Physical therapy (PT) is a cornerstone of every school’s special education program. Choosing the right major as an undergraduate student can help you launch your career as a pediatric PT.
If you aspire to be a school-based physical therapist, you can find the right fit by applying to work alongside Pediatric Therapeutic Services (PTS).
What Should I Study to Become a School-Based PT?
While many majors can start you on the path to PT, choosing a relevant program can help you learn and develop essential skills as a physical therapist. Whether you’re starting your bachelor’s degree or working toward higher education, you’ll need to choose a program that has been accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE).
As an undergraduate student, what you decide to major in will have a big impact on your future career. Most undergraduate programs don’t have a specific physical therapy focus; however, majoring in something that focuses on the body, movement, and mind can help you on your career path.
Some of the majors you may want to consider include:
- Exercise Science
Certain majors, such as kinesiology and exercise science, focus specifically on how the body moves and the functional responses from those movements. Biology and physiology focus on how the body functions, while psychology can help you understand the relationship between the body and the mind. A pediatric PT should also have a strong understanding of childhood development.
Many physical therapists choose to continue their education through a graduate program and a Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) program. You’ll need to complete these programs to become a licensed physical therapist. These programs will give you a more focused study of PT and how to apply it. They will also give you the opportunity to participate in fieldwork and receive real-world practice.
It’s important to note that these programs often have a GPA requirement, so the work you do as an undergrad can influence your higher education.
What are the Other Requirements to Become a School-Based PT?
Along with your required education, you’ll need to pass the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) before building your career as a school-based PT. This exam is administered by the Federation of State Boards of Physical Therapy (FSBPT).
You can apply to take the NPTE after graduating from an accredited program. This exam will test your entry-level skills and competence to determine your ability to practice as a PT.
Once you register for the exam, you’ll have numerous resources to reference in preparation. You’ll also be asked to track personal progress, making it easier to set and apply goals that are specific to your career development.
Apply as a School-Based Physical Therapist Alongside PTS
School-based PTs play a big role in a school’s special education program. As you build your pediatric career, choosing the right major can help you define the skills and knowledge needed for your future position.
You can then apply to work alongside PTS as a school-based PT. Explore our current openings today.