Physical Therapy Colleges in New York City with Degree Overview

There are several schools within 10 miles of New York City that have physical therapy degree programs. Read an overview of three schools' programs, requirements and admission info and find out which school is the right one for you.

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New York City Physical Therapy Schools

Students interested in physical therapy programs have many options in the New York City area. The majority of schools offer doctoral programs which will allow students to gain employment in a variety of settings. This article looks at three schools that are within 20 minutes of downtown and the programs they offer. There is also a table of information about the schools regarding topics such as tuition and enrollment that can help prospective students make a decision. Following this are a few facts one other New York City-area schools that offer relevant programs.

  • New York University is just two miles from the city center. The school offers a master's, two doctoral programs and a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in physical therapy.
  • About five miles from downtown is Columbia University in the City of New York. Students can earn a doctoral degree in physical therapy through the Columbia University Medical Center.
  • City University of New York, one mile from downtown, offers a doctoral program in physical therapy.

Comparison of Schools

Students who are looking for a school should consider many factors. The following table displays information about each school in a format that allows for easy comparison.

New York University Columbia University in the City of New York CUNY Graduate School and University Center
School Type Four-year, private, not-for-profit Four-year, private, not-for-profit Four-year, public
Total Enrollment (2017) 51,123* 30,454* 7,674*
Campus Setting Large city Large city Large city
Graduate Tuition & Fees (2017-2018) $43,848* $46,956* $9,830 for in-state and $22,200 for out-of-state residents*
% of Undergraduate Students Receiving Grants and Scholarships (2016-2017) 53%* 58%* 26%*
Acceptance Rate (2017) 28%* 7%* No information available
Retention Rate (2016-2017) 93% for full-time and 71% for part-time* 97% for full-time and 91% for part-time students* No information available
Graduation Rate (for students who began their studies in Fall 2011) 84% graduated within 150% of 'normal time'* 95% graduated within 150% of 'normal time'* No information available

Source: *NCES, College Navigator.

New York University

New York University (NYU) was founded in 1831 and enrolls over 51,000 students through 18 schools and colleges that have a variety of areas of study, including physical therapy. NYU's physical therapy department was established in 1927 through the Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development and has several degree choices for students today.

Master of Arts for Physical Therapists

This is a 34-credit program with a concentration in pathokinesiology and is designed for practicing physical therapists who would like to gain advanced training in human motion and motor control. This program will be completed in two years and coursework includes measurement and evaluation in human motion, biomechanics, research in physical therapy and statistics. The curriculum for this program also includes several independent study courses and a master's thesis.

Doctor of Physical Therapy

The Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) at NYU is a three-year, intensive program where students will attend full-time, including three summer terms. The 133-credit program will integrate lectures and hands-on training through supervised clinical experiences. The DPT is designed to give students a strong foundation in the function, theory and practice of physical therapy. Program coursework includes professional behavior, gross human anatomy, applied anatomy and physiology, principles of exercise, clinical decision making and physical therapy interventions. Students will participate in several clinical internships throughout the program, including a 16-week experience to complete the program.

Doctor of Physical Therapy for Practicing Physical Therapists

The DPT for licensed physical therapists is designed to give students the skills and knowledge needed to work independently in the field. This is a 36-credit program that is divided into four content areas: clinical, research application, management and fitness/wellness. Coursework includes examination of the musculoskeletal system, physical therapy interventions, clinical inquiry and decision making, business practices and exercise physiology.

Doctor of Philosophy, Research in Physical Therapy

The PhD program was the first doctoral program of its kind in the nation and was established at NYU in 1970. This is a 54-credit program that concentrates on pathokinesiology and human motion and integrates theory, research and critical thinking. Students are required to take a number of courses within several areas, including foundations of education, research methodology, departmental seminar, research electives and specialty courses focused on analysis and measurement of human motion. A dissertation project and qualifying exam are additional requirements of the program.

Columbia University in the City of New York

Columbia University was founded in 1754 and offers a wide variety of programs through 20 schools and 114 departments. The physical therapy program is housed within the Columbia University Medical Center and College of Physicians and Surgeons and offers a doctoral degree in the field.

Doctor of Physical Therapy

The DPT program at Columbia is nationally ranked and one of the oldest physical therapy programs in the country. This is an entry-level doctoral program that is designed to build the skills needed to enter the PT field. Post-professional programs include an orthopedic residency and dance physical therapy. Students learn in areas of clinical sciences, science, health care systems/management, professional practice and critical inquiry. Upon completion of the program, students will be prepared to work in the health care sector as clinicians with strong research, management and clinical skills.

City University of New York

More than 516,000 degree-seeking and continuing education students are enrolled annually at programs within the 24 institutions through the City University of New York (CUNY) system in NYC. The Graduate Center offers more than 40 doctoral and master's programs, including physical therapy. The DPT program is available at CUNY's Hunter College and College of Staten Island locations.

Doctor of Physical Therapy

The DPT program awarded between the Graduate Center and either Hunter College or the College of Staten Island is a three-year program that consists of 105 credits. This is a comprehensive program that will train students through lectures, theory and hands-on experiences to apply research methods in a variety of areas to their clinical practice. Students begin in the summer and take two courses, clinical anatomy and medical terminology. In the fall, courses are taken in patient care, upper extremity kinesiology and human physiology. Other coursework through both colleges will focus on topics such as physical modalities, acute physical therapy, research design, kinesiology, neurology and rehabilitation. In addition to the required coursework, all students must pass several comprehensive examinations, undergo clinical internships and complete a research project.

Other School Options

Another school in the NYC area that offers a doctoral program in physical therapy is Long Island University - Brooklyn Campus. Located roughly four miles from the center of NYC, the university offers a three-year, DPT.

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