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 Health and 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

BIOL113 General Biology 4
BIOL115 Advanced General Biology 4
CHEM111 Principles of General Chemistry 4
CHEM112 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

STAT118 Introductory Statistics 4
STAT227 Intermediate Statistics: Design & Analysis 4
PSYC101 Introduction to Psychological Science 4
NUTR112 Introduction to Nutrition Science 4
EXSC100 Introduction to Exercise Science 2
EXSC110 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

BIOL231 Anatomy and Physiology I 4
BIOL232 Anatomy and Physiology II 4
BIOL246 Foundations of Exercise and Health 4
All courses include labs

Junior Year

BIOL332 Exercise Physiology 4
PHYS110 Introductory Physics I 4
PHYS111 Introductory Physics II 4
EXSC361 Exercise Assessment & Prescription 4
PSYC232 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.

DPT612 Professional Seminar 1
DPT672 Frameworks of Physical Therapy: Musculoskeletal I 7
DPT613 Professional Seminar 1
DPT673 Frameworks of Physical Therapy: Musculos keletal II 7
DPT621 Human Anatomy 7
DPT622 Movement Science I 3
DPT652 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)

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.

Spotlight on Exercise Science + Physical Therapy (3+3) Students and Alums

Alternative Spring Break Leaders: Molly Blackwell ’20, Sabrina Khalif ’21 & Kat Reidl ’20

Molly Blackwell ’20, ’22DPT Makes Positive Impact Through Alternative Spring Break

We caught up with Molly about her many experiences with Alternative Spring Break and the lessons she's learned from visiting these communities.