Pre-Physical Therapy

School of Health, Physical Education & Sport Sciences
(440) 826-3175,

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Prepare yourself for a rewarding, in-demand career where your knowledge and skills can help restore, maintain and promote mobility and physical wellness.

Baldwin Wallace's pre-physical therapy is a rigorous major that prepares you for graduate studies leading to a career in physical or occupational therapy and other fields.

The program combines comprehensive coursework, theoretical study and practical experiences. It includes a strong science foundation, impressive lab and research opportunities, diverse clinical visits, community outreach initiatives and more.

Real-world focused, the major helps you develop the interpersonal and professional skills needed for client-patient interaction, assessment and evaluation of client-patient needs, and integration of this information into a rehabilitation or exercise program.

Well respected among graduate schools, BW's pre-physical therapy program has a 97 percent acceptance rate for students who apply to a Doctorate of Physical Therapy program.

Also valuable to your success are BW partnerships with Chatham College, University of St. Augustine and D'Youville College that can streamline your entry into graduate school.

Graduate School Pipeline
Baldwin Wallace's affiliation with the following colleges offers a channel for graduate school entry.

Chatham College Partnership
BW students receive a direct link to post-graduate physical therapy and occupational therapy programs at Chatham College (Pittsburgh).

Ambassador Program at the University of St. Augustine (USA)
BW faculty and staff of The University of St. Augustine for Health Sciences (St. Augustine, Fla.; San Marcos, Calif.; and Austin, Texas) provide support for students interested in attending an entry-level program in either occupational therapy or physical therapy at USA.

D'Youville College Partnership
BW's affiliation with D'Youville College (Buffalo, N.Y.) offers acceptance for up to 10 BW students a year who fulfill requirements for guaranteed admission into the Doctorate of Physical Therapy program.

Impressive Career Growth
According to the 2012-13 Occupational Outlook Handbook, employment of physical therapists is expected to increase 39 percent from 2010 to 2020, much faster than the average for all occupations.

Access to Cleveland's Health Care Hub
BW's 20-minute accessibility to Cleveland and its expansive offering of hospitals, clinics, sports medicine facilities and public health organizations provides outstanding opportunities for internships, clinical experiences and career placement.

Career Opportunities

Physical therapists need a doctorate degree and must pass a licensure exam before they can practice. A bachelor's degree in pre-physical therapy can prepare you for post-graduate education opportunities that include:

  • Physical therapy
  • Occupational therapy
  • Physician assistant
  • Podiatry
  • Nursing
  • Chiropractics


Offered as a major, pre-physical therapy blends critical thinking and problem-solving skills with specialized coursework and hands-on learning. It includes a strong foundation of biology, chemistry and physics in preparation for the rigorous pre-requisites required of professional allied health programs.

Pre-physical therapy is an ideal companion major to exercise science and athletic training.

Course descriptions, requirements for the major and additional information can be found in the University Catalog.

Student Experiences

Student success is a top priority. Small class sizes, individual attention and faculty mentoring are at the core of BW's pre-physical therapy major.

Experiential learning bridges classroom study with real-world opportunities. You can enhance your studies through internships, co-curricular activities and other learning opportunities that include:

Student Clubs & Organizations

Pre-physical Therapy/Exercise Science Student Organization
The pre-physical therapy/Exercise Science Student Organization is a student-led group. It provides students with educational opportunities to develop skills, enhance their knowledge of these professions and learn about the requirements for graduate and professional programs.

At the annual Honors Ceremony in the spring, recognitions include:

  • Bonnie Raye Graduate Scholarship (in honor Bonnie Raye, who taught at BW and was the women's basketball coach, 1980-89).
  • Dr. Lee J. Tressel Scholarship (in honor of Dr. Lee Tressel '48, who taught and was BW's football coach, 1957-80).
  • Hower-Stover Award (in honor of Dr. Marjorie Hower, who was a professor at BW, 1947-80, and Myrta Stover, who coached and taught at BW, 1943-68).

Alumni Success

At Baldwin Wallace, you’ll experience personal and professional growth in a supportive community that challenges and inspires you to succeed.

Recent BW Pre-physical Therapy majors are finding their success at:

Matthew Harmon ’14, pre-physical therapy and exercise science major, is pursuing his master’s degree in exercise physiology with an anticipated graduation of 2016. Matthew is also working at the Cleveland Clinic. A native of Canfield, Ohio (Canfield High School), Matthew credits his professors at BW for providing him with the hands-on experience and for developing his work ethic that will allow him to excel in graduate school and eventually in his career. His goal is to work at the Cleveland Clinic in cardiac rehab.
Jennifer Emery '13, Pre-Physical Therapy and Exercise Science, is at Chatham University (DPT program).
Jennifer Evans '13, Pre-Physical Therapy and Public Health, is at The Ohio State University (DPT program).
Carly Fisher '13, Pre-Physical Therapy, is at Baldwin Wallace University for its Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing program.
Jeremy Harris '13, Pre-Physical Therapy and Athletic Training, is at The University of Pittsburgh (DPT program).
Eric Lehman '11, Pre-Physical Therapy and Exercise Science, is at The University of Pittsburgh (DPT program). He received "Outstanding Student in Orthopedics" award given by the Orthopedic Section of the American Physical Therapy Association.
Erin O'Donnell '13, Pre-Physical Therapy and Exercise Science, is attending Baldwin Wallace University for its Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing program.
Casey Passen '11, Pre-Physical Therapy and Exercise Science, at The Ohio University (DPT program).
Mary Claire Plummer '09, Pre-Physical Therapy and Athletic Training, is a Physical Therapist at The Ohio State University Sports Medicine & Rehabilitation.
Kyle Rockwell '11, Pre-Physical Therapy and Exercise Science, is at Youngstown State University (DPT program).
Brent Steyns '13, Pre-Physical Therapy and Exercise Science, is at Walsh University (DPT program).
Zachary Szablewski '12, Pre-Physical Therapy and Exercise Science, is at The University of St. Augustine, Austin (DPT program).
Emily Ward '11, Pre-Physical Therapy and Athletic Training, is a Cleveland Clinic Athletic Trainer-Saint Joseph Academy.


Dr. Amy Jo Sutterluety
Prof. Cassandra August
Dr. Kerry A. Bebie
Dr. Charles Campisi
Dr. Jaimy M. Dyer
Dr. Jessica Emlich Jochum
Dr. Jesse Jones
Prof. Karyn Gentile
Dr. Alvy Styles
Dr. Megan Williamson