How Many Years Does It Take To Become A Physical Therapist?

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In order to become a physical therapist, you need to graduate from a CAPTE-accredited program and pass the NPTE to become a board-certified and licensed physical therapist. The standard DPT curriculum requires about 3 years to complete.

Of course, before you can be admitted into a DPT program, you need to complete an undergraduate degree. In fact, as long as you complete the correct prerequisites for PT school, you can have any college major and you can apply via PTCAS. The main implementation form is PTCAS for physical therapy classes.

High School Students Thinking About Physical Therapy

There’s a special way of accelerating the time it takes to become a physical therapist. Some programs offer what is known as a degree of Freshman Entry Doctor of Physical Therapy.

You might suggest a 6-year Freshman Entry DPT program if you are in high school (or still need to obtain your bachelor’s degree). You can receive a bachelor’s degree as well as a DPT degree in a total of around 6 years if you are accepted into this form of program, as long as you maintain a minimum GPA set by the program.

All in all, this will save you about a year, and for the DPT, the average undergraduate is 4 years plus 3 years. It’s certainly something to remember for students who are serious about physical therapy and know this is the profession they want. You will complete the undergraduate portion of the program without completing the DPT if you decide that PT is not the profession for you.

Traditional DPT Program

Let ‘s assume you first plan to finish your undergraduate studies and then apply for a DPT program. When you apply for PT programs in your senior year, as soon as you graduate, you will start the DPT program. It can range from 30-36 months for typical DPT programs.

In addition to the 4 years you spend earning an undergraduate degree, you will also spend about 3 years on a DPT program to become a physical therapist, for a total of 7 years of college education.

Yes, the process to become a physical therapist is long, but worth it.

If you’re a non-traditional student thinking about a career change, but wondering if you’re too old to go to physical therapy school, ask yourself this question: if you wanted not to go back to school, how old would you be in 3 years? There’s a 100 percent chance that if you plan to go back to school, you will be the same age.

The argument is that you have to put the effort in if you want to help individuals move around and appreciate your work as a physical therapist. Don’t let your dream prevent you from pursuing your age or the time to finish school.

How Many Years Does it Take To Become a Physical Therapist?

  • 4 Years of Undergraduate Studies
  • 3 Years of Physical Therapy Graduate School
  • 7 Years total to become a Physical Therapist

Are You a Physical Therapist?

Participating in continuing education is one of the conditions for holding your license as a PT. Your PT license lasts for 1 to 2 years in every state before you are eligible to renew it. When the date of renewal comes, depending on the state you are in, you will need to record the continuing papertyper education courses you have taken during the past 12 to 24 months.

Are You Looking for Relief From Neck Pain? 

Pace Physical Therapy in San Jose, California specializes in non-surgical neck pain relief and recovery therapies.  We pride ourselves on offering the best possible physical therapy available and going above and beyond for our patients. Our highly experienced physical therapist will work with you to improve your function and relieve your pain. We start by assessing the body as a whole. Oftentimes the cause of pain or an injury extends far beyond just the body part or muscle hurting. Without taking a comprehensive look at your entire self, we would be doing you a disservice in fully helping you heal and preventing future limitations. We then move on to fixing your areas of limitation.  Not all diagnoses are created equal. One person with neck pain may have completely different limitations than the next person. Your recovery program needs to be specific to what YOUR body needs and not just the typical exercise program that you can find online. Just because your pain decreases or you can walk longer doesn’t mean that it is enough to get you functioning at the level you want to be. While this often signifies the end of care at your typical PT clinic we don’t stop providing guidance until we help you successfully meet every goal you set for yourself with us on day one. Contact us today to schedule your appointment!