Program Details

Bachelor of Science in Biology with an Emphasis in Pre-Physical Therapy

Offered By: College of Science, Engineering, & Technology
Next Start Date:
Program Now Enrolling
ProgramLength:
Total Program Credits: 120
Campus: 15 weeks
Transfer Credits:
Up to 90 credits, only 84 can be lower division
Program Tuition Rate:
Campus: $8250 per semester. [More Info]

Overview

Take the First Step toward a PT Career

If you want to pursue a career as a physical therapist, Grand Canyon University (GCU) offers a Bachelor of Science in Biology with an Emphasis in Pre-Physical Therapy as the first step on the path to a career in this field. This BS in biology degree program is offered by the College of Science, Engineering and Technology and includes specialized coursework focused on preparing you for success in your graduate studies to earn a Master of Physical Therapy (MPT) or Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) degree.

In addition to lecture classes, you spend time in labs examining human biology and physiology, including hands-on experience in the cadaver lab, in order to help you gain the skills to diagnose injuries, illnesses and provide treatment. You also investigate the psychological, spiritual and physical components of health, wellness and medical intervention.

Degree Outcomes

Build a Foundation of PT Skills

Graduates of the pre-physical therapy degree program acquire foundational knowledge in biological sciences, exercise science, social sciences and healthcare issues. Since physical therapists work closely with physical therapy assistants, physicians, other healthcare professionals and patients, interpersonal communication skills are paramount. These skills as well as the psychological, spiritual and physical components of health, wellness and therapeutic intervention are explored. One of the advantages of GCU's pre-physical therapy degree program is that you have the opportunity to work on cadavers in our state-of-the-art lab.

What You Will Learn

Examine Biology and Human Physiology

Among the topics you study are:

  • General biology lecture and lab
  • Pathophysiology
  • Principles of sociology
  • Microbiology – study of the general characteristics of microorganism
  • General chemistry, lecture and lab
  • General physics, lecture and lab

Career Outcomes

Prepare to Have a Successful PT Career

After completing this program, you may choose to apply for a graduate physical therapist program. Physical therapists (PTs) practice in a variety of settings, using their knowledge and skills to evaluate, treat and rehabilitate a variety of physical impairments and disabilities.

Course List

The programs offered at Grand Canyon University may vary by content and course length. You are currently viewing the program version available in Arizona. In order to view the specific course content and credit length available for your state, please contact a counselor at 1-855-GCU-LOPE or click here to request more information.
General Education Requirements:
34-40 credits
Major:
72 credits
Open Elective Credits:
8-14 credits
Total Degree Requirements:
120 credits

General Education Requirements

General Education coursework prepares Grand Canyon University graduates to think critically, communicate clearly, live responsibly in a diverse world, and thoughtfully integrate their faith and ethical convictions into all dimensions of life. These competencies, essential to an effective and satisfying life, are outlined in the General Education Learner Outcomes. General Education courses embody the breadth of human understanding and creativity contained in the liberal arts and sciences tradition. Students take an array of foundational knowledge courses that promote expanded knowledge, insight, and the outcomes identified in the University's General Education Competencies. The knowledge and skills students acquire through these courses serve as a foundation for successful careers and lifelong journeys of growing understanding and wisdom.

Requirements

Upon completion of the Grand Canyon University's University Foundation experience, students will be able to demonstrate competency in the areas of academic skills and self-leadership. They will be able to articulate the range of resources available to assist them, explore career options related to their area of study, and have knowledge of Grand Canyon's community. Students will be able to demonstrate foundational academic success skills, explore GCU resources (CLA, Library, Career Center, ADA office, etc), articulate strategies of self-leadership and management and recognize opportunities to engage in the GCU community.

Course Options

  • UNV-112, Success in Science, Engineering and Technology & Lab: 4 credits
  • UNV-103, University Success: 4 credits
  • UNV-303, University Success: 4 credits
  • UNV-108, University Success in the College of Education: 4 credits

Requirements

Graduates of Grand Canyon University will be able to construct rhetorically effective communications appropriate to diverse audiences, purposes, and occasions (English composition, communication, critical reading, foreign language, sign language, etc.). Students are required to take 3 credits of English grammar or composition.

