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Colleges with Physical Therapy Majors

Oct 25, 2019

Physical therapists must have a Doctor of Physical Therapy to practice. Physical therapy classes are offered at universities at the undergraduate and graduate levels to train aspiring physical therapy professionals, as well as licensed physical therapists.

List of Undergraduate Physical Therapy Universities

Ivy Tech Community College

Ivy Tech Community College offers an Associate of Science in Physical Therapy Assistant. Students take courses in anatomy and physiology, kinesiology, and the principles and procedures of physical therapy, among others. The school also has transfer partnerships available for students who wish to earn a bachelor's degree.

Clarkson College

Clarkson College offers an Associate of Science in Physical Therapist Assistant and a dual Associate of Science in Physical Therapist Assistant/Bachelor of Science in Community Health. The dual program is for students who wish to earn a PTA degree and complete a bachelor's program to pursue higher education or gain marketable skills.

Bowling Green State University

Bowling Green State University's bachelor's degree in Applied Health Science offers its students a Pre-Physical Therapy track. Through the track, students will take courses such as Biology, Psychology, Health and Wellness, and Cultural Diversity.

University of South Carolina - Columbia

The University of South Carolina's campus in Columbia has a Bachelor of Science in Exercise Science, with an option of three areas of emphasis - Health Fitness, Motor Development, and Scientific Foundations. The courses taken in this program can fulfill the requirements to enter a doctoral physical therapy program, and the areas of emphasis may prepare an individual to work with specific populations as a physical therapist, such as athletes.

List of Graduate Physical Therapy Universities

Baylor University

Baylor University offers a Doctor of Physical Therapy degree that can be completed in two years. Their clinical experience allows students to choose a specialty, such as orthopedics or geriatrics, so their training can match up with their career goals. This is not the same as a residency program, so a student may still choose to enter one upon graduation.

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

The University of North Carolina's Chapel Hill campus has a Doctor of Physical Therapy program as well as three residency programs in Orthopedics, Neurologic, and Pediatrics. The school also has a transitional DPT program for licensed physical therapists seeking to advance their clinical practice, pursue academic positions, or become policy leaders, and combines online learning with clinical training.

New York University

New York University offers a two-year Master of Arts in Pathokinesiology for experienced physical therapists to advance their skills. The program focuses on enhancing scientific thinking to measure and evaluate physical movement in humans.

University of Pittsburgh

The University of Pittsburgh offers two options for physical therapists to continue their education - a Master of Science in Musculoskeletal Physical Therapy and a Master of Science in Neuromuscular Physical Therapy. The program lasts one year and integrates classroom sessions with clinical instruction. Some courses taken include advanced neuroscience and medical and physical therapy interventions.

School Name Degree Type Tuition (2018-2019)*
Ivy Tech Community College *Associate of Science in Physical Therapist Assistant $4,368 in-state
$8,402 out-of-state
Clarkson College *Associate of Science in Physical Therapist Assistant
*Dual Associate of Science in Physical Therapist Assistant/Bachelor of Science in Community Health
$13,392
Bowling Green State University *Bachelor of Science in Applied Health Science with Pre-Physical Therapy Track Option $11,105 in-state
$19,093 out-of-state
University of South Carolina - Columbia *Bachelor of Science in Exercise Science
*Bachelor of Science in Exercise Science with Emphasis in Health Fitness
*Bachelor of Science in Exercise Science with Emphasis in Motor Development
*Bachelor of Science in Exercise Science with Emphasis in Scientific Foundations
$12,618 in-state
$33,298 out-of-state
Baylor University *Doctor of Physical Therapy $30,888
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill *Doctor of Physical Therapy
*Transitional Doctor of Physical Therapy
$10,243 in-state
$27,454 out-of-state
New York University *Master of Arts in Pathokinesiology $42,888
University of Pittsburgh *Master of Science in Musculoskeletal Physical Therapy // *Master of Science in Neuromuscular Physical Therapy $22,846 in-state // $38,736 out-of-state

Source: *NCES

Physical Therapist Major Requirements and Description

Students interested in pursuing a career in physical therapy can obtain an associate's degree to become a physical therapist assistant. Associate physical therapist assistant programs last two years and include general courses as well as courses in anatomy, exercise physiology, and kinesiology. The credits earned in a PTA program can transfer to a bachelor's program if one chooses to pursue a career as a physical therapist.

Another option to become a licensed physical therapist is to major in subjects that will prepare an individual for a future doctoral program. Common undergraduate majors include biology, health science, athletic training, and exercise physiology. There are pre-physical therapy tracks that provide students with the pre-requisite coursework, but they do not count as physical therapy majors. These courses include anatomy and physiology, chemistry, biology, psychology, physics, math, English/writing and humanities/social sciences.

Doctor of Physical Therapy Program Requirements and Description

Once an individual has finished a bachelor's degree, or they are a senior on track to graduate, they may qualify to enter a Doctor of Physical Therapy program. Common admissions requirements include a minimum of 3.0 GPA, letters of recommendation, GRE test scores, the passing of a background check and drug screening, and proof of volunteer experience. Many universities recommend that the volunteer experience is with a hospital/clinic related to physical therapy.

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