Therapist Schools and Universities in the U.S.

Therapists help people recover from physical or mental injuries that affect their daily lives. Many schools in the United States offer various degree programs in this field of study.

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Those interested in therapy as a career can look for schools with programs in physical therapy, occupational therapy, and school counseling. All of these occupations are responsible for helping clients and patients recover from physical and mental ailments. Most areas in therapy require students have a graduate degree to begin entry-level work.

Top 10 Physical Therapy Schools

These physical therapy schools have been ranked by U.S. News & World Report as the best graduate schools to attend in 2016. Most tuition rates were determined by year, semester, or credit hours for the 2016-2017 school year.

College/University Location Institution Type Degree Tuition (2016-2017)
University of Southern California Los Angeles, CA 4-year, Private not-for-profit Master's, Doctoral $62,667
University of Delaware Newark, DE 4-year, Public Master's, Doctoral $1,051/credit hr.
University of Pittsburgh Pittsburgh, PA 4-year, Public Master's, Doctoral $25,500 (Master's) $39,786 (Doctoral)
Washington University in St. Louis St. Louis, MO 4-year, Private not-for-profit Doctoral $18,634/semester
University of Iowa Iowa City, IA 4-year, Public Master's, Doctoral $58,041 (Doctoral In-state)
U.S. Army Baylor University Waco, TX 4-year, Private not-for-profit Doctoral Covered by Uniform Services
Emory University Atlanta, GA 4-year, Private not-for-profit Doctoral $11,100/semester (2015-2016)
MGH University of Health Professions Boston, MA 4-year, Private not-for-profit Doctoral $19,700 (Fall 2017)
Northwestern University Evanston, IL 4-year, Private not-for-profit Doctoral $73,248 (Total for all three terms)
University of Miami Coral Gables, FL 4-year, Private not-for-profit Doctoral $11,500/semester.

Top 10 Occupational Therapy School

U.S. News & World Report lists the following schools as the best institutions offering graduate degrees in occupational therapy in 2016.

College/University Location Institution Type Degree Tuition (2016-2017)
University of Southern California Los Angeles, CA 4-year, Private not-for-profit Master's, Doctoral $25,721 (Master's) $17,330 (Doctoral)
Boston University Boston, MA 4-year, Private not-for-profit Master's, Doctoral $49,176
Washington University St. Louis St. Louis, MO 4-year, Private not-for-profit Master's, Doctoral $91,350 (Master's Total) $130,900 (Doctoral Total)
University of Illinois - Chicago Chicago, IL 4-year, Public Master's, Doctoral $2,309/semester
University of Kansas Medical Center Lawrence, KS 4-year, Public Master's, Doctoral $35,378 (In-state)
Colorado State University Fort Collins, CO 4-year, Public Master's, Doctoral $11,992
Thomas Jefferson University Philadelphia, PA 4-year, Private not-for-profit Master's, Doctoral $37,041 (Master's) $1,059/credit hr.(Doctoral)
Tufts University - Boston School of Occupational Therapy Medford, MA 4-year, Private not-for-profit Master's, Doctoral $49,892
University of Pittsburgh Pittsburgh, PA 4-year, Public Master's, Doctoral $25,500
New York University New York, NY 4-year, Private not-for-profit Master's, Doctoral $1,596/credit hr.

Top 10 Student Counseling Schools

These graduate schools all have student counseling programs and are considered the best schools in 2016, according to U.S. News and World Report. They include both public and private schools.

College/University Location Institution Type Degree Tuition (2016-2017 In-State)
University of Maryland - College Park College Park, MD 4-year, Public Master's, Doctoral $7,812
University of North Carolina Greensboro, NC 4-year, Public Master's, Doctoral $10,636
University of Georgia Athens, GA 4-year, Public Master's $11,600
University of Wisconsin - Madison Madison, WI 4-year, Public Master's, Doctoral $11,864
University of Missouri St. Louis, MO 4-year, Public Master's $11,484
University of Minnesota - Twin Cities Minneapolis, MN 4-year, Public Master's $8,120
Ohio State University Columbus, OH 4-year, Public Master's, Doctoral $12,425 (2015-2016)
University of Pennsylvania - University Park Philadelphia, PA 4-year, Private not-for-profit Master's $14,466
University of Florida Gainesville, FL 4-year, Public Master's, Doctoral $448/credit hr.
University of Central Florida Orlando, FL 4-year, Public Master's $8,872 (2015-2016)

School Selection Criteria

Therapy schools are accredited by associations or councils affiliated with their specific area. Some considerations when seeking a school in therapy fields of study include the following:

  • Check to make sure the school is accredited. The Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education accredits occupational therapy programs, while the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education accredits physical therapy programs and the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Program accredits programs in mental health.
  • Having standard therapeutic equipment available allows students to work with the latest technological advancements in their field.
  • Because therapists work with clients and patients on a regular basis, it's important for students to receive internship opportunities and learn under an experienced therapist.
  • While some areas of therapy require individuals to complete only an associate's degree, most require that students complete a master's degree in their field.

Aspiring therapists have several career options to choose from, and most public and private schools offer graduate degrees related to their field of study. Consider the location, tuition and other details about the institution before deciding which school would best fit you.

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