Baldwin Wallace University Programs

BW's program prepares you for graduate studies in physical or occupational therapy, chiropractics, podiatry or nursing.

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, chiropractics, podiatry or nursing.

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
  • Physician assistant
  • Occupational therapy
  • Nursing
  • Chiropractics
  • Podiatry
Projected job increase of 34 percent through 2024

In-Demand Career Field

According to the 2016 Occupational Outlook Handbook, employment of physical therapists is expected to increase 34 percent from 2014 to 2024, 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 prerequisites required of professional allied health programs.

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

The pre-physical therapy major prepares students to:

  • Demonstrate mastery of principles of human anatomy and physiology as related to exercise, training and general health/wellness, including responses to injury
  • Demonstrate mastery of skills related to assessment of health, fitness, human movement, and performance
  • Analyze and interpret current scientific literature and evidence to create effective professional presentation of content
  • Demonstrate mastery of skills related to assessment and application of therapeutic modalities used in the care and treatment of physically active clients
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).


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.

Kara CarpenterKara Carpenter ’17 is Doctor of Physical Therapy candidate at The Ohio State University, where her BW athletic training studies have proven useful. As a member of the health and wellness team for the Concord Blue Devils, she has been able to apply her training to a performing arts setting. Kara is from Marietta, Ohio. 

Summer GaglioneSummer Gaglione '15 is Doctor of Physical Therapy candidate at Cleveland State University. Diverse educational opportunities and hands-on technical training at BW were key contributors to her success in graduate school. BW helped her gain an appreciation for patient care and helping others. She is from Cleveland.

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 orthopedic physician assistant at ProMedica in Perrysburg, Ohio. He earned Master of Science in physician assistant studies from Philadelphia University. A faculty mentor encouraged him to double major in athletic training and pre-physical therapy, a decision that led to his acceptance into graduate school.

Jordan RosenbergerJordan Rosenberger ’14 is physical therapist at Synergy Physical Therapy and Wellness in Berea, Ohio. Classroom and clinical experiences honed her problem-solving skills and provided opportunities to apply concepts in real-life settings. She earned a Doctor of Physical Therapy from Cleveland State University. 

Brian Fox headshotBrian Fox '11 is head football coach at Elyria Catholic Highschool in Ohio. As an undergraduate at BW, he served as assistant coach of the Yellow Jackets for two years. He was recently named Division V Coach of the Year. Brian is from Huron, Ohio. 

Eric LehmanEric Lehman ’11 is owner and physical therapist at Lehman Physical Therapy 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 combination that gave the Akron, Ohio, native a competitive edge in graduate school.

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



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
Associate Professor
Ph.D., University of Minnesota

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

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

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

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

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

Wendy Hyde
Assistant Professor
M.Ed., Springfield College

Jesse Jones
Coordinator, Hospitality and Tourism Management Program
Assistant Professor
Ph.D., University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

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

Dale Sheptak
Associate Professor
D.S.Sc., University of Leicester

Elizabeth Walters
Assistant Professor
M.S., Springfield College