What is your undergradute degree?

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twilaruth

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Hey, guys. This is my second post on this forum. I had a simple question for everyone....what are you earning your undergraduate degree in prior to PT school? I did a search on the subject before I asked, as I know it's a courtesy standard for this site, but I didn't quite find what I was looking for, so I figured I'd ask the question myself, outright. Like I said on my last post, I keep reading that Exercise Science, Psychology, Kinesiology, and Biology are very common, popular degree for pre-PT students, but I fear and have hesitations about some of those degrees, should PT school, for whatever reason, not work out for me. I keep hearing that there is not much work or money to be had with those degrees without taking them to the professional level. I'd like to have a useful undergraduate degree that can offer job security/opportunity and financial stability with out pursuing a graduate program if something happens along the way. Just wondering what everyone's Bachelor's of choice is pre-PT. Also, an additional question--let's say I choose a degree that doesn't offer a lot of core classes in the sciences that PT programs require for prerequisites (something like Language Translation or the sort), do you think it's possible to choose my elective classes in those sort of courses? Thanks, guys, and best of luck in your futures!
 

hughesn2

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I am not a pre-PT student but I was on this side of this forum looking around for a friend. I have about four friends who are pre-PT students and each of them are Kinesiology major students. At Michigan State most of the pre-PT students go down the Kinesiology degree, but the main issue is that many of these students apply to the out of state PT schools simply because their KIN program doesn't require any Biology, Physics, Chemistry, Psych, or Stats courses in the degree that most Michigan PT schools require. Some of my friends that are KIN majors are in the same situation that you stated "but I fear and have hesitations about some of those degrees, should PT school, for whatever reason, not work out for me. I keep hearing that there is not much work or money to be had with those degrees without taking them to the professional level" because they were 3.3 students in an easy major and haven't been competitive in the PT cycle for two years now (will be the 3rd cycle this fall). One of my friends stopped the pre-PT stuff when he found out how competitive it was after his first cycle of getting rejected. Now he is going for his passion of being a personal trainer for golf or hockey since he was an All-State golfer and hockey player in HS.

A career in exercise physiology is far from what an athletic trainer or Physical Therapist is. For example, I have a Human Physiology degree and despite attending just one of less than a dozen universities that offer that degree I can't find practically any real life lab experience with that degree despite having more lab credits than almost any other graduate from my area. I am a pre-podiatry student and my backup plan is getting a Masters in Biostatistics. Unfortunately, in today's new era a Bachelor's of Science (with exception to engineering degrees) are not going to find you a job without a master's or doctoral degree. Unless you go to a top 10 university a B.S. in Microbiology, Biochemistry, basic biology, Chemistry, Physics, Physiology, Kinesiology isn't going to get you that $70K job by the age of 35. After dozens of lab positions I applied to I finally got a job with a pharmaceutical company where I will make less than $35K a year and I don't plan on being there more than a year because I want to get my Masters Degree or go to podiatry school next fall. I haven't started my job yet, but during the interview they made it seem like there are only two other workers that I work with to make ALL the pharmaceutical drugs this stock traded company makes. The issue with careers in the science field that many of my business friends don't understand is that at a laboratory they will hire three people to a shift that do all the work that the company is known for, but you go to a company and look at their business aspect of it and there are four different accountants, five finance employees, and a half dozen HR workers. Most science jobs they tend to expect the lab workers to be able to work at a faster pace so then they don't have to hire anybody else, but for the business side of the game most of the time they are sitting in their cubicle dozing off. Unfortunately, there are more job openings in the business and administration aspect of companies than the science companies because the science/lab companies have more expenses due to equipment costs.

It is sad because I was taught in HS that a B.S. in a natural science degree was the most valuable degree, but that is far from accurate now. Engineering degrees are the ones that if you get a degree you can find a good paying job without any additional schooling. Assuming you are a freshman start looking at the PT programs right now and then look at the degrees offered at your school to see which ones require less pre-reqs to get to PT school. If your KIN program at your school is like my school's then you better be ready to take summer courses for at least two of your summers during undergrad.
 

davidtheusername

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My bachelors is in English, and my master's is in education. I've taught for most of a decade and am going back now. I've seen plenty of physical therapists who had degrees far from the traditional exercise science default. Pick something you like in a field that you would be happy to work in. It's completely possible to choose electives that meet the requirements for pt school in most any major, but you'll have to take heavier courseloads or go for a summer or two.
 

southernswimmer

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My major is animal and vet sciences. I know several people in PT school with bachelors in psychology, biology, food science, and bioengineering. Truth is, the only people I know who have jobs right out of undergrad are engineers, business majors, and those with bachelors in more unusual majors such as turfgrass and packaging science. Everyone else I know is planning on earning a PhD or going to med/vet/PA/PT/OT/etc school.

Long story short, pick a major you'll be happy with, even if it probably won't get you a job straight out of undergrad. Your grades will appreciate it. If you're really passionate about PT, pick a degree track you will enjoy and focus on getting those As in your prereqs and high grades in everything else. I know my major is unusual for PT school, but I love the classes I take and that, ultimately, has helped me to do well in school and be competitive for entrance into PT schools.

And to answer your last question, electives are any classes that you want to take, so you can definitely fit in your prereqs with those. (As an example, I'm taking a class in equine exercise physiology next semester. It doesn't count for anything, but it sounds awesome!)

