Find Degree Programs for a Career in Physical Therapy
Learn about the educational steps you'll need to take to succeed in a physical therapy career.
Considering Your Degree
All physical therapy careers require a bachelor's degree from an accredited 4-year college or university. For students who have already earned a bachelor’s degree and have taken the appropriate prerequisites in chemistry, biology, and physics, a doctoral-level physical therapy program (which is a common end goal) can take as few as 2 1/2 years.
Physical Therapy School Admission
Admission to physical therapy programs is competitive; to get into your school of choice, you'll need to accomplish the following:
- Earn a high overall grade point average (GPA) in college
- Volunteer or have work experience as a physical therapy assistant
- Some schools require up to 150 hours of clinical experience before admission
- Have strong letters of recommendation
- Have earned a satisfactory score on the Graduate Record Examination (GRE)
What You'll Study
Curriculum varies from program to program, but in addition to the theory and practice of physical therapy, your physical therapy courses will likely cover:
- Basic medical sciences
- Rehabilitative procedures
You'll also gain plenty of hands-on experience in a clinical internship.
Getting Your License
After graduating from an accredited physical therapy program, you must then pass the National Physical Therapist Examination (NPTE). Some people choose to seek advanced certification in a clinical specialty, while others become certified in electrophysiological testing and measurement.
Education and Career Guide
- Education Time to completion, what you'll study and more.
- Physical Therapist Assistant How to become a PTA.
- Guide to Degrees From DPTs to Transitional MPTs, we’ve sorted it all out for you.
- Financial Aid Questions? We've got answers.
- Student Interview Find out what physical therapy school is really like.
- All About Physical Therapy Jobs What is a physical therapy job like?
- Salary Information How much can you earn as a physical therapist?
- Licensing Guide to physical therapy licensing requirements & exams.
- Physical Therapist Assistant Profile An inside look at physical therapy assistant careers.
- Accreditation & Organizations Physical therapy resources.