Looking for doctorate program (DPT) of physical therapy? In this article, we are discussing some basic facts relevant to DPT degree. What is pre-degree or education required (Prerequisites) for this? Schedule and how long will it take after the Bachelor or High schools diploma? After DPT degree what are specializations areas, the student can select for better their career.

You can also acknowledge of top-ranking school offering DPT degree in various US states like California, Georgia, NY, NJ, Texas, Florida, Kansas, and all over the states.

Note: Make sure Doctorate degree (DPT) replaces Master degree, so student holding after Bachelor degree eligible for this program.

Students after GDE and High school diploma can eligible for accelerated or combined degree programs (Bachelor + DPT).

Questions Relate to DPT Programs

For easy admission, you must understand all about this program, due to competition. Physical therapy is one of the Top-level programs in the US in the healthcare field, after this occupational therapy stand. Therefore, the level of competition is very high in 90% of schools in every state.

Here are some questions relates to DPT programs.


Should I Get a Doctorate in Physical Therapy?

For becoming a physical therapist you need at-least DPT degree, in USA job growth in therapist, the field is expected 34% until 2026 year.

On average physical therapist is making around $86,000 annually. Even physical therapy assistant can make more than $1K highest salary in various states in the US.

What Can I Do With a Doctorate in Physical Therapy?

After completing Degree and pass the national examination for licensure of particular state various industries is looking for you.

  1. Hospitals; state, local, and private
  2. Home healthcare services
  3. Self-employed workers
  4. Nursing and residential care facilities

Jobs and Salary summary accordingly to a particular field are;

Home healthcare services $93,200
Nursing and residential care facilities 92,960
Hospitals; state, local, and private 87,010
Offices of physical, occupational and speech therapists, and audiologists 81,220

Why Do You need to take a Certification Program? (Purpose)

A Doctor of Physical Therapy, also known as a DPT, is a medical professional who has specialized in multiple fields of rehabilitation. They largely deal with physical disabilities in patients.

Although a DPT works independently, they do not prescribe medication. A Doctor of Physical Therapy can only treat patients through intervention.

The certification program allows students to be eligible to work as a DPT in all states of the US. A DPT program is a Ph.D. program that can be pursued after a bachelor’s degree in physical therapy.

A Ph.D. program on its own cannot let students take up professional work. However, the Ph.D. program prepares students to take the national certification exam that is administered by the APTA. This exam is necessary for the license that all 50 states of the US requirements for professionals be able to take up work.

How to Become a Doctor of Physical Therapy?

In order to take up work as a Doctor of Physical Therapy, you first need to complete a doctoral program in physical therapy. There are 222 doctoral programs currently being offered in the US.

In order to be eligible for a doctoral program, you need to have some previous education in physical therapy. Your previous education can either be a master’s degree or a bachelor’s degree in physical therapy. After you complete this degree you will have to complete the pre-requisite courses (if any) for the doctoral program.


In most cases, the prerequisite courses are covered in your bachelor’s or master’s degree. Also, it is very important that your previous education is in a field relevant to physical therapy. Although DPT is an entry-level education, it comes with a lot of responsibility because a DPT, unlike an OTA, can take up independent work as well.

Such programs are in your course outline

  1. Exercise Science
  2. Histology
  3. Growth and Development
  4. Motor Control and neurology
  5. Pharmacology
  6. Ethics

You can check on the website of the university to see the pre-requisites of the school. With pre-requisite courses completed, you are eligible to be enrolled in a doctoral program. Once you are enrolled in a DPT program, your program will be roughly 3 years long. During these three years, you will cover mostly theoretical concepts of treatment and intervention. There is some part of the program that usually involves practical education. If you are enrolled in an online DPT program, this part will have to be covered on campus.

After you are done with the DPT program, the next step is to take the licensure exam. This is known as the National Certification Exam for Physical Therapy. It is administered by the APTA and upon successful completion, you will be granted a certification to work.

Once you have your certification, you are eligible to take work, but your education does not stop here. In order to maintain your license, you need to continue working or receiving a certain amount of education.

