Potential Benefits of Online Physical Therapy Graduate Programs
Online physical therapy graduate programs may be the perfect option for licensed physical therapists to further their education and enhance their career. As a doctorate of physical therapy degree is now the standard of education required for physical therapists, currently practicing professionals who have a master of physical therapy may want to earn their doctorate to meet new industry standards[i]. Or, they may want to become a board certified specialist in one of eight different areas to show patients they’re an expert in a specific area. Online graduate certificate programs in physical therapy could be a great way to develop specialized knowledge and prepare for certification exams.
So, if you’re a physical therapist looking to continue your education online, continue reading to learn more about online physical therapy graduate programs.
Did You Know?
In 2007, an estimated 9 million adults utilized outpatient physical therapy services[ii].
Earning Your Online Physical Therapy Graduate Degree: Basics
Online physical therapy graduate programs are generally limited to two different types of programs: the transitional doctor of physical therapy (tDPT) and physical therapy graduate certificates. That’s because physical therapy doctorate programs typically have a hands-on educational process and require a certain number of clinical hours. Those new to the profession, and pursuing a DPT, may be better served through on campus programs. However, those pursuing either a tDPT or a board certification are typically licensed physical therapists and have already acquired a certain number of clinical hours. Therefore, online learning may be the most convenient and effective option.
Online tDPT Programs
The doctor of physical therapy has become the standard degree to practice physical therapy, as it is now required for licensure in the US. Masters in physical therapy (MPT) or masters of science in physical therapy (MSPT) degree programs are typically no longer available.[iii] Those that have already been licensed may not have a doctorate degree however. These professionals might want to pursue an online physical therapy program to meet new industry standards.[iv] This is where the tDPT comes in.
Transitional doctor of physical therapy (tDPT) programs are the most common online physical therapy program and may take one to three years to complete, depending on previous education and experience. Program lengths vary by school. While pursuing your tDPT, you’re likely to take classes in the sciences and courses specifically related to the human body.[v]These courses may include medical screening, pharmacology, and diagnostic imaging.