In search of advance practice in physical therapy, many students trouble to find the difference between both DPT and Ph.D. programs. Therefore, in this article, we will separate both of these programs with guide them relates to TOP schools offering such programs with admission requirements.

In general, terms DPT (Doctor or Physical Therapist) is a required degree for becoming licensed physical therapist. After getting a Ph.D. degree (post-professional degree), you can join research lab, consultant and teaching staff in universities. After DPT degree, you can perform the therapeutic and rehabilitative treatment. On the other hand, after Ph.D. you can get the role of leader of the physical therapist, Guide physical therapist about advanced techniques in different disorders, and redefine the frame of reference.

Quick Facts:

  1. Only 8 states, you can found accredited schools, offering Ph.D. Degree
  2. Florida has 4 Schools (Most of all)
  3. Most schools offering a degree (Ph.D. in Rehabilitation Science)
  4. For master degree holder required at-least one elective for entry admission, DPT degree holder just need the degree in good grades
  5. B grade or (0) must require in DPT degree in 90% schools admission requirements
  6. Physical Therapy license or registration isn’t the necessary license to the similar state
  7. CAPTE Accreditation required
  8. After Ph.D. degree, you can expect multiple jobs and highest salary above $2K
  9. Ask more about the Ph.D. program

Ph.D. programs are focusing on Research methodologies and faculty development, on the other hand, DPT is more focusing on applying to rehabilitate treatment to a particular patient.

What Is a Ph.D. Physical Therapy?

It’s a post-professional program for an expert physical therapist. Students or professional having with master or doctoral degree is only welcome for this program. In the US and many countries, the career with holding a Ph.D. degree is very flourishing. Many experts level therapist would like to join this program, but only a few states in the USA offering accredited a program in full-scale.


Many schools in the US are offering Distance learning, online and campus-based education. However, I will recommend only hybrid or campus-based education.

There are many accredited schools offering Ph.D. programs just like associated degree and DPT programs. Make sure if you have Master degree and want to apply Ph.D. degree, then you required at-least one additional elective for applying this.

DPT degree holders won’t require any additional elective and course for eligible to this program.

What Are the Educational Requirements For a Ph.D. Physical Therapy Program?

At-least 3.0 GPA in previous DPT degree or B grade. If you have a Master degree, then at least one elective program must require. Prior to this degree, physical therapist must get license and national level exam. In some cases, schools demand some clinical experience for this program. Schools located in Florida, Alabama and Texas demand clinical experience with more than 100 hours.

Educational Prerequisites

Completely research-oriented program develop research methodologies. In addition, many schools is offering program hybrid or online. The course is focusing on advanced scientific research assessments and evidence-based knowledge.

  1. Advanced Quantitative Research Methods
  2. Qualitative Research Methods
  3. Research Team Leadership
  4. Ethics
  5. Human motion analysis
  6. Pathokinesiology research
  7. Physical therapy management
  8. Health care policy
  9. Advanced Kinesiology

DNP vs Ph.D.: Side-By-Side Comparison

Here below we explain both degree level programs side by side comparison or you can say basis on Pre-requisites, Tuition Fee, Schedule and Length, Duties and Job descriptions, Online Programs Available, Occupational Demand and many more.

Applicant Prerequisites     

Prerequisites for both programs must require according to the particulate state of the school. For DPT degree, candidates either require an associate degree or Bachelor degree equivalent to the healthcare field.

For a Ph.D. degree, candidates required either Master or DPT degree (Accreditation must).

Credit Hours 

For DPT credit hours 70-95 required, if you have Master degree or Bachelor degree in physical therapy then this figure is lower to 50.

For PT in Ph.D. students to complete 45 to 60 credits.


Theory base methodology and assessment in DPT training, Student usually learn existing frames of references and practicing.

In the Ph.D. program, students develop the ability to create the new invention and research methodologies for Physical therapy

Online Programs Available       

Most schools are online or hybrid, especially for Ph.D. programs


What Does a Ph.D. Physical Therapist Do?

