What Are the Educational Requirements for Physical Therapists?


Quick Answer

The Doctor of Physical Therapy degree is required for all new physical therapists as of 2015. Students must earn a bachelor's degree for admittance into most physical therapy programs. Some programs offer a combined degree, and a few accept students right from high school pending their fulfillment of undergraduate prerequisites.

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Full Answer

For acceptance into a doctoral program in physical therapy, students typically must complete lab courses in biology, anatomy, physiology, chemistry and physics. Other prerequisite courses include psychology and statistics. Paid or volunteer clinical work experience in a physical therapy setting is also an admission requirement.

The three-year doctoral program includes courses such as biomechanics, exercise physiology, neuroscience, pathology and evidence-based practice. About 20 percent of the curriculum involves clinical experience.

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