Nick Tschida


Why study pre-physical therapy at a liberal arts college?

By choosing to study pre-physical therapy at a liberal arts school, you are able to explore many different aspects of yourself through all the different class requirements. These aspects could otherwise go undiscovered if you were to attend a non-liberal arts school and instead focus on what may interest you alone. Being forced out of your comfort zone and taking a class in fine arts or gender studies allows you to see the world through a different lens and gives you the opportunity to understand the passions and views of those around you who you may have nothing in common with. Overall, it has really helped me develop empathy and awareness in just a simple classroom setting.

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

No two people are the same, and the pre-physical therapy program at CSB/SJU gives the freedom to pursue one of the many possible paths that you see best fit. This truly allows you to explore all the options and classes that you may find an interest in, and pre-physical therapy advisors keep students’ best interest at the top of their priority. Many students have both an advisor in their major as well as another with the pre-PT background, which allows two separate minds to help build the best four years possible. 

Additionally, the community aspect at CSB/SJU alone creates an atmosphere that has yet to find someone who did not wish they could have four more years. My time here has provided me with the best experiences of my life alongside the best friends I will have for the rest of my life.

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

My experiences with the faculty in this program has been nothing short of amazing. Through every question and detail, faculty have provided me with the advice and knowledge that has eliminated the stress that comes along with pre-PT. Over the years, the relationships that you will create with your advisors and faculty never stops growing. The approachability of the faculty allows you to feel as though you truly matter and that everyone is there to help you succeed.

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

My greatest challenge came at the beginning of my sophomore year. I had just transferred to St. John’s from Augustana University, and I had just switched my path to physical therapy from engineering all while preparing for the upcoming football season. I had a lot on my plate and when I learned all that pre-physical therapy entailed, I started to question if it was truly worth it. However, with the help of my advisors, I was able to create a schedule that fit, and this allowed me to balance my time between football and school while also being able to adjust to a new university. Having someone to ask all of the questions and talk through all my hesitations allowed me to not have to go through all of these decisions and processes alone.

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

My best advice would be to go out and shadow as this will truly allow you to see what goes in to the everyday life of a physical therapist and allows you to see if it is something you can see yourself doing or not. I would also recommend visiting more than one location. In my personal experience, my first shadowing experience wasn’t the greatest, however the next place I went to was amazing and became the inspiration I needed to finally get me to fully commit.

Did you study abroad? If so, how did that experience influence you?

Yes, I went on a May term to Italy and had one of the best experiences of my life! I chose a May term since I was not able to stray from my class schedule due to switching my majors during my sophomore year. Staying at a college in a foreign country and interacting with the students there allowed me to immerse myself into a completely new lifestyle and culture. This provided me with many experiences and growth that I would never have been able to attain in the United States. Being a part of a way of life so different from our own truly opens up your eyes to how big and diverse our world is. My experience abroad taught me that there is no single way to do or look at something, and keeping oneself open and positive will allow for the best in every situation.

What are your plans after graduation?

After graduation, I will be pursuing my Doctorate of Physical Therapy at the College of St. Scholastica in Duluth, Minnesota. I also hope to find myself back with football, possibly working with a collegiate team.