Most Affordable DPT Programs

It’s simple to see why physical therapy is so appealing to so many people– a well-paying job that allows you to serve others all day is always appealing. It’s no surprise that PTs are happy, healthy, and pleased; they have a pleasant profession, and they work in surroundings that emphasize fitness, uniqueness, and innovation.

Physical therapy is routinely ranked among the top 100 jobs in the United States. And, unlike the other spots on the list, it’s been there for a long time and is certain to remain there in the future. You don’t have to worry about keeping up with demand because the number of new positions is predicted to expand by 36% in the 10 years running up to 2024.

The desire for autonomous practitioners who can be flexible and creative when responding to the individual demands of each and every client is driving an emerging vision for the job of the physical therapist in America today. Collaboration, value, and patient advocacy are becoming more important, with physical therapists being expected to think outside the box and collaborate with other therapists and healthcare experts to produce innovative solutions personalized to the individual.

The Doctor of Physical Therapy has become the standard minimum entry-level prerequisite for going into the industry due to this mix of accountability, skill, and autonomy.

That’s excellent news for patients and the profession as a whole, but it also means that getting your DPT will require a significant financial commitment. You’ll spend an extra three to four years in a Ph.D. school after completing your four-year bachelor’s degree, followed by a residency or fellowship before entering professional practice.

All of this adds up to a significant financial investment in your education – frequently $100,000 or more – but it’s a wise one given the high earning potential that comes with it.

Of course, you’re not going to compromise the quality of the education that’s going to prepare you for your career, but it would be nice to keep those lean years of eating ramen and taking the bus to a minimum. That’s why it’s important to find the Most Affordable DPT Programs that have value for your money. And we’ve got just the list for you here.

Identifying the Most Affordable DPT Programs That Offer the Best Value

CAPTE Accreditation As a Base Qualification

It’s only reasonable that we limit our selection to programs that have been approved by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education or CAPTE.

CAPTE is the only accrediting body authorized to evaluate doctorate-level physical therapy programs, establish minimum curriculum and student outcome standards, review the program’s mission and accomplishments, ensure resources are available to meet educational goals and establish faculty qualifications and standards.

When you choose a CAPTE-accredited program, you can be assured that you’ll meet all of the educational criteria for examination and licensing.

A Passing Grade On The NPTE Is All-Important

Value can be somewhat subjective since the elements of a program that different students’ value can differ. One thing, however, is universally true: All graduates will need to take and pass the NPTE exam, and the performance of past graduating classes is a good measure of how well the program prepared them.

Although CAPTE already incorporates program licensure pass rates into their accreditation process, we went further by only looking at schools that have a 100% pass rate on the National Physical Therapy Exam for the past two years minimum (2016 and 2017).

The NPTE is the next important step on your road to becoming a physical therapist. As a test of the actual knowledge that you will take away from your DPT program, it’s a pretty good proxy for the quality of that program, and another sign of a great value for your tuition dollars.

UNIVERSITY OF SOUTH ALABAMA (PU)
Department of Physical Therapy
Mobile, Alabama
Website

Most Affordable DPT Programs

Doctor of Physical Therapy

Estimated program cost: $65,550 (in-state), $107,206 (out-of-state)

$17,422 less than the state average for DPT degree programs in public school

  • For more than 30 years, the program has been preparing the next generation of physical therapists.
  • Exciting foreign study options in destinations like the Dominican Republic, Trinidad, and Guatemala are available.
  • The university’s relationship with more than 200 hospitals, rehabilitation facilities, and specialist clinics provides excellent internship possibilities.

It’s easy to understand why the University of South Alabama’s DPT stands out from the competition, with a 30-year track record of producing successful graduates and a total program cost that’s more than $17,000 cheaper than the state average for DPT program at public institutions.

If you enroll in this program, you’ll gain valuable hands-on experience through clinical practice laboratories and formal lectures/discussions, as well as internship possibilities at over 200 associated general hospitals, rehabilitation clinics, and specialty offices. Small class groups, a friendly and experienced staff, and possibilities for overseas excursions to destinations like the Dominican Republic, Trinidad, and Guatemala are just a few of the benefits of South Alabama’s DPT.

