Undergraduate Majors for a Physical Therapy Career

Thinking about becoming a physical therapist? Although you need a Doctoral of Physical Therapy (DPT), your education needs to start somewhere. This is a competitive field and growing, so a good undergraduate degree can help you get into top schools and give you a foundation needed for success. Here are just undergraduate majors for a physical therapy career.

High school student playing soccer as an extracurricular activity

Pre-Physical Therapy

Pre-physical therapy, or pre-PT, is, of course, a great option if you’re considering a future in physical therapy. Students opting for a degree in this major may be required to take courses in general health, occupational therapy, science, psychology, physiology, labs, and more. However, not all schools offer this major, so research is needed to find the right college for you if this is the degree you want to pursue.


Kinesiology is a popular major for those who go on to get a Doctoral of Physical Therapy. Students in this major will learn about how the body moves, human anatomy, injury prevention, treatment options, and other similar areas. Kinesiology degrees usually also require courses in nutrition, dietetics, strength training, motor development, psychology, exercise science, biology, and chemistry.

Exercise Science

Exercise science is another amazing major that could help you in your future physical therapy education. This is one of the most commonly chosen by future physical therapists. Like kinesiology, it also looks into movement and has similar courses in exercise, sports nutrition, motor development, physical education, and more.


The fourth option that can set you up for success in this career path is biology. Heavy in science, students may be required to take courses in general biology, biochemistry, genetics, zoology, microbiology, chemistry, math, and more.

And Other Majors for a Physical Therapy Career

Did you know you don’t need to major in something physical therapy-related in order to go to physical therapy school? While the above majors will give you the groundwork needed to stand out, they aren’t mandatory. In fact, you can major in business, marketing, engineering, or something else.

If you’re set on a health related major though, consider these others:

Undergraduate Majors for a Physical Therapy Career

A physical therapy career can be extremely rewarding. It can also open the doors to quite a few industries, including the world of professional sports. If you decide later that physical therapy is for you, don’t fret if you didn’t pursue a health-related field. Although these majors do help you get into the Doctoral of Physical Therapy schools, they often accept a wide variety of backgrounds.