In general, students seeking admission into this type of degree program require a bachelor's degree. Some academic institutions require students to complete prerequisite courses in biology, statistics, chemistry, physics, social science and psychology. Additionally, programs could require letters of recommendation and GRE scores. Students in the program will complete required clinical experiences, which generally include patient observation and examination, through campus clinics or at affiliated physical therapy facilities. Upon successful completion of a DPT degree program, graduates are eligible to sit for the National Physical Therapy Examination for state licensure.
Doctor of Physical Therapy
Studies in a DPT program focus on advanced topics relating to human movement, physical therapy methods and physical sciences. Students learn to use problem-solving activities and case studies in order to enhance the learning experience. Common physical therapy course topics include:
- Human anatomy and physiology
- Injuries of the musculoskeletal system
- Research methods
Popular Career Options
Graduates can provide community service, conduct research and practice in a wide variety of healthcare settings, including:
- Rehabilitation centers
- Private physical therapy offices
- Nursing homes
- Sports facilities
Employment Outlook and Salary Information
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, physical therapists could see an employment growth of 34% from 2014 to 2024 due to increases in elderly populations and survival rates of infants with birth defects (www.bls.gov). The average annual salary for physical therapists was $85,790 in May 2015, according to the same agency.
Continuing Education Information
All states require practicing physical therapists to obtain a license. To renew a license, physical therapists usually need to participate in continuing education, and some states require specific courses or activities.
Students that earn a Doctor of Physical Therapy can work as physical therapists in an array of healthcare settings once they have obtained their state license. Graduates have mastered concepts in movement, therapy and research.