May 8, 2010
128
0
Berkeley, CA
Status
Rehab Sci Student
I have already applied to my top DPT schools (and sadly am still waiting on PTCAS to get their act together and send out my applications!) but as I've been reading the various threads on this forum, the concern for how much I will go into debt for a DPT is starting to grow. I know I want to become a physical therapist, so while I will not be deterred from accomplishing that goal, the how to get my degree and certification is coming into question.

I would like to get the opinion of current PTs and current students of DPT and/or MPT programs regarding the benefits/disadvantages of starting out with an MPT (especially given the push of APTA for all programs to ultimately be DPTs) and transitioning to a t-DPT over time.

A few reasons why the MPT is looking more favorable to me....

The cost -- the minimum cost of DPT programs I am applying to start at around $24K/year and go up from there. The cost of an MPT program (in California, in-state tuition) is under $20K for the entire program.

The education -- from what I understand, the education is little different from the DPT programs, especially when I compare curriculum. Now the disadvantage to the MPT programs in CA is that they are also 3-year programs, so technically it would take me 4 years to end up with a DPT (or rather, t-DPT) instead of 3, however, in that 4th year I would already begin working, thus being able to pay off a smaller debt faster. (And some employers will pay or supplement the school fees for t-DPTs)

The location -- I like California, and while I would love to go to the East Coast for school, I'm also not opposed to going down to Long Beach or Northridge for a few years.

So I guess what I am asking, is what is the benefit of a Californian resident to apply to DPT programs over the MPT programs offered? Or is it completely acceptable to get my MPT and eventually transition to a DPT? Are t-DPTs looked down upon? Any insight would be greatly appreciated.
 

pttrac

10+ Year Member
5+ Year Member
Aug 30, 2008
197
1
Los Angeles, CA
Status
DPT / OTD
It is best to do a search as this topic has been covered before, but I will give you some quick info on the subject matter.

What is the benefit of a Californian resident to apply to DPT programs over the MPT programs offered? Or is it completely acceptable to get my MPT and eventually transition to a DPT?

There is no benefit in going to a DPT program vs. an MPT program. The MPT programs are transitioning and will be able to offer DPTs in the near future, due to a bill signed into law. As long as the program is accredited and you can sit for the board exam it does not matter. If you feel the need to obtain a DPT, than enroll in a t-DPT in the future. Please do your research.

Are t-DPTs looked down upon?

No.
 
Jun 5, 2009
29
0
Status
Rehab Sci Student
As a former applicant to both DPT and MPT programs in california, I understand where you're coming from. I too posted a topic on the forum regarding which program to choose. I got in both the DPT (Chapman, MSMC, USC) and MPT (CSULB, CSUN) programs and had a hard time deciding as to where I wanted to go for school. In the end, I decided to go to CSUN mainly due to financial reasons. After talking to employers and my family on the issue, I realized that paying a huge amount for school was not for me. The Salary differences between new grad DPT and MPT is very small if any, so that really swayed my decision. Both public and private institutions have great pass rate for the board exams which tells me that education is at least at the same level as one another. You can compare the ultimate pass rates here:

https://www.fsbpt.org/ForCandidatesAndLicensees/NPTE/PassRates/StateList/PRDetail/index.asp?ExamLevel=PT&PublishYear=2010&label=653
The drawback I saw in this decision is obviously the lack of funding of the public schools for the state of the art facilities and resources that the private institutions are able to afford. However, I saw it as, you can either go through a "fairly funded" program and live a very comfortable life (minimum amount of loans to pay off) or go through a "greatly funded" program and live a somewhat comfortable life (a lot of loans to pay off) In addition, the draw back was a 3 year program to get an MPT, which means you're there an extra year than other MPT programs.

In the end the MPT programs in CA, will soon be a DPT program so either way you'll need a DPT. Whether you go about the cheap route or the expensive route is your decision. It's pretty much a " you get what you pay for" type of deal as I see it.

btw, because the job market is so good for PT's many employers will pay for one to get their t-DPT, which is always a good deal.

Best of luck to you!
 
OP
E
May 8, 2010
128
0
Berkeley, CA
Status
Rehab Sci Student
@ ptstudenttobe -- Thank you for your input. I really wanted to hear from students who not just thought about this, but actually have had to decide which program to go to, and why they chose it, so I appreciate your input.

@ pttrac -- I have done my research, perhaps not as thorough as you feel I should have. But my research (from several PTs I've spoken to in addition to browsing this forum) has significantly pointed toward getting the DPT over the MPT, despite the cost. In large part this is due towards the ultimate exclusivity of the DPT.

I was asking this of current PT students who had dealt with this issue and current PT graduates of MPT and t-DPT programs to try and get a sense of whether they felt their education was lacking and/or they felt unprepared for the positions they acquired after grad school.

I understand that ultimately what matters is that you earn a degree from an accredited program which will allow me to sit for the board exam. I have understood that from the beginning. What I wanted to understand was how the job market might change for a student entering as a MPT vs a DPT, especially given the recent bill that has passed in California.