Hope this helps and good luck!
 
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Watson27

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My major is animal and vet sciences. I know several people in PT school with bachelors in psychology, biology, food science, and bioengineering. Truth is, the only people I know who have jobs right out of undergrad are engineers, business majors, and those with bachelors in more unusual majors such as turfgrass and packaging science. Everyone else I know is planning on earning a PhD or going to med/vet/PA/PT/OT/etc school.

Long story short, pick a major you'll be happy with, even if it probably won't get you a job straight out of undergrad. Your grades will appreciate it. If you're really passionate about PT, pick a degree track you will enjoy and focus on getting those As in your prereqs and high grades in everything else. I know my major is unusual for PT school, but I love the classes I take and that, ultimately, has helped me to do well in school and be competitive for entrance into PT schools.

And to answer your last question, electives are any classes that you want to take, so you can definitely fit in your prereqs with those. (As an example, I'm taking a class in equine exercise physiology next semester. It doesn't count for anything, but it sounds awesome!)

Hope this helps and good luck!

I was an equine science/pre-vet major before I switched to exercise & movement! I'm sure the admissions committee looks at the first 3 years of my course work and wonders what the heck I was doing. Haha. What do you mean most pre-PT students don't take equine disease management and colt training?? That's not normal? :p

ETA: Although ZERO of my equine classes transferred and do not count as pre-reqs, they made my actual pre-reqs so much easier. I had already taken a year of farm animal A&P and equine exercise physiology before I took human-based courses, so it was pretty much all review!
 
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Dragon416

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My undergraduate degree was irrelevant to any science subject. It was in political science and I was accepted to law school and was about to attend until I did my internship and noticed I was in the wrong field. It was always law or PT for me and I did not want to argue and set at a desk all day. PT has been with me since a child and I have a lot of experience in the field so it only made sense to attain this field as a career of interest. Law was also amusing to me. However, the job outcomes are gloomy now a day since they are dishing out so many law students with minimal jobs.
 
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southernswimmer

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ETA: Although ZERO of my equine classes transferred and do not count as pre-reqs, they made my actual pre-reqs so much easier. I had already taken a year of farm animal A&P and equine exercise physiology before I took human-based courses, so it was pretty much all review!

I actually took both animal A&P and human A&P at the same time. It overlapped so much that I would usually just study for both tests at once! :laugh:
 

johnnyidaho

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BA in English. The degree doesn't matter much as far as getting accepted. Some may prepare you more for PT school like Kinesiology.
 

NewTestament

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Major in a subject that satisfies the pre-reqs for PT school. That's all that matters. I don't think majoring in exercise science, kinesiology, or biology will make you a better student in PT school. There's no evidence students who major in those subjects have a higher chance of acceptance than those who major in psychology, geography, business, etc.
 

tweaze

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I did double degrees in dance and anthropology. Not necessarily relevant to PT school, but I graduated in 2007, and my life from then has gone far differently than I expected, and ended up leading me to PT. Since I'm applying now, I don't know yet if my major choices will be a factor, but it's certainly not something I can control now.

If you know you want to go to PT school, I think it's smart to pick something that will allow you to finish your prerequisites and that you will enjoy besides. If I could go back, that is one thing I would change about my undergrad, though it is easy to say that now.
 

twsurfsnow

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Undergrad degree: Biology
Masters degree : Public Health

As long as you have your pre reqs I believe that any degree will suffice.


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CAphanatic

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I had the same hesitations as I was beginning school. I know that DPT is where I want to go, but I wanted a degree I could fall back on if it didn't work out. So Im majoring in Business with an emphasis in Health Care Administration, and either a double major or possibly a minor in Social Work/Human Services. If PT falls through, I can still obtain advanced degrees in either of the fields and not get that "what the heck do I do with my Kinesiology degree now" feeling, that I thought I may experience. And if DPT is in my cards, then I would assume that Business/Health Care Admin is something that may end up being relevant as a practicing DPT in the future. Even though the pre-reqs don't really match up with the degree choices, you can still take them as they fit in your schedule, and not have to spend too much time past graduation to complete them.
 

DPTwannab3

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Mines in Spanish, minor in Psych. I've had a very hard time getting the pre-req A&Ps but I have managed to get the A&P I at a CC. The major doesn't have a lot of significance. Study what you love and your GPA will show it. That's what matters. I heard the top student at one of the DPT programs had her undergrad in Business.
 

dancing_DPT

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My Bachelors degree was a BFA in Dance Performance. That degree had ZERO of the PT prerequisites in the class requirements (beyond the core curricula), and a very rigid schedule, so no time to even branch out and try some hard science classes. That being said, I was very passionate about ballet, and had a short professional career after graduation. I'm glad I've had the experience of going back to school after being in the "real world" as a dancer and as a non-dancer. I appreciated school even more, and got a lot more out of it than when I was dancing.

I've had a lot of my college cohorts go back to school for PT and OT, and I've heard from plenty of DPT advisors that they love to bring in students with dance backgrounds because of their work ethic and new perspective of the body. So, bottom line, do what you love FIRST. Don't try to check off boxes for a profession you may or may not hold in the future. Following a passion can provide way more tools and life experiences necessary for being a good, competitive applicant in the long run...even if it seems counterintuitive on paper.
 
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