The six Michigan schools with physical therapy programs have earned accreditation through the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education, and each school offers a 3-year Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) program that leads to licensure in the field. Coursework covers therapeutic assessments and interventions, rehabilitation and anatomy.
In addition to DPT and pre-physical therapy bachelor's degree programs, transitional DPT programs are also offered by some schools. The transitional program is designed for licensed physical therapists who haven't earned a doctorate in the field. Along with a research project, the transitional and DPT options include clinical internships and series of labs for hands-on instruction. Applicants to the DPT program will need to have completed supervised observation hours, submit reference letters and have a bachelor's degree, among other prerequisites.
The Doctor of Physical Therapy program at Andrews University in Berrien Springs is a three-year program that features 40 weeks of clinical internships. Offered through the Department of Physical Therapy, the program trains students in clinical reasoning, neurology, physical therapy leadership, therapeutic exercise and therapeutic interventions and assessment. In order to graduate, students are required to complete a comprehensive examination, research project and seminar. The school also offers a pre-physical therapy bachelor's degree program that includes the necessary prerequisite education to enter the DPT program.
Central Michigan University
Central Michigan University is located in Mount Pleasant and offers a Doctor of Physical Therapy through the Herbert H. and Grace A. Dow College of Health Professions. Students have the opportunity to learn through state-of-the-art equipment and participate in research and educational projects. The program provides students with clinical experience on-campus through the Physical Therapy Clinic - Hands for Health. This facility provides physical therapy treatment to local residents who are otherwise unable to afford it.
Grand Valley State University - Pew Campus
The Robert C. Pew Grand Rapids campus of Grand Valley State University features a Doctor of Physical Therapy program that teaches students to assist individuals with rehabilitative needs. Courses cover topics in anatomy, neuroanatomy, cardiopulmonary rehabilitation, musculoskeletal and neuromuscular physical therapy, pediatrics and geriatrics. A minimum of 50 weeks of experience is required to complete the program, and the program offers internship opportunities in five settings. Offered through the College of Health Professions, the three-year program also features nine clinical specializations, as well as advanced electives.
Oakland University is located in Rochester Hills and offers undergraduate and graduate physical therapy programs through the School of Health Sciences. Within the pre-physical therapy concentration, students delve into physical therapy, athletic training and directed study. The Doctor of Physical Therapy requires that students complete 122-130 credits and prepares students for licensure in the field. The curriculum includes coursework, research projects, a capstone exam and internship. The Master of Science and Doctor of Science in Physical Therapy programs are designed for current professionals and delve into the clinical aspects of the field. The transitional DPT track allows current professionals to upgrade their education to meet the current licensure standards. The school also offers post-professional graduate certificates for physical therapists.
University of Michigan - Flint
The University of Michigan - Flint features a Doctor of Physical Therapy, Transitional DPT and Post-Professional Clinical Physical Therapy Certificate. The 119-credit, three-year DPT program requires courses in kinesiology, neuroscience, musculoskeletal disease, surgical conditions, neuromuscular examination, pediatrics and geriatrics. Six clinical education courses are also part of the curriculum. Practicing physical therapists have the option of earning an online post-professional clinical physical therapy certificate in cardiopulmonary, geriatrics, neurology, orthopedics or pediatrics. Each concentration requires that students complete a five-course sequence. Current physical therapists can choose to complete a fully online transitional DPT.
Wayne State University
The College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences at the Detroit-based Wayne State University offers a DPT program that takes three and one half years to complete. The DPT program is 126 credits; however, students must complete a 90-credit pre-professional program that offers the necessary prerequisites. DPT students take courses in medical and surgical conditions, patient management, cardiopulmonary rehabilitation, therapeutic exercise, pharmacology and therapeutic management. Three clinical education courses and two internships are required. A transitional DPT program is also offered.
Physical therapists are required to obtain licensure in all states, including Michigan. After earning a Doctor of Physical Therapy, applicants are required by the state to take the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) and Michigan Jurisprudence Exam. Physical therapists must also complete continuing education requirements to maintain licensure.
School Comparison: At a Glance
|School Name||School Type & Setting||Physical Therapy Programs Offered||Tuition & Fees (2018-2019)|
|Andrews University||Four-year, private not-for-profit; fringe town|| Bachelor of Health Science in Physical Therapy (Pre-PT),
Doctor of Physical Therapy
| Graduate: $27,324,
|Central Michigan University||Four-year, public; distant town||Doctor of Physical Therapy||Graduate: $13,804 in-state,
|Grand Valley State University - Pew Campus||Four-year, public; midsize city||Doctor of Physical Therapy||Graduate: $16,693*|
|Oakland University||Four-year, public; large suburb|| Bachelor in Science in Health Sciences (Pre-Physical Therapy),
Master of Science in Physical Therapy,
Doctor of Physical Therapy,
Doctor of Science in Physical Therapy,
Transitional Doctor of Physical Therapy
| Undergraduate: $12,606 in-state,
Graduate: $17,712 in-state,
|University of Michigan - Flint||Four-year, public; midsize city|| Doctor of Physical Therapy,
Transitional Doctor of Physical Therapy,
Post-Professional Clinical Physical Therapy Certificate
| Graduate: $11,304 in-state,
|Wayne State University||Four-year, public; large city|| Doctor of Physical Therapy,
Transitional Doctor of Physical Therapy
| Graduate: $17,661 in-state,
Sources: *NCES College Navigator.