18 Cheapest PT Schools In USA (Physical Therapy)

You can study a physical therapy program in the US without breaking the bank. Wanna see how? Join me as I discuss the list of cheapest PT schools in USA.

Physical therapy (PT) or physiotherapy is a field within health sciences that deals with the treatment and prevention of illnesses, injuries, or deformities by the application of physical approaches such as exercise and massage. The aim of physiotherapy is to rehabilitate and improve the physical well-being of patients suffering from various joint, muscle, and nerve disorders.

As a physical therapist, you will treat patients by helping them manage pain, improve movement, and provide preventive measures against illnesses and injuries. To become a physiotherapist, you will need to get an education in physical therapy or massage therapy, get trained, and get your licensure.

If you love helping people then you should consider becoming a physical therapist. You may also consider becoming a physiotherapist if you can’t stand blood because physical therapists do not carry out any kind of surgical procedure.

If you want to test the waters before breaking into this field, I’d advise that you take some massage therapy courses online. This will give you an idea of what to expect when you start your physical therapy program because physical therapy and massage therapy are nearly alike but the latter is way broader than the former.

Getting an education in physical therapy is not the only way to become a physical therapist, you can earn a degree in sports medicine as well and become a physical therapist. But education in sports medicine is more expensive compared to physical therapy but the benefit is that you will get bigger opportunities and earn a higher income than a regular physical therapist.

Physical therapy programs are often offered by community colleges and vocational institutions, mostly conferring a certification or associate degree which takes 1-2 years to complete which is one of the benefits of becoming a physical therapist. It is one of the short courses that lead to good jobs. Those looking to quickly enter the workforce immediately after high school may consider an associate degree in physical therapy.

Of course, there are bachelor’s degrees in physical therapy even doctoral degrees offered by 4-year colleges, it all depends on what you want. A bachelor’s degree in physical therapy will obviously offer you better opportunities compared to an associate degree in physical therapy.

Physical therapy is one of the fastest-growing careers in the health sciences, and the reason for this can be attributed to its promising job security and workplace satisfaction. However, according to statistics, it shows that PT schools are costly. If you are looking for a PT school, it’d be best if you concentrate on their cost and ignore the rankings at first. Because, trust me, you do not want to make that student debt pile up.

Avoid going to an expensive PT school and rather seek schools where PT programs are affordable. To help make your dream a reality, I have curated a list of the cheapest PT schools in the USA that you can apply for. And aside from being incredibly cheap, these schools also hold a national reputation for the quality of their academics, so, it’s a win-win for you.

cheapest pt schools

Cheapest PT Schools In The US

The following are affordable physical therapy colleges in the US that you can consider applying to. Details of each of the schools and the PT programs with their cost are also provided. Let’s dive in…

The cheapest PT schools in USA are:

  • East Carolina University (ECU)
  • Northern Arizona University (NAU)
  • The University of South Florida (USF)
  • The University of California – San Francisco (UCSF)
  • The University of Rhode Island (URI)
  • Oklahoma State University Center for Health Sciences
  • Texas Woman’s University (TWU)
  • US Army – Baylor Program at Baylor University

1.     East Carolina University (ECU)

The first school on the list of cheapest PT schools in USA is East Carolina University. This public research school in located in Greenville, North Carolina. The physical therapy program here is particularly cheaper for residents you’ll only have to spend a total of $21K for your total program tuition.

And that’s not all.

ECU graduates have 100% pass rates for the National Physical Therapy Exam and get employed within six months of graduating. Out-of-state students also enjoy from this affordable tuition as they only have to pay $8,949 per year for their PT program at ECU.

2.     Northern Arizona University (NAU)

This is another prestigious higher institution in Arizona, founded in 1899 as a public research university. Northern Arizona University offers a reputable and affordable PT program in the whole United States for residents and non-residents alike. Aside from the cheap tuition, students will also benefit from NAU’s award-winning physical therapy faculty and their graduates’ 100% employment rate.

The physiotherapy program at Northern Arizona University consists of 98 credit hours. The tuition for residents is $5,084 per semester and for out-of-state, it is $10,342 per semester. Completing the physical therapy program at NAU takes about 7 semesters.

3.     The University of South Florida (USF)

USF is a leading public research university in Tampa, Florida with campuses in St. Petersburg and Sarasota. This institution is another option to consider if you are seeking an affordable, yet reputable, PT program in the US.

The PT program cost $6,410 for in-state students and $17,324 for out-of-state students. The graduation rate of PT students in USF is 75%.

