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.
*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).
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:
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.
The college or university itself should be accredited. Look for a regionally accredited school based on that school's location. The six regional accreditation agencies are The Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools, The New England Association of Schools and Colleges, The North Central Association of Schools and Colleges, The Northwest Association of Schools and Colleges, The Southern Association of Schools and Colleges, and The Western Association of Schools and Colleges.
Online-only schools should have accreditation from the Distance Education Accrediting Commission, the Distance Education and Training Council, or the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges but they should also hold regional accreditation.
Accreditation is an important part of the selection process. It adds value to a master's degree by offering wider acceptance than degrees from non-accredited schools receive. Accreditation ensures employers and other reviewers of your educational background that you have a quality education in physical therapy. It informs potential employers that the graduate has the expected level of education and knowledge to perform work in today's high-paced, technology-driven environments.
The Department of Education designates regional and national accreditation agencies. It is also through this department that educational loans and grants are provided to college students. The federal policy is to limit student loans to schools and colleges with acceptable accreditation. Which means that, if your school isn't accredited, you will likely not be eligible to receive any financial aid. For many students, accreditation is key to getting funds to pay for the substantial costs of a MBA degree in physical therapy.
Estimates for the costs of a master’s physical therapy degree run from $15,000 to $60,000 per year depending on the university and its tuition charges. For both private and public universities, there may or may not be a difference between in-state vs out-of-state tuition costs. The difference can be remarkable.
Based on all schools and all majors, some estimates that can help guide the student. Data from the College Board and the NCES provide ranges for costs that add tuition, living expenses, and fees into price ranges. Based on 2017 data, the costs of a four-year degree at a public school is in the range of $85,000 for in-state students, $150,000 for out-of-state students, and $190,000 for private school students. When projected to the year 2019 through 2020 one can anticipate an increase in the area of three to four percent. In regards to a graduate or masters program, FinAid.org reported that the average cost of a two-year masters program was between $30,000 and $120,000. These prices seem high of course and in many cases most students are not paying the full amount of tuition because they are receiving financial aid. When applying to the school of your choice also reach out to them to discuss scholarship and grant opportunities to help pay for your master’s physical therapy education.
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.