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Physical Therapy


Physical therapy programs prepare people to work with patients who have physical pain or limitations.

Physical therapy programs include topics such as:


Community colleges and other two-year schools offer associate degree programs in physical therapy. An associate degree usually takes two years to complete. After earning an associate degree students can transfer to a college or university for further study.

Many colleges and universities offer bachelor’s degrees in physical therapy. A bachelor's degree usually takes about four years of full-time study.

Many universities offer graduate degrees in physical therapy. It is possible to enter a doctoral program in physical therapy after earning a bachelor’s degree. A doctoral (DPT) degree in physical therapy typically takes three years of full-time study after the bachelor’s degree.

See schools that offer this program.

Graduate Admissions

Admission to graduate programs is competitive. You need a bachelor's degree, good grades, and good test scores.

Additional requirements at some schools include:

Typical Course Work

Graduate Program Courses

This graduate program typically includes courses in the following subjects:

In addition, depending on your interests, you can take courses in other areas such as:

Physical therapy programs require you to participate in several clinical and laboratory rotations. This means that you work and study in hospitals, clinics, and other medical centers under the supervision of professors and licensed physical therapists. Students continue learning about human biology, injury, and illness while also practicing the skills and techniques of physical therapy. This usually includes observing therapists working with patients, creating treatment plans, and working directly with patients themselves.

Things to Know

All physical therapists are required to become licensed to practice and treat patients. You must graduate from an accredited physical therapy program and pass a national exam.

The physical therapy field is moving toward phasing out the master's degree training option.


East Side Area

Walla Walla University

King-Snohomish Area

Bellevue College

Northeastern University - Seattle

Seattle Pacific University

University of Washington - Seattle

Kitsap Area

Olympic College

Spokane Area

Eastern Washington University

Eastern Washington University (Spokane Campus)

Tacoma Area

Pacific Lutheran University

University of Puget Sound