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10 Best Physical Therapy Schools for International Students

Filed in Articles by on May 21, 2020


Physical Therapy Schools: Are you in search of Therapy Schools? Search no more for the purpose of this work is to provide you with the top best therapy schools for students. If you read on, you will discover the one that will be suitable for you.


Physical Therapy Careers

Physical Therapy Careers 

Physical Therapy, with a 34% job growth estimate and an annual, median salary of $84,000, is among the top healthcare careers according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) requires graduate coursework in either an entry-level or transitional degree program.

The Transitional DPT is designed for those currently working in physical therapy and the entry-level DPT program requires anywhere from 3-4 years of study, including clinical experience.

The Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE) reviews DPTs programs to verify best practices and quality educational experiences.

Recommended Online Programs

Physical Therapy was listed by Best Medical Degrees  in its 50 Top Paying Healthcare Careers.

The DPT programs listed below considers tuition costs, curriculum, CAPTE accreditation and program rankings as cited by U.S. News and World Report, The Princeton Review or Forbes Magazine.

For the most part, DPT entry-level programs are traditional, classroom and clinical experiences. Some schools offer online Transitional DPT programs and some utilize the Physical Therapy Centralized Application Service. The Doctor of Physical Therapy has become the community standard, replacing the Masters of Physical Therapy degree at most schools.

Graduates of a DPT program are eligible to sit for the National Board for Certification in Physical Therapy. Licensure is required to practice; and, students should verify the program chosen will meet with state requirements.

Fellowships, Scholarship and Assistantships

Some Doctor of Physical Therapy programs may offer departmental assistance for students. You should check with your admissions advisor to see if that may be case for the program your choosing.

Federal Financial Aid

The federal government offers limited Federal Financial Aid for graduate and professional degrees.

These primarily come in the form of loans; but, you may want to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid. Schools, and other funding opportunities, may request the a FASA for any scholarship consideration.

Employee Reimbursement

For students who may be considering a Transitional Doctor of Physical Therapy program and who are currently employed, you may want to see if your employer sponsors an employment tuition program.

List of Best Physical Therapy Schools 2019 for Student

1. Washington University School of Medicine

The Washington University Program in Physical Therapy integrates outstanding education, interdisciplinary research, and quality clinical care to carry out its mission of advancing human health through movement.

Founded in 1942, the Program in Physical Therapy began as a six-month program training therapists to treat World War II soldiers. In 1948, the Program became a part of the Washington University School of Medicine and began educating physical therapists at the baccalaureate level.

In-state tuition for the program is $35,820 USD, which is 142% more expensive than the average for all physical therapy schools. Out-of-state tuition is $35,820 USD, which is 70% more expensive than the average for all physical therapy schools.

Program Founded In: 1942
Rank: Rank among the nation’s top PT programs
Tuition & Fees:  50,650 USD (2017)
Finance and Administration Office:  314-286-1400,
Location 4444 Forest Park Ave., Suite 1101 St. Louis, MO 63108-2212

2. University Of California-San Francisco

This is a three-year Doctor of Physical Therapy degree offered by a program recognized as #20 in the U.S. News and World Report’s Best Physical Therapy Program rankings. A joint program between UCSF and San Francisco State University (SFSU), the DPT program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE).

Highlights of the entry-level program curriculum involve evidence-based practices, theoretical foundations in basic, medical and applied sciences; and, includes anatomy, physiology, neuromuscular, therapeutic modalities and robust clinical experiences.

The University of California-San Francisco medical center has an interesting history having been established in 1864 by a South Carolina surgeon who had migrated west during the California Gold Rush in 1849.

Following the San Francisco earthquake of 1906, the original hospital and its affiliates cared for the victims. In 1949, the California Board of Regents established an academic medical program which has grown to highly recognized medical center we know today.

Length of Program: 115 Credit Hours
Estimated Tuition Cost: $33,660

3. Texas Woman’s University

The Doctor of Physical Therapy entry-level degree at Texas Woman’s University holds CAPTE accreditation and a #28 Best Physical Therapy ranking by U.S. News and World Report. The university offers this degree on both their Houston and Dallas campuses.

Also offered is the university’s DPT to PhD, a fast track DPT to PhD option, as the school attempts to increase the number of academic physical therapy instructors to meet the growing needs of the profession. Students must have a baccalaureate degree with prerequisites in chemistry, physics, anatomy and physiology, college algebra, medical terminology and psychology.

Texas Woman’s University dates to 1901 when the Girls Industrial College by the Texas legislature. The TWU Institute of Health Sciences opened in Dallas in 1966 and the school began admitting men in 1972. Texas Woman’s University is recognized by the Carnegie Classification of Doctoral/Research Universities.

Length of Program: 33 Months
Estimated Tuition Cost: $35,700 (Resident); $74,000 (Non Resident)

4. University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center

Following 108 credit hours of coursework in fundamentals of physical therapy, clinical anatomy, concepts in rehabilitation sciences, differential diagnosis, evidence-based practice, pathology and clinical education, students will be awarded a Doctor of Physical Therapy degree. This program is accredited by CAPTE and ranks #46 in U.S. News and World Report’s Best Physical Therapy Programs.

The University of Oklahoma was established in 1890 in Enid, Oklahoma; and, the Health Sciences began in 1970. The university currently has programs available in Oklahoma City and Tulsa, Oklahoma.

