Program Overview:

Prephysical Therapy Certificate Program

The prephysical therapy concentration admits post-baccalaureate students into courses required for application to physical therapy graduate (DPT) programs. Students can complete the program in 15 or 21 months. While this program meets minimal requirements for application to most physical therapy schools in Illinois, students are strongly advised to confirm the admission requirements of the schools in which they are interested before enrolling to ensure that the SPS program fulfills their needs. This program is designed for career changers who do not have an extensive background in science. Students who need only some of these courses may apply to the Advanced Studies in Biology for the Health Professions certificate program or create a specialized certificate.


Required Courses

  • BIOL SCI 170 Concepts of Biology
  • BIOL SCI 217 Physiology
  • BIOL SCI 313 Human Anatomy
  • BIOL SCI 316 Human Structure and Function
  • BIOL SCI 317 Regional Human Anatomy Lab
  • BIOL SCI 318 Advanced Human Physiology*
  • CHEM 110 Quantitative Problem Solving in Chemistry
  • CHEM 131 General Chemistry 1 (with lab, CHEM 141)
  • CHEM 132 General Chemistry 2 (with lab, CHEM 142)
  • PHYSICS 130-A,-B,-C College Physics I, II, III (with lab, PHYSICS 131-A,B,C)
  • STAT 202 Introduction to Statistics

*Formerly BIOLSCI 335-B: Human Physiology II. Students in the pre-PT track who have previously completed BIOLSCI 335-B do not need to take 318.

Optional Coursework

  • PRO HLTH 396-A Professional Health Careers Proseminar I*
  • PRO HLTH 396-B Professional Health Careers Proseminar II*

*These non-credit seminar courses are optional, but highly recommended, for prephysical therapy students and are offered free of charge to students in the Professional Health Careers program. For more information, please see the course listing page

In addition to the program requirements, prephysical therapy students have the option to take any of the courses offered at SPS as electives. Elective courses are NOT eligible for financial aid, based upon federal financial aid requirements.

Transfer Credit Policy for Prephysical Therapy

Students in the Prephysical Therapy certificate program may transfer up to six semester hours, or nine quarter hours of academic credit. A transcript and grade of B or better are required for transferred courses in the program. Courses audited or taken with the pass/ no credit option cannot be applied toward a certificate program. Courses earned for a bachelor's degree at SPS may not be applied retroactively toward certificate requirements. Required courses that have been completed in the past two years by students-at-large may be applied toward the completion of a certificate, subject to the approval of the admissions committee, and provided admission requirements for the program are met.  All transfer credit must be approved before a student begins his or her course work at SPS.

Additional Information

Prephysical Therapy students have different admission requirements and application processes than other post-baccalaureate students. Visit the Acceptance Criteria page for details on admission requirements for this program, and for SPS Office of Admissions contact information.