The University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire offers a rigorous curriculum and experiential learning opportunities that will prepare you well for a career in physical therapy.
Physical therapy is an allied health profession that focuses on the prevention and rehabilitation of various musculoskeletal injuries or problems. The ultimate goal of physical therapists is to facilitate the return of patients to pre-injury levels of functioning. Physical therapists are an integral part of any comprehensive health care team and frequently work with other healthcare providers, such as physicians, occupational therapists, athletic trainers, nurses, dentists, psychologists, social workers, podiatrists, and speech pathologists and audiologists.
Pre-physical therapy is not a major at UW-Eau Claire, but rather a declaration of your intention to continue your education and enroll in a physical therapy graduate program. No specific undergraduate major is required for a career in physical therapy, but graduate schools do favor certain courses, skills and experiences. For example, health professional schools often require a number of science courses and expect strong communication skills and significant health-related and service experiences. Many programs also require observational or actual work experience in physical therapy prior to admission.
Our exceptional faculty and career advisors are aware of these requirements and ensure you gain the knowledge and experiences necessary for acceptance into graduate school. Whether your goal is to work in a hospital, rehabilitation center, nursing home, sports facility, community health center, pediatric center, or university, you'll graduate ready to begin the next step of your academic journey.
The UW-Eau Claire Foundation provides many scholarships for incoming and current Blugolds, including those interested in pre-physical therapy. Learn more about which scholarships and resources are available to you by checking out our scholarships page.
Financial aid at UW-Eau Claire
Working to make your college education affordable is very important to us. We are here to walk you through the financial aid process and make applying for aid and paying your bill as easy as possible.
To get this process started, please contact our staff at Blugold Central — our one-stop-shop for tuition and financial aid. They will help you learn how to pay for your education and minimize debt, freeing you up to focus on your academics.
Learn more about our financial aid process at UWEC.
Relevant student organizations. On-campus student organizations — like the Pre-Physical & Occupational Therapy Club — connect students like you who are also interested in becoming physical therapists. These extracurriculars are an excellent way to volunteer, job shadow and learn about potential graduate schools and employers.
Valuable partnerships. UW-Eau Claire students benefit from several major medical facilities in the region that offer not only state-of-the-art quality healthcare but also opportunities for volunteering, clinical observations and internships. UW-Eau Claire specifically has strong ties to Mayo Clinic Health System, Marshfield Clinic Health System and Sacred Heart Hospital, as well as smaller healthcare facilities like the Chippewa Valley Free Clinic.
Innovative facilities. UW-Eau Claire is one of only a few schools of its size with a career center dedicated to supporting pre-physical therapy students. The William J. and Marian A. Klish Health Careers Center offers one-on-one advising, opportunities to meet with professional school admissions representatives, connections to health-related clinical research and volunteer opportunities, and workshops designed to build effective tools for career development and competitive applications.
Admission requirements and prerequisites may differ depending on what graduate school you are considering, so it is important to check for specific requirements. In general, students interested in a career in physical therapy will focus on these topics during their undergraduate career:
- Human Anatomy
Learn more about pre-physical therapy in the UWEC course catalog.
A few majors that would best support a career path in physical therapy include: