuition, housing, and books. Azusa Pacific is a Yellow Ribbon University and Military Friendly School, so you can be confident that you’ll receive the benefits and flexibility you need to complete your education.
On-campus student employment is available for students needing additional income to pay for education-related expenses. APU students also find work off campus in the surrounding community.
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To view specific requirements and coursework information, visit the current academic
The pre-PT/OT track sequence will help to create a clear path toward graduate school and provide a strong foundation for your career. Upon entry into the track, your pre-PT/OT adviser will help you navigate this sequence. However, you may use this page as a guideline prior to entry into the track.
At APU, the pre-PT/OT track begins during your freshman year as you establish a solid foundation in English and in the sciences (general biology, general chemistry, physics, and statistics). As you prepare to apply to the pre-PT/OT track, you should make it a priority in these core science courses to develop the work habits and the commitment to excellence that result in A grades, as they are requirements for PT/OT programs.
During sophomore year, you will continue to establish a solid foundation in the sciences (anatomy, physiology, psychology, and sociology). As you progress through these core sciences, continue to develop the work habits and the commitment to excellence that result in A grades. These courses are requirements for PT/OT programs.
You will typically apply to the pre-PT/OT track during your sophomore year, while taking BIOL 251 and/or CHEM 152, both of which are required for admission to the track. The Department of Biology and Chemistry admits students to the pre-PT/OT track who have shown a serious commitment to preparing for a career in physical or occupational therapy, and who are performing at a level that would make acceptance into a physical or occupational therapy program a realistic possibility.
If you are admitted to the pre-PT/OT track, you will progress through your college education with the fellowship and support of like-minded peers, and benefit from academic advising from members of the pre-PT/OT Committee. You will also be encouraged to participate in internships and medical missions experiences.
As a senior in this track, you will prepare for the process of interviewing at PT/OT schools by participating in mock interviews with the pre-PT/OT Committee. This experience culminates with the committee assisting you with the application process and submitting a committee letter on your behalf.
Preparing for the Mock Interview
The purpose of the mock interview is twofold:
- To better prepare you for PT/OT school interviews.
- To assist the committee in preparing a letter to enhance your application.
To ensure that these goals are met, you should:
- Request letters of recommendation from faculty, MDs, DOs, research advisors, etc., in January of the application year.
- Ensure that all letters of recommendation are sent to Ryan Somers, DPT, by April of the application year (prior to scheduling the mock interview).
- Schedule mock interviews with Ryan Somers, DPT, before April of the application year. This can be done as early as November if interviews take place in January of the year the application is turned in.
- Start drafting your personal statement in January of the application year.
- Submit your personal statement to the committee before or at the time of the mock interview, if feedback is desired.
The top percentage of pre-PT/OT students, as identified by the committee, will be given an automatic interview into the APU DPT program.
Preparation for physical therapy or occupational therapy school can begin as early as high school. Follow these four guidelines and review the specific precollege classes recommended for pre-PT/OT students.
Basic Preparation Guidelines
- Study as many different sciences as you can (e.g., a year each of biology, chemistry, physics, and geology).
- Take as many mathematics classes as you can.
- Study as many foreign languages as you can.
- Develop as many computer skills as you can.
Recommended Precollege Classes
- One year of biology
- One year of chemistry
- At least three years of math, including basic and advanced algebra, geometry, and trigonometry
- English (ability to write and read at the appropriate level, including understanding math word problems)
- Advanced biology, anatomy, or physiology
- Computer sciences
- Social studies and history
- Medical terminology
- Critical thinking
- Logic (rationale, deductive and inductive reasoning)
- Professional behaviors (punctuality, attendance, attire, personal interactions with patients or a healthcare team, etc.)
Azusa Pacific University is accredited by the WASC Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC).
Career Outlooks and Outcomes
Faculty Friday: Mike Wong- Transforming Students into Great PT Clinicians
APU professor Mike Wong received the James A. Gould Excellence in Teaching Award from the Academy of Orthopedic Physical Therapy as one of the top PT professors in the country.