New Orleans Physical Therapy Programs
Students interested in schools with a physical therapy program in New Orleans are limited to two choices that are within a 15-minute drive of the city's center. This article focuses on the clinical practice and courses required to complete programs at these schools. Also included is a table of facts and figures about each college.
- Delgado Community College is located roughly five miles from downtown New Orleans and offers a physical therapist assistant associate degree. Delgado is Louisiana's oldest community college and offers a variety of allied health programs.
- Another option for physical therapy students is Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center - New Orleans, which is only about a mile from the central area of the city. At this school, students can complete a Doctor of Physical Therapy and participate in the LSUHSC Outpatient Physical Therapy Clinic.
Comparison of Schools
The student enrollment figures and tuition rates are noticeably different for the two profiled schools. Compare these and other factors that may affect your college choice in the table below.
|Delgado Community College||Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center - New Orleans|
|School Type*||Two-year, public||Four-year, public|
|Total Enrollment (2015-2016)*||17,152||2,828|
|Campus Setting*||Large city||Large city|
|Tuition & Fees (2015-2016)*||$3,911 for in-state, $8,200 for out-of-state residents||$10,014 for in-state, $19,998 for out-of-state residents|
|% of Students Receiving Some Form of Financial Aid (2013-2014)*||84%||54%|
|Retention Rate (2013-2014)*||48%||N/A|
|Graduation Rate (for students who began in Fall 2011)*||11%||N/A|
Source: *National Center for Education Statistics, College Navigator
Delgado Community College
Originally established in 1921, Delgado Community College offers a 72-hour Associate of Applied Science - Physical Therapist Assistant (PTA) program. The program is offered through the allied health section and is accredited through the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education of the American Physical Therapy Association. Upon completion of the program, students are eligible to take the licensing exam or apply to a baccalaureate program in the field.
Associate of Applied Science - Physical Therapist Assistant (PTA)
Delgado's associate program is comprised of two phases that require students take 29 credits of general education courses and complete 43 credits of core PTA courses. The PTA-specific part of the program runs three semesters and incorporates clinical training and in-class work. The school's PTA program is competitive with a limited enrollment (only 27 students were accepted in 2015-2016) and requires students meet specific criteria in order to be considered for admission.
Students must complete all general education requirements before they can apply to the program, have a cumulative GPA of at least 2.0 overall and 2.5 in all prerequisite science courses, have completed at least 60 hours of observation or volunteer experience before applying and have obtained a high school diploma or GED equivalent. Once admitted, students will take courses in human anatomy and physiology, chemistry, medical terminology, elementary physics and general psychology.
Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center - New Orleans (LSUHSC)
The School of Allied Health Professions' Department of Physical Therapy at LSUHSC was established in 1970 and began offering an entry-level Doctor of Physical Therapy in 1971. The department offers students access to academic and clinical faculty, as well as centers such as the Human Development Center. Students can complete clinical training and practice through the LSUHSC Outpatient Physical Therapy Clinic.
Doctor of Physical Therapy
The program is designed to prepare students to diagnose and treat patients with disabilities, develop programs that promote a healthy lifestyle and work with other medical service practitioners. The three-year, 122-credit program has specific prerequisites and admissions criteria that must be completed prior to applying. The doctorate program requires applicants have at least 60 hours of supervised practical experience, a baccalaureate degree and a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher in order to be considered for admission.
The curriculum states students will take three semesters of coursework each year (including summers) that will integrate coursework and clinical practice. Students take multiple classes in neuroscience, mobility, physiology, administration, research methods and professionalism. Additional courses students must take include nutrition, pathophysiology, neuroanatomy, neuromuscular dysfunction and therapeutic interventions. LSUHSC's doctorate program places a strong emphasis on clinical training and requires that students participate in clinical experiences through classroom work, in addition to completing 38 weeks of clinical training at facilities outside of the school.