United States Doctor of Physical Therapy Schools | DPT Schools
Potential Benefits of Doctor of Physical Therapy Schools – DPT Schools
Doctor of physical therapy schools typically award a DPT degree, or a doctor of physical therapy, which is required for those wishing to become physical therapists. If you’re a caring person who seeks to help others recover from injuries and surgeries, deal with chronic conditions and ailments, and prevent future health problems, then DPT schools may be a great option for you. Plus, the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) expects a 34% increase in the number of physical therapists for the years 2014 to 2024.[i] Therefore, this may be a perfect time to earn your doctorate of physical therapy degree! Earning your DPT degree on-campus could help you develop the potential skills necessary to enhance your career through hands on experience and in person training from your professors. Read on to learn more about DPT schools and find one that may be a great fit for you.
Doctor of Physical Therapy Schools: DPT School Basics
A doctor of physical therapy, or DPT, is the standard degree for those wishing to become a physical therapist and earn licensure. In fact, to create a standard of education and allow physical therapists to be recognized as health care professionals, masters of physical therapy degrees are no longer available. [ii]
DPT programs seek to provide students with the skills and knowledge to provide rehabilitative and preventative care to patients so they can remain active throughout their lives and recover from injuries. Students who have earned their bachelors or masters in physical therapy could expect to complete their program with 3 years of full time study. However, some doctor of physical therapy schools may offer a six or seven year program where students could earn both a bachelors degree and a DPT. Program lengths vary by school.
your DPT degree on-campus may have many benefits, especially for such a hands-on profession as physical therapy. Some courses may require working with human cadavers or performing other exercises that may not translate well to online settings. Plus, the social interaction and face-to-face communication with both your professors and classmates may be more intimate in an actual classroom, rather than through online video and discussions. This may help you solve problems in real time and work as a team.
Did You Know?
Hacky-sack started as a form of physical therapy when John Stalberger was introduced to the simple footbag in 1972. Immediately, he was stunned at how it worked as therapy for his injured knee.
Admission Requirements for DPT Schools
Most doctor of physical therapy schools require applicants to have earned a bachelors degree or a masters degree in physical therapy. Some DPT programs, may also require prospective students to have taken specific courses while earning those degrees, which may include topics like physiology, anatomy, and biology. Application requirements vary by school, so be sure to read program descriptions carefully and contact DPT schools through their listing for details.
The application process for DPT schools is a bit different than other graduate programs. Many doctor of physical therapy schools accept applications only through the Physical Therapist Centralized Application Service (PTCAS). This helps schools and prospective students conduct the application process more efficiently. The PTCAS allows students to upload their complete application and official transcripts to the PTCAS website for many schools to view. Because schools may have different application requirements, the PTCAS also allows applicants to attach a number of other items, which may include references, GRE scores, TOEFL scores, and signed PT observation hours.
Doctor of Physical Therapy Schools: Common Coursework
To earn a DPT degree, students are typically required to complete coursework, lab study, and at least 30 hours of clinical work. Clinical work seeks to provide students with supervised, hands-on experience as physical therapists, and could be easier through an on campus program.[iii] Coursework often includes taking science courses and those focused on the human body. These courses may include, but are not limited to:
- Human Anatomy
- Exercise Physiology
- Orthopedic Pathophysiology for Physical Therapists
Programs vary, so inquire with your preferred DPT schools for details.
Accreditation for Doctor of Physical Therapy Programs
While there are a number of regional accreditations for DPT programs, the most important national accreditation may be the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE). That’s because graduation from a CAPTE-accredited program is required to sit for the physical therapist licensing exam.[iv] This could therefore be an important consideration when choosing your DPT program. Accreditation ensures programs meet the increasingly high demands of the medical field and of the public.[v] It also helps foster an environment that encourages physical therapists to continue learning new techniques and practices throughout their career.
Potential Benefits of Earning Your DPT Degree
To practice as a physical therapist, you will need to earn a DPT degree from one of many accredited doctor of physical therapy schools and be licensed.[vi] This is arguably one of the biggest reasons students seek to attend DPT schools. Graduation from a CAPTE-accredited DPT degree program may ensure you have an understanding of physical therapy and the various tasks physical therapists perform.
