best physical therapy schools

17 Best Physical Therapy Schools in 2024 | Full Guide

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Looking for the Best Physical Therapy Schools? we have packaged in this article all you may need to know. Read to the end.  By 2028, the number of physical therapists will rise by 22%, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

This is a growth rate that is more than four times that of all other jobs combined. We’ve produced a list of the best physical therapy schools for 2023 that provide the necessary DPT programs to get you off to a fantastic start in one of the fastest expanding professions.

Aside from the fulfillment of having a fulfilling career, being a physical expert also ensures consistent job security, with a growth in demand predicted to reach 27% over the coming ten years.

It is based on the startling excess of the second-largest generation in America, the 72 million Baby Boomers. Therefore, as this group matures, so does the need for physical therapists.

By working as a physical therapist, you can assist in people’s pain relief and help them lead healthier lifestyles. The greatest DPT programs are offered by the best physical therapy schools, which will be examined in this article.

Physiotherapists: What Do They Do?

Physical therapists primarily help patients manage their pain and increase their mobility. They begin by doing a patient’s observational and screening diagnosis. After that, they develop a recovery plan that can involve using specialized apparatus for stretching or exercising.

Physical therapists have fulfilling professions since there is a high demand for their services. You must register in the top DPT programs at one of the best physical therapy schools in order to benefit from these advantages.

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What qualifications must a physical therapist have?

You must earn a PhD in physical therapy from an accredited program and pass a licensing exam before you can practice as a physical therapist.

Programs to become a certified DPT typically last three years. Anatomy, exercise physiology, evidence-based practice, cardiovascular and pulmonary, endocrine and metabolic, musculoskeletal, and other topics are among the major subject areas covered in the program.

The remaining 80% of DPT programs are used for classroom and lab training, with only 20% of the time spent on clinical education.

best physical therapy schools

How Long does it take to become a Physical Therapist?

Typically, it would take four years to earn a physical therapy degree and at least 150 hours of voluntary physical therapy work in a hospital or other setting.

The finest DPT programs last about three years, and it takes four years to complete a bachelor’s degree. As a result, obtaining a physical therapy degree requires seven years of education.

Additionally, the first three years of certain six-year DPT programs are dedicated to pre-professional coursework. Following that, the DPT courses will start the second half of the curriculum.

You can be confident that the time spent studying will be rewarded if you pass your license exams, even though becoming a physical therapist may take some time.


Best Physical Therapy Schools

The top physical therapy colleges with top DPT programs are listed below;

1. CUNY Brooklyn College

CUNY Brooklyn College is one of the best physical therapy schools. Is an excellent choice for anyone considering a career in physical therapy. You will graduate after four years with the skills necessary to assist people in New York State who have medical, psychological, and social issues.

Enrolled physical therapy students will gain knowledge about restoring a patient’s optimal function through therapy and exercise.

For a deeper grasp of real-world experience, CUNY Brooklyn College makes sure that its physical therapy students work with nurse practitioners, physicians, and physician assistants. You may finish your schooling, ace your state exam, and obtain clinical experience with this method.

Graduates have a graduation rate of 55% and can anticipate earning up to $56,776 in their chosen areas.

Students can make up to $56,776 in their chosen fields after graduation with a 55% graduation rate. The institution also boasts an 81% retention rate, which means that after their first year, the majority of students continue their studies.

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best physical therapy schools

2. Foothill College

This is another physical therapy school on the list of best physical therapy schools. Unlike other 4-year PT schools, this institution has a heavy emphasis on sports injuries and sports medicine.

You’ll take a variety of kinesiology, biology, and chemistry classes while you’re studying, and you’ll get hands-on experience in sports medicine while understanding the fundamentals of human anatomy and physiology.

You will also focus on fitness assessments, fundamental nutrition, and emergency injury care as you enter your latter academic years.

The most impressive number, notwithstanding Foothill College’s average graduation rate of 24%, is your predicted salary after graduation.

With the degree, students can earn an average of $113,107 per year. With high school, college, or professional sports teams, this physical therapy curriculum is perfect.

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3. Texas A&M International University

This is one of the best physical therapy schools. This curriculum offers a wide range of study opportunities, including classes on human anatomy, wellness, health, disease, and other topics. Although your degree might be useful in other contexts, this program primarily focuses on sports medicine.

