Pre-Physical and Occupational Therapy Preparation

Physical Therapists (PTs), treat patients with injury or illness to help improve mobility and manage pain. PTs use a variety of techniques including exercises, stretching, hands-on therapy, and equipment.

Occupational Therapists (OTs), work with patients suffering from injury or illness to help them recover so that they can maintain the skills needed for daily living and working. OTs do this through the therapeutic use of everyday activities, such as helping patients learn how to dress themselves. Both PTs and OTs typically work in private offices and clinics or in hospitals. Most PTs and OTs work full-time weekdays. Some may work evenings or weekends to accommodate patient schedules.

Job Outlook

Employment for physical therapists is expected to grow by 25 percent, while demand for occupational therapists is expected to grow by 21 percent, according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, which notes the growth is much faster than the average for all occupations. Growth is attributed to a growing and aging population.

How to Apply

Physical therapists obtain a doctor of physical therapy (DPT) degree and must obtain a license to practice. Physical therapy schools are highly competitive; most applicants have a bachelor’s degree. PT school is typically three years. Students who specialize will require further residency training.

Occupational therapists must obtain at least a master’s degree in occupational therapy—some earn doctoral degrees. OT schools are competitive. Most applicants have a bachelor’s degree. Students usually take two to three years to complete OT school and are required to complete at least 24 weeks of supervised field work.

Partnership with CMU—Physical Therapy Doctorate

Michigan Technological University and Central Michigan University partner to offer the CMU doctorate of physical therapy program on Michigan Tech’s Campus! Under this Articulation Agreement with Central, six seats are reserved for Michigan Tech students who meet admission requirements. Minimum requirements to apply to this program are subject to change.

Physical Therapy Mentoring Opportunity

The DPT Mentorship Program provides guidance to pre-physical therapy students at Michigan Tech. Led by current first and second-year students in the Central Michigan University DPT program in Houghton, the group meets a few times per year to discuss how to prepare for the graduate school application and gives undergraduate students an opportunity to ask DPT students questions. Interested in taking advantage of this mentoring opportunity? Contact Alyssa Vinckier at alvincki@mtu.edu.