Physical therapy is a rapidly growing field with an ever-increasing demand for qualified professionals. If you are considering a career as a physical therapist (PT), then Texas may be the perfect place to start your journey. With many excellent schools offering top-notch programs, Texas is becoming one of the most popular destinations for students pursuing careers in physical therapy.
In this guide, we will provide you with all the information you need to know about physical therapy schools in Texas. Whether you are just starting out or have been on this path for some time, we will help you understand what it takes to become a PT and succeed in this exciting field.
What is Physical Therapy?
Physical therapy is a branch of healthcare that focuses on helping patients regain their strength, mobility, and function after an injury, surgery, or other medical condition. As a PT, you will work with patients of all ages and backgrounds, designing personalized treatment plans to meet each individual’s unique needs.
The goal of physical therapy is to improve the patient’s quality of life by reducing pain, improving flexibility and movement range, increasing strength and endurance, and preventing future injuries or disabilities.
Some common conditions that physical therapists treat include:
- Sports injuries
- Back pain
- Spinal cord injuries
- Neurological disorders
How Do I Become a Physical Therapist?
To become a licensed PT in Texas, you must complete several key steps:
- Earn your bachelor’s degree: Before applying to an accredited Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) program, you must first earn your bachelor’s degree. There is no specific major required for admission into DPT programs; however, many students choose majors such as exercise science, kinesiology or biology.
- Complete a Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) program: Once you have earned your bachelor’s degree, you can apply to a DPT program. These programs typically take 3 years to complete and include classroom lectures, laboratory work, and clinical experiences.
- Pass the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE): After graduating from your DPT program, you must pass the NPTE in order to obtain your state license to practice physical therapy.
- Complete any additional state requirements: In Texas, for example, physical therapists are required to complete continuing education courses on a regular basis to maintain their license.
Top Physical Therapy Schools in Texas
Texas has several excellent physical therapy schools that offer accredited DPT programs. Here are some of the best:
University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center
The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center is a highly respected research institution that offers a top-ranked DPT program. The program combines classroom instruction with hands-on clinical experience to prepare students for successful careers as PTs.
University of Texas at Austin
The University of Texas at Austin is one of the most prestigious universities in the country and offers an outstanding DPT program. Students in this program have access to world-class faculty and state-of-the-art facilities, including a 10,000 square-foot motion analysis lab.
Texas State University
Texas State University’s School of Health Professions offers an excellent DPT program that prepares students for leadership roles in the field of physical therapy. The program emphasizes evidence-based practice, clinical reasoning, and patient-centered care.
Baylor University’s Doctor of Physical Therapy Program has consistently been ranked among the top physical therapy programs in the nation. The curriculum focuses on developing students’ critical thinking skills through case study analyses and hands-on lab sessions.
Hardin-Simmons University’s School of Physical Therapy is committed to preparing students to become compassionate healthcare providers who are knowledgeable about human movement, injury prevention, and intervention strategies. The program features small class sizes and a 100% pass rate on the NPTE.
Physical therapy is an exciting and rewarding career that offers a wide range of opportunities for growth and advancement. If you are interested in becoming a physical therapist, Texas has some of the best schools in the country to help you achieve your goals.
From top-ranked research institutions to smaller, specialized programs, there are many options to choose from when it comes to physical therapy schools in Texas. By taking the time to research the different schools and programs available, you can find the one that best suits your needs and interests.
What are the admission requirements for physical therapy schools in Texas?
Admission requirements vary by school, but generally include a bachelor’s degree, prerequisite courses in science and math, GRE scores, and observation hours in a clinical setting.
How long does it take to complete a physical therapy program in Texas?
Physical therapy programs in Texas typically take 2-3 years to complete. However, some programs offer an accelerated option that can be completed in as little as 16 months.
What is the average cost of tuition at physical therapy schools in Texas?
The average cost of tuition for physical therapy programs in Texas ranges from $10,000-$20,000 per year for residents and $20,000-$40,000 per year for non-residents.
Are there any online physical therapy programs available in Texas?
Yes, there are a number of hybrid and fully online physical therapy programs available in Texas. However, these programs may still require on-campus or clinical components.
Can I get financial aid for physical therapy school in Texas?
Yes, many physical therapy programs offer financial aid options such as scholarships, grants, and loans. Additionally, students may be eligible for federal financial aid based on need.
Are there any specialized areas of focus within physical therapy programs offered in Texas?
Yes, some physical therapy programs in Texas offer specializations such as pediatric rehabilitation, sports medicine/athletic training rehabilitation, and orthopedic manual physical therapy.
How competitive is it to get accepted into a physical therapy program in Texas?
Admission to physical therapy programs can be very competitive due to high demand and limited spots available. Students with strong academic records and relevant experience will have an advantage during the admissions process.
What is the job outlook for physical therapists in Texas?
The job outlook for physical therapists in Texas is strong, with a projected growth rate of 18% over the next decade. This is faster than the national average for all occupations.
Can I practice physical therapy in Texas with an out-of-state license?
No, you must be licensed by the Texas Board of Physical Therapy Examiners to practice physical therapy in Texas. However, if you are already licensed in another state, you may be eligible for licensure by endorsement.
What kind of residencies and fellowships are available after completing a physical therapy program in Texas?
There are many different types of residencies and fellowships available to physical therapy graduates, including sports medicine/athletic training rehabilitation, orthopedic manual physical therapy, and cardiopulmonary rehabilitation. These programs typically last 1-2 years and provide additional specialized training.