Program Length: 108 Credit Hours
Estimated Tuition Cost: $37,800

5. University of Nebraska Medical Center

The College of Allied Health Professions at the University of Nebraska Medical Center (UNMC), the Doctor of Physical Therapy degree is CAPTE accredited and ranks #28 by U.S. News and World Report.

The curriculum covers studies in anatomy, physiology, musculoskeletal physical therapy, pathophysiology, orthotics and prosthetics, differential diagnosis, critical inquiry, among others. A clinical education component is required in the second and third semesters of study.

The medical center has its roots dating to 1881 in Omaha and has since developed into currently has 11 departments: College of Medicine, College of Nursing, College of Pharmacy, College of Dentistry, College of Public Health, Graduate College, College of Allied Health Professions, Eppley Institute for Research in Cancer and Allied Diseases, Fred & Pamela Buffett Cancer Center, Munroe-Meyer Institute, Stanley M. Truhlsen Eye Institute Physical Therapy as a course of study began at the UNMC in 1968.

Length of Program: 123 Credit Hours
Estimated Tuition Cost: $45,690 (Resident); $88,495 (Non Resident)

6. Virginia Commonwealth University School of Allied Professions

Accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE), the Virginia Commonwealth University provides a Doctor of Physical Therapy degree which may be completed in three years.

Coursework includes kinesiology, anatomy, pharmacology, rehabilitation aspects, orthopedics and clinical education. Clinical education may be completed at any of the 210 clinical sites offered throughout the United States. The School of Allied Professionals offers scholarship opportunities.

Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) established a physical therapy master’s degree in 1941 and the program has grown exponentially since then. The Doctor of Physical Therapy was begun in 2001 and is ranked #20 in Best Physical Therapy Programs by U.S. News and World Report.

VCU is ranked by the magazine in the top 200 of National Universities and #87 in Top Public Schools. Located in Richmond, Virginia, the university was established in 1838 and has over 31,000 students currently enrolled.

Program Length: 121 Credit Hours
Estimated Tuition Cost: $44,940 (Resident); $95,800 (Non Resident)

7. University Of Illinois College of Applied Health Sciences

An entry-level Doctor of Physical Therapy degree. Studies include introduction to physical therapy, gross anatomy, applied kinesiology, therapeutic appliances, neuromuscular dysfunction, clinical applications and clinical internships.

Accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE), this program takes approximately 8 semesters to complete and students are able to work with a wide range of patients in pediatrics, geriatrics and adults. The school has a national physical therapy national board exam rate of 97.7% pass rate.

The College of Applied Health Sciences has its beginnings in 1913 with the Physical Therapy program beginning in 1971. U.S. News and World Report ranked the University of Illinois-Chicago DPT program #6 in its Best Physical Therapy program rankings; and, the university ranked #78 in the Top Public Schools ranking. Located in Chicago, the university has an enrollment of over 29,000 students.

Program Length: 121 Credit Hours
Estimated Tuition Cost: $45,920 (Resident); $94,880 (Non Resident)

8. University of Wisconsin-Madison

This entry-level doctor of Physical Therapy program through the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s School of Medicine and Public Health, received a #28 U.S. News and World Report ranking as a Best Physical Therapy Program.

The program focuses on the diagnosis and intervention and has a curriculum that includes: human anatomy, neuromuscular mechanics, physical therapy foundations, prosthetics and clinical internship. Students may need to complete prerequisite courses, dependent on their previous degree.

The School of Medicine and Public Health graduated its first class in 1908 and the physical therapy program traces its beginnings to 1926. Accredited by the CAPTE, the DPT program and has a current enrollment of 119 students. The University of Wisconsin-Madison received a 2017 ranking in the top 50 by U.S. News and World Report’s National Universities listing.

Program Length: 122 Credit Hours
Estimated Tuition Cost: $52,877 (Resident); $107,850 (Non Resident)

9. University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus

This is an entry-level Doctor of Physical Therapy Doctor of Physical Therapy which is CAPTE accredited and can be completed in three years.

Focusing on the standard curriculum of anatomy, neuromuscular conditions, physiology, etc., the curriculum also requires clinical education, advanced patient care, clinical reasoning and integrated clinical experience.

Located in Aurora, Colorado, the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus is the largest academic health center in the Rocky Mountain region and has received acclaim fro U.S. News and World Report as having two of the Top Hospitals in the Nation.

The DPT program is rated #15 by U.S. News and World Report’s Best Physical Therapy Program and has its beginnings in 1948 as a certificate program and offering a baccalaureate in 1952; and, has been offering the DPT degree since 2007 to present.

Program Length: 116 Credit Hours
Estimated Tuition Cost: $55,796 (Resident); $116,696 (Non Resident)

10. University Of Kentucky College of Health Sciences

An entry-level degree, the Doctor of Physical Therapy program at the University of Kentucky College of Health Sciences received a #18 ranking by U.S. News and World Report’s Best Physical Therapy Programs.

The 9 semester program covers traditional coursework as well as clinical internships which are offered in one of 29 national, and international, clinical sites affiliated with the college.

Courses are offered at UK’s Lexington or at the Center of Excellence in Rural Health in Hazard, Kentucky. The Frankfort, Kentucky university began in 1865 and presently has an enrollment over 29,000 students and is ranked #133 in U.S. News and World Report’s National Universities.

Program Length: 137 Credit Hours
Estimated Tuition Cost: $56,676 (Resident); $135,225 (Non Resident)


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