Top 15 PT Schools To Study for your DPT
Choosing the right physical therapy program is crucial for aspiring physical therapists to achieve their career goals. With a vast array of programs available, selecting the best one can be a daunting task. This article highlights some of the best physical therapy schools in the USA based on factors such as faculty expertise, program reputation, clinical experiences, and research opportunities.
These top-ranked Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) programs offer comprehensive training, innovative teaching methods, and diverse clinical opportunities that equip graduates with the knowledge and skills to excel in their careers as physical therapists.
Best PT Schools to get your DPT
Below, we have discussed the top 15 Physical Therapy / DPT in the USA you can opt for:
1. Duke University
The Duke University of Physical Therapy is a highly regarded school known for its excellent academic programs and contributions to the field of physical therapy. Accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE), this institution has a long-standing reputation for excellence in research and education.
With its state-of-the-art facilities and distinguished faculty, the Duke University Department of Physical Therapy offers a Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) program that equips students with the necessary skills and knowledge to become successful physical therapists. The curriculum is designed to provide a balance of theoretical knowledge and hands-on clinical experience.
The total cost of tuition and fees for the program is approximately $139,960, and financial aid is available to eligible students. The application process includes submitting an online application, official transcripts, letters of recommendation, and a personal statement.
2. Northwestern University
The Northwestern University Northwestern University’s Department of Physical Therapy and Human Movement Sciences is a top-ranked school that offers an exceptional Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) program. This prestigious institution is dedicated to producing the next generation of physical therapists who can meet the demands of the rapidly changing healthcare environment.
The DPT program at Northwestern is a three-year program that combines didactic coursework and practical clinical experiences. Students have access to a state-of-the-art facility, which includes a Human Anatomy Lab and Movement Science Lab. The program also includes several elective courses, which allow students to tailor their education to their interests and career goals.
The tuition fee for the DPT program at Northwestern is approximately $56,000 per year. However, the school offers various scholarships, grants, and financial aid programs to help students fund their education. The application process for the DPT program at Northwestern requires students to complete an online application and submit transcripts, GRE scores, and letters of recommendation. Additionally, students are required to complete an interview process before being admitted to the program.
3. University of Colorado
The University of Colorado Physical Therapy Program is a prestigious institution that offers Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) programs to students. The program is recognized for its commitment to providing exceptional education to its students. It is also affiliated with various healthcare systems, providing students with hands-on clinical experience during their studies.
The University of Colorado, Physical Therapy Program has a strong reputation for its innovative research and clinical expertise, with its faculty members frequently publishing articles in leading scientific journals. The program also boasts state-of-the-art facilities and resources, including a next-generation motion analysis lab and advanced imaging technologies.
The program’s DPT curriculum includes a combination of didactic coursework, clinical rotations, and research opportunities. Students learn from experienced faculty members and have access to a wide range of elective courses to tailor their education to their interests. The application process includes completing prerequisite coursework, submitting GRE scores, and providing letters of recommendation.
4. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Division of Physical Therapy is a leading institution in the field of physical therapy education. It is a well-respected school with a rich history of producing highly skilled and successful physical therapists. The division is committed to providing students with a comprehensive and rigorous education that prepares them to excel in their careers.
The Division of Physical Therapy at UNC is accredited with CAPTE, ensuring that students receive the highest quality education and training. Students at UNC can pursue a Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) degree, which requires three years of full-time study. The curriculum covers a wide range of topics, including anatomy, biomechanics, and pharmacology.
5. University of Southern California (USC)
The USC Division of Biokinesiology and Physical Therapy is one of the most prestigious schools in the United States for those seeking a Doctorate in Physical Therapy (DPT). As part of the University of Southern California, the program has a long history of excellence in the field of physical therapy, with a focus on both research and clinical practice.
Students in the program receive education in musculoskeletal, neuromuscular, and cardiopulmonary physical therapy. In addition to its excellent academic program, the USC Division of Biokinesiology and Physical Therapy has also made significant contributions to the field through its research initiatives.
The application process for the DPT program at USC is highly competitive, with applicants required to have completed a bachelor’s degree and prerequisite coursework in subjects such as physiology, anatomy, and psychology. Tuition fees vary depending on whether students are in-state or out-of-state residents.
