While it is possible to qualify for a physical therapy license with a degree from an accredited MSPT (Master of Science in Physical Therapy) program, the great majority of graduate programs with CAPTE (Commission on Accreditation of Physical Therapy Education) accreditation are doctorate level programs, also known as DPT degrees.... Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) degrees are becoming the new standard in physical therapist preparation. By the end of 2015, CAPTE will require all PT programs to offer the DPT degree.
Typical DPT programs may take three years to complete (assuming you study full-time). Programs usually consist of a demanding mix of coursework, supervised clinical practice, and research. Your coursework is likely to include specialized science classes, such as gross anatomy, biomechanics, and applied kinesiology; classes in practice management, including law and policy, medical ethics, and organizational management; classes in patient management; and courses in medical science. Clinical experience is another important part of your doctoral education. Through supervised clinical practice, you'll gain hands-on experience in a relevant healthcare setting.
After completing an accredited DPT program, you may be eligible to sit for physical therapy licensing exams that are necessary in order to practice in your state. Ideally, you'll also have the preparation and knowledge you need to examine patients with various disabilities, injuries, mobility problems, or health concerns. Your experience may also prepare you to identify proper treatments for different patients' needs; develop programs and policies that promote health and wellness; educate other physical therapy professionals; utilize industry research; manage a physical therapy office or practice; and communicate effectively with other health professionals and patients.
To be accepted to a doctoral program, you need to hold a bachelor degree. Schools often will accept qualified applicants with a variety of undergraduate degrees, as long as they have completed specific prerequisites — for example, two semesters of biology, chemistry, and physics; one semester of human anatomy; one semester of human physiology; one semester of statistics; and three semesters of psychology. Different colleges maintain different admissions requirements, which may also include a minimum undergraduate grade point average and/or minimum score requirements on the GRE exam.
In addition to allowing you to meet the requirements to practice as a physical therapist in a healthcare facility or private practice, your doctoral degree may qualify you to become a supervisor, educator, or researcher. You may enjoy the satisfaction of helping individual patients, while shaping the future of the profession and ongoing research related to the field.
Strengthen your scholarly knowledge and practitioner skills to advance your career in the fast-growing field of health care administration. more >
Strengthen your management and leadership capabilities with this online DHA General Health Administration specialization designed to provide a broad, generalist perspective in health administration, i more >
Advance your knowledge of leadership theories, concepts and techniques to produce positive and innovative organizational outcomes, meet organizational goals and objectives, and support top organizatio more >
This online psychology PhD specialization offers you the opportunity to create an individualized, academic-track program designed to meet your professional goals and research interests. more >
Deepen your knowledge of educational development and psychological research with this PhD in Educational Psychology specialization that can be tailored to meet your professional needs and research int more >
Improve your career opportunities in the growing field of industrial/organizational psychology through this doctoral specialization designed to deepen your knowledge of workplace and organizational be more >
Delve deeply into epidemiological theories, research, and evidence-based practices and make an immediate impact in your field through an applied epidemiological research project. more >
Increase your effectiveness as a public health advocate and leader and make an immediate impact in your field through an applied public health research project. more >
The Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in General Psychology with an emphasis in Cognition and Instruction is geared toward individuals who work in government positions, industry, school systems, and other ty more >
The Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in General Psychology with an emphasis on Industrial and Organizational Psychology was developed for individuals who want to become behavioral specialists in the work pl more >
A shortage of nursing faculty is a key reason U.S. nursing schools must turn away tens of thousands of qualified applicants each year. more >
Reach the highest level of nursing practice and discover how to promote a more effective and efficient healthcare system. more >
Explore strategies for creating and implementing effective public policy through Walden University’s Ph.D. in Public Policy and Administration. more >
Are you prepared to influence and advance the future of business practice? more >