This is the preliminary (or launch) version of the 2024-2025 VCU Bulletin. Courses that expose students to cutting-edge content and transformative learning may be added and notification of additional program approvals may be received prior to finalization. General education program content is also subject to change. The final edition and full PDF version will include these updates and will be available in August prior to the beginning of the fall semester.

Important general information

Students interested in the pre-physical therapy career advising track must obtain a bachelor’s degree and complete the necessary prerequisites for the Doctor of Physical Therapy program. Students interested in physical therapy should consult with a pre-professional health career adviser to learn about requirements that are specific to the program and/or school to which they hope to apply.

Declaration of the pre-physical therapy career advising track through VCU Career Services - Pre-Professional Health Career Advising does not constitute admission to the VCU D.P.T. program in the College of Health Professions. Students must apply separately to the physical therapy program/school of their choice at the appropriate time.

Students with an interest in preparing for the physical therapy doctoral program must declare an academic major and should declare and maintain their pre-physical therapy career advising track. Students do not earn a pre-physical therapy degree. Those unsure of their academic major initially should clarify their academic interests through regular conversations with their academic adviser and pre-professional health career advisers. Students in the pre-physical therapy career advising track are encouraged to major in fields of greatest interest to them. To declare a pre-physical therapy advising track, see the Pre-Professional Health Hub in Canvas.

Prerequisites for the VCU physical therapy doctoral program

Students intending to pursue the Doctor of Physical Therapy program must complete a bachelor’s degree before entering. It is recommended that applicants select a challenging course load of science and math courses each semester to ensure adequate preparation for the academic rigor of the physical therapy program.

Students need to complete their bachelor’s degrees, the required science prerequisite courses and the Graduate Record Exam before becoming eligible to start the physical therapy program in the College of Health Professions at VCU.

Science and non-science courses required for the VCU physical therapy doctoral program

Students must complete 12 semester hours in the biological sciences, including anatomy and physiology, as well as eight hours of chemistry and eight hours of physics.

Precalculus mathematics, statistics, introduction to psychology and one upper-level psychology (abnormal or developmental is preferred) are non-science prerequisites.

VCU students are strongly encouraged to take cell biology as well as other upper-level biology courses. Admission to the D.P.T. program is highly competitive. Taking upper-level biology and/or engineering courses will enhance a student’s application and make them more competitive.

Additional information for the VCU physical therapy doctoral program

The following prerequisite courses must be completed prior to admission for students entering in the fall semester. If VCU has awarded college credits for Advanced Placement or International Baccalaureate exams and they are listed on the student’s transcript, those credits will be accepted.

Prerequisites for the VCU physical therapy doctoral program

Course Title Hours
VCU courses
BIOL 151
BIOZ 151
Introduction to Biological Sciences I
and Introduction to Biological Science Laboratory I
BIOL 205Basic Human Anatomy (includes lab)4
CHEM 101
CHEZ 101
General Chemistry I
and General Chemistry Laboratory I
CHEM 102
CHEZ 102
General Chemistry II
and General Chemistry Laboratory II
MATH 151Precalculus Mathematics4
PHIS 206
PHIZ 206
Human Physiology
and Human Physiology Laboratory
PHYS 201General Physics I 14-5
or PHYS 207 University Physics I
PHYS 202General Physics II 24-5
or PHYS 208 University Physics II
PSYC 101 Play VideoPlay course video for Introduction to PsychologyIntroduction to Psychology4
PSYC 304Life Span Developmental Psychology3
or PSYC 407 Psychology of the Abnormal
STAT 210Basic Practice of Statistics3
Note: BIOL 200 and BIOL 308 are recommended courses in addition to the prerequisites above.
Total Hours42-44

MATH 200 is a prerequisite for PHYS 207.


MATH 201 is a prerequisite for PHYS 208.

Additional recommended prerequisites for physical therapy programs nationwide

Physical therapy schools across the U.S. have different prerequisites for admission. The list below shows courses required by various schools beyond the courses listed above for the VCU physical therapy doctoral program. Students should discuss career plans with their pre-professional health adviser for additional guidance.

Course Title Hours
BIOL 152
BIOZ 152
Introduction to Biological Sciences II
and Introduction to Biological Science Laboratory II
HPEX 250Medical Terminology1
HPEX 375
HPEZ 375
Physiology of Exercise
and Physiology of Exercise Laboratory 1
UNIV 191Student Success Special Topics1-3

Prerequisite: PHIS 206; corequisite: HPEZ 375

Students should also consult with their academic adviser and pre-professional health career advisers to discuss an individual plan of study in parallel with their academic majors.