Physical Therapy Colleges in San Jose, CA with Degree Overviews

Jan 02, 2019

There are four schools within 40 miles of San Jose that have physical therapy programs. Read an overview of three of these schools' programs, requirements and admission info and find out which school is right for you.

San Jose Schools with Physical Therapy Programs

While there are no physical therapy schools located directly in San Jose, CA, there are schools in the surrounding area that provide programs for aspiring physical therapists and physical therapy assistants. This article explores three schools within an hour of San Jose and the programs they offer. It also includes a table of facts about each school, such as size, tuition, graduation rate and acceptance rate. This is arranged in a way that makes comparison easy.

  • The associate's degree program at Ohlone College prepares students for careers as physical therapy assistants. Ohlone is about nine miles from downtown San Jose.
  • Students at Samuel Merritt University, 37 miles from downtown San Jose, can earn a Doctor of Physical Therapy degree.
  • About 40 miles from San Jose, at the University of California - San Francisco, aspiring physical therapists can pursue a Doctor of Physical Therapy program as an entry-level student or graduates can enroll in the Doctorate of Philosophy in Rehabilitation Science program.

Comparison of Schools

This table presents data about each school that can be useful to individuals who are making a decision regarding their education.

Ohlone College Samuel Merritt University University of California - San Francisco
School Type* 2-year; public 4-year; private not-for-profit 4-year; public
Total Enrollment (2017)* 9,273 (undergraduate) 1,222 (graduate) 3,107 (graduate)
Campus Setting* Large Suburb Large city Large city
Tuition and Fees (2017-2018)* $1,162 in-state
$6,730 out-of-state (undergraduate)
$49,040 (graduate) $12,842 in-state
$27,944 out-of-state (graduate)
% of First-Year Students Receiving Some Form of Financial Aid (2016-2017)* 43% 53% (grant or scholarship aid)// 60% (federal student loans) N/A
Acceptance Rate (2017)* N/A open admissions N/A N/A
Retention Rate (2016-2017)* 85% for full-time students
26% for part-time students
Graduation Rate (For those who began their studies Fall 2014)* 41% (11% transfer-out rate) N/A N/A

Source: *NCES College Navigator.

Ohlone College

Ohlone College offers 197 degree and certificate programs. Many of the programs provide students with the opportunity to transfer to a 4-year university or begin a career. Degree and certificate programs available at the college include registered nursing, kinesiology, biology, biotechnology and physical therapy assistant (PTA). Successful graduates of the physical therapy assistant program are prepared to take the National PTA licensing exam, which is administered by the Federation of State Boards of Physical Therapy.

Associate in Science in Physical Therapist Assistant

This 2-year program consists of general education, physical therapy and supporting courses. Students are required to complete 54.5 credits and travel to off-campus locations. PTA-related courses include kinesiology, pathology, orthopedics, therapeutic exercise, neurological disorders and advanced modalities. Students also must complete two clinical practicums and one clinical internship.

Samuel Merritt University

Samuel Merritt University offers education and training in five disciplines. Students can pursue careers in nursing, occupational therapy, physical therapy, physician assisting and podiatric medicine. The Doctor of Physical Therapy program has 12 full-time faculty members.

Doctor of Physical Therapy

The Doctor of Physical Therapy is a 34-month program, with the final 22-weeks spent participating in a full-time internship. Students gain physical therapy knowledge and skills through courses in clinical physiology, neuroscience, patient care, anatomy, the health care system, pathology, pediatrics and electrotherapy. Opportunities are also available to participate in a number of case studies in the field. In addition to an internship, the program also requires that students spend two semesters working at the Community Participant Lab and work with patients who are living with neuromuscular problems.

University of California - San Francisco

The University of California - San Francisco is part of the University of California system and is the only campus that offers exclusively health sciences-related programs. The college features two physical therapy degree programs at the doctorate level. These physical therapy degrees are presented in collaboration with nearby San Francisco State University.

Doctor of Physical Therapy - Entry-Level

This Ph.D. program prepares students to become fully licensed, practicing physical therapists. The program is 36 months in length and includes a full-time, 34-week internship. Students have an opportunity to gain a theoretical understanding of medical and applied sciences. Courses teach students to work with patients of all ages who are living with various physical challenges. Classroom subjects include mammalian physiology, pharmacology, pediatrics and neurology. Students also participate in mentored research projects.

Doctor of Philosophy in Rehabilitation Sciences

Experienced physical therapists interested in either research or teaching can pursue a Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Rehabilitation Sciences. Comprised of up to two years of full-time study and 2-3 years to complete a dissertation for those who have completed undergraduate studies (less time for those with a master's degree), students choose an area of concentration in musculoskeletal biomechanics, clinically informed neuroscience or chronic pain. Students further this knowledge by completing laboratory rotations.Serving as a teaching assistant is also a program requirement.

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