Pre-Physical Therapy

School of Health, Physical Education & Sport Sciences

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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.

Pre-Physical Therapy student experiences

Graduate School Partnerships

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

Chatham University

BW students receive a direct link to post-graduate physical therapy and occupational therapy programs at Chatham University (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.


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
Projected job increase of 39 percent through 2020

In-Demand Career Field

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.

Grad School Success

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.

BW Grad School Partners

BW partnerships with Chatham University, University of St. Augustine and D'Youville College can streamline your entry into graduate school.

Cleveland Health Care Hub

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

About the School of HPESS

Discover more majors from the School of Health, Physical Education & Sport Sciences and read the HPESS newsletter for recent highlights from the school.


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 Catalog

Course Descriptions

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


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:


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).


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

Baldwin Wallace has long championed the success of its students. Evidence of this can be seen in the extraordinary achievements of its alumni spread throughout the United States and the world. Among recent accolades, 92 percent of graduates from the Class of 2014 reported being in rewarding jobs or in graduate school studies within six months after graduation.

Recent BW pre-physical therapy graduates are finding success in graduate school and various careers. 

Stephanie PorterStephanie Porter ’15 is certified athletic trainer at St. Rita’s Medical Center in Lima, Ohio. Clinicals honed her professional abilities and communication skills, preparing her to smoothly transition from school to her first job as a professional athletic trainer. She is from Fostoria, Ohio.

Jason RobertoJason Roberto ‘14 is pursuing an M.S. in physician assistant studies at Philadelphia University where he is a certified athletic trainer. A faculty mentor at BW encouraged the Milford, Mich., native to pursue a double major in athletic training and pre-physical therapy, a decision that led to his acceptance into graduate school.

Jordan RosenbergerJordan Rosenberger ’14 is pursuing a Doctor of Physical Therapy at Cleveland State University. Classroom and clinical experiences sharpened her critical thinking and problem-solving skills and provided her with ample opportunities to apply concepts learned to real-life settings. She is from Middleburg Heights, Ohio.

Eric LehmanEric Lehman ’11 is physical therapist at Concentra in Pittsburgh. He holds a Doctor of Physical Therapy from University of Pittsburgh. BW delivered a focused, practical education within a broad liberal arts framework, a valuable combination that provided him with a competitive edge in graduate school. Eric is from Akron, Ohio.

Stephanie StefanoStephanie Stefano ’11 is doctor of physical therapy at St. John Medical Center in Westlake, Ohio. Small class sizes, individualized attention from BW faculty and extensive internship, volunteer and co-curricular opportunities were hallmarks of her undergraduate career. Stephanie is from Broadview Heights, Ohio.

Alicia White VanlandinghamAlicia White Vanlandingham ’04 is physical therapist for the Department of Veterans Affairs in San Antonio. At BW, a rigorous athletic training curriculum and faculty mentors prepared the Mecca, Ohio, native to earn a doctorate in physical therapy and work in a specialized setting treating highly active patients.


Amy Jo Sutterluety
Associate Dean, Health and Physical Education
Ph.D., The Ohio State University

Cassandra August
Associate Professor
M.S., Kent State University

Kerry A. Bebie
Assistant Professor
Ph.D., The University of Akron

Charles Campisi
Assistant Professor
Ph.D., University of Minnesota

Tony Dick
Assistant Professor
M.A.Ed., Baldwin Wallace University

Jaimy M. Dyer
Associate Professor
Ph.D., The Ohio State University

Karyn Gentile
Program Director for Athletic Training Program
Assistant Athletic Trainer
M.S., Syracuse University

Erin Sweeney Hutzelman
Assistant Professor
M.Ed., George Mason University

Jesse Jones
Assistant Professor
Ph.D., University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

James Mattern
Assistant Professor
M.S., Lock Haven University of Pennsylvania

Nick Trubee
Assistant Professor
Ph.D., University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY

Megan Williamson
Assistant Professor
Ph.D., Kent State University