Medicine & Health

Cheapest Physical Therapy Schools in the USA

Every discipline in the healthcare department has its worth. Physical therapy is as valuable in healthcare as medicinal and surgical therapies are. Physiotherapists are an important part of our healthcare system and have several job opportunities in the public and private sectors in the USA. 

What is a Doctor of physical therapy program?

A doctor of physical therapy or a doctor of physiotherapy (DPT) is a qualifying degree in physical therapy where physiotherapists work to examine a person and develop a treatment plan to improve his ability to move, reduce or manage pain, prevent disability, and restore function. A DPT requires graduate coursework in either of the following two programs:  

  1. An Entry-level program that requires 3-4 years of study plus clinical experience.  
  2. A Transitional degree program that is designed for currently working physiotherapists.

Graduates of a physical therapy program are eligible to sit for the National Board for Certification in Physical Therapy. Licensure is required to practice; and, the program must be chosen after the confirmation that it meets all the requirements.

Cheapest Physical Therapy Schools in the USA

According to US News and Reports, there is a ranking of the schools for the Best physical therapy programs in the USA. These ranks are based on different services, costs, and qualities of the DPT programs being offered by the schools. These programs are accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE). Here is the list of the top 10 cheapest Physical Therapy Schools in the USA:

1.      UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA-SAN FRANCISCO

Cheapest Physical Therapy Schools in the USA

The University of California-San Francisco was established in 1864. In 1949, the California Board of Regents established an academic medical program which was upgraded to be recognized as the medical center we know today. The University of California offers a three-year Doctor of Physical therapy program and this program is recognized as the number 20 in the U.S News and World Reports or the Best physical therapy program rankings. It is a joint program of the University of California-San Francisco (UCSF) and San Francisco State University (SFSU). It offers an entry-level curriculum that includes:

  • Evidence-based practices
  • Medical and applied sciences,
  • Physiology
  • Anatomy
  • Neuromuscular
  • Therapeutic modalities
  • Clinical experiences

Length of Program: 115 Credit Hours

Estimated Tuition Cost: $33,660

2.      TEXAS WOMAN’S UNIVERSITY

Texas Woman’s University was built in 1901 as a Girls Industrial College and the Institute of Health Sciences opened in the TWU in 1966. This school started admitting men in 1972 and is currently recognized as a well-known Doctoral and Research Institute. Texas Woman’s University offers a 33 months Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) entry-level degree program. This program holds CAPTE accreditation and is ranked at 28 Best physical therapy program. This institute also offers a DPT to the Ph.D. program. The curriculum involves:

  • Anatomy
  • Physiology
  • Physics
  • Chemistry
  • Medical terminology
  • Psychology

Length of Program: 33 Months

Estimated Tuition Cost:

$35,700 (For Resident)

$74,000 ( For Non Resident)

3.      UNIVERSITY OF OKLAHOMA HEALTH SCIENCES CENTER

Built in 1890 in Enid, Oklahoma the University of Oklahoma is one of the several well-known institutes offering multiple disciplinary programs. The institute built its Health Science department in 1970 and offered different courses for the students. The University of Oklahoma offers a Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) degree followed by a course work of 108 credit hours. This program is accredited by the CAPTE and is recognized as number 46 by the U.S News and World’s report.

  • Fundamentals of physical therapy
  • Concepts in rehabilitation sciences
  • Clinical anatomy
  • Evidence-based practice
  • Differential diagnosis
  • Clinical education
  • Pathology

Program Length: 108 Credit Hours

Estimated Tuition Cost: $37,800

4. UNIVERSITY OF NEBRASKA MEDICAL CENTER

The University of Nebraska Medical Center, Omaha was established in 1881 and since then has developed into 11 different departments which include medicine, nursing, pharmacy, dentistry, public health, allied health professions, and several others. The Physical Therapy program was started at the UNMC in 1968. The College of Allied Health Professions at the UNMC started the Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) program which is recognized at the number 28 for the Best Physical Therapy Programs. This curriculum includes:

  • Studies in anatomy
  • Physiology
  • Pathophysiology
  • Musculoskeletal physical therapy
  • Differential diagnosis
  • Orthotics and prosthetics
  • Critical inquiry

Length of Program: 123 Credit Hours

Estimated Tuition Cost:

$45,690 (Resident)

$88,495 (Non Resident)

5.      VIRGINIA COMMONWEALTH UNIVERSITY SCHOOL OF ALLIED PROFESSIONS

Cheapest Physical Therapy Schools in the USA

Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) located in Richmond, Virginia, was established in 1838. VCU established a Physical Therapy master’s degree in 1941. The Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) program was started in 2001 which consists of 121 credit hours. This institute is recognized as number 20 for the Best physical therapy program and is also accredited by CAPTE. Virginia Commonwealth University offers a three years Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) degree which may be completed in three years. The curriculum includes:

  • Anatomy
  • Kinesiology
  • Pharmacology
  • Physiology
  • Rehabilitation aspects
  • Clinical education
  • Orthopedics

Program Length: 121 Credit Hours

Estimated Tuition Cost:

$44,940 (For Resident); $95,800 (For Non Resident)

6. UNIVERSITY OF ILLINOIS COLLEGE OF APPLIED HEALTH SCIENCES

Cheapest Physical Therapy Schools in the USA

University of Illinois College of Applied Health Sciences, Chicago was established in 1913 and the Physical Therapy program began in 1971. This institute offers an entry-level Doctor of Physical Therapy program which consists of 8 semesters. The DPT program offered by this institution is ranked as #8 for the best DPT program rankings. This degree is also accredited by CAPTE. This university is also ranked #78 in the Top Public schools’ rankings.

