Alyssa Louwagie

Pre-physical Therapy


Alyssa Louwagie
Alyssa Louwagie

Major: Natural Science

Hometown: Marshall, MN

Why study pre-PT at a liberal arts college?

At CSB/SJU, you have the opportunity to take courses in all areas of study. Not only will you cover the prerequisite courses for physical therapy school, but you will have the opportunity to take classes that interest you. These classes have helped me to become a more open-minded individual, which is an important quality to have in the healthcare industry. I was able to draw from my liberal arts experiences to help improve my essays and interview answers while applying for physical therapy school because attending a liberal arts school is a unique experience.

What makes the pre-PT program at CSB/SJU unique? 

No matter which major you choose, you have the opportunity to take whichever classes you prefer. There were several classes that I took that I believe have prepared me for PT school. Kinesiology, Exercise Physiology, and Advanced Injury Assessment are a few courses that helped me further my knowledge of human movement. These courses have also taught me about patient interaction and the career of physical therapy. However, the best part of the pre-PT program at CSB/SJU is the liberal arts classes that you get to take in addition to these science courses. Courses, such as Neuroethics, have improved my discussion and public speaking skills. The pre-PT program at CSB/SJU helps you develop into a well-rounded individual, which is valuable when entering physical therapy school.

What has your experience with the CSB/SJU pre-PT program faculty been like?

The faculty at CSB/SJU are extremely helpful when it comes to which courses to take and questions about graduate school. It is obvious that they want us to succeed while we are here at CSB/SJU and once we get to physical therapy school. Don, the pre-PT adviser, is an amazing resource because he used to be a practicing physical therapist. He is always there to answer questions and guide you along the right path at CSB/SJU to prepare you for PT school.

What has been one of the greatest challenges you have faced? 

Managing my time at CSB/SJU was challenging from time to time. I was a member of the dance team, an allied health club board member, a sports medicine assistant in the athletic training room, and a dance teacher. These extracurricular activities, in addition to difficult college courses made it difficult to manage my time. However, I learned great time management skills, and have been able to use these experiences and skills during my application and interview process for physical therapy school.

What advice do you have for the students considering the pre-PT program?

Set yourself apart. Almost everyone applying to physical therapy school has a great GPA and GRE scores. It is what you do in addition to these two things that can help set you apart. Study abroad, become a leader of a club and/or volunteer frequently! It is how you use these experiences in your essays and interviews that will help you succeed and get into one of your top schools! There are so many opportunities at CSB/SJU, and it is important to utilize these experiences to optimize your time at CSB/SJU and get into physical therapy school down the road.

What are your plans after graduation for graduate school? And, what are your plans after completing graduate school?

I will be attending Pacific University’s Doctor of Physical Therapy program in Hillsboro, Oregon.