Best Physical Therapy Assisting Colleges

Physical therapists assist those with an injury or illness, by working to manage pain and improve movement. Sometimes referred to as PTs, these individuals may be employed by a hospital, nursing home, or a private practice or clinic. Therapists are trained to work with a variety of injuries and illness, as well as patients of any age. After reading the patient's information and deciding what they need, the PT then designs a physical therapy routine that they believe is best suited for the individual. The patient then sees the therapist for a period of time, gaining strength and confidence throughout.

While doctors and surgeons do their best to begin the healing process, it's up to the patient to stay on track. Attending physical therapy is the perfect way to meet this goal, as well as gain strength, and ensure that no further injury (or agitation) occurs in the future. Because of the importance they have in recovery, physical therapists are considered a crucial part in the rehabilitation process. It's possible that these rewarding feelings are the reasons why so many people want to become physical therapists.

Directory of Physical Therapy Assiting Schools by state:

Directory of Physical Therapy Assiting Schools by city:


To become a physical therapist, the first step is typically an associate's degree, followed by a bachelor's degree. After that, a Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) degree must be obtained. Some individuals then choose to apply, though it's not required, to a residency program upon graduation. Physical Therapists are also required to have a license. In addition to each state's individual requirements, the Federation of State Boards of Physical Therapy administers the National Physical Therapy Examination that must be successfully completed to become licensed.


Before the patient arrives at their first session, the therapist reads the patient's information and begins to design a specialized program for the individual. Focused on improving the abilities of their patients, physical therapists strive to meet each individual goal. Following surgery, an injury, or an illness, PTs work to rebuild essential skills and functions. By using several different techniques - from massages, to exercises, to electrodes placed on the injury to help relieve pain - physical therapists work towards improving strength and movement, and relieving pain.


To hold a position in this field, a formal education is a must. However, it's widely known that classroom schedules don't always work out for everyone. That's what makes the online schooling option great. Though some classroom time is needed, some can be taken online. The first thing to do is to choose a few favorites. Then, ensure that the programs are accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education. After the facts are reviewed, it's time to pick an online program.
For those who would prefer a classroom setting, of course there's the traditional programs. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, as of 2013, there were 218 accredited physical therapist programs in the United States. Certified by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education, these programs all offered a DPT degree. Most states require an initial completion of an associate's degree, which is offered in most community colleges. After the associate's, the next step is a master's degree. Currently considered completed (after the licensing exam), the master's is expected to be eliminated within the next year. Employers increasingly seek employers with doctor's of physical therapy degrees, which is the final step, and with top honors. Regardless of the degree, a physical therapist license must be obtained afterwards.
Physical therapists license requirements vary for each state, but all of them demand completion of the National Physical Therapy Examination, given by the Federation of State Boards of Physical Therapy. If interested, after gathering some experience, individuals can become board certified. This includes an 8 hour specialty course certification, passing the exam given by the American Board of Physical Therapy Specialties, and at least 2,000 hours of clinical work or a residency program. In addition to the educational skills, there are other skills that are needed to become successful. These include: -Interpersonal skills and compassion -Stamina and dexterity -Resourcefulness -Observationally skilled -Friendliness and caring
As previously stated, physical therapists are required to obtain a certification, or license. Becoming 'registered' gives them the authorization to begin work as a physical therapist. There is also a separate category, for which requirements are different - Physical therapist assistant (PTA). Though it's not the focus, it clarifies the point of the determining 'registered' portion of the title. PTAs work under the supervision of RPTs, towards the same goal for the patient.
(Based on average placement on several lists)

1) University of Southern California. Located in Los Angeles, CA, this college is rated number one in the country in both physical therapy and occupational therapy. It also claims top spots on other lists.

2) University of Delaware. Located in Newark, DE, this program ranks on several other 'top' lists as well. Delaware offers over 150 graduate programs.

3) University of Pittsburgh. Located in Pittsburgh, PA, this school ranks in the top ten in multiple categories. Top ten rated categories, and of course #3 here.

4) Washington University. Located in St. Louis, MO, this program is actually in a tie with the previous school. Also top rated in occupational therapy (#2), and social work (#1), Washington has plenty to offer.

5) University of Iowa. Located in Iowa City, IA, this college is a top contender for just about any category. With several rankings inside the top 5 lists of schools, Iowa is an overall great option.

6) US Army-Baylor University. Located in Fort Sam Houston, TX, this program ranked #71 university overall in the country.

7) Emory University. Located in Atlanta, GA, Emory holds a few other spots on top ten lists.

8) MGH Institute of Health Professions. Located in Boston, MA, this this school has a lot to offer, as it focuses primarily on health occupations.

9) Northwestern University. Located in Evanston, IL, Northwestern hauled in a few other top spots of its own.

10) University of Miami. Located in Coral Gables, FL, this university rounds out this top ten list with its unique combination of beauty and knowledge.