Due to the demand for a graduate physical therapy education, physical therapy schools and programs can be found all over the world along with companies looking to hire individuals with this advanced training. A masters program in physical therapy is designed to provide you with additional higher-level skills and training in a specialty concentration that you would not receive with a bachelor's program. Many companies recognize these accredited graduate programs and understand that future hires with an advanced degree have a higher level of training and the ability to typically manage a team of professionals.

Master's Degree Benefits:

  • More job opportunities
  • Differentiation as a job candidate
  • Higher income
  • Higher employment rates
  • Become specialized
  • New skills and knowledge
  • Career flexibility

Career Options with a Graduate in Physical Therapy:

  • Physical Therapy Manager in Offices of Other Health Practitioners - $87,170
  • Physical Therapy Manager in General Medical and Surgical Hospitals - $93,160
  • Physical Therapy Manager in Home Health Care Services - $98,430
  • Physical Therapy Manager in Nursing Care Facilities (Skilled Nursing Facilities) - $97,390
  • Physical Therapy Manager in Offices of Physicians - $91,400

*Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Physical Therapy Managers, on the Internet at https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes291123.htm (visited March 24, 2022).

Graduate Degree Types for Medical Technology Concentrations:

  • M.S. in Physical Therapy
  • M.A. in Physical Therapy
  • MBA in Physical Therapy

Find an online bachelor's or master's degree:


An online graduate degree in physical therapy usually includes the same number of credit hours as it's on-campus counterpart. That means it should take you about 18 months to 3 years to finish an online degree. However, if you are taking the degree online because of time constraints or work and family obligations, you may not be able to attend full-time and, therefore, it could take up to 3-4 years to attain your graduate degree.

Before choosing a major there are some important facts you should know about.

Before you enroll in a college, make sure that they have the major you are considering. For physical therapy programs, many universities have whole departments devoted to the subject. If that is the case, then make sure they have the specific branch of physical therapy that interests you.

This is a very important question to ask yourself. Your major should play a big part in the schools you are considering. Not every college may offer the major of your choice, so doing your homework is the first step of the selection process.

Courses required to obtain a master's degree in physical therapy consist of specialized programs designed to target and teach students higher-level skills from courses that focus more on the major concentration classes. There are two major titles of master's levels: MA (Master of Arts) and MS (Master of Science). There are master's degree programs in a wide range of majors, consisting of STEM subjects, social sciences, arts, and all kinds of specific subjects. You can find some sample major concentration courses that you may be required to take below:

  • Managing Your Health: The Role of Physical Therapy and Exercise
  • Preventing Chronic Pain: A Human Systems Approach
  • Teaching and Assessing Clinical Skills
  • Anatomy: Musculoskeletal and Integumentary Systems
  • The Basics of Trauma Surgery
  • Anatomy: Human Neuroanatomy
  • Positive Psychiatry and Mental Health
  • Sleep: Neurobiology, Medicine, and Society

About 61% of college students complete their two-year physical therapy graduate degree on time. The National Student Clearinghouse Research Center study if the question suggests that money and family income is a large factor in the rate of non-achievement. In-state public college tuition rates have traditionally been the lower range for leading schools. Depending on the college you are choosing, some colleges will have the same cost for in-state or out-of-state students, whereas other colleges may offer lower costs for students that are residents. According to FinAid.org, the average cost of a master's degree for students is between $30,000 and $120,000.

Many students run out of money and take reduced course loads to accommodate increased work and other money-making activities. Low per-semester credit-hour rates means more time required to complete a graduate degree. Reducing the per semester course load from 12 to 9 or even 6 credit hours can add a year to the time needed to complete a master’s program.

Among the reasons cited for the low rate of two-year completions were student decisions in course selection. Many students choose interesting subjects and neglect to grab key courses when available. The failure to take a required course when offered can add a semester to the completion of a major or concentration.

The student experience is a vital piece of information. The graduation rate is often a predictor of the student experience. Factors that can influence late graduation include the availability of required coursework and dropouts for financial reasons. School surveys often have information similar to customer satisfaction information on other businesses. It may be useful to see responses from recent graduates about their experiences. The student survey observations will not predict your experience, but they can lead to productive questions about the school and the graduate degree program.

We recommend that students make a specific inquiry about job placement assistance programs at any school they consider for a master's degree program. Advanced institutions incorporate career planning into the two or three-year course of study for a master's or doctoral degree in physical therapy. The school may host job fairs, business community awareness communications, and host interviews for employers from across the region.

The school of physical therapy, college, or university is a broad community of alumni, business sponsors, and corporate partners. Both new and established schools often have extensive local, regional, and national networks. The overall resources of the physical therapy school and the larger schools can potentially assist in producing high levels of job opportunities and hires for recent graduates.

Some schools pair students with advisers, career counselors, and job coaches at various stages of their academic careers. Observers can see the results in annual satisfaction surveys, and the numbers of students that get interviews and offers of employment.