It is possible to become a physical therapist within two years and accelerated programs are the way to go. This blog post presents a curated list of accelerated physical therapy programs that offers you the opportunity to become a licensed physiotherapist in a short time.
Accelerated programs are the way to go if you don’t want to spend a long time studying for a degree. This is an option that some people take if they quickly want to get into the workforce. Professionals who want to switch careers also take on accelerated programs to get there faster.
While it may seem like it is a rosy pathway, it definitely isn’t. Accelerated programs are highly competitive with only about a handful selected for a specific program; and why is that? This is because of how rigorous the program can be, thus, the best of the best are selected.
Also, the requirements to enter an accelerated program are usually not the same as that of a regular program. The major requirement that makes it different is that application of an accelerated program must either have long years of work experience, we’re talking 5-6 years, or must have earned, at least, a bachelor’s degree; and in some cases, both requirements are combined.
Whether you are presenting long years of work experience or presenting a bachelor’s degree, it has to be related to the field you want to pursue. For example, if it is an accelerated physical therapy program then you must either have some years of work experience in the health sciences field, maybe as a medical assistant or have a bachelor’s degree in a science field like microbiology.
To become a licensed physical therapist, you must earn a Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) degree from an accredited institution. Before you even go on to earn the DPT degree, you must have earned a bachelor’s degree because it is one of the requirements to study for your DPT. In total, it takes 7 years to become a licensed and professional physical therapist.
However, for the accelerated pathway, it takes as little as 6 years to become a licensed physiotherapist and this range of time is from a bachelor’s (freshman) to a doctorate. This gives you the opportunity to enter the workforce sooner compared to a traditional program.
Aside from the accelerated physical therapy programs, there is also a wide range of accelerated bachelor and nursing programs we have published which may be useful to you; such as the accelerated nursing programs in Wisconsin and the accelerated nursing programs in Michigan, some of them offer hybrid classes.
Becoming A Licensed Physical Therapist in Six Years or Less Instead of Seven – Things You Need To Know
If you are doing a traditional physical therapy program, it takes 7 years to complete. However, there are accelerated physical therapy programs that quicken the process and cut it down to as little as 6 years. This option is usually taken by people who want to quickly get into the workforce.
If you already have a bachelor’s degree, then you will need to do the DPT degree program which takes 3 years but the acceleration takes 1-2 years to complete and get your license.
The physical therapy accelerated pathway consists of 3 years in the accelerated Bachelor of Science in Health Sciences and 3 years in the Doctor of Physical Therapy. This saves you one year of time and tuition. While others are completing their seventh year, you’re earning over $90k.
However, note that the accelerated physical therapy pathway is rigorous and highly selective as well. The three-year DPT program will equip you with the experiential and clinical experience you need to become a professional physical therapist.
You will need to maintain a specific GPA to remain in the program, this GPA varies from school to school. Failure to meet the required GPA will get you transferred to the traditional 4-year track to finish your Bachelor’s in Health Sciences then reapply for the DPT program.
Having said that, let’s go ahead to see the accelerated physical therapy programs.
Accelerated Physical Therapy Programs
The following are the most accelerated PT programs that you can complete in 6 years:
- The University of Michigan-Flint Physical Therapy Accelerated Pathway
- Boston University Accelerated BSc in Health Studies/DPT
- Acadia University – Pre-Physical Therapy Accelerated
- Accelerated Physical Therapy Program – Russel Sage College
- Accelerated Transitional Doctorate of Physical Therapy – University of Montana
- Temple University – 3+3 Physical Therapy Program
- Accelerated Special Consideration Programs for Physical Therapy – Mercer University
- Accelerated Doctor of Physical Therapy – Alvernia University
- Exercise Science + Physical Therapy (3+3) – Simmons University
1. The University of Michigan-Flint Physical Therapy Accelerated Pathway
Here at the University of Michigan-Flint, applications are open for the physical therapy accelerated pathway (BSHS/DPT) program. Completing the program will earn you both a bachelor’s and a doctorate degree in six years.
However, you will need to maintain a minimum of 3.33 GPA to remain in the program. Those who do not will be transferred back to the traditional 4-year track to complete their bachelor’s degree and then reapply for the DPT program.
2. Boston University Accelerated BSc in Health Studies/DPT
BU houses a Department of Physical Therapy that offers applications for a 6-year accelerated Bachelor of Science in Health Studies/Doctor of Physical Therapy. The program is designed to prepare you to become a licensed physical therapist in a shorter time so you can get working faster.
For this program, you only need to submit a single application. It covers both the bachelor and DPT programs. To continue with the program, you must maintain a CGPA of 3.0 by the end of the spring semester of sophomore year and at the end of the spring semester of junior year.
3. Acadia University – Pre-Physical Therapy Accelerated
Acadia University offers an even quicker accelerated physical therapy program that you can complete in as little as 5 years from undergraduate to a graduate DPT degree. To enter the program, applicants are required to have a strong background in sciences and in the liberal arts.
You complete the required coursework and Undergraduate Curriculum requirements during your first three years of study. You start taking graduate courses in your fourth year of study, but you won’t graduate with a BA in Biology until you’ve completed the first year of the DPT program.
4. Accelerated Physical Therapy Program – Russel Sage College
Russel Sage College provides an innovative 3+3 accelerated physical therapy program that combines a Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science and a Doctorate in Physical Therapy. Students who are accepted into the accelerated pathway can advance to the professional DPT program if they complete at least 90 undergraduate credits and meet the academic requirements for acceleration.
These requirements are a high school overall GPA of 90%, a high school science GPA of 90%, and a class rank in the top third.
5. Accelerated Transitional Doctorate of Physical Therapy – University of Montana
The University of Montana is offering a 5-semester tDPT program to accelerate your entry into the physical therapy field. The program is designed to equip you with new skills and knowledge that will push your career forward. The traditional track is 7 semesters but the accelerated track is 5 semesters.
6. Temple University – 3+3 Physical Therapy Program
Temple University offers an accelerated six-year physical therapy pathway designed for high-achieving students. It is a combined program between the College of Science and Technology and the College of Public Health Doctor of Physical Therapy.
7. Accelerated Special Consideration Programs for Physical Therapy – Mercer University
Mercer University is offering a 6-year accelerated physical therapy program to first-time students with excellent academic achievement. The student must be enrolled either in the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences or the College of Health Professions. At the end of six years, graduates will earn both a Bachelor’s degree and a Doctor of Physical Therapy degree.
8. Accelerated Doctor of Physical Therapy – Alvernia University
Alvernia University offers a 3+3 accelerated physical therapy pathway to undergraduate freshmen who is admitted into one of the 4 majors; Biochemistry, Biology, Healthcare Science, or Psychology. To remain in the program, students must maintain the required GPA and meet all other requirements.
9. Exercise Science + Physical Therapy (3+3) – Simmons University
This is another accelerated physical therapy program offered at Simmons University. This accelerated pathway combines a Bachelor of Science in Exercise Science with a Doctor of Physical Therapy that takes 6 years to complete. Students work closely with faculty to develop professional behaviors and also engage in full-time clinical internships to develop clinical experiences.