Top Physical Therapy Graduate Schools

Find out what to look for when choosing a school with a strong graduate program in physical therapy. Review three schools with nationally ranked physical therapy programs, and find out what degrees you could earn at each school. Explore a list of ten additional top physical therapy schools in the U.S. Schools offering Physical Therapy degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Makes a Top Physical Therapy Graduate School?

Physical therapy is a field that may involve many medical settings, including hospitals, schools, outpatient clinics, rehabilitation centers, physician's offices and home health agencies. Before choosing a physical therapy graduate school, decide what type of physical therapy career interests you. Choose a school that's highly ranked by medical organizations or reputable publications, such as U.S. News & World Report, particularly in your area of interest. Look for a clinically trained faculty that's experienced in the field and recognized for their research and accomplishments.

Many physical therapy graduate schools require students to volunteer in a physical therapy setting. You may want to choose a physical therapy graduate school located in the city or region where you'd like to work after graduation. If you're concerned about admissions requirements, you might want to research a school's GRE/GMAT score requirements for physical therapy graduate programs. You might also want to learn what kind of student services are offered.

What Are the Top Three Physical Therapy Graduate Schools?

University of Iowa in Iowa City, IA

The University of Iowa (UI) is a large research university consisting of 11 colleges. In 2016, U.S. News & World Report ranked UI sixth among the country's best graduate schools for their program in physical therapy. In the same publication, ranked UI 82nd among the best national universities. The UI Carver College of Medicine offers two doctoral degrees in physical therapy and rehabilitation science.

The UI faculty consists of professors, assistant professors, researchers and scholars with years of experience; many have memberships in medical organizations and are authors of academic publications. The UI College of Medicine offers clinical internships, residency and fellowship programs. The following physical therapy graduate programs are offered:

  • Master of Arts/Ph.D. in Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation Science
  • Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) in Physical Therapy

University of Southern California in Los Angeles, CA

The University of Southern California (USC) is one of the world's top private research universities. USC offers physical therapy graduate programs through its Division of Biokinesiology and Physical Therapy. In 2016, U.S. News & World Report ranked USC number one among the best graduate schools for their physical therapy program and tied for 23rd place among the nation's best colleges.

The nation's first physical therapy Ph.D. program was started at USC. The faculty members - leaders in their field - perform extensive research, travel worldwide as lecturers and have won awards for excellence in teaching. Clinical residency and fellowship seminars are offered to graduate students at USC. Student services include career fairs, career counseling, online job posting and job placement assistance. USC offers:

  • Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT)

Washington University in St. Louis in St. Louis, MO

Washington University in St. Louis (WUSTL) is an independent university known for its excellent programs, distinguished faculty and commitment to research, teaching and service to the community. In 2016, U.S. News & World Report tied WUSTL for first place among the best graduate schools for their program in physical therapy and ranked 19th among national universities. Washington University School of Medicine offers three graduate physical therapy programs.

The Nobel Prize has been awarded to 17 WUSTL faculty and alumni, while 92 faculty members have awards from the National Institutes of Health. Various faculty members are fellows of the National Academy of Sciences. Student services include student organizations, fellowships, assistantships, stipends and doctoral scholarship assistance. The WUSTL School of Medicine offers the following physical therapy degrees.

  • Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT)
  • Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Movement Science

Top Physical Therapy Graduate Schools

College/University Institution TypeLocation
University of Delaware 4-year, Public Newark, DE
Emory University4-year, Private Atlanta, GA
Baylor University 4-year, Private Fort Sam Houston, TX
Marquette University 4-year, Private Milwaukee, WI
University of Florida 4-year, Public Gainesville, FL
Creighton University 4-year, Private Omaha, NE
University of Maryland- Baltimore 4-year, Public Baltimore, MD
Arcadia University 4-year, Private Glenside, PA
Boston University 4-year, Private Boston, MA
University of North Carolina--Chapel Hill 4-year, Public Chapel Hill, NC

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

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The schools in the listing below are not free and may include sponsored content but are popular choices among our users. Tuition and costs will vary across programs and locations. Be sure to always request tuition information before starting a program.

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