2022 Best Doctorate in Physical Therapy Programs

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Click here to find out more about the ranking methodology that we used to compile this list.

Congratulations! If you represent a college or university that is included in this list, please collect your seal below.

Deciding which college to attend can be a daunting task. For many, it will be the most important decision that they make in their lives. To make an informed decision, you have to consider a lot of variables, such as cost of attendance, financial aid, student/teacher ratio, academics, student life, and more. These factors will either positively or negatively impact the quality of education that you receive.

Do you want to acquire a doctorate in physical therapy, but don’t know what institution you should attend? Well, if you are as ambitious as I was in my late teens, then you want to attend a top school, instead of an average or mediocre one. Fortunately, we have already done the legwork for you. To help you find the right school for your interests and goals, we’ve compiled a list of 2022’s best doctorate in physical therapy programs.

What institution did we forget? Leave your thoughts in the comment section below.

  1. University of California at San Francisco, San Francisco, CA

This is a three-year doctor of physical therapy degree program. A dual degree program between UCSF and San Francisco State University (SFSU), the DPT degree program is sanctioned by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE). Highlights of the entry-level degree program coursework involve evidence-based practices, theoretical foundations in basic, medical, and applied sciences; and, including anatomy, therapeutic modalities, and robust clinical experiences.

  1. Texas Women’s University, Denton, TX

The doctor of physical therapy entry-level degree at Texas Woman’s University holds CAPTE accreditation. The institution has this degree on both its Houston and Dallas campuses. Also offered is the institution’s DPT to PhD, a fast track DPT to PhD choice, as the school attempts to increase the number of academic, physical therapy professors to meet the growing needs of the profession. Learners must have a bachelor’s degree with prerequisites in chemistry, physics, anatomy and physiology, college algebra, medical terminology, and psychology.

  1. University of Oklahoma, Oklahoma City, OK

Following 108 credit hours of classwork in the fundamentals of physical therapy, clinical anatomy, concepts in rehabilitation sciences, evidence-based practice, pathology, and clinical education, learners will be awarded a doctor of physical therapy degree. The institution currently has programs available in Oklahoma City and Tulsa, Oklahoma.

  1. University of Nebraska, Lincoln, NE

The College of Allied Health Professions at the University of Nebraska Medical Center has a doctor of physical therapy degree, which is CAPTE-sanctioned. The coursework 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.

  1. Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, VA

Accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education, Virginia Commonwealth University offers a doctor of physical therapy degree, which may be finished in three years. Coursework includes kinesiology, anatomy, and clinical education. Clinical education may be finished at any of the 210 clinical sites offered across the United States.

Virginia Commonwealth University established a physical therapy master’s degree in 1941, and the degree program has grown exponentially since then. The institution was established in 1838 and has over 31,000 learners currently enrolled.

  1. University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, IL

The University of Illinois at Chicago has an entry-level doctor of physical therapy degree. Studies consist of an 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, this degree program takes eight semesters to finish, and learners can work with a wide range of patients in pediatrics, geriatrics, and adults.

  1. University of Wisconsin at Madison, Madison, WI

This entry-level doctor of physical therapy degree program via the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s School of Medicine and Public Health. The degree program focuses on the diagnosis and intervention and has coursework that includes human anatomy, neuromuscular mechanics, physical therapy foundations, prosthetics, and clinical internship. Learners may need to finish prerequisite classes, dependent on their previous degree. Accredited by the CAPTE, the DPT degree program and has a current enrollment of 119 learners.

  1. University of Colorado, Aurora, CO

This is an entry-level therapy doctor of physical therapy, which is CAPTE-sanctioned and can be finished in three years. Focusing on the standard coursework of anatomy, neuromuscular conditions, physiology, and more., the coursework also requires clinical education, advanced patient care, clinical reasoning, and integrated clinical experience. The University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus is the largest academic health center in the Rocky Mountain region and has received acclaim from U.S. News and World Report as having two of the top hospitals in the nation.

  1. University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY

An entry-level degree, the doctor of physical therapy degree program at the University of Kentucky College of Health Sciences is a nine-semester degree program. The program comprises traditional classwork along with clinical internships, which are offered in one of 29 national, and international clinical sites affiliated with the college. Classes are offered at UK’s Lexington site or at the Center of Excellence in Rural Health in Hazard, Kentucky. The Frankfort, Kentucky, institution began in 1865 and presently has an enrollment of over 29,000.

  1. University of Iowa, Iowa City, IA

The Carver College of Medicine at the University of Iowa Health Care has a doctorate of physical therapy degree at its Iowa City campus. The program is a CAPTE-sanctioned degree program, which grants admission to 40 learners per academic year. Learners finish classes in principles in physical therapy, human anatomy, pathology, kinesiology and pathomechanics, neuroanatomy, physical therapy and administrative management, pharmacology, adult and pediatric physical therapy, and clinical practice.

Started in 1942 at the request of the US Army, the doctor of physical therapy replaced the master of physical therapy in 2003. The institution was established in 1837 and had a current enrollment of over 30,000 learners.

  1. University of Florida, Gainesville, FL

This two-year, entry-level doctor of physical therapy offered by the University of Florida’s College of Public Health and Health Professions, is sanctioned by CAPTE. The coursework encompasses the usual physical therapy classes in pathophysiology, anatomy, and exercise physiology. The coursework plan includes 32 weeks of clinical internship and several weeks of an integrated part-time clinical experience.

  1. UNC at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC

This graduate degree program results in a doctor of physical therapy degree. The entry-level degree program is a three-year class of study, which includes 114 credit hours in an academic and clinical study: and at least 36 weeks of a clinical rotation. UNC-Chapel Hill also has a transitional doctor of physical therapy degree, which is designed for currently licensed physical therapists. Offered part-time, this degree may be finished via distance learning.

  1. Ohio State University, Columbus, OH

Ohio State University has a clinical doctorate in physical therapy degree. Accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education, the degree program has a limited enrollment of 40 to 50 learners per academic year. Learners will cover anatomy, principles, and procedures in PT practice, musculoskeletal diagnosis and management, evidence-based practices, adult neurological management, geriatric management, cardiopulmonary rehabilitation, advanced orthopedic PT, and a capstone project along with a clinical practicum.

  1. University of New England, Portland, ME

Accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education, the University of New England’s doctor of physical therapy degree program has been rated in the top 100 of the nation’s best physical therapy programs. Eight semesters in length, this requires classwork in gross anatomy, the musculoskeletal system, psychosocial aspects of disabilities and injuries, physical therapy management, public policy and management, and clinical practicum experiences.

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