4.     The University of California – San Francisco (UCSF)

If you are a resident of California looking to pursue a reputable PT degree program, then, by all means, add UCSF to your list of options. The PT program includes anatomy, evidence-based practices, therapeutic modalities, physiology, and clinical experiences. The length of the program is 115 credit hours and cost a total of $33,660.

5.     The University of Rhode Island (URI)

URI offers a unique 3-year DPT (Doctor of Physical Therapy) program that is cheap and affordable for both Rhode Island residents and non-residents. Completing this program offers graduates an opportunity to practice in an underserved country.

The 3-year DPT program consists of 112 credit hours and cost $14,096 per year for residents of Rhode Island, $21,114 per year for New England residents, and for those from out-of-state regions, the tuition is $27,214 per year.

6.     Oklahoma State University Center for Health Sciences

Oklahoma State University Center for Health Sciences is another reputable institution where you can pursue an affordable PT degree program. The institution is rated a Carnegie R1 research university which is a recognition given to doctoral universities with high research activity.

The cost of PT at OSU is $5,220 for in-state while out-of-state tuition is $21,985 with a graduation rate of 76%.

7.     Texas Woman’s University (TWU)

This is the largest higher institution in the US focused on women. If you are a woman looking to earn a PT degree from a world-class institution without breaking the bank, you should put TWU at the top of your list. Although the school is now co-educational, it still gives preference to women.

The PT program here is incredibly affordable whether you are a resident or non-resident. The program consists of 98 credits which can be completed in 8 semesters. The in-state tuition is $280 per credit hour and out-of-state tuition is $689.

8.     US Army – Baylor Program at Baylor University

Last but not least is what I’ll say is the no.1 cheapest physical therapy program in the US, it is actually free, and here’s how. You can enlist in the army and earn a DPT from San Antonio’s Baylor University without paying any dollars or owing tuition debt.

The Army-Baylor program offers you free training and a 100% employment rate. However, note that Baylor University has the typical DPT program which costs over $100K.

Cheapest PT Schools in Texas

If you want to pursue a PT program in Texas, the following schools offer the cheapest tuition:

  • The University of Texas, El Paso (UTEP)
  • The University of North Texas
  • The University of Texas, San Antonio
  • Angelo State University
  • Texas Tech University

1.     The University of Texas, El Paso (UTEP)

UT, El Paso is a prestigious higher institution in Texas where you can pursue an affordable DPT degree. The program is offered under the College of Health Sciences and accepts everyone who meets the requirements. It takes 3 years to complete the program and for that time, it will cost you approximately $32,100.

2.     The University of North Texas

The University of North Texas is another reputable, yet affordable, school in Texas offering a world-class DPT program to in-state, out-of-state, and international students. The DPT program takes 33 months to complete and consists of 8 semesters, 18 clinical credits, and 36 weeks of clinical rotation. The total tuition cost is $27,662.

3.     The University of Texas, San Antonio

With a total tuition of $23,384, the University of Texas San Antonio ranks among the cheapest PT schools in Texas. The school offers a DPT program that provides training in clinical, laboratory, and research experiences.

4.     Angelo State University

Angelo State University offers an affordable DPT program in Texas to residents and non-residents alike. The program is a competitive one with only 28 students accepted annually out of 300 applicants. With a graduation rate of 91.9% and a licensure pass rate of 100%, I’d say that the DPT program at Angelo is a reputable one.

The total tuition for Texas residents is $38,238 and it covers tuition, textbooks, and other fees. The cost for non-residents is $79,323.

5.     Texas Tech University

Texas Tech University is among the prestigious science and engineering schools in the United States. The institution also provides an affordable and reputable DPT program with a 94% graduation rate, 99% licensure exam pass rate, and 100% employment rate. The total cost of tuition is $26,100.

Cheapest DPT Programs in New York

New York is home to expensive schools in the US and if you are considering pursuing a DPT program there, you will surely leave a huge hole in your pocket. However, there are a handful of schools there that offer cheap DPT programs and I have listed them below.

SchoolTotal Tuition
Upstate Medical Center$98,570
Stony Brook University$99,586
University of Buffalo$73,170
Hunter College$72,280
College of Staten Island$72,280

This may still seem expensive but when you start comparing them to other schools in the region, you’d see that these ones are actually cheap. New York is an expensive place to live in and also has world-class universities with expensive programs.

From this article, you now have a wide option of schools to study for your DPT degree. You also have the advantage to compare costs and go for the one that you can afford.