Mississippi 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 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

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