To become a physical therapist in the United States, you must earn a Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) degree. Professional DPT programs usually last three years and require a bachelor's degree and previous coursework in anatomy, physiology, biology, or chemistry. There are also combined degrees that allow you to earn a bachelor's degree and a DPT degree after completing a six- or seven-year program. Courses typically include biomechanics, anatomy, physiology, neuroscience, pharmacology, and at least 30 weeks of clinical work. Most physical therapists work full time, 9 to 5, Monday through Friday.
However, some may choose to work weekends and overtime, especially those who work with patients in their homes. Physical therapists often work in clinics, hospitals, private offices, nursing homes, and even patients' private homes. Physical therapy programs also often include courses in biomechanics, physiology, neuroscience, and pharmacology. To become board certified as a physical therapist, you must have a doctorate in physical therapy, have completed at least 2000 hours of clinical experience, and pass a certification exam. This will provide the physical therapist with advanced training and guidance; it will also allow him to specialize and develop his experience in a specific area. The National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) is administered and taught by the Federation of State Boards of Physical Therapy (FSBPT).
It is taught four times (in January, April, July, and October) each year. According to the U. S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), 33 percent of all physical therapists work in the offices of occupational, physical, or speech therapists and audiologists. The demand for trained physical therapists is growing rapidly; this field is projected to grow at a rate of 18 percent in the ten-year period leading up to 2029. The fully accredited doctoral program in physical therapy at the Faculty of Health Sciences at the University of Arcadia can be completed in a hybrid format in just 25 months. If you are interested in becoming a physical therapist, you'll need to earn a degree in health sciences, sports or exercise science, or in a closely related field before you can advance in your quest.
Emory University School of Medicine offers several dual degree options as well as graduate education programs and six scholarships that allow students to complete additional education in physical therapy.