Course Options

  • UNV-104, 21st Century Skills: Communication and Information Literacy: 4 credits
  • ENG-105, English Composition I: 4 credits
  • ENG-106, English Composition II: 4 credits

Requirements

Graduates of Grand Canyon University will be able to express aspects of Christian heritage and worldview. Students are required to take CWV-101/CWV-301.

Course Options

  • CWV-101, Christian Worldview: 4 credits
  • CWV-301, Christian Worldview: 4 credits

Requirements

Graduates of Grand Canyon University will be able to use various analytic and problem-solving skills to examine, evaluate, and/or challenge ideas and arguments (mathematics, biology, chemistry, physics, geology, astronomy, physical geography, ecology, economics, theology, logic, philosophy, technology, statistics, accounting, etc.). Students are required to take 3 credits of intermediate algebra or higher.

Course Options

  • MAT-154, Applications of College Algebra: 4 credits
  • MAT-144, College Mathematics: 4 credits
  • PHI-105, 21st Century Skills: Critical Thinking and Problem Solving: 4 credits
  • MAT-134, Applications of Algebra: 4 credits
  • BIO-220, Environmental Science: 4 credits

Requirements

Graduates of Grand Canyon University will be able to demonstrate awareness and appreciation of and empathy for differences in arts and culture, values, experiences, historical perspectives, and other aspects of life (psychology, sociology, government, Christian studies, Bible, geography, anthropology, economics, political science, child and family studies, law, ethics, crosscultural studies, history, art, music, dance, theater, applied arts, literature, health, etc.). If the predefined course is a part of the major, students need to take an additional course.

Course Options

  • HIS-144, U.S. History Themes: 4 credits
  • PSY-100, Psychology in Everyday Life: 4 credits
  • SOC-100, Everyday Sociology: 4 credits

Required General Education Courses

Course Description

This is a course in writing academic prose, including various types of essays, arguments, and constructions. A writing intensive course.

Course Description

This course is a study of biological concepts emphasizing the interplay of structure and function, particularly at the molecular and cellular levels of organization. Cell components and their duties are investigated, as well as the locations of cellular functions within the cell. The importance of the membrane is studied, particularly its roles in controlling movement of ions and molecules and in energy production. The effect of genetic information on the cell is followed through the pathway from DNA to RNA to protein. Co-requisite: BIO-181L.

Course Description

This lab course is designed to reinforce principles learned in BIO-181 through experiments and activities which complement and enhance understanding of macromolecules, cell membrane properties, cellular components, and their contribution to cell structure and function. Assignments are designed to relate cellular processes such as metabolism, cell division, and the flow of genetic information to cell structure. Co-requisite: BIO-181.

Course Description

This course explores various types of research writing, with a focus on constructing essays, arguments, and research reports based on primary and secondary sources. A writing intensive course. Prerequisite: ENG-105.

Course Description

This course is a unified study of fundamental algebra and trigonometry concepts that provide the necessary background for the study of calculus. Topics include linear equations and inequalities in one and two variables; scatter diagrams and curve fitting; polynomial, rational, exponential, logarithmic, and trigonometric functions, their graphs, and their inverse functions; and systems of equations and inequalities. There is an emphasis on developing both a fundamental understanding of the concepts involved as well as their application to real-world problem solving. Prerequisite: Grade of C or better in MAT-134 or MAT-154.

Course Description

This course presents a survey of the concepts, theories, and methods used by sociologists to describe and explain the effects of social structure on human behavior. It emphasizes the understanding and use of the sociological perspective in everyday life.

Course Description

This foundation course in the science of behavior includes an overview of the history of psychology, the brain, motivation, emotion, sensory functions, perception, intelligence, gender and sexuality, social psychology, human development, learning psychopathology, and therapy.

Course Description

This course provides an introduction to the study of basic probability, descriptive and inferential statistics, and decision making. Emphasis is placed on measures of central tendency and dispersion, correlation, regression, discrete and continuous probability distributions, quality control population parameter estimation, and hypothesis testing. Prerequisite: Grade of C or better in MAT-134, MAT-144 or MAT-154.

