Pre-physical Therapy

Pursuing a degree in exercise science means dedicating yourself to helping others lead better, healthier lives. This distinctive pre-physical therapy major was created specifically to prepare you for a Doctor of Physical Therapy program.  

Our interdisciplinary approach incorporates classes such as nutrition, biology, physics, athletic training and chemistry to ensure that you are prepared for whatever comes next in life.  You will develop critical thinking skills, enhance problem solving skills and learn to apply fundamental knowledge of human movement. With an emphasis on outstanding classroom teaching, practical experiences, undergraduate research, mentoring and service, the exercise science program not only prepares you for physical therapy school, it prepares you to begin living out your calling to serve others. 

Why Samford?

As a student in the exercise science program at Samford, you will find:

  • Low student-to-teacher ratio in the classroom
  • Dedicated faculty mentors and instructors who will help you pursue excellence as you identify your calling
  • A rigorous curriculum with elective credits that allows you to tailor your program of study to meet your needs
  • Medical mission trip opportunities that allow you to serve alongside health care professionals in clinical settings
  • Faculty mentored research opportunities in which many students have won regional and national awards
  • Exercise physiology and body composition labs with state-of-the-art equipment allow students to apply physiological principles in a practical setting
  • An innovative learning environment designed to foster interprofessional collaboration and experiential learning as you study alongside students in other health care disciplines as part of Samford’s College of Health Sciences

Admission Requirements

Prospective students must receive admission to Samford University.

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Students and applicants with disabilities who seek accommodations must make a request by contacting the Section 504/Disability Access and Accommodation Coordinator, 205-726-4078.

Fast-Track Doctor of Physical Therapy Program

The fast-track Doctor of Physical Therapy program provides eligible students with the opportunity to earn both a Bachelor of Science in exercise science and a Doctor of Physical Therapy in just six years. Incoming freshmen may apply for the program and must meet specific progression standards to remain in the program. Acceptance to the fast-track guarantees admission into Samford's Doctor of Physical Therapy program as long as progression standards are met.

Admission into the fast-track program is highly competitive.

View fast-track program details and admission requirements. 


Our graduates are prepared to seamlessly transition into entry-level doctorate degree programs in physical therapy.


Samford University is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.

Our Commitment

Having advised pre-physical therapy students for the last eighteen years, I firmly believe that the Samford University student majoring in the pre-physical therapy program in the Kinesiology department is extremely prepared for graduate physical therapy school. Although rigorous, the pre-physical therapy curriculum contains twenty-four elective credits allowing students the opportunity to have ownership in their program. The success that the Samford pre-physical therapy students experience is clearly seen in the very high graduate school acceptance rates. It is not uncommon to hear our pre-physical therapy students say, "Samford University laid a strong academic foundation. I was very prepared for physical therapy school."

- Dr. Ralph Gold, Associate Professor, Exercise Science

Life in the Program

"The exercise science department at Samford provides a stimulating and challenging academic environment. The small class sizes allow you to get to know your classmates better, as well as develop strong working relationships with the professors.  Not only do the professors promote you to pursue excellence in Academics, they also teach the importance of, dedication in all aspects of life. The faculty and staff have inspired me to never settle for less than what God has intended for me, and for that I am so thankful."

- Chelsea Tillman, Exercise Science, class of 2014

Plan of Study

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