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What bachelor's degree do I need to become a physical therapist?

James Washington

in Higher Education

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Jessie Thompson on January 9, 2019

Physical therapists need a master's degree from an accredited physical therapy program and a State license, requiring passing scores on national and State tests.. Education and training. According to the American Physical Therapy Association, there were 209 accredited physical therapist education programs in 2007. Of the accredited programs, 43 offered master's degrees and 166 offered doctoral studies. Only master's and doctorate degree programs are accredited, in accordance with the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education. In the future, a doctoral degree might be the required entry-level degree. Master's programs usually last 2 years, and doctoral degree programs last 3 years. physical therapist education programs start with basic science courses such as biology, chemistry and physics and then introduce specialized courses, including biomechanics, neuroanatomy, human growth and development, manifestations of disease, examination techniques and therapeutic procedures. Besides getting classroom and laboratory instruction, students receive supervised clinical experience.. Among the undergraduate courses that are useful when one applies to a physical therapist education program are anatomy, biology, chemistry, social sciences, mathematics, and physics. Before granting admission, many programs require volunteer experience in the physical therapy department of a hospital or clinic. For high school students, volunteering with the school athletic trainer is a good way to gain experience.. Licensing. All States require physical therapists to pass national and State licensing exams before they can practice. Also must graduate from an accredited physical therapist education program.. Other qualifications. The therapists should have strong interpersonal skills so that they can educate patients about their treatments of physical therapy and communicate with patients and their families. Physical therapists also should be compassionate and possess a desire to help patients.. Advancement. The physical therapists are expected to continue their professional development through participation in continuing education courses and workshops. In fact, a number of States require continuing education as a condition for the maintenance of the license. For the source and more detailed information on this topic, click on the related links section (u.s. Department of Labor) indicated below this answer box.


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