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Physical Therapy Colleges: Studying to Help Others

By Brendan Conway updated on Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Important note: This section is about graduate level degrees and studies for physical therapists. If you're interested in becoming a physical therapist assistant, visit the undergraduate section on physical therapy schools .

Physical therapy colleges will provide students with the necessary physical therapy degrees to become fully-fledged physical therapists once they have graduated. Physical therapy is oft-considered a desirable career path, both because of the career prospects within the field, and because of the rewarding nature of the work.

Physical therapy colleges train students to help individuals who have conditions that inhibit their capabilities to move or otherwise physically hinder or hurt them. These conditions could include injuries, illnesses, or other disorders that the individual in question might have suffered from since his or her birth.

Students at physical therapy colleges will be trained to have the highest degree of skill and ability, so that they can best serve their patients while avoiding any potential risk for further damage. 

Physical therapy colleges: Curriculum and accreditation

Physical therapy colleges provide degrees at the graduate level, meaning that students planning on entering into physical therapy colleges must first attend undergraduate universities and earn their undergraduate degrees, baccalaureate or associate's, before attending physical therapy colleges.

Physical therapy colleges are accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE). According to the most recent reports, there are 212 physical therapy college programs with accreditation, the vast majority of which offered students doctoral level degrees, as opposed to master's degrees.

Physical therapy colleges take varying amounts of time to complete, depending upon the level of degree they grant. Master's programs will likely take 2 years, while the doctoral level programs will take 3.

Physical therapy colleges include educational focuses on subjects having to do with the body's functioning and health. Biology, anatomy, physicology, and other such courses are very important.

Students in physical therapy colleges will also be involved in clinical education, where they will learn how to perform tests and measures through hands-on practice. This clinical education is supervised by experienced physical therapists and doctors.

How do I get accepted into physical therapy colleges?

A student interested in attending a physical therapy college would do well to study similar courses in undergraduate education to those he or she is likely to study in the physical therapy college.

Courses such as biology, anatomy, chemistry, social sciences, and the like are all valuable experience which might make a student more likely to be accepted into a physical therapy college.

Physical therapy colleges also sometimes have a requirement for would-be students that those students have some amount of experience volunteering in a physical therapy-based environment, such as the appropriate department of a hospital, or a physical therapy clinic. If you want to increase your chances of getting into a physical therapy college, then make sure you get some such experience.

Why should I attend physical therapy colleges?

Attending a physical therapy college is a very important thing for any would-be physical therapist. Physical therapists are required to register or obtain licensure from the states in which they practice, and most states require that applicants for licensure have graduated from accredited physical therapy colleges, in addition to a number of other requirements.

Physical therapists can expect good job prospects after going through physical therapy colleges. Physical therapy is a growing field, and the need for physical therapists increases year by year. Physical therapists should thus be able to find paying jobs without too much difficulty, although a physical therapist looking for a job in a very specific environment or institution might have some difficulty, depending on that institution.

Physical Therapy Programs
About the Author

Brendan Conway is the Web Content Editor for Peterson's Interactive and is well-versed in the world of higher education and admissions. He is a graduate of Hamilton College, and has been working in admissions advice, test-prep advice, career planning advice, and similar fields for the majority of his career since graduation. Brendan endeavors to provide the most relevant, useful, and interesting information via Peterson's Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ feeds. Brendan enjoys lexicological oddities and voraciously reading in his free time.

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