When you're preparing for a career as a physical therapist, you'll need to learn what the requirements are for your particular program, and see if you have already completed any prerequisites at some point in your educational career. Physical therapy education requirements typically do not vary much from school to school, and you will need to complete a series of both classroom courses and clinical hours in order to obtain your degree. If you are working towards becoming a licensed physical therapist, you will need to complete the requirements for a master's degree or doctorate degree program. Undergraduate courses in this field can prepare your for a master's degree, but will not prepare you to take the national examination for licensure.

Getting a Physical Therapist Education

Most colleges and universities that offer physical therapist education programs offer comprehensive master's degree programs that are either direct-entry or transitional degrees. Direct entry master's degree programs are designed for students who have recently completed an undergraduate program at the same school and are looking to further their education. Transitional master's degree programs are designed for those who want to advance in their careers and are already working as a physical therapy aide, or in a related field.

The physical therapist education requirements typically include advanced courses in the field of math, science and physiology, and a hands-on or clinical component where students must log in a certain number of hours working in a clinic or other approved medical facility. When fulfilling the clinical component, students typically work under the supervision of a licensed physical therapist.

Physical Therapy Prerequisites

Physical therapy prerequisites and requirements vary only slightly from school to school. If you have already completed a bachelor's degree in physical therapy, it's likely that you will have fulfilled many of the requirements for a master's degree in the field. In many cases, physical therapy prerequisites include advanced courses in: chemistry, biology, physics, statistics, English and psychology. You may also be required to take basic courses in professional writing and humanities.

Requirements of a Physical Therapist Education

Physical therapy education requirements do vary from state to state, and from school to school, so you will need to take some time to learn what the curriculum looks like for your particular school's program. In most cases, you will need to have completed at least two years of general education courses at the college level, and have taken courses or electives in the health and science fields. If you have a bachelor's degree in physical therapy, it's likely that you have already completed the main prerequisites and are well-prepared to apply for the physical therapy master's degree program at your school of choice. Master's degree requirements have an emphasis on practical training and physical therapy theory, so you will be spending a good portion of your time working with patients, following instructor demonstrations and learning in a hands-on environment.

After you have completed your master's or doctorate degree in physical therapy, you are eligible to sit for the national and state licensing exams. If you want to maintain your physical therapy license, you will need to take continuing education classes throughout your career.