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Pre-Physical Therapy

Bachelor of Science

It’s all about caring. Our Pre-Physical Therapy program prepares you to alleviate physical and functional impairments and limitations caused by injury or disease. You’ll accomplish this through the design and implementation of therapeutic interventions to promote fitness and health. You’ll receive integrated clinical experience early – you’ll get hands-on experience at the start of your second semester through Clarke’s pro bono clinic. Our physical therapy program is an entry-level doctoral program that requires an undergraduate degree in another area. Many students choose to major in psychology, biology, or chemistry.

Program Details

This degree is the beginning of your doctoral journey. You’ll study functional anatomy and physiology, movement dynamics, physical growth process, management of musculoskeletal disorders, and clinical evaluation and measurement. You’ll also learn about client assessment and supervision, care plan development and documentation, physical therapy modalities, rehabilitation psychology, physical therapy administration, and professional standards and ethics. You’ll develop an understanding and appreciation of the structural, functional, psychosocial, emotional, and spiritual dimensions of humans. Clarke also has a 10-table, medical school-quality cadaver lab that gives students an opportunity to learn with the best resources.

Each member of our PT faculty is a board-certified therapist and faculty members maintain clinical practice. Our graduated PT students boast a 100% job placement rate and 98% board pass rate for licensure. In addition, we offer an accelerated 3+3 program in which qualifying students can finish both their undergraduate and doctor of physical therapy degrees in six years.

Common undergraduate majors that lead to the Doctor of Physical Therapy:

Note: All students who indicate pre-PT on their applications are reviewed for Clarke’s Early Assurance Program. Students are selected during the undergraduate application process. These limited number of spots are competitively selected on a rolling basis.

Admission to Clarke University

Applicants are considered on an individual basis. Apply to Clarke today to begin your journey.

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Meet Our Faculty

When our graduates speak about the Clarke moments that helped shape them, there’s always a professor in the story. That’s because being a faculty member at Clarke University requires a deep passion for educating, encouraging, and empowering students. Here, your professors will know your name. They will push you to develop your full potential, and then they’ll ask for more. And they’ll be right there to congratulate you when you exceed even your own expectations. Often, it’s a relationship that lasts a lifetime.

View Our Faculty & Staff

Bradley Kruse, DPT/PhD

Associate Professor of Physical Therapy

“I hope to foster a student’s desire to know; to help cultivate their intellectual curiosity. A continued desire to learn will impact our students and their future patients well after they have graduated.”

Bill O'Dell, MBA/DHS

Professor of Physical Therapy

“Baseball values a five-tool player. I encourage students to become an all-around therapist in the same way including memorization of science facts, critical thinking, developing clinical skills, communicating, and having a compassionate heart.”

Alecia Thiele, DPT

Alecia Thiele, DPT

Associate Professor of Physical Therapy and Director of Clinical Education

“I encourage individuals to critically think in order to be able to make informed, knowledgeable, free, and independent choices to solve problems and ethical dilemmas.”

CAMPUS_Catherine Byrne Hall 3
There’s more to college than going to class.

The Classroom and Beyond

DPT classroom


You will complete hands-on clinical experiences. Clinicals are supervised by licensed, certified physical therapists and/or clinical faculty/preceptors who have affiliations with Clarke University’s PT with area high school and college teams, as well as with physicians and health services offices.

Cali Beyer Pre Physical Therapy Internship


You will learn by observation and participation at off-campus laboratories or field settings through internships and experiential education ventures. Internships often facilitate entrance into the job market and are highly recommended for acceptance into some graduate programs.

Nursing Study Abroad

Study Abroad

Clarke University offers several faculty-sponsored study abroad experiences to destinations such as Spain, Scotland, Ireland, and Japan. Study abroad trips encourage you to experience different cultures, broaden your mind, and discover your own passions.

Compass Lucas Fangmann

The Clarke Compass

Through your Clarke experience, you will be involved in many different activities that will guide you on your college journey. By your senior year, you will have a resume of all your awesome involvements packaged and ready for your first interview.

Clubs & Organizations

Students are involved in a variety of projects on campus and in the community: Take Away Hunger, Wheels for the World, Adopt a Highway, Mentor Dubuque at Hillcrest Family Services, Human Body Bee, Clarke Organization of Student Physical Therapists, Inspiration Stables, and the Dubuque Fraternal Order of Eagles “Eyes on the Future” Committee.

Careers in Physical Therapy

What can I do with a degree in this major?

But don’t take our word for it…

Our Students & Alumni

Hannah Weatherly

Hannah Weatherly

Pre-Physical Therapy and Athletic Training ‘18

“The program is very hands-on and the professors are amazing. My favorite part is learning about anatomy and biomechanics of the human body.”

Britt Gosse

Britt Gosse

Biology ‘14, Doctor of Physical Therapy ‘16

“The coursework during my undergrad in biology and the challenge of earning my DPT tremendously prepared me for my career.”

Amanda Cyze

Amanda Cyze

Human Health Services ’01, Master’s in Physical Therapy ’02, Doctorate in Physical Therapy ’06

“The PT program taught me how to be a critical thinker and problem solver – skills that I have come to realize are vital in a clinical setting.”

Career ready

Percent job placement rate Clarke physical therapy graduates have.


The 2017 median pay for physical therapists, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Job growth

Percent that employment of physical therapists is projected to grow 36 percent from 2012 to 2022, much faster than the average for other occupations.


The Physical Therapy Department at Clarke University is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE), 1111 North Fairfax Street, Alexandria, Virginia 22314; telephone: 703-706-3245; email:; website:

Experience Clarke Pre-Physical Therapy for Yourself

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