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
Doctor of Occupational Therapy
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
- West Hartford, CTWest Hartford, CT
University of Hartford
The Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) Program is an entry-level professional physical therapy program.
- 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.
- Fairfield, CTFairfield, CT
Sacred Heart University
Sacred Heart University offers a 3-year, full-time program in Physical Therapy that prepares graduates for professional...
- Knoxville, TNKnoxville, TN
University of Tennessee
The Exercise Science program is dedicated to promoting and integrating scientific research and education on the health benefits of exercise. Through a program of interdisciplinary graduate study, using both experimental and epidemiological methods, s...
- Washington, DCWashington, DC
The George Washington University
Established in the heart of the nation's capital in 1821, GW provides innovative programs in more than 200 fields of study, including graduate certifi...
- Salt Lake City, UTSalt Lake City, UT
University of Utah
The mission of the Department of Exercise and Sport Science is to enhance health and quality of life through the promotion of participation in regular physical activity. With a focus on efficiency of movement, the Department seeks to enhance sport perfo...
- Columbia, SCColumbia, SC
University of South Carolina
The mission of the Department of Exercise Science is to expand and disseminate the body of knowledgeconcerning the relationship between exercise participation and human health.
- Columbia, SC
- Pittsburgh, PAPittsburgh, PA
Chatham offers a Doctor of Physical Therapy degree at the successful completion of seven terms of study, stressing clinical decision-making.
- Saint Louis, MOSaint Louis, MO
Washington University in St Louis
Our faculty's strong commitment to conducting clinically-relevant research and engaging in critical analysis of evidence provides a solid foundation f...
- Erie, PAErie, PA
The physical therapy educational program provides learning experiences that will enable each student to develop the competencies necessary as a physic...
- Austin, TXAustin, TX
University of Texas at Austin
The Department of Kinesiology and Health Education offers a variety of areas of study in the Kinesiology program, including Exercise Physiology, Sport Management, and Movement Science. For further information, please review our web site or contact the G...
- 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.
- Omaha, NEOmaha, NE
University of Nebraska Medical Center
The Division of Physical Therapy Education at UNMC offers a 3 year program leading to the DPT degree.
- Loretto, PALoretto, PA
Saint Francis University
DPT degree awarded upon successful completion of the 3-year professional curriculum. Students are prepared as generalists.
- Savannah, GASavannah, GA
Armstrong Atlantic State University
The program uses an integrated, small group case, active learning, case-based teaching approach.
- Bangor, MEBangor, ME
A 3-year graduate program designed for students who have earned a baccalaureate degree, leading to the Doctor of Physical Therapy degree.
- Terre Haute, INTerre Haute, IN
Indiana State University
Indiana State University’s post-professional graduate athletic training program is designed to develop scholarly clinicians through advanced classroom instruction, a professional experience, and in-depth research exposure. Graduates of the two-...
- Philadelphia, PAPhiladelphia, PA
The Programs in Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation Sciences offer both entry-level education for career preparation as a physical therapist as well as post-professional education for individuals interested in leadership positions in clinical practic...
- West Lafayette, INWest Lafayette, IN
The MS program is designed as a flexible degree program that allows students to pursue in-depth study in areas corresponding to faculty expertise. Traditional areas of study include: athletic training education administration, biomechanics, exercise phy...
- Oakland, CAOakland, CA
Samuel Merritt University
The Doctor of Occupational Therapy is an entry-level professional program consisting of eight consecutive semesters (including summers) plus a six-month internship.
- New York City, NYNew York City, NY
New York University
- New York City, NY
- Kent, OHKent, OH
Kent State University
The Exercise Physiology program develops the competencies needed for those who intend to teach exercise physiology, pursue research or apply exercise physiology in practice.