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 Best of Top Ranking Colleges in the USA for Physical Therapy
TOP colleges in the USThis is the list of the best Colleges and Universities in the United States of America for Physio Therapy. The order in which the colleges are listed on the site are quite representative of their rankings. However, the order should not be strictly construed to be rankings assigned to these schools. The order may vary from that listed by other ranking services.

  1. University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA
    The USC Division of Biokinesiology and Physical Therapy was founded in 1945. The Division of Biokinesiology and Physical Therapy offers multiple degree programs allowing graduates the opportunity to choose an educational program that will expose them to cutting-edge research and scientific advancements. The largest degree program is the three-year Doctor of Physical Therapy. In addition, the Division offers a Ph.D. in Biokinesiology, one of the nation’s first Ph.D. degrees in physical therapy education.

    The entry-level Doctor of Physical Therapy (D.P.T) program provides the required educational preparation for a professional career as a physical therapist. The educational philosophy of the program is to maximally challenge each student and facilitate his or her development of skills for life-long learning, professional development, and leadership.

    The program is comprised of six (6) semesters and two (2) summer courses for completion of the required 115 units. Clinical experience (clerkship) is part of the curriculum during all three (3) years. The USC Graduate School awards the D.P.T. to enrolled students who have satisfactorily completed the three-year curriculum.

  2. University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA
    At the School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences (SHRS), Learning goes well beyond the classroom. The close working relationship with the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, as well as research labs and clinics throughout the University, means that the students have unique access to internship and research opportunities. SHRS, together with the University of Pittsburgh and the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, is a diverse community of students, staff, teachers, researchers, and clinicians who teach and learn from each other.

    The clinical Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) is the entry-level degree for this dynamic and challenging profession. The program is open to students who already have earned a bachelor’s degree. MS in Health and Rehabilitation Sciences with concentrations in Neuromuscular and Musculoskeletal Physical Therapy enables physical therapists to improve their clinical knowledge and skills through a specific program of advanced practice and scholarship. The Transitional Doctor of Physical Therapy (t-DPT) program at the University of Pittsburgh is offered to practicing physical therapists who wish to earn a Doctor of Physical Therapy degree.

  3. Washington University in St. Louis, St. Louis, MO
    The Program in Physical Therapy at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis is one of the most respected physical therapy programs in the United States. Founded in 1942 as the Barnes Hospital School for Physical Therapy Technicians, The Program in Physical Therapy at Washington University School of Medicine began as a six-month program directed by an orthopedic surgeon to train therapists to treat soldiers in World War II. In 1948, the school began educating physical therapists at the baccalaureate level as part of the Washington University School of Medicine.

    The doctor in physical therapy (DPT) is an entry-level professional degree, completed in 3 calendar years. The program includes 5 academic semesters and a total of 38 weeks of full-time clinical experience. Clinical experiences are completed in 4 blocks; each block is 8 to 12 weeks in length. The professional program has been accredited continuously by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE) since the Program was founded in 1942. The Post professional Doctor of Physical Therapy (PPDPT) degree is designed to serve the needs of physical therapists who wish to enhance their roles as diagnosticians and evidence-based practitioners. The PhD in Movement Science is an interdisciplinary program designed to prepare students to be productive in research and to pursue a career in academia.

  4. University of Delaware, Newark, DE
    The Physical Therapy Department at University of Delaware is involved in several exciting educational programs, not only an outstanding DPT program, but also a highly successful Interdisciplinary PhD in Biomechanics and Movement Sciences, and Clinical Fellowship Programs for practicing clinicians in sports, orthopedic and geriatric physical therapy. In addition to the academic programs, the University has 5 Physical Therapy Clinics that provide rehabilitation services to the community in addition to serving as educational settings for the DPT student, PhD students, Fellows and practicing clinicians.

    There are 4 full-time clinical internships (3 credits each) and 3 part-time integrated clinical experiences (1-3 credits each) interspersed among the full-time academic DPT program. The 3 integrated experiences will consist of an orthopedic experience, a geriatric/neurologic experience and a pediatric experience.

    The Physical Therapy Department at the University of Delaware has been awarded a training grant from the National Center for Medical Rehabilitation Research of the NIH. The goal of this pre-doctoral training program, lead by Director Stuart Binder-Macleod, PT, PhD, is to improve the quality and quantity of individuals who can conduct excellent research studies on the problems of people with disabilities. The program is analogous to the MD/PhD programs that are designed to train medical scientists.

  5. US Army-Baylor University, Fort Sam Houston, TX
    The long and tradition of physical therapy education in the United States Army was born of necessity. No rehabilitation services, civilian or military, existed to meet the needs of American soldiers when the USA entered World War I. After a quick study of European rehabilitation systems, Army Surgeon General Gorgas consolidated the use of various physical modalities under the term "physiotherapy." The Army Medical Department recognized the need for a formalized physical therapy course of instruction during the early 1920s. Such a course began in the fall of 1922 at Walter Reed General Hospital. The course, only four months long at that time, went through numerous changes in length and content in the following two decades. The program received its first accreditation in 1928.

