Top Schools for Therapeutic and Rehabilitation Programs

Jan 02, 2019

Read about therapeutic and rehabilitation degree programs, which can include studies in rehabilitation science, occupational and physical therapy or prosthetics and orthotics. Learn about the degree options at four top universities, and view a list of other schools with therapeutic and rehabilitation programs.

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Degree programs in therapeutic and rehabilitation studies can be found at top-ranked occupational and physical therapy schools and may lead to a bachelor's, master's or doctoral degree.

School Information

Four top schools offering undergraduate and graduate programs in relevant areas of study include the University of Washington in Seattle, University of Southern California in Los Angeles, University of Pittsburgh and Chapman University. Each was ranked highly by U.S. News & World Report for 2017.

University of Washington in Seattle, WA

School Highlight: The University of Washington has the 15th best occupational therapy school in the nation.

As of 2016, the University of Washington was the nation's 15th-best occupational therapy school in the nation according to U.S. News & World Report. Therapeutic and rehabilitation programs at the university include a Bachelor of Science in Prosthetics and Orthotics and master's degree programs in prosthetics and orthotics, health and rehabilitation sciences, occupational therapy and physical therapy. Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Rehabilitation Science and Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) programs are also available.

The Neurologic Physical Therapy Residency Program allows DPT students to focus on the rehabilitation of patients with neurologic conditions. The university also offers fellowships focusing on brain or spinal cord injuries, sports medicine, pediatrics and multiple sclerosis.

University of Southern California in Los Angeles, CA

School Highlight: The school ranked first among graduate schools with physical therapy programs.

In 2016, U.S. News & World Report ranked the University of Southern California (USC) first among graduate schools with physical therapy programs and third among schools with occupational therapy programs. Students interested in occupational therapy can pursue bachelor's, master's and doctoral degrees. Areas of concentration found in the Master of Arts in Occupational Therapy program include the rehabilitation of children, senior citizens or patients with psychological conditions. In addition, USC's DPT program provides residents with clinical opportunities in neurologic, orthopedic and sports physical therapy.

University of Pittsburgh in Pittsburgh, PA

School Highlight: Ranked #1 among top physical therapy schools in the nation.

As of 2016, U.S. News & World Report ranked the University of Pittsburgh first among top physical therapy schools in the nation. The university offers bachelor's, master's and doctoral degree programs in therapy and rehabilitation. In particular, the Master of Science in Health and Rehabilitation Science program allows students to concentrate their studies in occupational or physical therapy, rehabilitation counseling or rehabilitation sciences. Students can also earn a master's degree in occupational therapy or prosthetics and orthotics, as well as a DPT.

Chapman University in Orange County, CA

School Highlight: The school offers a transitional DPT program with online courses for practicing physical therapists.

For 2017, Chapman was ranked #6 among western regional universities by U.S. News & World Report. The Doctor of Physical Therapy program at Chapman University takes three years to complete. The program focuses heavily on research and requires students to complete 40 to 44 weeks of clinical training. The school boasts 100% students pass rates on the physical therapy licensure examination. There is also a dual degree Bachelor of Sciences in Health Sciences to Doctor of Physical Therapy program available.

Top Schools with Programs in Therapy and Rehabilitation

Here are some more highly ranked universities with relevant programs in this field:

  • At Emory University in Atlanta, GA, residents have the opportunity for multiple rotations, including one at the Scottish Rite Children's Medical Center, where pediatric neurologic conditions are studied.
  • At New York University in New York City, residents can pursue an acupuncture externship at the Tri-State College of Acupuncture.
  • At Ohio State University in Columbus, students can participate in a rotation at the Wheelchair and Adapted Seating Clinic.
  • Stanford University in Stanford, CA, offers a sports medicine fellowship for physical rehabilitation physicians includes working in a runners' clinic.
  • At the University of Illinois in Chicago, the Department of Neurology and Rehabilitation offers a fellowship in neurophysiology.
  • The University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill offers a research program where students work with autistic children.

There are both undergraduate and graduate physical and occupational therapy programs available at top schools, though programs are most commonly found at the graduate level. Each program has distinctions, such as unique fellowships and rotations, that may appeal to students.

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