Program Core Courses

Course Description

This course is a study of biological concepts emphasizing the interplay of structure and function at the molecular, cellular, and organismal levels of organization. Relationships of different life forms are studied, noting characteristics and general lifecycles of the different types of organisms, including bacteria, archaea, and eukaryotes. Plant structure, function, and reproduction are studied, as well as photosynthesis and plant nutrition. Ecological principles are discussed, including organism interactions at the various ecological levels. Principles of conservation are introduced. Prerequisite: BIO-181. Co-Requisite: BIO-182L.

Course Description

This lab is designed to reinforce principles learned in BIO-182. Organisms are examined to recognize similarities and differences among different types. Plant structure and processes, including photosynthesis and water transport, are investigated through observation and activities. Concepts of ecology are explored through study of species interactions projects and other activities. Co-requisite: BIO-182.

Course Description

This is the first course of a two-semester introduction to chemistry intended for undergraduates pursuing careers in the health professions and others desiring a firm foundation in chemistry. The course assumes no prior knowledge of chemistry and begins with basic concepts. Topics include an introduction to the scientific method, dimensional analysis, atomic structure, nomenclature, stoichiometry and chemical reactions, the gas laws, thermodynamics, chemical bonding, and properties of solutions. Prerequisite: MAT-134 or MAT-154. Co-Requisite: CHM-113L.

Course Description

The laboratory section of CHM-113 reinforces and expands learning of principles introduced in the lecture course. Experiments include determination of density, classification of chemical reactions, the gas laws, determination of enthalpy change using calorimetry, and determination of empirical formula. Prerequisite: MAT-134 or MAT-154. Co-requisite: CHM-113.

Course Description

This course is a study of basic concepts of physics, including motion; forces; energy; the properties of solids, liquids, and gases; and heat and thermodynamics. The mathematics used includes algebra, trigonometry, and vector analysis. A primary course goal is to build a functional knowledge that allows students to more fully understand the physical world and to apply that understanding to other areas of the natural and mathematical sciences. Conceptual, visual, graphical, and mathematical models of physical phenomena are stressed. Students build critical thinking skills by engaging in individual and group problem-solving sessions. Prerequisite: MAT-250, MAT-261 or College Algebra. Co-Requisite: PHY-111L.

Course Description

This course utilizes lab experimentation to practice concepts of physical principles introduced in the PHY-111 lecture course. Learners are able to perform the proper analysis and calculations to arrive at the correct quantifiable result when confronted with equations involving gravity, sound, energy, and motion. Prerequisite: MAT-250, MAT-261 or College Algebra. Co-requisite: PHY-111.

Course Description

This course is the first of a two-course sequence examining the structure and function of the human body and mechanisms for maintaining homeostasis within it. This portion includes the study of cells; tissues; genetics; and the integumentary, skeletal, muscular, and nervous systems. Co-requisite: BIO-201L.

Course Description

This course involves a study of the gross anatomy and functions of the skeletal, muscular, and nervous systems. This experiential lab involves gaining basic knowledge of the use of human cadavers, animal demonstrations, and computer-assisted instruction. Co-requisite: BIO-201.

Course Description

This is the second course of a two-semester introduction to chemistry intended for undergraduates pursuing careers in the health professions and others desiring a firm foundation in chemistry. Upon successful completion of this course, students demonstrate knowledge and/or skill in solving problems involving the principles of chemical kinetics, chemical equilibrium, and thermodynamics; understanding chemical reactions using kinetics, equilibrium, and thermodynamics; comparing and contrasting the principal theories of acids and bases; solving equilibrium involving acids, bases, and buffers; describing solubility equilibrium; describing terms associated with electrochemistry and solving problems associated with electrochemistry; and describing fundamentals and applications of nuclear chemistry and organic chemistry. Prerequisite: CHM-113. Co-requisite: CHM-115L.

Course Description

The laboratory section of CHM-115 reinforces and expands learning of principles introduced in the lecture course. Experiments include determination of rate law, examples of Le Châtelier’s principle, the use of pH indicators, buffer preparation, experimental determination of thermodynamic quantities, the use of electrochemical cells, and qualitative and quantitative analysis. Prerequisites: CHM-113 and CHM-113L. Co-Requisite: CHM-115.

