North Central College - Naperville, IL

Pre-Physical Therapy

Why choose pre-physical therapy at North Central College?

Physical therapists—or PTs—diagnose and treat people with illnesses or diseases that limit their ability to move and function. Physical therapists provide care to people of all ages who have functional problems such as back and neck injuries, sprains/strains and fractures, arthritis, burns, amputations, stroke recovery, multiple sclerosis, conditions such as cerebral palsy and spina bifida, and injuries related to work and sports.

By studying at North Central College, you can experience opportunities that will prepare you for admission to a physical therapy doctoral progam that can lead to a career as a physical therapist. You’ll study biology, psychology, physics, mathematics and other areas and be pushed to develop excellent writing and communication skills that physical therapists must possess to work with patients.

You can also:

  • Gain valuable experience conducting research with faculty, independently or with other students.
  • Personally get to know professors who teach North Central’s small classes.
  • Pursue job shadowing and volunteer opportunities at numerous facilities near North Central’s campus, including Marianjoy Rehabilitation Hospital in Wheaton.
  • Work with North Central's dedicated pre-health advisor.
  • Network with alumni and peers through North Central’s student-run Pre-Health Organization.


North Central gains momentum in growth, reputation, value.
North Central College’s Science Center reached a construction milestone with the placement of a ceremonial final beam in Topping-Out Celebration March 14.
Gerald Gems, professor of health and physical education
Gerald Gems, North Central College professor of health and physical education, has published article in new book, coedited a book and special issues, and more.


Graduate Schools
Graduates have been accepted at:

  • University of Illinois at Chicago
  • Midwestern University
  • Marquette University
  • University of Wisconsin-LaCrosse
  • University of Indianapolis
  • The College of Health Professions at Rosalind Franklin University
  • A.T. Still University

Graduates include:

  • Orthopedic rehabilitation specialist, Advanced Physical Therapy & Sports Medicine, Appleton/Green Bay, WI
  • Pediatric physical therapist, Achievement Therapy Services, Scottsdale, AZ
  • Physical therapist, Functional Therapy & Rehabilitation, Homer Glen/Joliet, IL
  • Co-owner, Women’s Physical Therapy Institute, Lake Zurich, IL
  • Rheumatology specialist, Bone and Joint Physicians Orthopedics Group, Oak Lawn, IL
Pre-Physical Therapy

Pre-physical therapy is a perfect fit for Keeler. It combines his interests in exercise, the human body, sports and people.

“The human body can do amazing things. My classes at North Central delve deeper into the wonders of the human body, which is so complex and can do so much we don't even realize.”

North Central is a perfect fit, too. “It wasn’t too close, but not too far from home. It offers small classes and accessible professors. And last, but definitely not least, North Central is a place I can continue playing the sport I’ve been part of for so long.”

Keeler has pitched for the Cardinals baseball team since his freshman year. He’s also a resident assistant, a leader at The Union—a...

Pre-Physical Therapy

Nhung’s decision to pursue a career in physical therapy was an easy one.

“I like making little differences that bring smiles,” says Nhung. “Having someone say ‘thank you’ to me is more than a blessing.”

At North Central College, she’s not alone in that regard. “Everyone here is willing to help without any hesitation,” says Nhung, who grew up in Vietnam. “I transferred from a community college where I was not able to have one-on-one time with my professors. Here, however, the professors are absolutely dedicated to helping with any questions I have—even if they’re not related to class.”

Nhung has taken full advantage of the opportunities North Central offers for students pursuing a career in...

Physical Therapist

Erin McElheny earned her bachelor’s degree at North Central College and completed her doctor of physical therapy (D.P.T.) degree at Midwestern University in Downers Grove, IL. She’s a physical therapist at TheraCORE in Lockport.

As an undergraduate at North Central, Erin learned the importance of good communication skills.

“Having those skills gave me an edge when it came to the interview process for physical therapy school,” Erin says. “Establishing rapport with people is a skill that someone working in the healthcare industry should master.”

During her senior year at North Central, Erin worked in physical therapy clinics and completed...