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Physical Therapy Degrees in Oregon with School Overviews

Oregon has about five not-for-profit schools that offer physical therapy programs. Learn about some of these degree programs, tuition info and program options for four of these schools to make an informed education decision.

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Essential Information

Prospective students seeking a career in the field of physical therapy have few options available within Oregon. Students can choose from associate's and doctoral degree programs in physical therapy. Associate's degree programs include those for physical therapy assistants and pre-professional programs designed for transfer to a four-year program in physical therapy. All physical therapy programs include a clinical element in addition to general education courses at the undergraduate level.


Lane Community College

Offered through the health professions division at the Eugene campus, the Associate of Applied Science - Physical Therapist Assistant program is an option for aspiring physical therapy professionals. This two-year program prepares students for careers as PTAs and has received accreditation from the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE). In addition to general education studies, program coursework includes human anatomy and physiology, medical terminology, clinical practice labs and applied kinesiology, as well as a required 648-hour guided co-op clinical experience. Graduates are eligible to take the National Physical Therapy Examination and become licensed PTAs.

Mt. Hood Community College

Mt. Hood Community College offers prospective students a two-year PTA program at the Gresham campus. Administered through the allied health division, the Associate of Applied Science - PTA program consists of classroom lecture combined with laboratory practice. Students will receive instruction in manual techniques, quality assurance and clinical applications. Direct, hands-on experience through clinical rotations provides students with the opportunity to integrate their learning and develop their skills. This associate's degree program has achieved recognized accreditation by the CAPTE and is taught by instructors with physical therapy experience. Students who successfully complete the program are prepared to take the national exam that is required to become a licensed PTA.

Pacific University

Located in Hillsboro, Pacific University's School of Physical Therapy offers a doctoral program in the field; it's the only such program in Oregon accredited by the CAPTE. The three-year DPT program is designed for entry-level students. Following the first year, coursework is combined with clinical experience internships, and the school is affiliated with around 250 clinics. Coursework covers patient assessment and management, anatomy, motor control, bioethics, neuromuscular systems, research methodologies and therapeutic exercises.

The physical therapy program also examines the specific needs of older patients and young children. In order to graduate, physical therapy students must complete either a thesis or a capstone project. The thesis option requires students to perform research on a professional or clinical issue, while the capstone project requires students to formulate a clinical question utilizing evidence-based principles. Graduates are prepared to take the physical therapy national licensing exam.

Career Requirements

To work in the field of physical therapy in Oregon, physical therapists and physical therapy assistants must become licensed. Licensure requires physical therapists to complete an accredited Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) or master's degree in physical therapy and pass the National Physical Therapy Examination. However, all physical therapists will be required to possess a DPT by 2015. Physical therapy assistant (PTA) licensure requires students to graduate from an accredited PTA program and pass the National Physical Therapy Examination.

School Comparison Table

School Name School Type & Setting Physical Therapy Degrees Offered Undergraduate Tuition & Fees (2015-2016)*
Lane Community College Two-year, public; fringe rural Associate of Applied Science - Physical Therapist Assistant $4,047 in-state per year,
$9,213 out-of-state per year*
Mt. Hood Community College Two-year, public; large suburb Associate of Applied Science - Physical Therapist Assistant $4,841 in-state per year,
$10,016 out-of-state per year *
Pacific University Four-year, private not-for-profit; large suburb Doctor of Physical Therapy $33,930 program tuition per year**

Source: *NCES College Navigator, **Pacific University.

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