If you are looking to pursue a career in physical therapy, there are reputable physical therapy programs in Florida that will equip you with the skills and knowledge you need to succeed in the field, as well as prepare you for the licensure exam. The schools offering these PT programs in Florida are discussed in this blog post.
I classify the physical therapy profession as one of the “softest” professions in the medical and healthcare field. Most medical professions are usually associated with stressful, long working hours but physical therapy isn’t and that is among the reasons why many people are going into it. It is a career that provides job security, high pay, great work-life balance, and a friendly working environment.
If you want to pursue a career in the medical field where you’d rarely or never see blood, then you should consider becoming a physical therapist or a medical biller and coder. As a physical therapist, you will provide quality care to people of all ages by helping them to treat, manage, and prevent pain and injuries.
A physical therapist also assists people with mobility issues stemming from chronic conditions. Alongside hands-on skills, physiotherapists must be equipped with effective communication, coordination, and critical thinking abilities. These abilities are important for the best patient care and they are developed through research student organizations, and clinical rotations.
To become a licensed physiotherapist, you will train up to the doctorate level. Get a Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) degree then take the licensure exam to get certified and begin practicing.
To this effect, I have curated a list of the best physical therapy programs in Florida to give you varieties of options on where to earn a reputable DPT degree. It takes 7 years to earn a DPT degree and become licensed, that is, from a freshman. But there are accelerated PT programs that take only 6 years complete and will confer you with both a bachelor’s and doctorate degree upon graduation.
Even already licensed and practicing physical therapist in Florida without a DPT degree can earn one through an online DPT program in Florida which are offered by PT schools in the state. The cost of physical therapy programs in Florida will run anywhere from just under $28,000 to just over $97,000 depending on the type of institution and student’s residency status.
You can look up the list of cheap PT schools in the US to find one that is affordable for you if the ones in Florida are too expensive.
Having said that, let’s dive into the main topic.
Best Physical Therapy Programs In Florida
Based on the US News ranking, the following are the 10 best physical therapy schools in Florida:
- Doctor of Physical Therapy – The University of Florida (UF)
- Physical Therapy Programs – Nova Southeastern University (NSU)
- Physical Therapy Program – Florida Gulf Coast University (FGCU)
- Doctor of Physical Therapy – University of South Florida (USF)
- Physical Therapy –Florida International University (FIU)
- Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) – The University of Augustine for Health Sciences
- Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) – The University of Central Florida (UCF)
- Doctor of Physical Therapy Program – Gannon University
1. Doctor of Physical Therapy – The University of Florida (UF)
UF houses a Department of Physical Therapy that has been operating since 1958 till date. The department is under the College of Public Health and Health Professions and offers an entry-level DPT program to licensed physiotherapists to advance in their careers and prepare them for the licensure examination.
The program is rated among the best because 100% of its graduates find employment after completing their degree, also, the department is ranked #6 in the US. To enter the program, you must be practicing as a licensed PT in Florida with a master’s degree.
2. Physical Therapy Programs – Nova Southeastern University (NSU)
The Dr. Pallavi Patel College of Health Care Sciences is responsible for providing the various PT programs at NSU. The programs include; a Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) degree offered in its Tampa Bay and Fort Lauderdale campuses, a Ph.D. in Physical Therapy, physical therapy residency, and continuing education that hosts varieties of PT certification programs.
The DPT program blends online teaching with in-person instructions to give students the best of both worlds. The physical therapy programs at NSU are reputable because of its CAPTE accreditation, 100% graduate employment rate, and strong word of mouth.
3. Physical Therapy Program – Florida Gulf Coast University (FGCU)
The physical therapy programs at FGCU are designed to prepare graduates for independent practice and leadership and to be capable of adapting to changes in the healthcare field. FGCU offers a Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) degree program, a transitional Doctor of Physical Therapy (tDPT) program, and a host of other postgraduate programs that include continuing education, residency, fellowship, and certifications.
4. Doctor of Physical Therapy – University of South Florida (USF)
This is the first university in Florida to offer a DPT degree and has kept showing excellence in mobility sciences through interprofessional education. Students in the physical therapy program work with nurses, medical assistants, public health, and other medical students to gain a range of skills and expertise that will see them through when they begin practicing as licensed physiotherapists.
5. Physical Therapy –Florida International University (FIU)
Florida International University is home to one of the cheapest medical schools in Florida through which the DPT program is offered. The program combines an evidence-based curriculum, culturally relevant clinical research, critical thinking, scholarship, and community leadership to prepare graduates for advanced practice in physical therapy.
6. Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) – The University of Augustine for Health Sciences
Here is another reputable physical therapy program in Florida designed for practicing physiotherapists in Florida who want to advance their careers and earn a doctorate degree. The DPT program at the University of Augustine for Health Sciences is provided in two different formats; Flex and Residential and you can go for the one that fits you best.
These two formats are designed to provide flexibility for students and give them suitable options on how to earn their DPT. The Flex format is available at the San Marcos, St. Augustine, and Austin campuses. This format offers online coursework and in-person labs on weekends, consists of 131 credit hours over 12 trimesters and 3 trimesters of clinical experiences, takes 4 years to complete, and start dates vary by campus.
The Residential format consists of blended didactic courses and in-person labs on weekdays, 131 credit hours over 8 trimesters, and 3 trimesters of clinical experiences. It takes 2.7 years to complete with start dates in September, January, and May.
7. Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) – The University of Central Florida (UCF)
The School of Kinesiology and Rehabilitation Sciences under the College of Health Professions and Sciences at UCF offers one of the most reputable DPT programs in Florida. The program prepares and educates students to be competent, compassionate, and ethical practitioners in a variety of healthcare settings.
Completing the DPT degree program requires the completion of 9 semesters of coursework and 36 weeks of full-time clinical training under the supervision of a physical therapist. To apply, you need to have all transcripts, GRE scores, three letters of recommendation, a resume, and observation hours.
8. Doctor of Physical Therapy Program – Gannon University
Last but not least is the DPT degree program offered by the Physical Therapy Department of Gannon University. The program is CAPTE-accredited and accepts qualified applicants from various institutions with varying undergraduate degrees.
The DPT program at Gannon provides graduates with advanced knowledge and skills to become generalist practitioners of the highest caliber.