Houston Physical Therapy Schools
Students interested in a physical therapy (PT) program have several school options in the Houston area. Those looking for a physical therapist assistant (PTA) program have two schools to choose from, and individuals wishing to earn an advanced degree in PT have one school choice. All these schools are 25 minutes or less from downtown Houston. In addition to information about the schools and their programs, a table of statistics that a prospective student can use, such as school size, graduation rate and tuition is also provided. At the end of the article are a few facts about two other Houston-area schools with relevant programs.
- Houston Community College is in the heart of the city and has an associate degree option for PTAs.
- San Jacinto Community College offers a PTA associate degree program at its south campus location in Houston, roughly 15 miles from downtown.
- An option for those looking to become certified as a physical therapist is Texas Woman's University. The university's Houston branch, about six miles from downtown, offers an entry-level doctorate and a traditional doctorate.
Comparison of Schools
The following table contains information about these schools that is important to prospective students. They can look at it to help them determine which school is their best option.
|Houston Community College||San Jacinto Community College||Texas Woman's University|
|School Type||2-year, public||2-year, public||4-year, public|
|Total Enrollment (2017)||57,120*||30,509*||15,473*|
|Campus Setting||Large city||Large suburb||Midsize city|
|Tuition & Fees (2017-2018)||$1,632 in-district; $3,360 in-state; $3,756 out-of-state*||$1,500 in-district; $2,580 in-state; $4,140 out-of-state*||$7,486 in-state; $17,446 out-of-state*|
|% of First-Year Students Receiving Any Form of Financial Aid (2016-2017)||62%*||50%*||89%*|
|Acceptance Rate (2017)||N/A - Open admission policy||N/A - Open admission policy||86%*|
|Retention Rate (Fall 2016 to Fall 2017)||65% for full-time and 49% for part-time students*||72% for full-time and 57% for part-time students*||78% for full-time and 58% for part-time students*|
|Graduation Rate||18% (for students who began in Fall 2014)*||28% (for students who began in Fall 2014)*||36% (for students who began in Fall 2011)*|
Source: *National Center for Education Statistics, College Navigator.
Houston Community College
Houston Community College was established in 1971 and offers educational opportunities for students in the greater Houston area through degree and certificate programs in more than 90 areas of study. The school's Coleman campus strives to be one of the leading health sciences community colleges in the county and houses the Coleman College for Health Sciences.
Associate in Applied Science in Physical Therapist Assistant
The PTA associate degree program at Houston Community College is a 2-year program that can be completed in five semesters. The program will train students to assist physical therapists in the application of therapies such as massage and electricity, exercise, prosthetics and the overall rehabilitation of individuals. Coursework includes anatomy and physiology, basic patient care, physical agents, therapeutic exercise, rehabilitation techniques, psychology, human growth and several practicum experiences. In addition to the required coursework, lectures and labs, students will participate in clinical training at the nearby Texas Medical Center.
San Jacinto Community College
San Jacinto Community College serves over 30,000 students and offers more than 140 academic programs. The school's PTA program gives students the skills and knowledge needed to work under the supervision of physical therapists, as well as sit for the National Physical Therapist Assistant Examination. Students must have two, 20-hour observation experiences performed at an outpatient or in-patient facility, hospital or home setting.
Associate of Applied Science in Physical Therapist Assistant
Students can earn an associate degree in PTA through San Jacinto - South's 66-credit program. In addition to lectures and labs, students must participate in three separate clinical experiences totaling 19 weeks at various designated locations. Coursework includes basic patient care skills, anatomy, physical agents, therapeutic exercise, neurological disorders, rehabilitation techniques and professional issues. Students will take their first clinical internship in the summer term before the start of their second year and the two remaining clinical experiences in the final semester.
Texas Woman's University
Established in 1901, Texas Woman's University was a women-only college that began admitting men in 1972. The university serves over 15,000 students annually through its three campuses in Denton, Dallas and Houston, TX. The university offers several residency options (neurology and women's health) for licensed physical therapists interested in enhancing their skill level.
Entry-Level Doctor of Physical Therapy
The entry-level Doctor of Physical Therapy program is 33 months and integrates lectures, classroom learning and clinical training. Students must hold a baccalaureate degree from an accredited institution and have successfully completed all required prerequisites in order to be considered for acceptance. Coursework includes anatomy, developmental concepts, neuroscience, research methods, therapeutic exercise and intervention, psychosocial aspects of rehabilitation and pediatric physical therapy.
In addition to the required coursework, students will participate in three clinical experiences (six to seven weeks in length each) and one final clinical internship that lasts 12 weeks. Additionally, TWU offers a fast-track program for students who are enrolled in the entry-level DPT and plan on entering the Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) program. This 6-year program requires students to take 37 credits in the Ph.D. program, in addition to the DPT coursework completed before starting Ph.D. study.
Doctor of Philosophy in Physical Therapy
The Ph.D. program at TWU emphasizes practical experience and provides students with intensive one-on-one training in an area of their choice. This flexible program allows students to maintain employment while they complete the required coursework on a part-time basis. Coursework is designed to advance a student's lab and clinical development, as well as research and writing skills to function in an academic environment and is offered in a hybrid online and on-site format. Students will take courses in statistical methods, advanced instrumentation, physical therapy instruction and research methods. Additionally, students will participate in several advanced practicum experiences, field research, independent study and two dissertation courses.
Other School Options
Additional options for students interested in a physical therapy program in the Houston area include Lone Star College System located approximately 30 miles from downtown Houston and offering a PTA associate degree program. Students interested in an advanced PT degree program could consider the University of Texas Medical Branch. Located roughly 47 miles from Houston in Galveston, the school offers several doctoral level programs in physical therapy.