About the Pre-Physical Therapy Program

Physical therapists specialize in diagnosing, treating and preventing musculoskeletal and neuromuscular disorders that can impair physical function. By enhancing strength, endurance, coordination, flexibility, joint range of motion and providing training for mobility and independence in the home and throughout the community, physical therapists can improve the quality of life for many people. Most schools offer a master’s degree, but there are a few doctoral programs. Due to the wide applicability of this profession, job opportunities from students who graduate from PT school include work in hospitals, nursing homes, outpatient clinics and corporations. The Exercise Physiology major was designed for students planning to pursue a career in physical therapy.

Required Courses:

BIOL 172: Exploring Molecular Biology
3 credit hours

Recommended prerequisite or co-requisite: CHEM 115 or CHEM 238
This course examines the structure and function of nucleic acids and proteins. The molecular mechanisms of replication, transcription, mRNA processing and translation will be emphasized. In addition, regulation of these processes will be explored. Lecture and laboratory. Intended for students majoring in biology or related disciplines.

BIOL 181: Mechanisms of Genetic Inheritance
3 credit hours

Prerequisite:  BIOL 172
This course will apply the knowledge acquired in BIOL 172 to the inheritance patterns of genetic traits between individuals and within populations. Lecture and laboratory.

BIOL 182: Evolution
2 credit hours

Prerequisite: BIOL 181. 
An introduction to the principles of evolutionary biology, including the history, processes and patterns of evolution as well as systematic biology.

BIOL 205: Human Anatomy
4 credit hours

An introduction to the gross and microscopic anatomy of the human body. Mammalian examples of major systems are studied in the laboratory. Lecture and laboratory.

BIOL 206: Human Physiology
4 credit hours

This course examines the organization and function of the human body as a whole and the interrelations of its various systems, organs, tissues, and cells. Lecture and laboratory.

BIOL 302: Human Nutrition
3 credit hours

Prerequisite:  BIOL 110 or BIOL 172
A study of food as it functions to meet body needs with emphasis on utilization, food sources, selection of adequate diets, individual, community, and world health problems and diet therapy.

BIOL 351: Junior Seminar I
1 credit hours

Prerequisite:  BIOL 181. 
This course provides biology majors with information on pre? and post?graduate opportunities, prepares them for graduate studies related to biology by developing a resume and statement of purpose, and gives them experience speaking publicly on biological topics using appropriate technology. S/U grading.

CHEM 208: Analytical Chemistry
3 credit hours

Prerequisite: CHEM 238.
A lecture course that covers analytical methods of chemical analysis. Topics include statistical analysis, quantitative chemical analysis, chemical equilibria, eletroanalytical techniques and fundamentals of spectroscopy.

CHEM 208-L: Analytical Chemistry Laboratory
1 credit hours

Prerequisite: CHEM 238-L
A laboratory course designed to give students experiences with analytical methods of chemical analysis. Topics include data analysis, chemical equilibria (acid-base and complexation), redox titrations and spectroscopy.

CHEM 238: Inorganic Chemistry
3 credit hours

A fundamental course in the study of inorganic chemistry. Topics include atomic structure, chemical bonding, molecular structure, nomenclature of inorganic compounds, fundamentals of inorganic complexes and an introduction to the chemistry of main group elements.

CHEM 238-L: Inorganic Chemistry Laboratory
1 credit hours

A fundamental laboratory course in the study of inorganic chemistry. Topics include the preparation of inorganic complexes, resolution of chiral transition metal compounds, ion conductivity and a preparation of a main group inorganic compound.

BIOL 303: Kinesiology
3 credit hours

Prerequisite: BIOL 205. 
A study of the human machine and its processes of motor functioning.

BIOL 331: Motor Learning
3 credit hours

A study of the motor learning process as applied to motor acquisition. Including a review of the interrelationship of physical development and motor learning. Preparation of plan for motor skill development for all populations.

BIOL 350: Exercise Physiology
3 credit hours

Prerequisite: BIOL 110 or BIOL 172BIOL 206. 
Physiological effects on the human organism under different intensities, durations and environments.

