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Where should I go to school if I am interested in physical therapy?

I am a 9th grader and was wondering what schools are the best for going into physical therapy. Thanks! physical-therapist physical-therapy schooling

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Deborah R.’s Answer

All schools that have an approved degree program in physical therapy are schools you could go to and then take the licensing exam to become a licensed physical therapist. To find a listing of those schools go to <apta.org> the website for the national American Physical Therapy Association.
The decision about which school to attend depends on many variables, among them are:
1. financial: do you have or can you get enough money to attend that school; is it near your home so you could live at home and attend school which would cut down on the costs; can you afford to go to a school and not live at home; can you get scholarship money or loans to cover the school, etc.?
2. location: do you want to stay in your own area or venture into a new environment?
3. specialty: are you sure you want to be a pediatric, geriatric, cardiac, neurological, orthopedic, etc. therapist? If you are absolutely sure about your choice of a specialty, you could look into which schools would allow you to choose a specialization track. I suggest that even if you are sure you want to specialize in a specific area, by doing your affiliations in multiple different environments and experiencing the range of opportunities in the field of physical therapy you may eventually change your mind or decide that you want to be a generalist for a few years before you decide. Even after you have decided it is possible to change specialties if you want to.
4. acceptance: do you have a connection to any schools, know anyone who went there, know anyone working there, have a family member working in that school, etc. Having a connection to a school may be helpful - it is an opportunity to learn more about the culture of that school, talk to people who have attended there, get tips for what the school may be looking for when it accepts students, etc.
These are just a few of the most important things to think about when selecting schools to apply to.
As a 9th grader you have a few years to research your ideas, volunteer in physical therapy environments, talk to people, ask questions just like the one you asked here. Take your time to make your decisions, find out as much as you can about the field. It is never too early or too late to learn, and by asking this question you are already way ahead of where you need to be at this time. So, keep up the good work, keep learning and asking good questions.
Good luck.
Deborah

Deborah R. recommends the following next steps:

Go to the website of the American Physical Therapy Association,
Talk to people who have experience you would like to learn about.
Volunteer in a physical therapy environment.
Go to the websites of various school you have identified on the website.
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Ruby’s Answer

Most students obtain a degree in Kinesiology. Then apply for a post graduate degree in PT.

Hi Ruby, Do you have any suggestions for schools that have good kinesiology programs? Gurpreet Lally, CareerVillage.org Team

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