Course Description

This course is the second in a one-year introductory physics sequence. In this course, the basics of three areas in physics are covered, including electricity and magnetism, optics, and modern physics. Course topics include an introduction to electric and magnetic fields, the nature of light as an electromagnetic wave, geometric optics, quantum mechanics, and nuclear reactions. Prerequisites: PHY-111 and PHY-111L. Co-Requisite: PHY-112L.

Course Description

This course utilizes lab experimentation to practice concepts of physical principles introduced in the PHY-112 lecture course. Some of the topics learners understand and analyze involve the relationship between electric charges and insulators/conductors, magnetism in physics, energy transformations in electric circuits, the relationship between magnetism and electricity, and how they relate to the medical industry. Prerequisites: PHY-111 and PHY-111L. Co-Requisite: PHY-112.

Course Description

This course is the second of a two-course sequence examining the structure and function of the human body and mechanisms for maintaining homeostasis within it. This portion includes the study of immunity; metabolism; energetics; fluid, electrolyte and acid-base balance; and the endocrine, hematologic, cardiovascular, lymphatic, respiratory, digestive, urinary, and reproductive systems. Prerequisites: BIO-201 and BIO-201L. Co-requisite: BIO-202L.

Course Description

This course is a study of the gross anatomy and functions of the endocrine, cardiovascular, respiratory, digestive, renal, and reproductive systems. The experiential lab involves an advanced exploration of concepts using human cadavers, animal demonstrations, and computer-assisted instruction. Prerequisites: BIO-201 and BIO-201L. Co-requisite: BIO-202.

Course Description

This course is designed to provide students with a basic knowledge and understanding of the principles of sports medicine, the care and treatment of athletic trauma, and the use of proper conditioning principles for the prevention of injury. Prerequisites: One of the following combinations: 1) BIO-155 and BIO-155L; or 2) BIO-201, BIO-201L, BIO-202, and BIO-202L; or 3) BIO-360, BIO-360L, and either BIO-474 or BIO-484. Co-requisite: EXS-214L.

Course Description

This lab is designed to complement and support the principles taught in EXS-214. The course is designed to provide students with a basic knowledge and understanding of the principles of sports medicine; the care and treatment of athletic trauma; safety and its importance in related settings; and the use of proper conditioning principles of the prevention of injury. Prerequisites: One of the following combinations: 1) BIO-155 and BIO-155L; or 2) BIO-201, BIO-201L, BIO-202, and BIO-202L; or 3) BIO-360, BIO-360L, and either BIO-474 or BIO-484. Co-requisite: EXS-214.

Course Description

This writing intensive course provides a comprehensive examination of the principles of heredity and variation, including Mendelian, molecular, and population genetics. Students explore topics such as gene mapping, DNA structure and replication, population genetics, and molecular change. Prerequisites: BIO-181 and BIO-181L.

Course Description

This course is an analysis of human movement, integrating knowledge of the skeletal, muscular, and neurological systems with the effects that gravity, friction, internal and external forces, and the laws of motion have on their functions. Topics presented include biomechanics of human bone, joint, and skeletal muscle; structure and function of the upper extremity, lower extremity, and spine; concepts of linear and angular kinematics and kinetics as applied to human motion; equilibrium and stability on land; and motion through a fluid medium of air or water. Included is the application of these factors to various types of physical skills. Prerequisites: BIO-155 and BIO-155L. Co-requisite: EXS-335L.

Course Description

This laboratory course is designed to apply the anatomical, kinesiological, and biomechanical principles learned in the lecture course to human body movement. Movement of all of the major joints of the body is analyzed by relative and absolute joint position and muscle action, and biomechanical terms - such as linear and angular kinematics, friction, work, power, energy, and torque - are applied to human motion. Prerequisites: BIO-155 and BIO-155L. Co-requisite: EXS-335.

Course Description

This course provides students with an in-depth look at social influences on human behavior. It is intended for students who are interested in theory and research on how attitudes influence and are influenced by behavior. Emphasis will be placed on biological explanations of social behaviors in animals, group processes, observational learning, helping others, attachment, social support, modeling, and the factors that affect attitude change. Prerequisites: SOC-102 and PSY-102.

