Biology - Physical Therapy Dual Degree


A dual degree program, leading to an undergraduate degree in Biology from the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse and a graduate degree in Physical Therapy at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse, is available to qualified University of Wisconsin-La Crosse students. This dual degree program will require at least three years of attendance at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse followed by 34 months of attendance at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse in the Graduate Program in Physical Therapy.

Dual Degree Coursework

During the first three years of coursework taken at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse, Biology students would complete 91 credits towards a bachelor’s degree comprised of:

  • All courses to meet general education requirements
  • All courses required for the Biology major, except 6 credits fulfilled by the PTS 521 Human Gross Anatomy course
  • Chemistry courses required of Biology majors
  • All pre-requisite physical therapy coursework
  • Biology capstone experience

Physical Therapy courses taken during the first year of the professional program (student’s fourth year) that will count toward the undergraduate degree in Biology include the following:

  • 6 credit Human Gross Anatomy course (PTS 511)

and 22 elective credits outlined below:

  • PTS 512 Medical Physiology (4 credits)
  • PTS 513 Biomechanics and Kinesiology of Movement (3 credits)
  • PTS 514 Motor Control, Motor Learning, & Motor Development (2 cr)
  • PTS 515 Functional Neuroanatomy (3 credits)
  • PTS 516 Physiological Regulation of Exertion and Exercise (2 credits)
  • PTS 520 Intro to PT Practice and Evaluation Techniques (3 credit)
  • PTS 522 Foundations of the Examination Process (5 credits)
  • PTS 523 Physical Agents (3 credits)

Specific physical therapy coursework counted toward the undergraduate biology degree (6 credits of Human Gross Anatomy and 22 credits of electives specified above) will be subsequently waived from the physical therapy graduate degree requirements for that student.

Changes in curricula will be accommodated as they occur. Students will be eligible to participate in commencement ceremonies at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse for both degrees (bachelors and masters) when they are earned.

Students enrolled in the Physical Therapy Graduate Program under this dual-degree agreement must meet the graduate student probation and retention standards outlined in the UW-La Crosse Graduate Catalog.

Advising of Dual Degree Candidates

The Graduate Program in Physical Therapy will work with Biology advisors to recommend appropriate courses for students interested in this dual-degree option.  Summer school attendance during the undergraduate phase of study is recommended to complete the requirements for this option in a timely fashion.

Admission to the Physical Therapy Program

Dual Degree students are not guaranteed admission to the Physical Therapy Program.  When applying to the Graduate Program in Physical Therapy at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse from the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse Biology Program, the student is expected to submit applications for admission, housing (if necessary), and financial aid on standard forms. These forms must be submitted in accord with the deadlines published in the current Graduate School and Physical Therapy program documents.

Students will be selected for entrance into the Graduate Program in Physical Therapy based on the calculation of a cumulative grade point average, performance in prerequisite courses, GRE results, and a completed application to the Program in Physical Therapy with positive clinical recommendations and personal references.  A minimum 3.0 grade point average is necessary for admission into the graduate school and the Graduate Program in Physical Therapy.


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