Physical Therapy Schools - How to Make the Right Choice


There are many physical therapy schools from which one can choose from when pursuing the required education to become a physical therapist.

People working in this field assist individuals who are experiencing movement restriction due to an illness or injury. Job openings are expected to increase by as much as 30 percent by the year 2018, and according to the United States Bureau of Labor statistics, this may be a modest estimate. For this reason, those who anticipate pursuing this career path should give serious thought to their education.

Physical Therapy Schools

Education Requirements
It is necessary that one becomes specially trained, if they want to work in this profession. A Master's degree is the minimum education level required of those who plan to become physical therapists. However, many students choose to pursue a doctor of physical therapy degree, although this decision is usually dependent on several factors such as tuition costs and how quickly the individual wishes to become employed.

Research
One of the best actions prospective students can take is to start his or her research early. For instance, when one is taking courses during his or her first year of college, it is wise to devote some time to researching the various physical therapy schools available and their required prerequisites. This is because such requirements vary from school to school, making it essential to obtain detailed information in advance.

Grade Point Average
It is also imperative that one maintain a high grade point average during college. Many physical therapy schools require a 3.0 minimum grade point average before they will consider a student for admission. It is also wise to maintain a high grade point average if one will be seeking grants to help pay for his or her college education, as most grants of this type have specific grade point average requirements.

Selecting a School
There is a vast array of learning institutions from which one can choose from when pursuing a career as a physical therapist. However, one should only consider schools that are accredited by the American Physical Therapy (APTA) Association or a similar institution. Those who do not acquire their education from an accredited school will not qualify to take the national licensing exam. Without a license, finding work will be difficult, if not impossible.

The APTA publishes a bi-annual list of the top ten physical therapy schools in the country. These schools are ranked by experts, with specific areas such as program quality and student to instructor ratio being taken into account.

The University of California, the University of Pittsburgh, and Washington University in St. Louis currently rank in first, second and third place, respectively. However, there are many other physical therapy schools to choose from, and therefore, one should not give up his or her dream of becoming a physical therapist if a top ranking school is out of reach, either geographically or financially. Regardless of the school one chooses, pursuing an education in the field of physical therapy is a worthwhile endeavour.

Click here if you are thinking about becoming a physical therapist. Find out everything you need to know about the profession, including education and training, programs, schools and jobs.

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