Doctorate in Criminal Justice Program Admissions

The pre-requisites of a doctoral program are somewhat strict and have to be precisely fulfilled in order to be considered by a university.


For most schools, the average GPA requirement of a DPT is 3.0 on a scale of 4.0. Furthermore, a number of pre-requisite courses have to be taken in which the student must have secured a minimum of ‘B’ grade.

Pre-requisite courses for a DPT include the following programs.

  1. Biology I
  2. Biology II
  3. Chemistry I
  4. Chemistry II
  5. Physics I
  6. Physics II
  7. Physiology

Moreover, it is necessary for applicants to have taken these pre-requisite courses at most 10 years before applying for the DPT program.

Difference between PT and OT

OT refers to a kind of rehabilitative and treatment procedures that deal with occupational roles of person. On the other hand, PT is only concerned with the physical disabilities and shortfalls of the body which need treatment.


Physical therapy is only concerned with the movement of disabilities of patients. Occupational therapy on the other hand also involves psychiatry, speech disability and many other types of disabilities that are not directly concerned with motion.

Physical therapy is a kind of occupational therapy which deals with movement issues. Occupational therapy, on a larger scale, deals with disabilities in performing occupational roles.

National Licensure Exam

The national licensure exam refers to a kind of examination that is administered by the state government and requires medical professionals to pass successfully in order to practice.

The national licensure exam for DPT professionals is taken after they have completed their doctoral program successfully at an accredited university.

University accreditation is highly necessary for taking the exam.

Top Ranking Schools

Here are some schools that offer the best DPT programs in the US. Before selection of any school, make sure about Accreditation status approve http://www.capteonline.org/

  1. University of Pittsburgh
  2. University of Southern California
  3. Washington University in St. Louis
  4. Emory University
  5. Northwestern University
  6. University of Iowa
  7. MGH Institute of Health Professions
  8. S. Army-Baylor University

University of Pittsburgh

Claim 1st Ranked DPT Program in the U.S (According to USNEWS), Course includes 90 weeks of clinical internships.

Competition is very high, so get GPA at-least 3.4 before apply (Especially in Major). Bachelors in Exercise, Biology, and Anatomy is most preferably major for this study.

  • After passing DPT, the employment rate is 100%

Contact Details:

Website: https://www.shrs.pitt.edu/dpt

Address: 100 Technology Drive, Suite 210, Pittsburgh, PA

Email: ptinfo@shrs.pitt.edu

University of Southern California

University of Southern California is a very renowned university in the healthcare field. Prepare for July 2019 schedule in DPT program. Job opportunity is expected to grow by 34 percent by 2026 according to Government BLS site.

  1. Campus Base and Online Program
  2. First school to offer a Ph.D. program in Physical therapy

Contact Details:

Website: https://dpt.usc.edu/

Address: 1540 Alcazar Street, CHP 155 Los Angeles, CA

Washington University in St. Louis

Looking for best advance physical therapy school in MO? Washington University is top rank university offering DPT program in 3-year schedule.

Contact Details:

Website: https://pt.wustl.edu/

Address: Mailing Address: Campus Box 8502, 4444 Forest Park Ave., Suite 1101 St. Louis

Emory University

One of the top schools of physical therapy offering various programs or combined degree in physical therapy. Due to top faculty, tuition fee, and scholarship various student prefer to admission fist.

Programs offering

  1. Doctor of Physical Therapy
  2. Dual DPT/PhD
  3. DPT-MPH Program
  4. DPT-MBA Degree
  5. DPT/MA-Bioethics Dual Degree
  6. Residency Training

Contact Details:

Website: https://www.emorydpt.org/doctor-of-physical-therapy/

How Long Does It Take to Get a Doctorate in Physical Therapy?

If someone take admission in the combined program of physical therapy, then required at-least 6 years. After Bachelor, degree (4 years) for getting DPT degree, require at least 3 years of education.

After a doctoral degree, many therapists want to get certification (Pediatric, Sports) for advance learning in a particular field.

Note: For more information about top schools offering DPT degree level program or combined degree, request us for providing information. Send me your previous academic background information, so that we guide you best possible school for taking admission.