Physical therapy is a very in demand profession today especially with the growing population around the world and the increasing number of aging baby boomers. Aside from being more in demand, physical therapy is also one of the highest paid jobs in the healthcare industry making it a good career option for most people today. When thinking of a career in physical therapy, one of the most basic things to consider is the education requirements.
To become a certified and licensed physical therapist, aspiring PT must undergo years of education and training. If you are in Florida and you are thinking of entering a physical therapy school to become a physical therapist someday, here are some of the top physical therapy schools in Florida to help you decide.
Top 5 Physical Therapy Schools
The US News ranked the top physical therapy schools in United States and some schools in Florida made it to the top list. The top 5 physical therapy schools in Florida based on US News ranking are the University of Miami, University of Florida, University of South Florida, University of Central Florida, and the Nova Southeastern University.
University Of Miami
University of Miami in Coral Gables, Florida was ranked no. 9 in the best physical therapy schools in the country and no. 1 in the state of Florida. University of Miami offers 2 types of physical therapy education programs DPT Program and PhD Program.
The DPT or Doctor of Physical Therapy program is one of the top ranked clinical programs in the country developed to prepare students for entry-level practices as physical therapists. This program is open for students with Bachelor’s degree and completed the prerequisite courses required for the program. DPT program offered by University of Miami can be completed within 36 months where in 32 weeks are allocated for clinical internships.
Some of the qualifications to enter the program include:
- Bachelor’s degree earned from an accredited school or college
- Minimum GRE score of 147 on the quantitative section, 3.0 for the analytical exam, and 149 on the verbal section
- Minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 or up
- Completed prerequisite courses
The PhD program is offered in order to prepare PT students for leadership positions in research and academic settings. An entry to the program requires students to contact a faculty mentor first for endorsement plus completion of admission requirements.
Admission to the PhD program depends on the academic degree attained by the applicant. Some of the degrees that may qualify are bachelor’s degree in physical therapy, DPT, and master’s degree in physical therapy.
University Of Florida
University of Florida in Gainesville is ranked 12th in the country. This university also offers a DPT program and is endorsed by the American Physical Therapy Association. The curriculum requires 8 semesters of study wherein 32 weeks are dedicated for full time clinical training. Students must complete 113 credit hours or professional course work to complete the program.
Admission requirements for the DPT program include:
- Bachelor’s degree in any field
- Minimum score of 400 on the verbal section of GRE, 500 on the quantitative, and 3.5 for the analytical writing.
- GPA of 3.0 or higher
- Recommendation letters
University of South Florida
University of South Florida also offers DPT program for aspiring physical therapists through its School of Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation Sciences. The admission requirements for this program are:
- Must be a US Citizen or a PRA or Permanent Resident Alien with green card
- Minimum GPA of 3.2 or higher
- Completed the prerequisite courses.
- Recommendation from 2 licensed physical therapists who know the applicant’s potential and skills.
- 20 hours of volunteer work or employment related to physical therapy service
- Autobiographical statement stating the purpose and reasons why you want to pursue a career in physical therapy
University of Central Florida
University of Central Florida also offers DPT programs for aspiring physical therapists. For undergraduate students, applicants are required to apply online through the schools online admission page. The DPT program is a full time doctoral program that requires 112 credits and a total of 34 weeks for full time clinical internship supervised by a licensed PT.
Admission requirements for the DPT program are:
- All prerequisite courses must be completed with minimum grade of C
- Competitive GRE scores for the last 5 years
- 3 letters of recommendation one from a licensed PT
- Biographical essay stating your reasons why you want to pursue the DPT program and your specific career goals
- 30 hours of volunteer work or employment related to physical therapy care or practice
Nova Southeastern University
Nova Southeastern University in Florida is one of the few accredited physical therapy schools that offer hybrid physical therapy education programs wherein students can complete their physical therapy education through online learning.
The school offers 4 different physical therapy programs such as the DPT Program, HE-DPT or Hybrid Entry Level DPT, TDPT or Transition Doctor of Physical Therapy, and Ph.D.,PT or Doctor of Philosophy Program.
The HE-DPT program was created in order to offer students a more flexible curriculum suitable for those who have financial, personal/family, and geographical demands. The program includes online classes plus on-campus training at the Student Educational Center in Tampa, Florida.
This hybrid online physical therapy program requires 4 years of study instead of the 3 years required for the standard DPT programs. Prerequisites and admission requirements are also the same as the standard DPT program offered by Nova Southeastern University.
The admission requirements include:
- Bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited school or college
- Cumulative GPA of 2.9 or higher
- Cumulative GPA of 2.9 or higher for all prerequisite courses
- Grade C or higher for all prerequisite courses
- Three recommendations, one from a licensed PT
- GRE scores from the Educational Testing Service
- Final interview once requirements are passed
Choosing the best school for your career is definitely an advantage especially when applying for jobs in prestigious companies and institutions. If you want to be a good physical therapist, investing on your education and entering the best physical therapy school will give you advantage especially in today’s competitive employment condition.