United States Doctor of Physical Therapy & Occupational Therapy Schools
Schools for Doctor of Physical Therapy and Occupational Therapy programs could help students prepare to initiate or advance studies in their technical field. Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) schools provide instruction on how to help patients manage pain and improve their range of motion. By contrast, Doctor of Occupational Therapy (OTD) Schools emphasize rehabilitative work that might help patients perform their daily life routines more independently. Because each path requires different academic courses and practice skills, students may enjoy the hands-on and face-to-face aspect of an on-campus DPT or OTD program.
Schools for Doctor of Physical Therapy and Occupational Therapy Programs: Basics
Schools for Doctor of Physical Therapy and Occupational Therapy programs offer first-professional and post-professional doctorate degrees. Other schools may offer related doctoral programs in athletic training and/or exercise science and kinesiology.
Doctor of Physical Therapy Schools
Doctor of Physical Therapy Schools might award two different degrees: (1) Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) and (2) Transitional Doctor of Physical Therapy (tDPT). A DPT is a first professional degree, and typically melds academic courses in kinesiology, anatomy, and neuroscience with diagnostic and therapeutic clinical skills. Many DPT schools use the Physical Therapist Centralized Application Service (PTCAS). This service allows students to fill out just one application, which is then sent to multiple physical therapy graduate schools.
Some schools for physical therapy might offer a tDPT degree program to those students who have some PT education and experience but want to meet today’s new education standards. These standards were set by the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) to make the doctorate standard for the profession by the year 2020.i
Occupational Therapy Schools
Doctor of Occupational Therapy Schools may appeal to the clinical scholar who wants to build leadership, advanced pedagogy, and knowledge in a specific area such as geriatrics or behavioral health. Some schools for occupational therapy might engage learners in the classroom, as well as in their local community where they could complete practicum. Applicants typically need to have a bachelor’s or master’s degree in occupational therapy or a bachelor’s degree in occupational therapy and a master’s degree in another field.
Accredited Schools for Doctor of Physical Therapy and Occupational Therapy Programs
One feature prospective students might want to know about Schools for Doctor of Physical Therapy and Occupational Therapy programs is whether they are accredited. Some universities may be regionally or nationally accredited, which means they meet or surpass standards for fiscal stability, faculty, and student services.
Beyond that, professional accreditation for Schools for Doctor of Physical Therapy and Occupational Therapy programs means that the individual degree programs have met standards set in their respective field. This factor may come to play with respect to taking post-degree licensure exams to meet state board requirements.
Accredited Physical Therapy Schools
Schools for Physical Therapy could be accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE). All states require physical therapists to earn a Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) degree and to be licensed. To meet licensure requirements, graduates need to pass the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) with the Federation of State Boards of Physical Therapy.ii Eligibility for this exam requires students to have earned a DPT degree from a CAPTE-accredited school, or one deemed its equivalent.iii
Accredited Occupational Therapy Schools
Schools for Occupational Therapy could be accredited by the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education, which is part of the American Occupational Therapy Association. Since all states require occupational therapists to be licensed, candidates need pass the national examination administered by the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT). To sit for the NBCOT exam, one requirement is that candidates must have earned a degree from an accredited educational program and completed all fieldwork requirements.iv
Take the Next Step
Ready to learn evidence-based practices and therapeutic approaches in physical therapy, occupational therapy, or athletic training? Easily compare sponsored Schools for Doctor of Physical Therapy and Occupational Therapy programs next. When you find the perfect DPT or OTD degree for you, connect with the physical therapy or occupational therapy school directly!
[i] apta.org/Vision2020/ | [ii] bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/physical-therapists.htm#tab-4 | [iii] fsbpt.org/SecondaryPages/ExamCandidates/NationalExam(NPTE)/EligibilityRequirements.aspx | [iv] bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/occupational-therapists.htm#tab-4
- Fairfield, CTFairfield, CT
Sacred Heart University
Sacred Heart University offers a 3-year, full-time program in Physical Therapy that prepares graduates for professional...