This program includes:

  • Introduction to physical therapy
  • Applied kinesiology
  • Therapeutic appliances
  • Gross anatomy
  • Neuromuscular dysfunction
  • Clinical internships
  • Clinical applications

Program Length: 121 Credit Hours

Estimated Tuition Cost:

$45,920 (Resident)

$94,880 (Non Resident)

7. UNIVERSITY OF CENTRAL ARKANSAS

The University of Central Arkansas was founded in 1907 in Conway. UCA offers a Doctor of Physical Therapy degree which is also accredited by CAPTE. This DPT school is ranked #53 in the U.S News and World Reports. This Doctor of Physical Therapy includes:

  • Gross anatomy
  • Human physiology
  • Neuroscience
  • Kinesiology
  • Pathology
  • Musculoskeletal physical therapy
  • Research
  • Cardiopulmonary principles and practice
  • Educational practicum

Program Length: 123 Credit Hours

Estimated Tuition Cost:

$40,016 (For Resident)

$59,778 (For Non Resident)

8. UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA

The University of Florida started to train the physiotherapists in 1953 at the undergraduate level and was approved for an entry-level graduate program in 1997. It is ranked #10 for providing the best Doctor of Physical Therapy program.

This university offers a two-year program of Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) which is an entry-level curriculum accredited by CAPTE. This program also includes 32 weeks of clinical internship and several weeks of an integrated part-time clinical experience. This physical therapy course includes:

  • Pathophysiology
  • Exercise physiology
  • Anatomy
  • Differential diagnosis

Program Length: 113 Credit Hours

Estimated Tuition Cost:

  • $45,444 (For Resident)
  • $63,924 (For Non Resident)

9. UNIVERSITY OF NORTH CAROLINA CHAPEL HILL

The University of North Carolina was built in 1789 and the Allied Health Sciences department started working in 1952. UNC-Chapel Hill offers a three years degree for Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) which is an entry-level program consisting of 114 credit hours. UNC also offers a Transitional Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) degree designed for currently licensed physical therapists. Accredited by CAPTE, this DPT school is ranked #15 in the U.S. News and World Reports. This program includes clinical studies and a minimum of 36 weeks of clinical rotation.

Program Length: 126 Credit Hours

Estimated Tuition Cost: $51,000 (Residents); $95,000 (Non Residents)

10. OHIO STATE UNIVERSITY

Ohio State University was established in 1870. This institute offers a degree of Doctor of Physical Therapy program with an enrollment of 40-50 students per academic year. This DPT school is ranked #10 in the U.S. News and World Reports for the Best Physical Therapy program reports. This school is also accredited by the CAPTE. This 117 credit hours curriculum includes:

  • Anatomy
  • Principles and procedures in PT practice
  • Musculoskeletal diagnosis and management
  • Evidence-based practices
  • Adult neurological management
  • Geriatric management
  • Cardiopulmonary rehabilitation
  •  Advanced orthopedic PT and a capstone project
  • Clinical practicum

Program Length: 117 Credit Hours

Estimated Tuition Cost: $53,586 (Resident); $119,925 (Non Resident)

How much does physical therapy school cost?

According to the CAPTE aggregate data, the average Doctor of Physical Therapy program tuition ranges from $18,000-$20,000 per year for public schools and $35,000-$42,000 for private institutions.

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Most Asked Question:

o Best physical therapy schools in New York

  • Clarkson University Physical Therapy Program
  • College of Staten Island CUNY Physical Therapy Program
  • Columbia University Physical Therapy Program

o   What is the best college for physical therapy in Texas?

  • Texas State University (San Marcos, TX)
  • University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center (Dallas, TX)
  • University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston (Galveston, TX)

o   How much does physical therapy assistant school cost?

A physical therapy assistant program at a public school costs around $2,500 a year while a private school costs $10,000 a year.

o   Most common physical therapy school interview questions

  • Why do you want to be a physical therapist?
  • What do you enjoy most about being a physical therapist?
  • What conditions have you successfully treated?
  • What is the hardest part of your job?
  • How many clients have you worked with within your career thus far?
  • Describe your best experience working with a client.
  • Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
  • What is the most common type of injury that your patients have?
  • When working with patients, how do you structure your physical therapy sessions?
  • Of all of your patients, which one affected you the most and why?
  • What training or educational practices do you use to stay up-to-date on best practices?
  • Are there any conditions you don’t feel comfortable treating with physical therapy?
  • What is the most important part of your physical therapy training, and how do you use it in practice?
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