Exercise Science + Physical Therapy (3+3)

This accelerated 6-year program — a respected leader in physical therapy education for more than 50 years — combines a Bachelor of Science in Exercise Science with a Doctor of Physical Therapy.

Students in a physical therapy class

Meet the challenges of today's health-care system

You'll benefit from a problem-based, self-directed approach to learning, using case studies to integrate basic science and clinical knowledge and skills in conjunction with psychosocial, ethical and behavioral aspects of patient care.

In small group tutorials, students work closely with individual faculty to explore information and develop clinical insights and professional behaviors. Professional practice is a fundamental component of the curriculum accomplished through integrated clinical experiences and full-time clinical internships. Our graduates practice in a variety of health care settings with individuals of all ages. They're known for their excellent clinical skills, leadership and confidence.

Learn more about the Exercise Science Program.

Students in the 3+3 Exercise Science and DPT program will complete two degrees in their six years at Simmons: a Bachelors of Science in Exercise Science after the fourth year and a Doctorate of Physical Therapy after the sixth year. As such, students have two undergraduate homes, both within the College of Natural, Behavioral, and Health Sciences (CNBHS). For their undergraduate education, students are members of the Exercise Science program, which is housed in the Biology Department. For their graduate work, students progress to the Physical Therapy program. All majors are required to have Basic Life Support and First Aid Certifications by March 1 of the senior year.

The suggested sequence is:

First Year

BIOL 113 General Biology 4
BIOL 115 Advanced General Biology 4
CHEM 111 Principles of General Chemistry 4
CHEM 112 Principles of Organic Chemistry 4

BIOL 113, BIOL 115 , CHEM 111, CHEM 113, and CHEM 112 include labs.

BIOL 113 or BIOL 115, and STAT 118 or STAT 227: prereq. for BIOL 246

CHEM 111, CHEM 112: prereq. for BIOL 231

*Students may complete BIOL 113 or BIOL 115 to fulfill the Introductory Biology requirement.

*Students may complete CHEM 111 or CHEM 113 to fulfill General Chemistry requirement.

First or Sophomore Year

STAT 118 Introductory Statistics 4
STAT 227 Intermediate Statistics: Design & Analysis 4
PSYC 101 Introduction to Psychological Science 4
NUTR 112 Introduction to Nutrition Science 4
EXSC 100 Introduction to Exercise Science 2
EXSC 110 Form and Function in Resistance Exercise 2

EXSC 100 and EXSC 110: Required for Class of 2023+. Counts as .5 ExSci elective for Class of 2022.

Sophomore Year

BIOL 231 Anatomy and Physiology I 4
BIOL 232 Anatomy and Physiology II 4
BIOL 246 Foundations of Exercise and Health 4
All courses include labs

Junior Year

BIOL 332 Exercise Physiology 4
PHYS 110 Introductory Physics I 4
PHYS 111 Introductory Physics II 4
EXSC 361 Exercise Assessment & Prescription 4
PSYC 232 Health Psychology 4

PT Observation Hours: 30 hours of observation of a licensed physical therapist must be documented by May 1. See the DPT Handbook for details.

BIOL 332, PHYS 110, EXSC 361 include labs

BIOL 332: prereq. for EXSC 361

First Aid Certification offered during EXSC 361 lab at cost.


Fourth Year (First Year DPT Program)

If you progress into the DPT program, to earn the BS in Exercise Science, you can apply the courses in the first year of the DPT program to fulfilling the BS in Exercise Science requirements. The DPT program is 99 credits (including the combined undergraduate 4th Year/Year 1 in the graduate program). The graduate DPT program involves a full-time commitment over a three year period, including summers, beginning in the summer following the third year. Graduation is in May of the fourth (BS degree) and sixth (DPT degree) years. The program affiliates with approximately 300 institutions across the country, offering students a wide variety of clinical settings in which to participate in the practice of physical therapy.

DPT 612 Professional Seminar 1
DPT 672 Frameworks of Physical Therapy: Musculoskeletal I 7
DPT 613 Professional Seminar 1
DPT 673 Frameworks of Physical Therapy: Musculos keletal II 7
DPT 621 Human Anatomy 7
DPT 622 Movement Science I 3
DPT 652 Evidence Based Practice I 2
DPT 612 and DPT 672: Serves as a replacement for BIOL 370 (Fall)
DPT 613 and DPT 673: Serves as a replacement for BIOL 370 (Spring)  
DPT 621 and DPT 622: Serves as a replacement for BIOL 362
DPT 652: Serves as a replacement for 2nd EXSC  elective (1st met by PHYS 110)

So you know that Simmons is a great place to be, you've learned about our programs, maybe even come for a visit...now you're ready to apply! Let's get started.

For Transfer Students

You can apply to Simmons as an undergraduate transfer student and be considered for admission to the professional phase of the DPT program. You must complete five of the nine required prerequisite science courses at Simmons, and you must have a 3.25 GPA across the 9 science courses in order to be considered for matriculation into the profession program. Additionally, you will need to meet all the requirements for an undergraduate degree from Simmons as well as the requirement for health care experience before matriculation into the professional program.

Offered As
  • Major
  • Doctorate
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Our Faculty

Justin Jones photo

Justin Jones

  • Professor of Practice and Chair of the Physical Therapy Department
Headshot Photo of Tim Hanway

Tim Hanway

  • Assistant Professor of Practice and Internship Coordinator for the Exercise Science Program