Pre-Physical Therapy

Bachelor of Science in Natural Sciences, Pre-Physical Therapy Emphasis

Pre-Physical Therapy: Preparing for a Career Helping Others

In fitness and clinical settings, patients require assistance with their disabilities or when recovering from injuries or intensive surgeries. With a heart to support people, you’ll find a fulfilling career as a physical therapist.

Physical therapy presents a tremendous opportunity to make a difference in people’s health and wellness by helping them heal, prevent future injuries, alleviate pain, and increase their mobility to function normally. Get the practical tools you need to begin aiding patients to overcome physical difficulties—while also being a light for Christ.

PCC’s pre-physical therapy emphasis provides a strong foundation in health science and an understanding of the human body. Course material and at least two internships will provide the needed preparation for competitive physical therapy graduate school entrance requirements. You’ll be poised for success as you advance your degree and begin a rewarding career.


Faith-Based Pre-Physical Therapy

Through a lens that appreciates God’s creation of man, PCC’s pre-physical therapy emphasis combines liberal arts and Bible classes. You’ll establish a system of ethics and communication skills and be a witness through physical therapy school and your career.

girl in classroom

Pre-Physical Therapy Emphasis Learning Outcomes

As a pre-physical therapy graduate, you will be able to

  • demonstrate your understanding of key concepts necessary to solve problems in science and mathematics or explain life processes,
  • apply standard scientific conventions to present logical conclusions based on novel research data and the research of others,
  • critique creationist and evolutionary interpretations of scientific data by applying scientific principles from the perspective of a supernatural creation of all things in six literal days approximately 6,000 years ago by the God of the Bible,
  • articulate ethical standards based on a biblical foundation, and
  • demonstrate proficiency in entrance requirements for physical therapy school.

Program Highlights

Anatomy and Physiology

Build upon a cell biology foundation in Anatomy and Physiology (BY 311–312). You’ll gain an understanding of the human skeletal, muscular, circulatory, respiratory, and nervous systems and the pathology of each system. Use digital imaging software to dissect organs and body parts. You’ll be equipped with a wealth of knowledge that will benefit you at the next level.

Physical Therapy Observation Internship

Get real-life experience when you take the Physical Therapy Observation Internship (SC 351–352). You’ll spend a minimum of 80 hours observing a licensed physical therapist and take what you learn into your future career.

Your Pre-Physical Therapy Future

What can you do with a pre-physical therapy emphasis?

The solid training and a strong biblical foundation gained while studying the pre-physical therapy emphasis will equip you to excel both in graduate school and in a physical therapy career. You’ll establish the expertise to eventually begin helping patients overcome physical difficulties. As you make a difference in people’s lives, you’ll shine as a light for Christ.

PCC has partnered with Southwest Baptist and Cedarville universities for qualifying students to interview for advanced programs.

Here are a few of the countless career opportunities available to you.

  • Athletic Trainer
  • Exercise Physiologist
  • Occupational Therapist
  • Physical Therapist
  • Physical Therapist Assistant

Here are a few of the grad schools our pre-physical therapy alumni have attended.

  • Belmont University
  • Cedarville University
  • Central Washington University
  • Florida Gulf Coast University
  • Indiana Wesleyan University
  • Liberty University
  • Marywood University
  • Palmer College of Chiropractic
  • Saba University School of Medicine
  • Southwest Baptist University
  • University of South Florida

Here are a few of the many places that our pre-physical therapy alumni have worked.

  • Aurora Health Care
  • Fit Zone for Women
  • Phoebe Putney Health Services
  • Physical Therapy and Sports Center
  • Providence Portland Medical Center
  • Rehab Care, Vi at Bentley Village
  • Reliant Rehabilitation
  • ReNew: Concierge Physical Therapy
  • Sacred Heart Hospital
  • St. Joseph’s Medical Center
  • St. Peter’s Hospital

Faculty Highlight

Dr. Elijah Spencer

Dr. Elijah Spencer

B.S., Pensacola Christian College
M.D., Autonomous University of Guadalajara, Mexico


“My goal is to help my students become the best future clinicians that they can be. I teach courses that integrate the principles of scientific investigation, critical thinking, and clinical application. Students learn to perform research in exercise science and to clinically apply the foundational principles which they have been learning throughout their entire major.

Students have the opportunity to receive personalized instruction in small classes at the upper levels of their major, better preparing them for their specific career goals. Our pre-physical therapy program provides the broad background that students need to pursue graduate degrees in physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy, chiropractic, physician assistant school, optometry, and other allied health careers.”

Meet more faculty

Alumni Spotlight

Dr. Ian Berry
Dr. Ian Berry ’17

ReNew: Concierge Physical Therapy


“Improving someone’s quality of life and getting them back to their pain-free life is what I enjoy most about being a physical therapist (PT). My history of injuries and surgeries led me to pursue PT as a career path. I wanted to help others just as I was helped, and every step of the way, I knew God was guiding me. My PT in high school took the time to sit down with me and talk about what being a PT entails.

PCC’s PT program prepared me well for my work—mainly for graduate school. The prerequisites I took built a strong foundation for my graduate courses. PCC also taught me to view everything through a Christian worldview, which is even more important to me now as a PT. It made me realize that I’m not only treating people or bodies but treating a person with a soul.”

Meet more alumni

About the Pre-Physical Therapy Emphasis

The purpose of the pre-physical therapy emphasis is to prepare students to pursue graduate work in the area of physical therapy.

Recommended high school preparation for a pre-physical therapy emphasis is 2 units of algebra and 1 unit each of plane geometry, biology, and chemistry. Opportunities are available to make up certain deficiencies. In this case, time required to complete a pre-physical therapy emphasis could be expected to increase.

Graduates of Pensacola Christian College who meet published admission criteria will automatically receive preference points and be eligible for the admission process for Southwest Baptist University’s Doctor of Physical Therapy (D.P.T.) program. General eligibility requirements include prescribed undergraduate coursework, minimum cumulative 3.00 GPA, and a grade of “C” or higher in all prerequisite courses with a minimum 3.25 prerequisite GPA. Contact the Chair of Natural Sciences for specific requirements.

Pensacola Christian College has also partnered with Cedarville University to provide a pathway for students who meet published admission criteria to receive a guaranteed interview to their Master of Athletic Training (M.A.T.) program. Contact the Chair of Natural Sciences for specific requirements.

students working on project

Pre-Physical Therapy Career Support

With Career Services and Career Link, students can start making connections with employers while on campus during Career Fair events. These services provide tools and resources designed to empower you for your career in physical therapy.

Need help? Career Services staff are ready to assist you in researching employment opportunities, exploring job qualifications, and providing mock interviews and résumé support.