Planning to become a physical therapist in the near future? Physical therapists typically need to have a doctoral degree in physical therapy. Also, all US states require that physical therapists be licensed.
A Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) is a post-baccalaureate three to four years degree that is given after the successful completion of a professional doctoral program. As of 2012, there were 227 DPT programs.
The admission requirements for the Doctor of Physical Therapy program requires completion of an undergraduate degree that includes specific prerequisite coursework, volunteer experience (or other exposure to the profession), & doing a graduate exam.
The curriculum typically consists of:
1. Foundational Sciences – That is:- cellular histology, gross anatomy, neuroscience, physiology, kinesiology, exercise physiology, pharmacology, pathology, radiology/imaging, medical screening
2. Behavioral Sciences – This includes classes on:- ethics and values, evidence-based practice, communication, law, business and management sciences, social and psychologic factors, clinical reasoning.
3. Clinical Sciences – This includes classes on: – Integumentary, cardiovascular/pulmonary, neuromuscular, endocrine and metabolic, gastrointestinal and genitourinary,musculoskeletal.
Coursework also includes material specific to the practice of physical therapy (patient/client management model, prevention, wellness, and health promotion, practice management, management of care delivery, social responsibility, advocacy, and core values).
Additionally, students engage in full-time clinical practice under the supervision of licensed physical therapists with an expectation of providing safe, competent, and effective physical therapy.