Oct 15, 2010
51
0
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Pre-Rehab Sci [General]
My school offers two different kinds of physics, a "college" physics, and a "university" physics. The university physics is based off of calculus and is definitely more difficult, while the other uses algebra and can be said is easier. I have only taken up to pre-calc and I struggle a lot with math, so I was planning on taking the college physics and it's progression. Is this going to look bad on application, or is physics just physics?
 
May 8, 2010
128
0
Berkeley, CA
Status
Rehab Sci Student
Well, for most PT schools, you want to take physics for life-science majors. So figure out which physics is typically taken by IB/Bio/Health/Nutrition/Kinesio/etc majors, and that's the one you want to take.
 
Jul 28, 2010
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I haven't seen a PT school that requires calculus based physics yet, although there are probably a few of them out there. Algebra based physics is what is generally required and certainly will not look bad/have a negative effect on your application.

At my school, the calculus based physics was more for physics and engineering majors while bio and kines majors took the algebra based physics - both were in the physics department

If you want to check your schools just go to each school's page on PTCAS and look at the physics prereq description
 
Apr 5, 2010
18
0
SC
Status
Rehab Sci Student
Cmichstudent, I've looked at around 12 schools I haven't seen a PT school that requires anything but the pre cal based physics class. I agree with psu17 though, to be safe you should check all the programs you are interested in and make sure they don't require the calc based physics.
 

markelmarcel

7+ Year Member
Dec 17, 2009
1,109
79
Status
DPT / OTD
I echo in agreement

-- Check the programs requirements for those you are interested in
-- Check and see what the other pre-professional students take

At the university I went to there was Trig-based physics for science/pre-professional students and then there was calc-based physics for physics/pre-engineering students.
 
OP
C
Oct 15, 2010
51
0
Status
Pre-Rehab Sci [General]
Thanks guys, that's what I wanted to hear! I register in a couple days and just needed another opinion
 
Oct 5, 2010
324
1
Status
Pre-Rehab Sci [General]
Even med schools do not require calc-based physics. I'm currently taking prereqs at the Harvard Extension School - they have an informal pre-med post-bac program (the "Health Careers Program") which meets the needs of people applying to med school. (I'm only taking a few of the courses.) Their physics courses are not calc-based and are intended for those studying life sciences. They leave out certain things you might have in other physics classes, but cover some other things that wouldn't normally be covered in a first-year physics course. It seems to me that if they have determined this is acceptable for med schools, it should be acceptable for PT schools.
 
OP
C
Oct 15, 2010
51
0
Status
Pre-Rehab Sci [General]
Is this true of chemistry also then? My school offers the same type of classes for chem as physics, the "college" and "university" classes.
 

jbizzle

10+ Year Member
5+ Year Member
Dec 19, 2008
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Pre-Rehab Sci [General]
I took chemistry for majors, as I knew that this is what the programs I was applying to required. If I remember correctly looking through all the pre-reqs for all the schools I was researching at the time say that some schools ask for chemistry that is taught by the chemistry department (which doesn't help you much) and some schools say they want chemistry for majors (here where Im from there is a chemistry class that RNs need to take and in laymans terms called "baby" chem just like "baby" bio, etc., and not the chemistry that PT/Med/Pharm students take)
 
Oct 5, 2010
324
1
Status
Pre-Rehab Sci [General]
As far as I know, the only subject in which it's okay to take a "non-majors" course is physics. And even then, it needs to be a serious course, just not calc-based. (Some schools, I know, have classes specifically called "physics for non-majors" but it's all fluff, just helping people to understand generally how the world works, without the problem sets, etc.. That is not the same as the non-calc-based physics classes we're talking about.)

In most cases, all of the prereqs need to be of the type med schools would accept... which in chemistry and bio need to be the same courses the majors would take. (I suspect the reason a physics for non-majors course is okay is that physics for majors requires some serious math background, and yet even most med schools don't require calculus as a prereq, so it would be odd for them to expect people to take a physics course which requires that background... it would in essence be requiring calculus. Major courses in other science subjects do not require knowledge of calculus.)

Good thing the non-calc physics classes are okay! I took AP Calc in high school and then two calc classes in college, but I sooooo do not remember any of it over ten years later. A requirement to take a calc-based physics course would put meeting that prerequisite totally out of reach for me, and for a lot of people, even those who did take calc.
 

goyo1010

5+ Year Member
Oct 13, 2010
595
20
Houston
www.linkedin.com
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Physical Therapist
You don't need calculus based physics for PT school. Just the physics for health professions, which is the algebra/precal based physics for science majors.
 

Lil Mick

5+ Year Member
Apr 23, 2009
927
33
The South
Status
MD/PhD Student
Personally, I would not understand physics or the methodology employed to derive the formulas without having a calculus-based course. That being said, if you can understand the material in a non-calculus-based course, that is probably fine for most schools.
 

NewTestament

7+ Year Member
Nov 4, 2010
1,323
416
Itinerant
Status
DPT / OTD
I'm currently taking calculus-based physics right now and it's killer. Don't take it. I wanted to register for college or general physics but the lab was closed. This is why PT schools only require trig or algebra-based physics and not calculus physics, because that class is for engineering and mathematics majors. I now plan to take college physics next semester. It has a lab but no calculus or recitation.

Avoid calc-based physics. It's a waste of your time.

Kevin