IDS Program Statement: Pre-Physical Therapy

Here is a copy of my IDS Program Statement that was recently approved!

The major I intend to graduate with from Plymouth State University is a Bachelor of Science Degree in Interdisciplinary Studies: Pre-Physical Therapy. This program includes a combination of Exercise and Sport Physiology classes with many general science courses that are necessary pre-requisites for most Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) programs. This degree will allow me to complete all of the necessary pre-requisites while having an important background in the field of Exercise and Sport Physiology. There is currently no other major at Plymouth State University that would allow me to complete all of the pre-requisites for a DPT program, while still planning to graduate in the Spring 2019 semester.

To complete the Interdisciplinary Studies (IDS) requirements, I will take (IP2225) Introduction to Interdisciplinary Studies and (IP4425) Interdisciplinary Studies Senior Seminar. From the Exercise and Sport Physiology program, I intend to include (PE3580) Physiology of Exercise and (PE3750) Physiology of Exercise Laboratory. These classes are important in the understanding of exercise and its impact on human physiology, which plays a vital role in physical therapy. I also intend to include (PE3720) Motor Learning which focuses on understanding human motor learning and control and is directly related to the field of physical therapy. (PE3890) Exercise Testing and (PE3895) Exercise Testing Laboratory are also included on my contract. Both classes focus on testing patients in various ways and interpreting the results. This knowledge is essential in the field of physical therapy. (PE3230) Physical Activity and Aging is another important course in my contract. This course educates students on the effect of aging on the human body over a lifetime; therefore, this class is necessary for my degree. (HE3220) Nutrition, plays a large role in understanding the effects of dietary intake on the human body and can relate to physical therapy. Another important component of my contract is (AT3400) Pharmacology for Allied Health Professionals. This course plays a vital role in understanding medicine and its impact on the body. Lastly, two credits from (IP3100) Internship in Interdisciplinary Studies, is of great importance to my contract. These two credits of upper level course will complete my need for 24 upper level credits. This internship will allow me to get necessary hands-on learning and observation from a physical therapist, which is also a necessary pre-requisite for most DPT programs.

The remainder of my courses will consist of general science courses that are prerequisites for most DPT programs. They include, (CH2335) General Chemistry I, which is important for understanding chemical reactions that can relate to those within the human body. It will also count towards my QRCO course. (PH2130) Physics I and (PH2140) Physics II, are both important as they serve to educate students on understanding forces and direction, which can be applied to human body movement. (BI1110) Biological Science I, and (BI1120) Biological Science II, are two highly relatable classes to the field of physical therapy that cover the foundations of all living organisms. (BI2110) Anatomy and Physiology I is an essential class in understanding the human body anatomically and physiologically which is vital in the field of physical therapy. Lastly, (PS2010) Introduction to General Psychology, is of great importance in understanding the brain and human behavior. Psychology plays a large role in the field of physical therapy as it relates to the mental health status of patients.

My Interdisciplinary Studies degree will allow me to complete all of the necessary prerequisites for a DPT program which I intend to apply for following graduation. This degree also makes it possible for me to complete my degree by the Spring 2019 semester. Maintaining a BS in Exercise and Sport Physiology while completing all of the DPT prerequisites was not possible due to time conflicts with the scheduling of classes. This degree melds Exercise and Sport Physiology with courses in chemistry, physics, biology, and psychology. Interdisciplinary Studies will give me the ability to expand my learning in multiple disciplines to satisfy my professional goals.

Update: January 30, 2019

At this point in time, I’ve completed 113 credits. I have five classes (17 credits) that I’m taking for my final semester at PSU. They include PH 2140 Physics II, BI 1120 Biological Science II, CMDI 2100 The Digital Imagination, EX 4780 Exercise Prescription, and IP 4425 Interdisciplinary Studies Senior Seminar. Some of these classes are definitely challenging, but I feel that I’ve learned so much about managing time and heavy workloads that I’ll get through this last semester just fine. I still feel strongly that a career in Physical Therapy is what I want to pursue.

There seems to be more emotions going into this semester than others in the past. I have feelings of excitement and relief. I know I’m so close to graduating, but I have to stay focused so I can finish this semester strong. I feel some relief from the fact that my contract is currently set and there should be no need for more changes. There’s also some anxiety associated with knowing it’s my final semester before applying to a graduate program.

Since my initial IDS Application Essay from last semester, I have made a few changes that impacted my schedule this semester. My initial plan was to complete a two-credit internship to get my final two upper-level course credits. I hoped to complete this internship in either an inpatient or outpatient physical therapy office. After facing some challenges with setting up an internship, I realized I had to take another course in its place. After talking with my content advisors, we came to the conclusion that EX 4780 Exercise Prescription would be a good replacement for IP 3100 Internship in Interdisciplinary Studies. This class will provide me with some beneficial knowledge in my intended career. In order to make room for the three-credit course, it was necessary to also remove the one-credit PE 3895 Exercise Testing Lab from my contract.