Reviewing the prerequisites for each student is essential to make sure you are qualified to obtain your PT license.

For instance, Texas A&M International University provides students with appropriate experience with 1800 clock hours of training. Additionally, you need to earn a current CPR or EMS certification in order to get your license. The Texas Athletic Trainer Written Examination and Texas Athletic Trainer Practical Examination are additional tests that students must pass to become licensed.

4. Texas Woman’s University

Texas woman’s university is one of the best physical therapy schools. Texas Woman’s University has a 55% graduation rate, with 73% of students continuing their study after their first year. The majority of students who decide to stay at the school rather than transfer have great things to say about the physical therapy program.

In the university’s physical therapy program, you’ll learn a lot of the fundamental concepts of your future field. There are additionally a few alternative study possibilities, depending on the degree you wish to pursue.

Students can enroll in post-professional certificate programs, physical therapy doctoral degrees (DPT), or physical therapy doctoral degrees in philosophy (Ph.D.). There are various options for finishing your graduate degree more quickly.

5. Northwestern Health Sciences University

Another physical therapy school on the list of the best physical therapy schools is the northwestern health sciences university. Students receive a lot of experience thanks to Northwestern Health Sciences University’s programs. You must first complete your undergraduate studies and graduate in order to seek your future employment.

Following completion of your undergraduate degree, you can apply for the DPT programs. Through this program, you will get the experience you need to help you adjust to life as a practicing physical therapist.

You can learn how to work in people’s homes, hospitals, outpatient clinics, and even sporting arenas with the help of these courses.

You’ll focus on a variety of subjects over your four years of study, including as pathology, biology, cellular histology, finance, behavioral sciences, kinesiology, and biomechanics.

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6. Pennsylvania State University – Penn State Wilkes-Barre

This is one of the best physical therapy schools on the list. Other physical therapy programs have some differences from the one provided by Penn State Wilkes-Barre at Pennsylvania State University. It is a degree in rehabilitation that covers all aspects of care rather than just physical therapy.

Students will get the opportunity to research a variety of entry-level positions that entail assisting clients in human service settings.

After receiving your undergraduate degree, you have the option of pursuing a doctoral degree in physical therapy or even a DPT program. So when you graduate, you’ll have a Bachelor of Science in Rehabilitation and Human Sciences.

Students will learn how to assess client needs in addition to conducting family interviews and handling caseloads. In order to better prepare you for your graduate degree program, you will also get academic experience in hospital and medical settings.

7. University of Southern California

University of Southern California is one of the best physical therapy schools. The University of Southern California has a graduation rate of 92% and an acceptance rate of 13%, per a recent rating. To help graduates reach their goals and establish themselves as industry leaders, they can choose from one of their three-degree programs.

The innovative, three-year Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) program, which is offered in both residential and hybrid settings, is currently enrolling students. The university also offers one of the top master’s and doctoral programs in kinesiology for those interested in learning about the biological underpinnings of the movement.

8. Brigham Young University – Provo

Another physical therapy school on the best physical therapy schools is the Brigham young university. Alumni at Brigham Young University – Provo can expect to make up to $87,604 when they graduate. Their remarkable 82% graduation rate and 89% retention rate in their programs speak volumes about the caliber of their educational offerings.

If you want to learn more about a job helping individuals avoid injuries, manage pain, and enhance mobility, this program is ideal.

You can get help from the school’s Pre-Professional Advisement Center to start planning your academic schedule around your intended career path. The university also offers a physical therapist assistant degree.

After completing your program, you’ll be awarded an Applied Associate Degree that will allow you to work as a physical therapist assistant. So, in order to help patients with their health difficulties, you will work alongside qualified physical therapists.

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9. University of Wisconsin – La Crosse

This is another physical therapy school on the list of the best physical therapy schools. This PT program will help you launch your ideal profession. It is sometimes referred to as a Doctor of Physical Therapy entry-level program. Throughout your studies, you will acquire experience in patient assessment, problem-solving, and the development of lifelong skills.

With the support of the acclaimed faculty, students examine physical therapy practices in the Health Science Center. You will get access to some of the best research facilities and labs in the country until you finish your degree in a total of 34 months of study.

Your time will be split between the Health Science Center for the first two years and clinical internships for the final ten months. You’ll obtain a Doctor of Physical Therapy after completing the program of study.