- Royal Palm Beach, FLRoyal Palm Beach, FL
South University’s Doctor of Occupational Therapy is an innovative graduate curriculum that builds the profession’s capacity to empower the advanced clinical-scholar.
- West Hartford, CTWest Hartford, CT
University of Hartford
The Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) Program is an entry-level professional physical therapy program.
- Springfield, MASpringfield, MA
American International College
The Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) Program prepares the student for entry-level practice by providing professional coursework and clinical experienc...
- Saint Louis, MOSaint Louis, MO
St. Louis University
The Physical Therapy program at Saint Louis University meets the challenges of delivering competent and compassionate health care in an environment th...
- Youngstown, OHYoungstown, OH
Youngstown State University
The Doctor of Physical Therapy program is a professional program for the preparation of physical therapists.
- Durham, NCDurham, NC
The Duke University Medical Center Doctor of Physical Therapy curriculum is a program for entry into the profession of physical therapy.
- Louisville, KYLouisville, KY
The Doctor of Physical Therapy program prepares students for licensure and practice in the field of physical therapy.
- Chicago, ILChicago, IL
University of Illinois at Chicago
UIC offers an entry-level master's degree and a postprofessional master's degree, and jointly offers a doctoral degree in disability studies with the Department of Physical Therapy and Disability and Human Development.
- Chicago, IL
- Springfield, MOSpringfield, MO
Missouri State University
Focuses on the academic and clinical foundations necessary for a career in physical therapy.
- Los Angeles, CALos Angeles, CA
University of Southern California
The graduate programs in exercise science prepare individuals for careers in teaching, clinical situations, professional leadership and research. Areas of specialization for the M.A. and M.S. include biomechanics and psychology of sport. Ph.D. specializ...
- Los Angeles, CA
- Syracuse, NYSyracuse, NY
At the graduate level in Exercise Science, we provide an atmosphere that inspires inquiry, innovation, and involvement. We reach beyond traditional practices and encourage you to challenge issues you feel are important. Ultimately, we want to give you o...
- Provo, UTProvo, UT
Brigham Young University
This program provides students with advanced training in exercise physiology. Students are prepared to assume leadership roles in the broad field of professional exercise science (i.e., corporate fitness, personal training), to enter medical programs (i...
- North Chicago, ILNorth Chicago, IL
Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science
The program is delivered in a distance education format with no required on-campus attendance.
- North Chicago, IL
- Grand Forks, NDGrand Forks, ND
University of North Dakota
The Department of Physical Therapy is to train physical therapists who will provide quality physical therapy services.
- South Orange, NJSouth Orange, NJ
Seton Hall University
Four year, 120-credit program, including academic courses and extensive clinical practica in physical therapy.
- Pittsburgh, PAPittsburgh, PA
University of Pittsburgh
The Exercise Physiology specialization focuses on the biodynamics of exercise, its role in the training and conditioning of sport participants, its benefits as a therapeutic agent in the prevention and rehabilitation of disease, and as an adjunct to hea...
- Pittsburgh, PA
- Valhalla, NYValhalla, NY
New York Medical College
A problem-based learning, full-time, 3-year Doctor of Physical Therapy and dual DPT/Master of Public Health degrees.
- Atlanta, GAAtlanta, GA
- New York City, NYNew York City, NY
The post-baccalaureate Doctoral Program in Physical Therapy is designed to educate students to become self-directed practitioners with strong clinical...
- Gainesville, GAGainesville, GA
North Georgia College & State University
Positioned in the fastest-growing region of the state, UNG develops students into leaders for a diverse and global society.
- Iowa City, IAIowa City, IA
University of Iowa
The Department of Exercise Science offers three programs for advanced degrees. The graduate program includes the Master of Science without thesis, the Master of Science with thesis, and the Ph.D. Students may choose from five different areas of speciali...
- Iowa City, IA
- Indianapolis, INIndianapolis, IN
University of Indianapolis
The Krannert School of Physical Therapy offers a professional degree, DPT, for those wishing to enter the profession.