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How many years does it take to be a physical therapist?

#physical-therapist

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Susie’s Answer

Hi Jose,
In the United States, all physical therapy programs are doctoral level, so you will need to get your undergraduate degree (4 years, typically) and then enroll in a Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) program that will last for 3 years. So, in total you will be in school for 7 years. A physical therapist assistant (PTA) program in an Associates degree, which is two years.
Best wishes,
Susie
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Hailiang’s Answer

You need to complete a bachelor degree and make sure you take all the required prerequisites by DPT programs, then apply for DPT school. DPT programs usually take about three years. After that, you need to pass the board exam to become a physical therapist. So about seven years since freshman.
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Donna’s Answer

To become a PT, you will need to complete an undergrad degree, usually taking 4 years. Then you can apply to PT schools that will then be an additional 2.5-3 years finishing with a Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) degree. A DPT is the "entry-level" degree needed to practice physical therapy. Some schools that have DPT programs have "bridge" programs for those who get undergrad degrees at the same school that may decrease the time by a semester or two but often a student has to pre-qualify for those programs and adhere to GPA requirements to keep that pre-qualification.
I recommend that no matter what your undergrad degree major is, that you make sure you meet the prerequisites of the PT schools you are intending to apply to. So, first, identify several PT schools that you want to apply to then go into the school's on-line catalog and see what each particular school requires for admission to PT school. For example, some schools may require a microbiology course or an advanced chemistry but others may not. Just be sure that you use your undergrad elective credits to take any courses outside of those required by your major that you may need to meet the PT prerequisites. And always apply to more than one PT school!
This sounds like a lot of time, and it is, but it is SO worth it! Donna
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