Anyone who is looking to pursue a career as a physical therapist should consider attending one of the top physical therapy schools in the country. After a major illness or injury, physical therapy is one of the most essential rehabilitation steps for a patient. Therefore, those who wish to pursue a career in this field should dedicate themselves to receiving a quality education at a top school, in order to provide a high level of care to their patients. Although there is a wide array of schools from which one can choose from, many of which offer a high quality education, those interested in enrolling in one of the country's top schools should consider the following.
Top Physical Therapy Schools
University of Pittsburgh
The University of Pittsburgh offers both Master's and doctorate physical therapy programs to qualified students. The school consistently ranks as one of the best schools in the nation for physical therapists. The program requires six semesters of classroom study, followed by a three-year paid clinical internship, during which the student will learn clinical skills under the direct supervision of a licensed physical therapist.
University of Southern California
The University of Southern California is the top ranked school for physical therapy programs. The school offers a doctor of physical therapy program. The classroom segment of the program is completed in four years, followed by a paid internship at a facility of the University's choice, which will last anywhere from two to four years, depending on one's aptitude and whether or not the student has chosen to specialize in a certain area.
University of Miami
The University of Miami's Department of Physical Therapy offers prospective physical therapists a high quality learning experience. One can choose to pursue a Master's degree or doctor of physical therapy, which will take four or six years to complete. In addition, students are also required to actively participate in faculty research as part of their coursework. Most students have the opportunity to present their findings at the annual conference of the American Physical Therapy Association. Those who wish to enroll in one of the country's top physical therapy schools and have an interest in research should definitely consider the University of Miami.
Curriculum and Coursework
Coursework will vary from one school to the next depending upon a variety of factors, such as the college or university one chooses, and the electives he or she selects. However, all schools have compulsory courses such as anatomy, physiology, pharmacology, neuroscience, behavioral science, cellular histology, etiology, first aid, medical law and interpersonal relationships. Most of the nation's top schools that offer divided students' education between classroom lectures and clinical experiences. Typically, the first two to three years of the student's education will be spent in the classroom, followed by clinical rotation under the supervision of a licensed healthcare practitioner.
Cost of Tuition
The cost of tuition can also vary significantly depending on the school in which the student is enrolled. However, as of 2011 the average tuition for a doctorate program at a top college or university stood at approximately $ 65,000, with a Master's degree program averaging $ 50,000. However, it is in the best interest of all prospective students to explore their options with regards to financial aid, government-subsidized education loans, and grants from private or non-profit sources.
Regardless of one's goals regarding his or her future career path, seeking an education at one of the nation's top physical therapy schools is a wise decision, which will enable an individual to put himself in the best possible position to find employment as soon as possible.