10 Acclaimed Schools Offering Doctorates of Physical Therapy

Are you passionate about helping others regain mobility and lead healthier lives? Embark on an exciting journey by exploring the world of physical therapy and discover the transformative power of doctorates of physical therapy.

In this article, we unveil the top 10 programs that will pave your path to success. From prestigious institutions to cutting-edge education, get ready to unlock your potential and become a highly skilled physical therapist.

Without further ado, let’s get into it.

Doctorates of Physical Therapy
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Steps to Become a Physical Therapist

What is physical therapy? How can someone be a physical therapy? Do I need a doctorate to be a physical therapist? Let’s break it down.

Physical therapists are professionals who assist people in recovering from injuries, surgeries, or illnesses that hinder their ability to move and function. They play a crucial role in improving patients’ quality of life.

To become a physical therapist, you start by earning a bachelor’s degree in a related field like biology or exercise science. Then, you must earn a Doctor of Physical Therapy degree (DPT). So, yes, a doctorate is required to become a physical therapist.

After finishing the DPT program, you must pass a licensure exam to practice as a physical therapist. Gaining practical experience through clinical internships is also important.

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As a physical therapist, you can work in hospitals, clinics, or private practices, making a positive impact by helping people regain mobility and independence.

10 Leading Institutions for Pursuing Doctorates of Physical Therapy

Now, are you ready to take the next step towards a fulfilling career in physical therapy? Dive into our curated list of the best doctorate of physical therapy programs!

Whether you’re passionate about rehabilitation, sports medicine, or improving lives through movement, this comprehensive list will guide you towards the perfect program to realize your aspirations.

1. Carroll University (Wisconsin)

At Carroll University, you can achieve a DPT degree and become a licensed physical therapist. It has three entry options for its three-year, full-time graduate program. Its program prepares you to provide caring and respectful healthcare in a changing environment and contribute to the profession and community.

Additionally, Carroll University offers a unique chance for direct admission, starting as a freshman. You can complete both your undergraduate and graduate degrees in just six years. Along with regular coursework, its Physical Therapy Program offers Integrated Clinical Experiences.

2. University of Maryland (Maryland)

At the University of Maryland, its DPT program is designed to be completed in less than three years. The goal is to equip you to work independently as entry-level practitioners in a diverse global society.

Furthermore, its curriculum follows a unique block design, integrating foundational and clinical science content across all age groups. By the end of the program, you will be prepared to take the professional licensure exam.

Additionally, its clinical education program includes one Integrated Clinical Experiences and three Full-Time Clinical Experiences. These hands-on experiences provide valuable opportunities to apply your knowledge and skills in real-world settings.

3. University of Central Florida (Florida)

The DPT program at the University of Central Florida is dedicated to training students to become skilled, compassionate, and ethical physical therapists. Its three-year curriculum focuses on preparing entry-level therapists to provide effective care in various healthcare settings.

Throughout the program, students will participate in multiple clinical education experiences, also known as internships, lasting between eight to twelve weeks. These hands-on experiences allow students to apply their knowledge and develop practical skills.

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Upon successful completion of the program, students will be awarded a DPT degree, which qualifies them to take the national board examination.

4. Northwest University (Washington)

Northwest University’s DPT program is dedicated to empowering individuals like you to provide compassionate care to those in need. By obtaining a DPT degree from this program, you will become a skilled leader capable of addressing the unique needs of individuals, communities, and society.

The two-year accelerated hybrid program offers a combination of online didactic instruction and immersive in-person lab experiences. This innovative approach allows for flexibility while ensuring practical learning opportunities.

5. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (North Carolina)

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s DPT program has a clear mission: to prepare a diverse group of physical therapists to deliver exceptional care to the people of North Carolina and beyond. The program spans three full years and comprises a combination of classroom learning, clinical courses, and rotations.

Notably, the program boasts impressive graduation rates, licensure exam pass rates, and employment rates, reflecting its commitment to producing successful graduates. In fact, around 70% of program alumni are currently employed within North Carolina.

6. New York University (New York City)

New York University’s DPT program is designed to prepare students from diverse backgrounds for rewarding careers in physical therapy. The program follows a full-time format and offers a comprehensive course of study combined with supervised clinical practice.

Through an innovative and entry-level curriculum, you will explore topics such as normal and abnormal structure and function, as well as theory and practice of physical therapy. This well-rounded approach equips students with the knowledge and skills needed to excel in the field.

Upon completion of the degree, graduates will be eligible to pursue professional licensure, allowing them to practice as physical therapists.

7. Central Michigan University (Michigan)

In the first two years of your DPT program at the Central Michigan University, you will have the opportunity to gain hands-on learning in real-world settings. Additionally, you’ll benefit from a full academic year dedicated to clinical experiences.

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The program prides itself on offering access to state-of-the-art physical therapy technologies and the latest advancements in the field.

Moreover, with over 300 affiliated clinical agencies across various practice settings throughout the United States, you will have ample opportunities to gain practical experience and broaden your horizons.

8. University of Hartford (Connecticut)

The University of Hartford’s DPT program is tailored for individuals who holds a bachelor’s degree and meet the prerequisite course requirements. This three-year, full-time program is designed to prepare students for licensure as physical therapists.

With a comprehensive curriculum spanning 12 months each year, the program covers a range of content and process-based courses. It begins with foundational science courses and progresses to clinical content or lab courses, as well as applied clinical integration courses.

Moreover, the program’s impressive exam pass rate of 98.8% underscores its commitment to producing competent and qualified graduates.

9. University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee (Wisconsin)

At the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, this DPT program stands out as the only public program in the greater Milwaukee area. It offers an urban and extensive-research experience at a fraction of the cost of private schools.

The faculty prioritizes hands-on learning, ensuring that you will gain community experience starting from your second week of class. With a remarkable track record, 100% of its students secure employment within six months of passing the licensing exam, setting them on a successful career path as physical therapists.

Additionally, it has established a valuable partnership with the Zablocki Veterans Affairs Hospital, providing a post-graduate orthopedic residency program.

10. University of North Florida (Florida)

The last DPT program in this list, offered by University of North Florida, is designed to unleash your potential and equip you with the knowledge and skills to become an exceptional physical therapy practitioner.

By completing this program, you will be eligible to take the national licensure examination, opening doors to a rewarding career as a licensed physical therapist.

Through a rigorous curriculum spanning eight semesters, you’ll delve deep into the fascinating world of physical therapy. From foundational theories to advanced clinical practices, this comprehensive program covers it all.

Doctorates of Physical Therapy 101: Common FAQs and Expert Answers

Is a DPT required to become a licensed physical therapist?

Yes, a DPT is required to become a licensed physical therapist.

What are the prerequisites and admission requirements of a DPT program?

Prerequisites and admission requirements vary, but typically include a bachelor’s degree, prerequisite courses in sciences, letters of recommendation, and a competitive GPA.

How long to get a doctorate in physical therapy?

It takes around three years to complete a DPT program.

Are there any specialized areas or specialties within the field of physical therapy that can be pursued with a DPT?

Yes, there are specialized areas such as orthopedics, pediatrics, neurology, sports therapy, and geriatrics that can be pursued with a DPT.

How much does a doctor of physical therapy make?

Salaries for doctors of physical therapy vary, but the median annual wage is around $97,501, according to recent data.

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