Earn Your BS in Exercise Science: Pre-Physical Therapy Emphasis From GCU
A Bachelor of Science (BS) in Exercise Science with an Emphasis in Pre-Physical Therapy can provide graduates with a solid foundation for pursuing potential opportunities in the field of physical therapy. Offered by the College of Science, Engineering and Technology at Grand Canyon University (GCU), you will be taught a substantial body of knowledge relevant to exercise science and pre-physical therapy, equipping you with the essential skills and expertise to pursue your academic and professional goals. After completing the coursework, some graduates may go on to seek acceptance into a graduate-level physical therapy program that may lead to a Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) program.
In addition to the pre-physical therapy preparation and exercise science focus, this program teaches you interpersonal communication and other critical healthcare topics. While completing this program, you’ll also study the intersection between psychology, spirituality and physical health.
Study the Relationship Between Exercise Science and Physical Therapy
In this pre-physical therapy emphasis, you will focus on mastering various domains that cover topics specific to physical therapy, including more widely applicable topics such as professionalism and ethics. As an aspiring physical therapist, you will need to have more than just a solid understanding of the human body and movement; you will also need advanced interpersonal, collaborative and other soft skills to excel in daily interactions with clients.
The range of coursework taught in GCU’s pre-physical therapy curriculum can prepare you to graduate as a well-rounded healthcare professional. Additional domains you will study include the following:
- Science foundations
- Data analysis and interpretation
- Scientific communications
These domains encompass essential scientific concepts that are highly relevant to a future career in physical therapy, providing a comprehensive understanding of the knowledge base necessary for professional advancement. The BS in exercise science is thoughtfully designed to teach you the foundational tools and resources essential for your journey toward this field. As you pursue your goal of becoming a physical therapist, you can develop a strong background that can empower you to make a positive impact on the lives of others through your dedicated work.
Pre-Physical Therapy Focus Course Topics
As an exercise science student, you have the benefit of completing coursework that is not only science-related but also applicable to functional and physiological movement. In addition to applying specific exercises and techniques when working with clients, you will be taught to recognize their effectiveness and the scientific principles that underlie them. This program highlights topics in exercise science and physical therapy including:
- Nutrition and wellness
- Sports performance and coaching
- Exercise science research
- Motor learning, including skills and control
- Corrective exercises
By exploring these subjects and more, you will delve into the scientific foundations that form the basis of physical therapy. Upon completing the program, you will have been exposed to the techniques, concepts and applications of principles commonly employed by physical therapists in their professional practice. GCU’s pre-physical therapy emphasis can help you position yourself for a graduate-level program, where you can further develop your knowledge and practical experience.
Career Paths for Graduates With a Pre-Physical Therapy Emphasis
GCU’s pre-physical therapy studies can equip you with the necessary preparation to effectively engage with patients across diverse settings, as well as prepare you for your next degree. Physical therapists are essential to almost every industry that involves human movement, athletes, rehabilitation or improving human health.1 After obtaining the necessary degrees and licensure, you may find yourself working in different settings that can include the following:
- Private clinics or offices
- Nursing homes
Earning an undergraduate degree in a related field is a starting point for many aspiring physical therapists. As a pre-physical therapy student at GCU, you’ll focus on the exercise science and physical therapy knowledge necessary to advance in your education, as well as the spiritual, Christian worldview that underlies everything we do. If you’re interested in pursuing opportunities to become a physical therapist, a pre-physical therapy emphasis may be a great choice for you.
Earn Your BS in Exercise Science from an Accredited University
Earn your Bachelor of Science (BS) degree in Exercise Science from our institutionally accredited university. With a focus on providing a comprehensive education in exercise science principles, this program can prepare you for a range of potential career opportunities in various fields related to health, fitness and wellness while meeting Higher Learning Commission (HLC) standards and criteria. Embrace the opportunity to study at an institution known for its commitment to academic excellence as well as teaching based on Christian values, as you pursue your passion and develop the skills needed in the field of exercise science.
BS in Exercise Science: Pre-Physical Therapy Emphasis FAQs
Ready to earn your degree in exercise science and physical therapy emphasis but still have a few questions? We’ve gathered a few of the most frequently asked questions to help you make your decision.
Ignite your journey toward a career in physical therapy by earning your Bachelor of Science (BS) in Exercise Science with a Pre-Physical Therapy emphasis from GCU. To start your journey, fill out the form at the top of this page.
1 U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (2022, Sept. 8). Occupational Outlook Handbook: What Physical Therapists Do. Retrieved on July 13, 2023.
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.
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.
- UNV-112, Success in Science, Engineering and Technology & Lab: 4
- UNV-103, University Success: 4
- UNV-303, University Success: 4
- UNV-108, University Success in the College of Education: 4
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.
- UNV-104, 21st Century Skills: Communication and Information Literacy: 4
- ENG-105, English Composition I: 4
- ENG-106, English Composition II: 4
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.
- CWV-101, Christian Worldview: 4
- CWV-301, Christian Worldview: 4
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.
- MAT-154, Applications of College Algebra: 4
- MAT-144, College Mathematics: 4
- PHI-105, 21st Century Skills: Critical Thinking and Problem Solving: 4
- BIO-220, Environmental Science: 4
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, cross-cultural 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.
- HIS-144, U.S. History Themes: 4
- PSY-102, General Psychology: 4
- SOC-100, Everyday Sociology: 4
* Please note that this list may contain programs and courses not presently offered, as availability may vary depending on class size, enrollment and other contributing factors. If you are interested in a program or course listed herein please first contact your University Counselor for the most current information regarding availability.
* Please refer to the Academic Catalog for more information. Programs or courses subject to change.