FRANKLIN PIERCE UNIVERSITY (PR)
College of Graduate and Professional Studies
Goodyear, Arizona
Website

Doctor of Physical Therapy

Estimated program cost: $111,000

$1,303 less than the state average for DPT degree programs in private schools

  • For the previous six years, the program has had a perfect NPTE pass rate.
  • Hands-on projects, clinical encounters, lectures, and seminars are all part of an exceptional learning experience.
  • An anatomy multi-function lab with plastinated specimens of actual cadaveric parts is located here.

It’s easy to understand why Franklin Pierce University remains a leader in physical therapist doctorate education, with a program cost that’s more than $1,000 cheaper than the state average and a stellar track record of student achievement (it’s had a 100 percent NPTE pass rate for the past six years). This comprehensive curriculum offers hands-on projects, clinical experiences, lectures, and seminars at the state-of-the-art facility in Goodyear, as well as access to the anatomy multi-function lab, which contains plastinated specimens of actual cadaveric parts.

NORTHERN ARIZONA UNIVERSITY (PU)
Flagstaff, Arizona
Website

Most Affordable DPT Programs

Doctor of Physical Therapy

Estimated program cost: $34,286 (in-state Flagstaff), $33,635 (in-state Phoenix)

$80,087 (out-of-state Flagstaff), $78,575 (out-of-state Phoenix)

  • Program offered in both Flagstaff and Phoenix
  • Outstanding 100% employment rate among graduates
  • Consistently ranked among the top physical therapy programs in the nation by U.S. News & World Report
  • Residency in Neurologic Physical Therapy opportunity for DPT graduates

Consistently ranked among the top physical therapy programs in the nation by U.S. News & World Report, Northern Arizona University’s DPT is academic excellence and value combined. Offered at the Flagstaff campus and recently expanded to the Phoenix Biomedical Campus, the DPT draws on its partnerships with the University of Arizona Colleges of Medicine, Pharmacy, and Public Health to produce a program that enjoys a long track record of student success.

Just a few of the features of the DPT program include a nationally and internationally recognized faculty, excellent activities and opportunities aimed at professional development, and valuable, hands-on experiences through the NAU Physical Therapy Clinic. For DPT grads, Northern Arizona University also offers a residency in neurologic physical therapy with one-on-one mentoring in the state-of-the-art facilities at Honor Health.

CALIFORNIA STATE UNIVERSITY LONG BEACH (PU)
Department of Physical Therapy
Long Beach, California
Website

Doctor of Physical Therapy

Estimated program cost: $54,756 (in-state), $86,612 (out-of-state)

$16,733 less than the state average for DPT degree programs in public schools

  • Residency in Orthopedic Physical Therapy opportunity for DPT graduates
  • Exciting research opportunities
  • Program boasts a 100% employment rate among graduates since 2014

California State University Long Beach’s DPT program is an example of value, with a program costing about $17,000 cheaper than the state average for a DPT program in public institutions. It also has a fantastic Orthopedic Physical Therapy residency program, good research possibilities in areas including path kinesiology, spine research, balance, and fall prevention, and excellent internship options coordinated by the Director of Clinical Education. Do you need another incentive to choose CSU Long Beach’s DPT above the competition? Since 2014, it has had a 100% employment rate for every graduating class.

More:

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AZUSA PACIFIC UNIVERSITY (PR)
School of Behavioral and Applied Sciences
Azusa, California
Website

Most Affordable DPT Programs

Doctor of Physical Therapy

Estimated program cost: $106,625

$17,115 less than the state average for DPT degree programs in private schools

  • DPT graduates can apply for a post-professional clinical fellowship in movement and performance.
  • Since 2013, the university has been recognized among the Tier One national colleges by U.S. News & World Report and among the Best Colleges in the West by the Princeton Review.
  • With a 100% employment rate and a 100% NPTE pass rate.

Azusa Pacific’s DPT program is everything you’d want in a DPT program – and more! With an emphasis on the scientific basis of human structure and movement and a price tag that’s more than $17,000 less than the state average for DPT degree program in private schools, it’s everything you’d want in a DPT program – and more!

