Can You Get A Physical Therapy Degree Online

Last Updated on December 20, 2022

Many aspiring students ask: “Can I get a physical therapy degree online?” Before answering this question, let me answer another one: what is an accredited physical therapy program?

You may find it hard to access the right information on the internet, so we are here to help you in the following article, providing the best and updated information on how to become a physical therapist assistant online, best online physical therapy programs. We at infolearners .com have all the information that you need about online dpt programs without gre. Read on to learn more.

Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) - Marymount University

Can You Get A Physical Therapy Degree Online

When looking at online DPT programs, it is important to find a program that fits your professional needs. Many online options are for transitional doctor of physical therapy (TDPT) programs, which are designed for students who already have a background in physical therapy (many of them became PTs before a doctorate was required and complete a TDPT to increase their knowledge). There are also a couple of PhD options, which are not designed to prepare entry level physical therapy students for clinical practice. Neither TDPTs or PhDs in physical therapy are accredited by CAPTE.

Those who are looking to start their physical therapy careers should always look for regular doctor of physical therapy programs (sometimes clinical DPT programs). These programs prepare students for first time certification as physical therapists.

Below, we have compiled online/hybrid physical therapy program options for both aspiring PTs and current PTs looking to enhance their knowledge base.

Accredited Online and Hybrid Entry Level DPT Programs

Below is a table of online DPT programs accredited by Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE). These programs are for students who do not have a prior PT degree. (Last verified 3/11/2020)

School NameTypeLive ClassesOn-Campus RequirementsTime to Complete
Arcadia University (Sponsored)HybridYesUnspecified2 years
Baylor University HybridSomeTwice per semester2 years
Nova Southeastern University HybridSomeEvery 4th week4 years
South College HybridNoQuarterly2 years
Tufts UniversityHybridSomeEight visits2 years
University of Southern California (Sponsored)HybridYesUp to twice per semester3 years
University of St. Augustine HybridSomeTwice per month4 years
Doctor of Physical Therapy - School of Health Sciences and Wellness | UWSP

how to become a physical therapist assistant online

Working In Physical Therapy Quick Facts

  • Physical therapist assistants work in hospitals, rehabilitation facilities, nursing homes, outpatient clinics, athletic facilities, and other job sites.
  • PT is a type of allied health that uses therapeutic exercise, hands-on care, and patient education to help people who have medical conditions or injuries limiting their ability to move and function.
  • The job outlook for PTAs is projected at 33% through 2029, a much higher rate of increase among all professions, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.  This is affected directly by an active, aging baby-boomer population in need of physical therapy for rehabilitation and mobility purposes.
TitlePhysical Therapy Aide / Technician Physical Therapy Assistant (PTA) Physical Therapist
EducationHigh school diploma or equivalencyMay earn a certificate to remain competitive2 year associate’s degree
Credentialing and licensing by state
Doctoral or professional degreeCredentialing and licensing by state
DutiesOffice dutiesCleaning treatment areas, equipment, and linensAssist patients to and from therapy areasPatient care before, during, and after therapyReporting patient status to PTsHands-on patient exercises and treatment Use devices and equipment to help patientsEducate patients and families for post-treatment responsibilitiesAssess patient’s medical historiesDiagnose through observationDevelop treatment plansHands-on patient exercises and treatmentModify treatment plans and educate patients and families for post-treatment responsibilities
Median Yearly Salary$28,450$59,770$91,010

How to Become a Physical Therapy Assistant

There are two steps to become a certified PTA:

  1. Complete a CAPTE-accredited physical therapist assistant education program, such as an associate’s degree 
  2. Take your state-administered national national exam to obtain licensure or certification

Once you have completed these steps to certification, you can take more steps to remain a competitive candidate in the physical therapy field.  APTA, or the American Physical Therapy Association, provides advanced learning opportunities to PTAs seeking proficiencies in areas such as:

  • Pediatrics
  • Wound management
  • Geriatrics
  • Oncology
  • Acute care
  • Orthopedics

best online physical therapy programs


Utica College 

 Utica (NY)

  • 10-Year ROI: $824,900
  • Median Salary: $83,423
  • Annual Tuition: $9,420
  • Median Debt: $27,251

Utica College offers an online Transitional Doctor of Physical Therapy program for licensed physical therapists to expand their skills and knowledge. The program focuses on coursework including diagnostic imaging, pharmacology, autonomous practice, pathophysiology, and more. Students who complete the course will learn to guide clinical decisions, analyze diagnostic testing, apply…

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Shenandoah University

 Winchester (VA)

  • 10-Year ROI: $688,500
  • Median Salary: $77,024
  • Annual Tuition: $5,840
  • Median Debt: $83,883

The Transitional Doctor of Physical Therapy online program at Shenandoah University is designed for practicing physical therapists to become doctorally-educated practitioners. The focus of the program is on evidence-based practices and allowing students to provide optimal patient care. The online tDPT program has three different tracks depending on the education level of the student….

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Northeastern University

 Burlington (MA)

  • 10-Year ROI: $675,000
  • Median Salary: $69,338
  • Annual Tuition: $11,325
  • Median Debt: $31,164

Northeastern University offers an online Transitional Doctor of Physical Therapy program for practicing physical therapists to become doctorally prepared practitioners. Students will enhance their knowledge and learn skills such as differential diagnosis, medical screening, diagnostic imaging, pharmacology, nutrition, and motor control. Students have the option to choose a concentration…

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Winston-Salem State University

 Winston-Salem (NC)

  • 10-Year ROI: $653,300
  • Median Salary: $70,344
  • Annual Tuition: $12,341
  • Median Debt: $56,923

Winston-Salem State University (WSSU) offers an online Transitional Doctor of Physical Therapy program for professional physical therapists to grow their knowledge and keep up with advancements in the health care environment. Students in the program will learn to use evidence-based practices, advocate for the profession, integrate research into clinical practices, and more. The…

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Arcadia University

 Glenside (PA)

  • 10-Year ROI: $646,400
  • Median Salary: $71,255
  • Annual Tuition: $14,400
  • Median Debt: $70,000

Arcadia University offers an online Transitional Doctor of Physical Therapy program designed for licensed clinicians to increase their knowledge by focusing on skills such as solving clinical problems, communicating through scientific writing, and using evidence-based practices. The degree is received after completing all 18 credits or a minimum of 12 credits. The program takes…

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University of Michigan-Flint

 Flint (MI)

  • 10-Year ROI: $631,800
  • Median Salary: $71,155
  • Annual Tuition: $16,171
  • Median Debt: $80,913

The University of Michigan-Flint (UM-Flint) offers an online Transitional Doctor of Physical Therapy program to help guide students in their professional growth and enhance their skills. Students in the program will gain clinical perspectives, use evidence-based practices, and prepare to become doctoral-level physical therapists. The program is offered on a part-time or full-time…

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