Two universities in the state of Maryland offer 3-year doctoral degree programs for students interested in becoming physical therapists. Additionally, several 2-year colleges offer associate degree programs for individuals seeking to become physical therapist assistants (PTAs). In addition to lectures and labs, students in both degree programs participate in clinical experiences.
Applicants to a PTA program may need to have completed a certain number of prerequisite courses as well as volunteer or observation experience to be considered. In addition, applicants may need to be CPR certified and pass a criminal background check.
Allegany College of Maryland
Although students interested in the PTA program can take the required general education courses (Phase I) elsewhere, they will complete their major courses (Phase II) on the Cumberland campus of Alleghany College of Maryland. The PTA program will provide coursework and clinical training designed to prepare students to work under the supervision of a physical therapist. In addition to medical terminology, health care procedures and patient care, students are expected to learn assessment and treatment of diseases, disorders and injuries related to physical therapy.
Anne Arundel Community College
Located in Arnold, Anne Arundel Community College offers a 2-year PTA program in affiliation with Chesapeake College and the College of Southern Maryland. Students can complete general education courses at 1 of the 3 colleges of their choice and then take professional courses at Anne Arundel Community College. The college offers training in state-of-the-art laboratory facilities prior to sending students off-site for clinical practica.
Baltimore City Community College
In Baltimore, students can earn a PTA degree at Baltimore City Community College. The 2-year program results in an Associate of Applied Science. Students can apply to the PTA program upon completion of 14-15 credits in prerequisite courses and 15 (optional) hours of physical therapy volunteer work or observation. Upon entry into the program, students will take courses in pediatric and adult rehabilitation, psychology and physical therapy assistance techniques.
Carroll Community College
Located in Westminster, Carroll Community College offers an Associate of Applied Science degree for aspiring physical therapist assistants. It is important to note that residents of Carroll County will receive preference over non-residents. Upon completion of general education courses, students accepted into the PTA program will take courses in psychology, modalities and neuroanatomy & neurophysiology. In addition, they will take 3 clinical practica. Students may find programs close to home, but may be required to travel up to 90 minutes.
Chesapeake College in Wye Mills offers a PTA program in conjunction with Anne Arundel Community College. Students will apply to Chesapeake College and take their general education courses there, and the PTA training will take place at Anne Arundel Community College. Students must earn CPR certification prior to applying to the program. It is important to note that admission into Chesapeake College does not mean students are automatically admitted into the PTA program.
College of Southern Maryland
Students interested in becoming physical therapist assistants can apply to the College of Southern Maryland in La Plata. They can take their general education courses at 1 of the school's 4 campuses before applying to the PTA program at Anne Arundel Community College. Upon admission into the program, students will be required to complete a background check.
Montgomery College's PTA program is offered at the Takoma Park/Silver Spring campus. Prior to entering the program, students are required to have 30-40 hours of volunteer experience in a physical therapy setting. In addition to a full-time course load with courses during the day and evenings, students will be required to attend clinical practica that may be scheduled for the daytime or the evening. They will take courses in physical therapy techniques, kinesiology, and motor learning.
University of Maryland - Baltimore
The University of Maryland offers a 3-year, graduate program resulting in a DPT at its campus in Baltimore. While the first 2 years are primarily didactic study, the final year is focused on clinical experience. During this program, students will also have the opportunity to work with underserved populations.
University of Maryland Eastern Shore
Located in Princess Anne, the University of Maryland Eastern Shore offers a 3-year post-baccalaureate entry-level DPT program. Students at the historically black college will take courses in patient care, physiology, and research methods. Students will also be required to take 30 weeks of full-time clinical experience.
Physical therapists and PTAs must be licensed to work in the state of Maryland. To become physical therapists or PTAs, candidates must complete a training program accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE) and pass the corresponding exam administered by the Federation of State Boards of Physical Therapy as well as pass the Maryland State Jurisprudence exam. All programs described below are accredited by CAPTE, and graduates should be eligible to take the licensing exam.
School Comparison: At a Glance
|School Name||School Type & Setting||Physical Therapy Degrees Offered||Undergraduate Tuition & Fees (2015-2016)*|
|Allegany College of Maryland||2-year, public; small city||Physical Therapist Assistant Associate of Applied Science||$3,660 (in-district); $6,660 (in-state); $7,950 (out-of-state)|
|Anne Arundel Community College||2-year, public; large suburb||Physical Therapist Assistant Associate of Applied Science||$4,464 (in-district); $7,374 (in-state); $12,024 (out-of-state)|
|Baltimore City Community College||2-year, public; large city||Associate of Applied Science in Physical Therapist Assisting||$2,578 (in-state); $6,070 (out-of-state)|
|Carroll Community College||2-year, public; fringe rural||Physical Therapist Assistant Associate of Applied Science||$3,619 (in-district); $5,261 (in-state); $7,334 (out-of-state)|
|Chesapeake College||2-year, public; distant rural||Physical Therapist Assistant Associate of Applied Science||$3,676 (in-district); $5,368 (in-state); $7,216 (out-of-state)|
|College of Southern Maryland||2-year, public; fringe rural||Physical Therapist Assistant Associate of Applied Science||$3,542 (in-district); $6,111 (in-state); $7,911 (out-of-state)|
|Montgomery College||2-year, public; small city||Physical Therapist Assistant Associate of Applied Science||$4,728 (in-district); $9,156 (in-state); $12,432 (out-of-state)|
|University of Maryland - Baltimore||4-year, public; large city||Doctor of Physical Therapy||$14,761 (in-state, graduate); $30,145 (out-of-state, graduate)|
|University of Maryland Eastern Shore||4-year, public; fringe town||Doctor of Physical Therapy||$7,540 (in-state, graduate); $13,324 (out-of-state, graduate)|
Source: *NCES College Navigator.