Schools that Offer a Bachelor's in Physical Therapy

Discover schools with bachelor's degree programs related to physical therapy. Find out what you might learn in these programs and see what you can do after earning an undergraduate degree. Schools offering Physical Therapy degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Undergraduate programs designed exclusively for physical therapy are quite rare, primarily because physical therapy degrees are awarded at the doctoral level. However, there are schools with programs that might help prepare students to get into a Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) programs; these include majors like exercise science, physiology, human disability and health. Many of these programs include a laboratory component. Let's look at some schools.

What Schools Have Physical Therapy-Related Bachelor's Degree Programs?

You might have to wait until the doctoral level to start getting your degree in physical therapy, but that doesn't mean you can't begin preparing for it at the undergraduate level. The programs offered by these schools are a great springboard to a DPT:

  • The University of Minnesota - Duluth has a Bachelor of Applied Science in Exercise Science degree; students can choose a concentration in either health fitness or exercise and sport science.
  • The University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill offers a Bachelor of Arts in Exercise and Sports Science that would work as a pre-physical therapy program.
  • The University of Illinois at Chicago has a few bachelor's degree programs that could prepare graduates for further study in physical therapy: a BS in Disability and Human Development, a BS in Kinesiology, a BS in Nutrition and a BS in Rehabilitation Sciences.
  • Midwestern State University has a Bachelor of Science in Exercise Physiology.

How Do You Further Your Education?

One route to getting your DPT is to get your bachelor's degree first in a related field (as we've detailed above) and then apply to doctoral programs, which typically take two or three years to complete. Conversely, there are a handful of schools that offer accelerated tracks to college freshmen, letting them earn a bachelor's and a Doctor of Physical Therapy in one combined program. These programs generally divide the track into three years of undergraduate work and three years of graduate work. Here are a few such schools:

  • Arcadia University in Glenside, PA
  • The University of Evansville in Evansville, IN
  • Boston University in Boston, MA

What Will You Learn in These Programs?

Each school develops its own program curriculum, but many of the schools share similar undergraduate courses. These courses typically focus on science as it relates to the human body. As a solid foundation for later learning, most programs include at least one class each in chemistry, biology, physiology, human anatomy and physics. Then, they move on to more in-depth subjects like biomechanics, motor learning, performance nutrition and clinical exercise physiology. Many programs include an internship in an exercise, rehabilitation or sports facility.

What Can You Do with a Physical Therapy Degree?

Once you've graduated and passed the National Physical Therapy Examination to become licensed, there are a number of ways you can start practicing in the field:

  • Helping injured or disabled people at a rehabilitation center
  • Working at a school
  • Helping athletes get the most out of their bodies
  • Opening your own clinic
  • Working in a hospital

Whatever you choose, one thing is for sure - the profession is growing. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics predicted that employment for physical therapists will increase by 28% between 2016 and 2026.

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:

  • 1. Degree Options:
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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