6. University of Pittsburgh
The University of Pittsburgh, Department of Physical Therapy, is a leading institution in the field of physical therapy education. With a long-standing history of excellence, the department has consistently ranked among the top physical therapy programs in the United States. Established in 1926, the department has been dedicated to training outstanding physical therapists who have made significant contributions to the field.
The University of Pittsburgh Department of Physical Therapy faculty is composed of experienced and knowledgeable educators dedicated to providing an excellent education to their students. The department is also actively involved in research, with faculty members conducting research in a variety of areas.
To apply to the DPT program, applicants must complete the application form, submit transcripts from all colleges and universities attended, and provide letters of recommendation. In addition, applicants must complete a minimum of 40 hours of observation or work experience in a physical therapy setting. The department also requires that applicants take the Graduate Record Examination (GRE).
7. University of Iowa
The University of Iowa, Department of Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation Science, has established itself as a renowned institution in the field of physical therapy. The faculty is composed of leading experts in the field, and the department is committed to fostering a culture of innovation and excellence. The curriculum emphasizes clinical reasoning, ensuring that students receive a thorough education in physical therapy.
The Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) program at the University of Iowa is a three-year program that prepares students for careers as licensed physical therapists. The program combines classroom instruction, laboratory experiences, and clinical practice, providing students with the knowledge and skills necessary to succeed in the field. The program’s tuition cost is approximately $22,400 per year for in-state students and $44,000 per year for out-of-state students.
To apply to the program, applicants must complete a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution and prerequisite coursework in biology, chemistry, physics, psychology, and statistics. The application deadline for the program is typically in the fall, with classes beginning the following summer.
8. Emory University
Nestled in the vibrant city of Atlanta, the Emory University Division of Physical Therapy stands out as a premier school for physical therapy education in the United States. Boasting a distinguished faculty of experts in the field, the division offers a rigorous Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) program, which consistently ranks among the top programs in the nation. With a focus on interprofessional education, students receive unparalleled training in clinical skills, critical thinking, and compassionate patient care.
The division’s commitment to excellence extends beyond the classroom, as its faculty and students are actively engaged in groundbreaking research, community outreach, and leadership roles in professional organizations. Notably, the division is home to the Emory Center for Rehabilitation Medicine, a facility that provides advanced clinical services to patients with a wide range of conditions.
Prospective students must have a bachelor’s degree and complete prerequisite coursework in anatomy, physiology, statistics, and other related fields. The application process includes submitting transcripts, letters of recommendation, a personal statement, and the completion of an interview with the admissions committee.
9. Washington University in St. Louis
The Washington University in St. Louis, Washington (WashU) is a premier private research institution known for its distinguished programs and research. Among its many world-class programs, WashU is renowned for its top-tier School of Medicine and highly respected Department of Physical Therapy. The school has a strong reputation for producing graduates who are knowledgeable, compassionate, and committed to improving patient outcomes.
WashU’s Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) program is a three-year, full-time program that includes extensive clinical experience. The program prepares students to become licensed physical therapists, providing a rigorous curriculum covering foundational sciences, clinical sciences, and rehabilitation sciences.
Students must have a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution and meet the program’s minimum GPA requirements to apply. In addition, applicants must submit official transcripts, GRE scores, letters of recommendation, and a personal statement. The application deadline for the DPT program is typically in the fall, with admissions decisions being made in the spring.
10. University of Delaware
The University of Delaware Department of Physical Therapy offers a DPT program that is designed to prepare students for a career in Physical Therapy. The program emphasizes interprofessional collaboration and clinical decision-making.
The curriculum includes courses such as Applied Physiology, Musculoskeletal Anatomy, Neurological Physical Therapy, and Clinical Decision Making. Students also have the opportunity to take elective courses in areas such as Pediatrics, Sports Physical Therapy, and Geriatric Physical Therapy.
The program at the University of Delaware is highly competitive, with a rigorous application process that includes prerequisite courses, letters of recommendation, and a personal statement. Graduates of the program are well-prepared to take the National Physical Therapy Examination and begin their careers as licensed physical therapists.
11. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
UNC-Chapel Hill is a highly regarded public research university located in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. The program focuses on cultural competence and providing students with an experience that will help them in the real world. The institution offers a Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) program that has been consistently ranked as one of the best programs in the United States.
In addition to its core curriculum, UNC-Chapel Hill’s DPT program offers several specialized tracks, including sports physical therapy, pediatric physical therapy, and orthopedic manual physical therapy. These tracks allow students to focus their studies and gain expertise in a specific area of physical therapy.
12. University of Miami
The Department of Physical Therapy at the University of Miami offers a DPT program that is designed to prepare students for a career in Physical Therapy. With a commitment to excellence, the department has a track record of producing exceptional graduates who are leaders in the field of physical therapy. The university is famous for its beautiful campus and the level of education provided in programs.
The department’s faculty members are highly accomplished and experienced in their respective areas of expertise. They are actively engaged in research and have published numerous articles in peer-reviewed journals. The department is also home to several research labs, including the Motion Analysis and Motor Performance (MAMP) lab, which focuses on human movement and motor control.
In addition to its academic and research endeavors, the department is committed to serving the local community through its clinical services. The department’s clinics provide patients a wide range of physical therapy services, including orthopedic rehabilitation, sports medicine, and neurologic rehabilitation.
13. University of Minnesota
The University of Minnesota‘s Physical Therapy program is an outstanding institution that has been at the forefront of healthcare education for decades. The program has consistently been ranked among the best in the United States, thanks to its rigorous curriculum and emphasis on hands-on training. With a focus on evidence-based practice and a commitment to advancing the field, the University of Minnesota prepares its graduates to be leaders in physical therapy.
The Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) program at the University of Minnesota is a full-time program that includes both classroom and clinical components. Students will learn about various topics related to physical therapy, including anatomy, kinesiology, biomechanics, and more. The program also includes rotations in various settings, such as hospitals, outpatient clinics, and sports medicine facilities, to provide students with practical experience.
To apply for the DPT program at the University of Minnesota, prospective students must have completed a bachelor’s degree and meet the program’s prerequisites. Applications are submitted through the Physical Therapist Centralized Application Service (PTCAS) and are reviewed on a rolling basis. The program typically admits around 50 students each year.
14. University of Illinois at Chicago
The University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) offers one of the top-ranked physical therapy programs in the USA, with a Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) program that prepares graduates to become skilled and compassionate physical therapists. The program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE), ensuring that graduates meet the highest standards of competency and professionalism.
One of the unique features of UIC’s physical therapy program is its commitment to interprofessional education. Students have the opportunity to work alongside students from other healthcare professions, such as nursing and medicine, to develop an understanding of patient care. This approach prepares graduates to be effective members of interdisciplinary healthcare teams, a critical skill in today’s healthcare landscape.
UIC’s physical therapy program also offers clinical experiences that expose students to a variety of patient populations and settings. Students can gain hands-on experience in areas such as acute care, orthopedics, pediatrics, and neurology, among others. These experiences help students develop clinical reasoning skills and apply their knowledge in real-world situations.
15. University of California, San Francisco
The University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) is a renowned institution that offers one of the best Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) programs in the USA. With a long-standing tradition of excellence, UCSF provides students with an innovative curriculum that prepares them to become outstanding physical therapists.
The curriculum covers foundational courses such as physiology, anatomy, and neuroscience and advanced courses in areas such as orthopedics, neurology, and pediatrics. Students also have the opportunity to engage in research activities, clinical internships, and community service projects that enrich their learning experience.
In addition to the rigorous academic program, UCSF offers a supportive and collaborative learning environment. Students have access to a variety of resources, including academic advising, tutoring, and career services. The program also promotes diversity, equity, and inclusion, which enhances the learning experience and prepares graduates to serve diverse communities.
In conclusion, choosing the right school for a Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) degree can make all the difference in one’s career. The schools on this list are recognized for their quality education, experienced faculty, clinical experiences, and career support. Students should consider their personal needs and priorities when selecting a DPT program and use this list as a starting point for their research.