Physical Therapy Schools in Utah with Degree Program Overviews

Jul 31, 2019

Utah has six schools that offer physical therapy programs. Learn about the degree programs, tuition info and program options for these schools to make an informed education decision.

Essential Information

Few schools in Utah have physical therapy programs, and only 6 public colleges are mentioned here. Nevertheless, individuals can find options for physical therapy assistant programs, pre-physical therapy bachelor's programs, and doctoral programs. Prerequisite classes and observation hours may be required for program admission. Many programs include practicum elements in addition to classroom instruction and lab training with other students.

Dixie State University

The physical therapy assistant program at Dixie State College of Utah in Saint George is accredited by CAPTE. Prerequisite courses in anatomy, physiology, physical therapy basics and medical vocabulary must be completed prior to admission, and applicants must also obtain at least 16 hours of physical therapy observation hours. The core curriculum includes classes in kinesiology and neuromuscular therapy. Students gain hands-on training through lab components and clinical experience.

Salt Lake Community College

Salt Lake City students who graduate from the CAPTE-accredited physical therapy assistant program at this school can qualify for the national licensure exam for physical therapy assistants. Classes in physical therapy problems and anatomy must be completed before being admitted to the technical portion of the program. Several of the core classes, such as practical anatomy and rehabilitative exercises, have laboratory components. Students also gain hands-on training through a clinical experience and internships.

Snow College

Snow College in Ephraim offers an Associate in Science or Associate in Arts program in pre-physical therapy for students who intend to transfer to 4-year colleges or universities. The classes for this program are offered through the Division of Natural Science and Mathematics. The suggested curriculum may include classes like chemistry, anatomy and physiology, calculus, statistics and physics.

University of Utah

This university in Salt Lake City offers a CAPTE-accredited Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) and a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Rehabilitation Science. The DPT program accepts up to 48 applicants who have bachelor's degrees, have completed prerequisite courses and have professional or volunteer experience in the field. In this 3-year program, students learn about pathophysiology, diagnostic evaluations and diagnostic imaging. Students also work in physical therapy settings in order to complete internships and clinical experiences.

The PhD program is grounded more in research than in practice. It typically requires applicants to have a master's degree or clinical doctorate in a relevant field. The curriculum consists of classes, a qualifying exam and dissertation. Students choose to focus on either evidence-based practice in rehabilitation or neuromuscular adaptations to rehabilitation. Although the coursework can vary according to emphasis area, students can expect to take several research-oriented classes.

Utah State University

Individuals looking for a suitable bachelor's program that focuses on physical therapy can find one in Logan at Utah State University. The Bachelor of Science in Human Movement Science program has a concentration option in pre-physical therapy for students who want to prepare for graduate school. Students may complete classes covering kinesiology, sports injuries, anatomy and physiology. A field experience provides students with real-world training, and students can repeat the course and earn up to 10 credits.

Weber State University

Ogden's Weber State University also has a pre-physical therapy curriculum for bachelor's-degree seekers who want to advance to graduate school. While pre-physical therapy isn't a major, students choose a major in athletic therapy or one within the College of Science and then complete the pre-physical therapy curriculum. These courses include various sciences like physics, chemistry, psychology and microbiology.

Career Requirements

Utah requires all physical therapists and physical therapist assistants to be licensed. Acquiring this licensure means that both types of professionals must complete a Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE)-accredited degree program. After graduation, individuals must pass a national exam administered by the Federation of State Boards of Physical Therapy.

School Comparison: At a Glance

School Name School Type & Setting Physical Therapy Degrees Offered Tuition & Fees (2018-2019)
Dixie State University 4-year; public; small city Associate in Applied Science in Physical Therapy Assistant $5,253 in-state, $15,051 out-of-state (undergraduate)*
Salt Lake Community College 2-year; public; large suburb Associate of Applied Science in Physical Therapist Assistant $3,843 in-state, $12,206 out-of-state (undergraduate)*
Snow College 4-year; public; remote town Associate of Arts or Associate of Science in Pre-Physical Therapy $3,742 in-state, $12,562 out-of-state (undergraduate)*
University of Utah 4-year; public; midsized city Doctor of Physical Therapy,
PhD in Rehabilitation Science
$8,151 in-state; $25,828 out-of-state (graduate)*
Utah State University 4-year; public; small city Bachelor of Science in Human Movement Science $8,138 in-state; $22,316 out-of-state (undergraduate)*
Weber State University 4-year; public; small city Bachelor of Science in Athletic Therapy $5,859 in-state, $15,646 out-of-state (undergraduate)*

Source: *NCES College Navigator

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