How Long Does It Take To Become A Physical Therapist
Physical Therapist Path
How Long Does It Take To Become A Physical Therapist
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How Long Does It Take To Become A Physical Therapist

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How Long Does It Take To Become A Physical Therapist

It usually takes about 6-7 years to get through the schooling needed to become a Physical Therapist, but depending on the path you choose that time may take longer.

To become a physical therapist a person will often be required to obtain a graduate degree in physical therapy (MPT). Most of the time they will need to obtain a doctorate degree in physical therapy (DPT).

Physical Therapist Undergraduate Education

A person that is planning on a becoming a physical therapist doesn’t have to get a specific bachelor degree to be admitted into a PT program. They can get a degree that they find enjoyable that contains human science courses, such as physiology, anatomy, chemistry, biology, etc. Many pre-physical therapy students chose majors such as biology, psychology, exercise science, and kinesiology.

The most important thing to do while acquiring your undergraduate studies is to make sure you complete any courses needed to be eligible for admittance to PT graduate school. Talk with an advisor at the school you are wanting to obtain your undergraduate degree and let them know your wants to become a physical therapist. They can help put you on an outlined path to accomplish your goal without a lot of headaches and without taking classes that you don’t need, as well as make sure you do have the classes needed.


Physical Therapist Graduate Education

To become a physical therapist you will need either a master’s degree (MPT) or a doctorate degree of physical therapy (DPT). More schools offer Doctoral programs than Master’s programs. Master’s programs usually take 2 to 3 years to complete and Doctoral programs usually take 3 years to complete.

The graduate programs teach exercises, stretches, and other therapeutic procedures that are used to treat patients. They also teach how to diagnose patient problems and treat them.

Besides an undergraduate degree and prerequisite classes, graduate programs will often look at some other qualifications such as:

- Passing the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) with a minimum score.

- Letters of recommendation. You will usually need a few letters of recommendation from people like professors, a physical therapist that you may know, an academic advisor, and depending on the job a co-worker or boss can be a decent reference letter.

- A minimum grade point average (GPA) is required by most physical therapist programs. Minimum GPA can vary between programs so you will need to find out what the minimum is for the schools to which you will be applying.

- Some programs may have interviews with potential PT students. These interviews will allow the program to find out why a person wants to be a physical therapist, if they are a good communicator, personable, and overall if they are a good candidate for the program.

- Some programs give preference to in-state students over out-of-state. You will want to find this out before planning on going to a certain school so you know if it will be a factor.

- Volunteer or paid time at a physical therapy office can be helpful in getting some extra points for getting accepted into a PT Program.

-Physical therapists must graduate from an accredited school to be able to take the licensing exam.

-It doesn’t help to be an actual physical therapist assistant (PTA) as far as prerequisites for physical therapist school is concerned. PTA programs don’t necessarily contain all the needed courses.

- Some physical therapist programs may require a criminal background check.

Licensing and other Requirements

- After graduate school physical therapists can complete residency programs, which usually last about 1 to 3 years.

- Physical therapists are required to be licensed. PT’s will need to pass the National Physical Therapy Exam which is administered by the Federation of State Boards of Physical Therapy.

- PT’s will also need to continue to attend required classes and workshops to stay

Hopefully we answered your question for how long does it take to become a physical therapist.

To learn more about how to become a physical therapist and more about the career please visit the tabs on the left.

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How Long Does It Take To Become A Physical Therapist



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