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Physical Therapy Graduate Programs in Michigan with School Info

There are six schools in Michigan that have physical therapy graduate programs. Read an overview of these schools' programs, requirements and tuition info, and find out which school is the right one for you.

Essential Information

There are several public universities in Michigan as well as one private school that offer physical therapy graduate programs. The Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) program provides graduates with the skills necessary to qualify for entry-level clinical physical therapist positions, while Doctor of Science in Physical Therapy programs are designed for existing licensed therapists.

Graduate certificate programs, which typically take two years or less to complete, are also available in such areas as pediatric rehabilitation, orthopedic manual physical therapy and neurological rehabilitation. Some graduate programs have selective admissions, and applicants typically need to have a bachelor's or master's degree with specific prerequisite courses completed and work experience in the field. Online study options may be available.


Andrews University

This Christian not-for-profit university in Berrien Springs offers a two-year transitional DPT program for licensed therapists seeking doctoral degrees. The school also has a three-year Doctor of Science in Physical Therapy program designed for licensed therapists who want to gain skills in orthopedic manual therapy. An entry-level DPT program is available for applicants with a bachelor's degree or acceptable credits from an accredited institution. The programs include courses in assessment techniques, differential diagnosis, orthopedics and clinical pharmacology, as well as clinical education requirements.

Central Michigan University

The Herbert H. and Grace A. Dow College of Health Professions at the Mount Pleasant campus of Central Michigan University offers a DPT program that trains entry-level physical therapists. This three-year, post-baccalaureate program covers pharmacology, anatomy, physiology of exercise, examination and diagnosis and advanced physical therapy. In addition to coursework, students complete five clinical education blocks. Graduates are qualified to practice as generalists in physical therapy.

Grand Valley State University

The Robert C. Pew Grand Rapids campus of Grand Valley State University is the home of the school's DPT program. The program is offered through the College of Health Professions, which features eight faculty members. This is a competitive, three-year program that examines various medical specialties, including sports, neurologic and pediatric physical therapy. Applicants must have completed a bachelor's program with specific prerequisite courses and a minimum of 50 hours of experience in physical therapy. Courses cover neuroanatomy, geriatric and pediatric practice, spinal manual therapy and clinical training.

Oakland University

Oakland University in Rochester has a School of Health Sciences that offers a variety of graduate degree and certificate programs in physical therapy. The DPT program leads to an entry-level credential as a physical therapist. The Transitional Doctor of Physical Therapy, Master of Science in Physical Therapy and Doctor of Science in Physical Therapy are post-professional degrees for licensed physical therapists.

The transitional degree program is designed to provide licensed physical therapists with the skills and training required to obtain a DPT degree. The Doctor of Science in Physical Therapy program provides an advanced clinical doctorate and includes an individual research practicum. The graduate certificate programs offer specializations in orthopedic manual physical therapy, neurological rehabilitation, teaching and learning for rehabilitation professionals, oncology rehabilitation, pediatric rehabilitation and orthopedics.

University of Michigan - Flint

The Flint campus of the University of Michigan offers a three-year DPT program. This program features a part-time track option, which must be completed within six years. The school also offers a Transitional DPT program as a fully online option for licensed physical therapists that have a bachelor's degree or a master's degree. Post-professional certificate programs in cardiopulmonary, neurology, geriatrics, orthopedics and pediatrics are offered as well. These online certificate programs are available only for licensed physical therapists, and they take 18-24 months to complete.

Wayne State University

Located on the campus at the Detroit Medical Center in Detroit, the Eugene Applebaum College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences provides DPT and Transitional DPT degree programs. The DPT program requires 3.5 years of full-time attendance, though a few openings for part-time students may be available. In addition to coursework in therapeutic exercise, rehabilitation, pharmacology and physical therapy research, students complete clinical education. The Transitional DPT is a 24-credit program offered to licensed physical therapists with a master's degree or a 30-credit program for licensed physical therapists with a bachelor's degree.

Career Requirements

To be licensed as a physical therapist in Michigan, applicants must have graduated from a program accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE). Applicants also need to pass the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE), complete a criminal background check and submit fingerprints. The DPT programs described below can qualify students for physical therapist licensure in Michigan.

School Comparison: At a Glance

School Name School Type and Setting Physical Therapy Degrees Offered Yearly Graduate Tuition and Fees (2015-2016)
Andrews University Four-year, private not-for-profit; fringe town Transitional Doctor of Physical Therapy,
Doctor of Science in Physical Therapy,
Doctor of Physical Therapy
$25,172*
Central Michigan University Four-year, public; distant town Doctor of Physical Therapy $11,770 in-state; $17,600 out-of-state*
Grand Valley State University Four-year, public; large suburb Doctor of Physical Therapy $14,612 in-state; $19,331 out-of-state*
Oakland University Four-year, public; large suburb Master of Science in Physical Therapy,
Transitional Doctor of Physical Therapy,
Doctor of Science in Physical Therapy,
Doctor of Physical Therapy,
Graduate Certificate in Orthopedic Manual Physical Therapy,
Graduate Certificate in Neurological Rehabilitation,
Graduate Certificate in Oncology Rehabilitation,
Graduate Certificate in Teaching and Learning for Rehabilitation Professionals,
Graduate Certificate in Orthopedics,
Graduate Certificate in Pediatric Rehabilitation
$15,720 in-state; $24,648 out-of-state*
University of Michigan - Flint Four-year, public; midsize city Transitional Doctor of Physical Therapy,
Doctor of Physical Therapy,
Post-Professional Certificate in Neurology,
Post-Professional Certificate in Pediatrics,
Post-Professional Certificate in Orthopedics
$9,986 in-state; $14,751 out-of-state*
Wayne State University Four-year, public; large city Transitional Doctor of Physical Therapy,
Doctor of Physical Therapy
$15,853 in-state; $32,370 out-of-state*

Sources: *NCES College Navigator


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