Choose Azusa Pacific for your DPT and you’ll be a part of an institution that has been named to U.S. News & World Report’s Tier One national colleges and the Princeton Review’s Best Colleges in the West. Accolades are nice, but the stats show how effective this program is: alumni have had a 100% employment rate and have passed the NPTE 100% of the time since 2013.

Thanks to a generous $3 million donation from the Sacred Heart Foundation, an organization developed by two Azusa Pacific alumni, the DPT program is building a new facility that will allow for the expansion of the program and a renovation that includes a new sports optimization research room.

UNIVERSITY OF COLORADO (PU)
School of Medicine
Aurora, Colorado
Website

Doctor of Physical Therapy

Estimated program cost: $58,116 (in-state), $121,684 (out-of-state)

  • Other PT program options: PhD in Rehabilitation Science
  • Residency in Pediatric Physical Therapy opportunity for DPT graduates
  • Program located on the state-of-the-art Anschutz Medical campus, the University of Colorado’s healthcare campus
  • Exciting service learning and global study opportunities
  • Superb clinical partnerships with a variety of facilities and sites, including the University of Colorado Hospital, National Jewish Health, the Stout Street Clinic, the Veterans Affairs Medical Center, and more

The University of Colorado has been producing the next generation of physical therapists for more than 70 years, thanks to competitive tuition, excellent staff, and a position on the state-of-the-art Anschutz Medical Campus. The University of Colorado’s healthcare campus, the Anschutz Medical Campus, brings together students, researchers, and clinicians for pioneering research.

The DPT program offers a variety of service-learning opportunities, exciting opportunities for international study and volunteering in Nicaragua, faculty-mentored research projects, and excellent clinical partnerships with a variety of facilities and sites, including the University of Colorado Hospital, National Jewish Health, the Stout Street Clinic, the Veterans Affairs Medical Center, and more.

ARKANSAS STATE UNIVERSITY (PU)
Department of Physical Therapy
Jonesboro, Arkansas
Website

Most Affordable DPT Programs

Doctor of Physical Therapy

Estimated program cost: $35,964 (in-state), $71,928 (out-of-state)

$12,975 less than the state average for DPT degree programs in public schools

  • Outstanding employment rate of 100% among students six months after graduation
  • Superb research opportunities available
  • Exciting, hands-on learning opportunities through the Equine Center, Beck Pride Center, and more

Arkansas State University’s DPT is unbeatable, with a 100% employment rate among recent graduates and a tuition fee that is more than $30,000 cheaper than the state average for the DPT program at public colleges.

Equine physical therapy treatment through the Arkansas State University Center Equine Center, resources for combat-wounded veterans through the Beck Pride Center, and new PT research labs at the Reynolds Center for Health Sciences are just a few of the outstanding experiences enjoyed by PT students here. There are several research prospects here, including chronic illness and healthy aging, obesity, exercise, nutrition, and dementia, among others.

HOWARD UNIVERSITY (PR)
College of Nursing and Allied Health Sciences
Washington D.C.
Website

Doctor of Physical Therapy

Estimated program cost: $109,578

  • Program located in Washington D.C., just two miles from the U.S Capitol
  • Program offers an outstanding combination of cutting-edge research and practice
  • Superb record of student success: 100% employment rate among graduates

Howard University has been developing the next generation of leaders and change-makers since 1867, and its DPT program continues this tradition. Howard University is a high research activity university, located in the historic Northwest Washington region just two miles from the United States Capitol, guaranteeing that DPT students are exposed to cutting-edge research and practice both in the classroom and in the clinic. If you pursue your DPT at Howard University, you’ll be a member of a program with a 100% employment rate among alumni.