Day to day physical therapist duties is changing due to the complexity of advanced treatment. So we can only discuss general duties must perform after completion Ph.D. degree.

Roles and Duties

What’s the role of doctor of philosophy in physical therapy? In-depth study of physical therapy from basic to advance. Researcher can modify frames of reference in any department or field like pediatric, Acute Care, Autism, and many more stokes. The main goal is to improve the daily life of a particular patient.

Helping others therapist with some advance scientifically research-oriented methods. Helping students, who are performing their clinical duties.

  1. Revise Fundamentals and study materials for physical therapy courses
  2. Act as a consultant, and lecturer in any university to all physical therapist (Assistant, and Diploma holders)
  3. Counseling student, help to clear the goal and path towards becoming an expert level physical therapist
  4. Appoint in many research laboratories as a consultant or Doctorate
  5. Hire, appoint physical therapist in many industries and schools
  6. Train and supervise laboratory staff

Top Accredited Schools Offering Ph.D. Physical Therapy

Here bellows we are going to discuss top accredited schools offering Ph.D. programs in physical therapy in multiple states in the US. We already make sure every school’s accreditation status, so you don’t need to worry about this matter. Just focusing on the quality of schools, faculty, ranking, and graduation pass score.

University of Miami

UOM is a private health science institute that’s providing quality education through qualified professors. There more than 15,5000 students are enrolled from all over the world. A vast range of medical related programs are being offered in very low tuition fee.

Programs: PhD in Physical Therapy

Tuition: $11,500.00 USD per semester

Address: Coral Gables, FL 33124

Contact: (305) 284-4535



Nova Southeastern University

It’s a part of eighteen campus based university system in Florida state. As a private sector university, its tuition fee is a little bit high but their education system is based on latest research. Also they are offering PhD programs in Physical Therapy.

Programs: PhD in Physical Therapy

Tuition: $28,788 USD

Address: 3200 S. University Drive, Ft. Lauderdale, FL 33328

Contact: 800-356-0026



University of Central Arkansas

Its a oldest university schools in Arkansas State US, that was established in 1907 as a Govt higher educational institute. Hundreds of professional degree programs are being offered in which PhD in PT is very famous.

Programs: Doctor of Physical Therapy

Tuition: In-state $7,585 USD | out-of-state $11,491 USD

Address: 201 Donaghey Ave., Conway, AR 72035

Contact: 501-450-5557



Texas Woman’s University – School of Physical Therapy
Its best physical therapy school in Texas that is co-education and providing latest research based physical therapy education from basic to PhD.
Programs: PhD in Physical Therapy
Tuition: In-state $8,548 USD | Out-of-state $18,408 USD
Address: 304 Administration Dr, Denton, TX 76204, USA
Contact: +1 940-898-2000

Ola Grimsby Institute

This Ola Grimsby Institute was established in In 1984 on the name of Dr. Grimsby as a private institute in San Diego California. Between other professional Masters and PhD programs, PhD in Manual Therapy (PT) is top of the line.

Programs: PhD in Manual Therapy (PT)

Address: 4420 Hotel Cir Ct # 210, San Diego, CA 92108, USA

Contact: (800) 646-6128



Ph.D. Physical Therapy Salary & Employment


What’s a career after completing this degree and employment status in the US. One thing makes sure, this is #1 therapist degree if you are compared to others (Occupational therapy, Speech Pathology, Radiation therapy).

  1. PT salary
  2. PTA Salary
  3. PT Aide Salary

After the doctor of the physical therapist, you can expect at least $84,000 salary with 34% employment growth rate until 2026. On the other hand, after completing a Ph.D. degree we cannot estimate your salary. Some Ph.D. scholars are earning more than $2K highest earning in many states in the US.

Is there a demand for Ph.D. Physical therapist career?

There is always a demand for this career in the healthcare field. Very few people enter in this field. 95% start practice after completing a DPT degree. Because many years required to become Ph.D. scholar.

Popular Career Options

  1. Physical therapy consultant
  2. Physical therapy educator
  3. Physical therapy researcher
  4. Physical therapy advocate