10. Bryan University

Bryan university is one of the best physical therapy schools. After graduating, you can work in fields including occupational therapy, physical therapy, athletic training, and more with a bachelor’s in science. Your whole academic career will be devoted to learning about, caring for, and teaching others about how the human body functions.

Because it covers a variety of foundational skills essential to careers, Bryan University’s curriculum is quite diverse.

In-depth subjects including exercise physiology, sports program administration, and other advanced courses will be covered during your final years of study. Overall, it’s a thorough, open curriculum that would be an excellent location for you to begin preparing for your future career.

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11. University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine

This is one of the best physical therapy schools. The DPT program at this college can be finished in 2.5 years, which is less time than other programs. Although the program gives students a thorough grasp of physical therapy, students can focus on a speciality during their clinical practice.

Students will be exposed to the real world right away. As students go through the program, you will manage five full-time clinical affairs for 35 weeks, including clinical work in a hospital.

The pass percentages for the graduation and license exams are both 100%. However, entry to this program is hard because only 45 students are accepted each year.

12. Emory University Division of Physical Therapy

Another physical therapy schools on the list of the best physical therapy schools. Emory University, one of the top physical therapy programs in 2023, is a highly regarded institution with a 100% 11-year employment rate for graduates. With a 19% acceptance rate, this program, which begins in June and lasts 35 months, attracts students from around the country.

The university places a high priority on research, and DPT students work closely with a faculty mentor on their senior research projects. This university encourages prospective students to observe licensed physical therapists in action in diverse settings.

These are the top schools for physical therapy, where you can discover top-notch courses that can prepare you for a future in the profession. If you are thinking about a career in physical therapy, it would be best to select one of these schools because it will undoubtedly be more affordable and have a 91% graduation rate.

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best physical therapy schools

13. Duke University School of Medicine

Duke university is one of the best physical therapy schools. It’s a university that offers practical instruction so that students can learn by employing real patients in their practice. Students are paired with second- or third-year students once they begin the program through a program called the Big Bb program.

Students work in the classroom and lab for the first two years of the three-year program, and then they conduct clinical work for the final year.

From this program, one can also go to the Trent Semans Health Education Center and an anatomy lab. The global studies program, which enables learning abroad by going to volunteer at a hospital, will also be helpful to students.

14. Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine

This is one of the best physical therapy schools. It features a two-year DPT curriculum, a faculty-developed methodology, and a 94% graduation rate, making it one of the top and largest physical therapy schools in the US. The curriculum teaches students how to identify and treat movement problems through four full-time clinical experiences.

This university has two dual degree programs, two DPT programs, and an 8% admission rate. It enrolls 90 to 95 DPT students each year.

Although this university does not require GRE scores, students must meet academic requirements and complete physical therapy observation hours.

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15. Washington University in St. Louis

University of Washington is one the best physical therapy schools. Students at this university experience four developmental phases and benefit from a student-centered educational model. It makes it possible for students to receive flexible, individualized instruction, mentoring, and evaluations to promote their achievement.

During the roughly three-year program, you will learn through case studies, in-class instruction, and part- and full-time clinical experiences. Students will also gain from opportunities for research that will help them increase their expertise.

There is rolling admission and applications are accepted up until February 1 of the enrolling year. You don’t need to take the GRE. Application requirements for undergraduate science and math must also have been satisfied.

16. University of Delaware School of Health Sciences.

This is another physical therapy school on the list of best physical therapy schools. This university offers a distinctive hands-on learning atmosphere and boasts two full-service physical therapy clinics on campus.

Students engaged in integrated clinical education courses have the opportunity to apply their learning with real patients in clinics under the supervision of university academic staff and clinical professionals.

It has one of the top DPT programs, one of the greatest graduation rates (94.34%), and one of the highest acceptance rates (66%). At this university, which has a reputable research program, students can take part in faculty-led research projects.

It’s important to realize that only the best applicants are accepted by this university, and the most recent graduating class had a GPA of 3.8.


17. University of Pittsburgh

University of Pittsburgh is one of the best physical therapy schools. The School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences at the University of Pittsburgh is one of the top approved physical therapy programs in the world (SHRS). The university is famous for its adeptness in academic and clinical instruction as well as its high-impact, disciplinary research.

By helping people of all ages and phases of life to resolve movement, function, and mobility challenges, the school has been a trailblazer. Their admittance rate is 82% and graduation rate is 82%.

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