FLORIDA GULF COAST UNIVERSITY (PU)
Department of Rehabilitation Sciences
Fort Myers, Florida
Website

Doctor of Physical Therapy

Estimated program cost: $39,165 (in-state), $136,500 (out-of-state)

$24,304 less than the state average for DPT degree programs in public schools

  • Hybrid curriculum model features select online courses for the best in convenience and flexibility
  • Program includes NPTE exam prep and the opportunity to complete an independent research or study project to advance your knowledge in a specialty area
  • Program features small class sizes and an expert faculty that brings diverse content expertise and experience to the classroom

The DPT program at Florida Gulf Coast University is vibrant, inventive, and affordable, costing more than $20,000 less than the state average. It also has a unique hybrid curriculum approach, small class sizes, a high student-to-faculty ratio, cutting-edge facilities and cutting-edge laboratories, and an expert faculty with a wide range of topic competence and experience. If you choose the DPT here, you’ll get NPTE test preparation in the curriculum as well as the chance to do an individual research or study project to further your knowledge in a specialty field.

IDAHO STATE UNIVERSITY (PU)
Department of Physical and Occupational Therapy
Pocatello, Idaho
Website

Doctor of Physical Therapy

Estimated program cost: $49,504 (in-state), $109,068 (out-of-state)

  • Program has been producing physical therapists for more than 25 years
  • 100% employment rate among graduates
  • University is home to the Physical & Occupational Therapy Clinic for the best in hands-on learning on campus
  • Excellent research opportunities through the Clinical Research Center

For more than 25 years, Idaho State University has been educating the next generation of physical therapists via a cutting-edge, creative DPT program that consistently ranks first in academic performance and cost. Small class sizes allow for excellent interaction with teachers… graduates have a 100% employment rate…

On-campus, there’s also a Physical and Occupational Therapy facility for the finest in hands-on learning. You’ll also get access to cutting-edge clinical research through the Clinical Research Center as a student here. Are you looking for additional incentives to pursue your DPT at Idaho State University? Idaho is frequently ranked as one of the best states in which to practice physical therapy by PT in Motion magazine.

ROSALIND FRANKLIN UNIVERSITY OF MEDICINE AND SCIENCE (PR)
College of Health Professions
North Chicago, Illinois
Website

Doctor of Physical Therapy

Estimated program cost: $85,050

$25,605 less than the state average for DPT degree programs in private schools

  • 100% employment rate among graduates for the past three years
  • Outstanding research opportunities available through the university’s Innovation and Research Park
  • Unique curriculum structure features quarter modules built around a central theme
  • Program features a contemporary, cutting-edge curriculum that features case studies, simulation, and progressive patient interactions in a collaborative, inter professional learning environment

Among the DPT program, the Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science offers the best value. In fact, this program costs roughly $26,000 less than the state average for the private school DPT program. But, for aspiring physical therapists like you, price isn’t the only benefit of this curriculum.

Choose Rosalind Franklin for your DPT and you’ll get a modern, cutting-edge curriculum with case studies, simulation, and progressive patient contacts in a collaborative, interprofessional learning environment. You’ll also complete the Research Portfolio System as a student here, which is meant to encourage research throughout the curriculum and build on the university’s renowned research activities at the Innovation and Research Park.

UNIVERSITY OF MARYLAND – EASTERN SHORE (PU)
Department of Physical Therapy
Princess Anne, Maryland
Website

Doctor of Physical Therapy

Estimated program cost: $37,375 (in-state), $51,625 (Eastern Shore region), $69,460 (out-of-state)

$21,332 less than the state average for DPT degree programs in public schools

  • 100% employment rate among graduates
  • Exciting opportunities to participate in community health and wellness education programs, such as the Annual UMES Health and Wellness Festival
  • Superb research opportunities include presenting your research at the Annual Regional Graduate Studies Research Symposium
  • Program features an esteemed faculty of certified clinical specialists in areas like orthopedics, geriatrics, and neurology

The University of Maryland – Eastern Shore’s DPT program is not only a leader in affordability, with tuition more than $20,000 less than the state average for DPT program in public schools; it’s also a leader in academic excellence, with a student-centered learning environment for aspiring physical therapists like you… an integrated program that blends classroom and clinical activities in a smooth manner… In your third year, you’ll have plenty of opportunities to do research and present your findings at the Annual Regional Graduate Studies Research Symposium… and chances to take part in community health and wellness education events like the UMES Health and Wellness Festival.

Choose the DPT here and you’ll benefit from a faculty of certified clinical specialists in areas like orthopedics, geriatrics, and neurology and state-of-the-art laboratories and teaching facilities, including the recently built Hazel Hall.

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