Natural Sciences

Physical Therapy / Biology

Collaboration program with New York Medical College (4+3)
Bachelor of Arts in Biology from MSMC
Doctorate in Physical Therapy from New York Medical College

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The Physical Therapy program offered at Mount Saint Mary College consists of two parts. Upon completion of the program, the student will earn a Bachelor of Arts in Biology from Mount Saint Mary College, and a Doctorate in Physical Therapy from New York Medical College (NYMC).

In this 4+3 program, students will complete their bachelor’s degree at the Mount while taking the prerequisite courses for entrance into the physical therapy program at NYMC. Upon meeting the requirements of the program, candidates will make application to NYMC. After successful completion of the program, students will be awarded a Doctorate in Physical Therapy from NYMC.

Through a special agreement with NYMC, those students whose academic performance is outstanding can apply for admissions to NYMC after attending only three years at the Mount. Upon the completion of the first year at NYMC, the student will earn a Bachelor of Arts in Biology from Mount Saint Mary College. After completing the program at NYMC the student will be awarded a Doctorate in Physical Therapy from NYMC. For further information, visit the NYMC website.

Physical Therapy/Biology at the Mount

Opportunities outside of the classroom. You could be a student rep at division meetings, an officer in the Biology and Chemistry honor societies, or participate with the American Chemical Society student affiliate chapter on campus. Students organize speakers, museum tours, hiking trips, campus activities like faculty vs. student quiz bowl, and science night for elementary school students. You’ll get involved in things you enjoy, meet new people, interact with the faculty, and develop your leadership skills.

A strong peer group. Biology majors quickly become a part of the science community at the Mount. Students who have majors within the Division of Natural Science take their math and science classes together and quickly form study groups, supporting one another in their courses.

Peer tutoring. Science majors work together toward a successful college career as upper-classmen serve as peer tutors, and all students have the opportunity to get help to support their learning efforts. Tutoring can provide you with income and help you to build your resume and strengthen your knowledge base.

Research. All full-time faculty members have PhD degrees in a variety of different fields and can offer you the opportunity to develop a research project which will help you to apply your coursework to real problems. A research project will enhance your knowledge and ability to integrate your learning and will impress graduate schools and future employers, giving you an edge when you move on from your studies at The Mount.

Learning science as a process. Many of our laboratory courses use inquiry-based collaborative learning to introduce students to the process of science and give you an idea of what scientific research is all about.

Mentoring. All science students are assigned a full-time faculty advisor to help you explore career options, plan your course schedule and follow your academic progress. New freshmen are assigned a “science sibling” before coming to campus so that they have the opportunity to ask questions of an upperclassman student to student.

Program requirements

Students take the following pre-requisite courses during their four years of study at the Mount, as the minimum prerequisites for entrance into NYMC:

  • Three courses in Biology, including Human Anatomy & Physiology I/II
  • Sixteen credits in Chemistry including two semesters of Chemical Principles and two semesters of Organic Chemistry
  • Two semesters of Calculus
  • Two courses in Calculus-based Physics (with lab)
  • Two courses in Psychology 
  • One course in Statistics

To be eligible for our special admissions agreement with NYMC, students must earn a minimum overall GPA of 3.0 in their freshman year and after the completion of 50 credits the student’s GPA should be a 3.2 or higher. At the time of application, the minimum GPA in prerequisite courses must be a 3.0.

Throughout the course of the program, a student is only permitted to earn one (1) grade lower than a B-. All remaining courses must be B’s or higher. Students must also demonstrate computer literacy and have acquired 50 hours of on-site volunteer observational experience in a Physical Therapy setting, of which 20 hours must be in an acute care/hospital environment. Candidates must also be certified in First Aid and Cardiopulmonary Rresuscitation.

After these requirements are met, the student then applies and interviews for admission into the Physical Therapy program at New York Medical College.

Within 30 days of the distribution of final grades for each spring semester, the Physical Therapy Advisory Committee will meet to review the progress of all candidates. Those students who have not met the minimum requirements for the program will be notified that they will no longer be considered to be part of the program. If students wishes to reapply to the program, they must correct the deficiencies they have. Upon this remediation, it is necessary for the student to send a letter to the Coordinator of the Physical Therapy program, explaining why they were dismissed and why the committee should reconsider their candidacy. This letter should be accompanied with a copy of their most recent transcript.

The strength of our agreement with New York Medical College lies in the understanding that the college advisory committee only recommends those students they feel are truly capable of completing the program. It is understood by NYMC that the vast majority of the prerequisite courses will be taken at Mount Saint Mary College. Students are only permitted to take one prerequisite course or course sequence at a different school. If a student needs to repeat a course, that course must be taken at Mount Saint Mary College within the next academic year and a grade of B or higher must be achieved. Transfer students must maintain a 3.0 GPA in their major and prerequisite courses. Prior course work will be evaluated by the committee on an individual basis.

Career Options

Modern physical therapists are prepared to treat patients ranging in age from infants to the elderly.Their work is performed in settings as diverse as outpatient clinics, schools, and specialized departments within hospitals. Within these settings, physical therapists assist patients in dealing with problems such as orthopedic maladies (neck and back pain, the rehabilitation of joints following corrective surgery and assisting patients in pain reduction and increased mobility) and aiding patients in regaining an acceptable quality of life (the result of developmental abnormalities, disease, following severe accidents, heart attacks, or strokes).

Within the context of today’s health care system, Physical Therapists are specialized in examining and treating individuals with impairment of their daily lives, the result of musculoskeletal and neuromuscular problems. To prepare for the demands of such a profession, students must attend a postgraduate program of physical therapy and, upon the successful completion of that program, they are required to pass a national examination and be licensed in the state in which they wish to practice.

Students in the Biology/Physical Therapy track at the Mount will be prepared to apply to Physical Therapy programs within and outside of our articulation with New York Medical College. They can also easily switch their career goals without requiring any extra courses for graduation from the Mount.

Career Outlook

Employment of physical therapists is projected to grow 36 percent from 2012 to 2022, much faster than the average for all occupations. Demand for physical therapy services will come from the aging baby boomers, who are staying active later in life.

In addition, physical therapists will be needed to treat people with mobility issues stemming from chronic conditions, such as diabetes or obesity.* 

*US Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Outlook Handbook, March 2015. 

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