Course Description

This writing intensive course is a study of the effects of exercise on the body. Topics include nutrition as the basis for physical activity; how energy is produced and utilized during physical activity; the energy delivery and vital functions of the respiratory, cardiovascular, muscular, and nervous systems during exercise; how these systems can be enhanced through training; the impact of ergogenic aids and environmental stress on performance; and the effect of exercise on body composition, weight control, aging, and disease prevention. The body’s responses and adaptations to exercise at the systemic, as well as the subcellular level, are also discussed. Prerequisites: BIO-155 and BIO-155L. Co-requisite: EXS-340L.

Course Description

This is a course of field and laboratory experiences designed to reinforce the basic principles learned in the lecture course. Skills of measurement and evaluation, including computerized methods employed to facilitate testing, are applied to physiological and systemic principles of exercise. Prerequisites: BIO-155 and BIO-155L. Co-requisite: EXS-340.

Course Description

This course examines current theories and practices of pharmacology and epidemiology of drug use as related to athletic training and sports medicine. Additional topics include drug abuse issues, such as: performance-enhancing substances; psychological, legal, social, and cultural implications; and approaches to solving drug abuse problems. Prerequisites: EXS-214 and EXS-214L.

Course Description

This is a course in developmental psychology with emphasis on the physical, social, cognitive, personality, and moral developments within an individual. The course is designed to provide an understanding of the transitions of life from conception to death.

Course Description

This writing-intensive course explores the concepts of health, wellness, and spirituality from the Christian perspective and as they relate to the holistic needs of patients, providers, and health care communities. Students reflect upon the concepts of healing and the caregiver's role in meeting the spiritual needs of diverse populations while seeking to advance health and wellness within the context of a healing paradigm.

Course Description

This course is the study of the physiological responses to exercise, exercise technique, program design for anaerobic and aerobic exercise, exercise prescription principles, and organization and administration of strength and conditioning facilities. This course provides students information on the design and implementation of a successful strength and conditioning program. Emphasis is placed on assessment, description, and analysis of sport movement, and designing weight training programs to enhance performance variables. Workshops reinforce these goals, focusing on assessment of athletic performance, as well as the development of musculoskeletal flexibility, speed, agility, quickness, strength, and power. This course assists those students who desire to take the National Strength and Conditioning Association’s Certified Strength and Conditioning (CSCS) Exam. Prerequisites: EXS-340 and EXS-340L.

Course Description

This course reflects psychology’s growing interest in health-related issues, and gives students an overview of the broad topics in health psychology. Topics include theories of health behavior, patient adherence, stress and pain development and management, cancer and chronic illness development and management, and health-related behaviors such as substance use, proper nutrition, and exercise. This course focuses on health from a biopsychosocial perspective. Prerequisite: PSY-102.

Course Description

This course introduces students to major ethical theories, principles, and decision-making models that form the basis for resolution of ethical dilemmas in the health care field. Guidelines for legal and ethical practice are also examined from the context of regulatory requirements established by accrediting and certifying agencies.

Faculty Bios

Program Locations

Campus

Campus

Join Grand Canyon University’s vibrant and growing campus community, with daytime classes designed for traditional students. Immerse yourself in a full undergraduate experience, complete with curriculum designed within the context of our Christian worldview. New modern classrooms, suite-style residence halls, popular dining options, resort-style swimming pools and a focus on creating a dynamic student life make GCU a top choice for high school graduates and transfer students. Exciting events, well-known guest speakers and Division I athletics round out the traditional student experience. Our welcoming campus community is the perfect place to find your purpose.

* The Department of Education defines how an institution must calculate a program's On-Time Completion rate for federal disclosure purposes. The On-Time Completion rate is based on a program’s published required number of months to complete all degree requirements as provided in the institution’s catalog. Completion statistics are updated every January and are based on the cohort of students who graduated between 7/1 – 6/30 of the preceding year. The On-Time Completion rate is determined by the number of students in the cohort who completed the program within the published program length divided by the number of students in the cohort who graduated.

On-campus program disclosures

* Please refer to the Academic Catalog for more information. Program subject to change.