    The Curriculum follows a regional/systems Approach. The students are taught the anatomy, physiology, biomechanics, evaluation and treatment of each region/system before progressing to the next body area or system. The regions are (in order of instruction): Hip, Knee, Foot/Ankle, Spine, Shoulder, Elbow, Wrist and Hand.

  6. University of Iowa, Iowa City, IA
    The Graduate Program in Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation Science offers a unique learning environment in a leading medical education center. Resources are available to complement the mission of excellence in teaching, research and clinical service. Organizationally the Program is located in the Carver College of Medicine. The Department of Rehabilitation Therapies (Physical Therapy Clinic) is a separate department in the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics. The Graduate Program in Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation Science offers two degrees, the DPT and PhD.

    The Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) program is a professional clinical entry-level program that enrolls 36 students in July of each year into a 2˝ year curriculum including 37 weeks of full time clinical education experience. Satisfactory completion of the curriculum qualifies the candidates to take a state-administered national licensing examination. The Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) program is designed to prepare the student for a career in research, teaching, and scholarship. Students take a mix of coursework designed to support a research career in Rehabilitation Science. Students will also perform independent research in one of the core laboratories under the guidance of their primary mentor.

  7. Arcadia University, Glenside, PA
    Arcadia is the first program in Pennsylvania to offer both the entry-level and transitional Doctor of Physical Therapy programs. Arcadia Physical Therapy programs offer: Entry-level, 2˝-year Doctor of Physical Therapy degree and a fully Online Transitional Doctor of Physical Therapy degree. Arcadia's entry-level Doctor of Physical Therapy program provides clinical experiences where classroom learning is applied to real patients, opportunities for study or pro-bono work in international settings, and personal attention from renowned faculty.

    The program begins in September and runs over a 2˝ year period. The D.P.T. program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education. All graduates of Arcadia’s program to date have passed the licensure examination in their state of choice. The entry-level D.P.T. curriculum is organized into 23 patient-based units that integrate knowledge from every practice area of physical therapy. Content ranges from the young child to the older adult, from fractures to traumatic brain injury. Interspersed throughout the program are 30 weeks of full-time clinical education and 20 weeks of part-time clinical experience in the first year.

  8. MGH Institute of Health Professions, Boston, MA
    The MGH Institute of Health Professions Graduate Programs in Physical Therapy provide students the opportunity to play an increasingly vital role in the delivery of quality health care. Students in both the direct-entry Doctor of Physical Therapy and post-professional programs will gain invaluable experience at world-class health care facilities – including Spaulding Rehabilitation, Massachusetts General, and Brigham & Women's hospitals – while being mentored by master clinicians on the cutting edge of the field.

    The direct-entry DPT Program is designed for individuals just entering the field of physical therapy and culminates in a year-long, full-time, paid clinical internship for all students. This three and one-half year graduate-level program prepares students holding a bachelor’s degree in a field other than physical therapy to become a licensed physical therapist. Graduates receive a Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) degree and are eligible to apply for licensure in each of the 50 states and the District of Columbia.

  9. Northwestern University, Chicago, IL
    As a department within The Feinberg School of Medicine, NUPTHMS is a part of the vibrant educational and cultural community of Northwestern University, an independent private institution founded in 1851. The Feinberg School – one of North western’s 11 colleges and schools – is located at the Chicago campus, between Lake Michigan and North Michigan Avenue along "Chicago's Magnificent Mile". Research spaces include eight laboratories which are designed to study normal and abnormal movement. Campus facilities also include a library, a learning resources center, and a personal computer center.

    Accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education, the physical therapy entry-level program is a professional education curriculum leading to a Doctor of Physical Therapy degree. Beginning in August of each year, the 8-trimester program is full-time only; there is no part-time option. The fundamental principles of movement science and the motor control framework are introduced in the first trimester of the first year. The subsequent basic science courses, including anatomy, physiology, neuroscience, kinesiology, and behavioral science demonstrate how all systems interact in developing, affecting, and altering an individual's ability to move.

  10. University of Miami, Coral Gables, FL
    The Department of Physical Therapy is an integral part of the Miller School of Medicine at the University of Miami. The Department of Physical Therapy is also part of the University of Miami Graduate School. The Department of Physical Therapy is accredited by both the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE) and the Southern Association of Schools and Colleges (SACS) Accrediting Commission for Senior Colleges and Universities.

    The Department of Physical Therapy offers two doctoral level degrees; a three year, entry level clinical doctoral degree the Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) and an academic doctoral degree, (PhD) in Physical Therapy.

    The Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) program prepares students for entry level practice as Physical Therapists. Except for students enrolled in the University of Miami Honors Program, all students must have earned a Bachelor’s degree prior to entering the program. The program is 36 months in length and begins in May. The program includes 32 weeks of clinical internships. The first eight week internship occurs at the end of the second year of study. The remaining three internships occur during the third year.

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