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What is a Physical Therapist? 




Physical therapists (PTs) are licensed health care professionals who diagnose and treat people who have medical problems or health-related conditions that limit their abilities to move and perform functional activities in their day to day life. PTs examine each individual and develop a plan using treatment techniques to promote the ability to move, reduce pain, restore function, and prevent disability. In addition, PTs work with individuals to prevent the loss of mobility before it occurs by developing fitness- and wellness-oriented programs for healthier and more active lifestyles. Physical therapists provide this care in a variety of settings, including hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, home health agencies, schools, sports and fitness facilities, work settings, and nursing homes. 

Physical Therapists typically do the following: 
  • Take patient history, observe movements and perform tests to identify existing problems in function and movement 
  • Create a treatment plan based on diagnoses and prognoses 
  • Use exercises, stretches, equipment or other therapies to help improve function, movement and manage pain. 
  • Evaluate and monitor patient progress (may lead to modification of interventions)  
  • Educate patients and families about recovery from injury or illness and promote overall fitness and wellbeing 
  • Work with other healthcare professionals for referrals and overall patient care 

Quick Facts: 

  • Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT)  
  • Apply through PTCAS plus supplemental program applications
  • Not all accredited DPT programs participate in PTCAS. Nonparticipating programs can be found here.
  • Click here for a list of Accredited Schools in the US.
  • 3 year program 
  • GRE required 
  • Healthcare/patient experience required before admission
  • Average GPA: 3.5 and above, minimum 3.0 required in pre-requisite courses 

Helpful Handouts for Pre-PT Students

Helpful PowerPoints for Pre-PT Students

Institutions in Georgia 

  • Armstrong Atlantic State University 
  • Augusta University 
  • Brenau University 
  • Emory University 
  • Georgia-PCOM **not yet accredited 
  • Georgia State University 
  • Mercer University 
  • University of North Georgia 

Contact Information for Georgia PT Programs:  

What should I major in?  

Your major really does not matter, as long as you successfully complete the courses required for admission into your preferred PT program. Indeed, it is important that select a major in a field that you are most passionate about.