EXSP 397, 497: Internship
Varies credit hours

Interns must have at least 60 credit hours, completed appropriate coursework and have a minimum GPA of 2.5 prior to registering for academic credit. Also, approval must be obtained from the student's faculty sponsor and required forms must be completed by the deadline. Note: *Architecture, Music Therapy and Education majors do not register internships through Career Planning & Development. These students need to speak with his/her advisor regarding credit requirements and options.

MATH 227: Introduction to Statistics
3 credit hours

Prerequisite:  One year of high school algebra. 
A course to acquaint the student with the basic ideas and language of statistics including such topics such as descriptive statistics, correlation and regression, basic experimental design, elementary probability, binomial and normal distributions, estimation and test of hypotheses, and analysis of variance.

MATH 231: Calculus I
4 credit hours

Prerequisite:  Two years of high school algebra and one semester of high school trigonometry. 
A study of the fundamental principles of analytic geometry and calculus with an emphasis on differentiation.

PHYS 211: General Physics I
5 credit hours

Co-requisite:  MATH 231. 
The principles of Newtonian mechanics including motion, energy, and force. Calculus with extensive use of vector analysis. Intended for science majors. The modeling-centered, inquiry-based workshop format integrated laboratory and lecture emphasizes experiment, data collection and analysis, problem solving, and cooperative learning in both small and large groups. Three two-hour sessions per week. Offered fall semester.

PHYS 212: General Physics II
5 credit hours

Prerequisite:  PHYS 211. 
Continuation of Newtonian mechanics, including working, 2-d motion, impulse-momentum, and circular motion. Also electrical and magnetic properties of matter, fields and forces, and DC circuits. Calculus with extensive use of vector analysis. Intended for science majors. The modeling-centered, inquiry-based workshop format integrated laboratory and lecture emphasizes experiment, data collection and analysis, problem solving, and cooperative learning in both small and large groups. Three two-hour sessions per week. Offered spring semester.

One option selected from the following two choices:

EXSP 330: Prevention and Care of Athletic Injuries
3 credit hours

Prerequisite:  BIOL 205. 
A course for the coach and trainer in conditioning, taping and use of therapy in prevention and recovery from athletic injuries.

EXSP 351: Exercise Prescription/Cardiac Rehabilitation
3 credit hours

Prerequisite:  EXSP 350. 
General principle of exercise prescription for healthy and diseased individuals. Particular emphasis will be on the interaction and analysis of patient demographics including risk factor assessment, medical history and graded exercise evaluation (EKG, stress test date) to develop a safe effective exercise program.


Physical Therapy

Undergraduate students interested in the physical therapy field often major in biology, chemistry, or both. Physical therapy is a program and is not considered a major. A Bachelor’s degree is required prior to matriculation into physical therapy school.

Physical therapists specialize in diagnosing, treating and preventing musculoskeletal and neuromuscular disorders that can impair physical function. By enhancing strength, endurance, coordination, flexibility, joint range of motion, and providing training for mobility and independence in the home and throughout the community, physical therapists can improve the quality of life for many people. Most schools offer a master's degree, but there are a few doctoral programs as well. Due to the wide applicability of this profession, job opportunities for students who graduate from PT schools include positions in hospitals, nursing homes, outpatient clinics, and corporations. 

GRE

The Graduate Record Examination (GRE) is a standardized test designed to assess academic ability and understanding of general scientific concepts. The test is broken down into three sections: Verbal Reasoning, Quantitative Reasoning, and Analytical Writing. The GRE is administered throughout the year, and it provides professional schools with a quick way to compare students from schools all around the world.

Internships and Clinical Experience

Drury also strongly recommends that students spend time in a clinical setting. The experience that the student gains will not not only give them a better understanding of the physical therapy profession, but these experiences let physical therapy schools know that an applicant has firsthand knowledge of the profession. A Drury University student has the advantage of contacts with the local alumni, who can provide some students with both shadowing opportunities and, in some cases, internships. Other internships can be arranged through the Office of Career Planning and Development.