Requirements to Earn Your Physical Therapy License
Licensing requirements vary state to state. However, in addition to having earned a DPT degree, all require you pass the National Physical Therapy Examination, which is administered by the Federation of State Boards of Physical Therapy.[vii] For a national license, you must also be at least 18 years old and submit an online registration.[viii]
Individual states may have additional requirements. These could include, but aren’t limited to, providing fingerprints, completing a criminal background check, and taking a law exam. Some states may also require a minimum age of 21 years, as opposed to 18. Check with your local state board for specific licensing requirements.[ix]
Physical Therapist Careers
The United States Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) predicts a dramatic increase in the number of physical therapists in the coming years. In fact, for the years 2014 to 2024, there is expected to be a potential 34% change in employment in this field. The baby boomer generation is likely to attempt to remain active as they age, which may require additional physical therapy services. It is also expected that more surgeries could be outpatient surgeries with patients later relying on physical therapists for rehab.i Why not start your journey to a potential physical therapy career today?
Find the Perfect Doctor of Physical Therapy School for You
You can begin your search for great DPT schools right here. Click on any of the sponsored listings on this page to learn more about individual doctorate of physical therapy degree programs. This may include specific courses, admission requirements, and faculty. You can also filter your search by location. When you’re ready, request more information to find a perfect doctor of physical therapy school for you!
Sources:[i]bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/physical-therapists.htm#tab-6 | [ii]apta.org/PTEducation/Overview/ |[iii]bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/physical-therapists.htm#tab-4 |[iv]capteonline.org/WhatWeDo/ImportanceofAccreditation/|[v]capteonline.org/WhatWeDo/ImportanceofAccreditation |[vi]bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/physical-therapists.htm#tab-4 |[vii]bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/physical-therapists.htm#tab-4 |[viii]fsbpt.org/SecondaryPages/ExamCandidates/NationalExam(NPTE)/EligibilityRequirements.aspx | [ix]bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/physical-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.
- Fairfield, CTFairfield, CT
Sacred Heart UniversityUpcoming Start Date: January 07, 2019
Sacred Heart University offers a 3-year, full-time program in Physical Therapy that prepares graduates for professional...
- 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...
- 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.
- Montreal, QCMontreal, QC
The School of Physical and Occupational Therapy offers M.Sc., M.Sc. (non-thesis) and Ph.D. programs in rehabilitation science. The focus is in the scientific basis of therapeutic approaches used to prevent and remedy physical and occupational dysfunctio...
- 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
- Los Angeles, CALos Angeles, CA
University of Southern California
Entry-level professional program (D.P.T.
- 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
- Pittsburgh, PAPittsburgh, PA
University of Pittsburgh
Whether you are seeking entry-level professional training, advanced training in physical therapy or doctoral research training, we encourage you to explore the endless opportunities that exist here at Pitt. We have an excellent faculty that includes fiv...
- Louisville, KYLouisville, KY
The Doctor of Physical Therapy program prepares students for licensure and practice in the field of physical therapy.
- Youngstown, OHYoungstown, OH
Youngstown State University
The Doctor of Physical Therapy program is a professional program for the preparation of physical therapists.
- North Canton, OHNorth Canton, OH
The Walsh University Doctor of Physical Therapy curriculum is an intensive three-year (8-semester) program, including summers.
- Duluth, MNDuluth, MN
College of St. Scholastica
Prepares students with the capability of providing all elements of physical therapy patient/client management as an ...
- Atlanta, GAAtlanta, GA
Georgia State University
The first public institution in the state of Georgia to receive approval to grant the Doctor of Physical Therapy degree.
- 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...
- Springfield, MOSpringfield, MO
Missouri State University
Focuses on the academic and clinical foundations necessary for a career in physical therapy.
- 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
- Nashville, TNNashville, TN
The School of Physical Therapy is committed to providing an educational program that both challenges and enhances a student's...
- Dallas, PADallas, PA
The Physical Therapy program is a 6-1/2 year professional program resulting in a bachelor's degree and a doctor of physical therapy degree.
- Dekalb, ILDekalb, IL
Northern Illinois University
- Los Angeles, CALos Angeles, CA
Mount Saint Mary's University
Mount St. Mary's College Los Angeles offers a highly competitive DPT Program on our historic Doheny Campus near downtown...