Hus

Apr 14, 2010
3
0
0
Status
Pre-Psychology
Hey guys, first post.

I know parts of this might sound dumb but I have a few questions about becoming a Physical Therapist. To keep it simple I guess I will just make a list of the things I don't know/have questions about.


  • When becoming a PT, do most people get a job in the field after they get their bachelors? Or do they go to school for 6-7 years full time to earn there DPT or PhD?
  • If you do get a job in the filed after your bachelors do you move up after you get your masters? As far as work goes?
  • What is the difference between a PhD and a DPT? Is one harder?
  • Do you need a DPT or PhD to get a job? I read an article that says by 2020 most people in the field should have a PhD
  • Whats the pay difference with a masters vs PhD?
Any help is appreciated, thanks!

Edit: also what about min GPA? 3.0 most places?
 
Sep 8, 2009
103
0
0
Virginia
Status
Rehab Sci Student
Hello and welcome to the forum. I'll just answer your first/second question, but am sure others will chime in.

There is no BS for pt anymore- it's mainly the DPT, and a few schools out there still offer an MSPT degree. There are a couple of schools that have programs that move a bit faster, but I'm pretty sure the most common are 3 years, so you're looking at around 7 yrs. of schooling if you go the DPT route. So after that is when you would start working as a licensed pt. Oh, and as far as gpa for getting into pt schools, the higher the absolute better. 3.0 in most cases won't hack it (not saying it's impossible, but trying to be realistic). Typically applicants have a high gpa, a lot of observation hours, and a rather high gre score.
 

Hus

Apr 14, 2010
3
0
0
Status
Pre-Psychology
Hello and welcome to the forum. I'll just answer your first/second question, but am sure others will chime in.

There is no BS for pt anymore- it's mainly the DPT, and a few schools out there still offer an MSPT degree. There are a couple of schools that have programs that move a bit faster, but I'm pretty sure the most common are 3 years, so you're looking at around 7 yrs. of schooling if you go the DPT route. So after that is when you would start working as a licensed pt. Oh, and as far as gpa for getting into pt schools, the higher the absolute better. 3.0 in most cases won't hack it (not saying it's impossible, but trying to be realistic). Typically applicants have a high gpa, a lot of observation hours, and a rather high gre score.
So MSPT almost isn't an option anymore? This might sound stupid to but is a physical therapist basically a doctor?
Edit: also why so much school for a job that pays 60-80k a year?

For the record im not the one going into the field, im asking for my girlfriend, my heart belongs with computers. :D


Thanks for the response!
 
Last edited:

MinnDasota

10+ Year Member
Apr 10, 2008
446
0
0
NYC
Status
DPT / OTD
So MSPT almost isn't an option anymore? This might sound stupid to but is a physical therapist basically a doctor?
Edit: also why so much school for a job that pays 60-80k a year?

For the record im not the one going into the field, im asking for my girlfriend, my heart belongs with computers. :D


Thanks for the response!
Remember, "doctor" is a degree. So technically anyone with a doctoral degree is a doctor of so and so. If you are referring to a physician, then absolutely not. PhD is also different. As for salary, do a search on this forum...there are a ton of posts regarding this.

MSPT is an option at a select few schools, but is being phased out to the DPT. Typically, to be a PT requires a 4 year bachelors and 3 years doctor degree (=7 years).
 

Hus

Apr 14, 2010
3
0
0
Status
Pre-Psychology
Remember, "doctor" is a degree. So technically anyone with a doctoral degree is a doctor of so and so. If you are referring to a physician, then absolutely not. PhD is also different. As for salary, do a search on this forum...there are a ton of posts regarding this.

MSPT is an option at a select few schools, but is being phased out to the DPT. Typically, to be a PT requires a 4 year bachelors and 3 years doctor degree (=7 years).
So after you get your 4 year degree would you get a job in the field and then get your doctorate?
 

MinnDasota

10+ Year Member
Apr 10, 2008
446
0
0
NYC
Status
DPT / OTD
So after you get your 4 year degree would you get a job in the field and then get your doctorate?
I am not clear what you question is. If you are referring to "field" as in PT the the answer is Nope. You can't work as a physical therapist until you finish PT school. If by "field" you mean getting a job as a physical therapist aide then the answer is yes.

Typical scenario: graduate with undergrad degree (doesn't matter what the degree is in). Then take all the required prereqs that wasn't taken in undergrad (each PT school is different but the prereqs are similar). Observe/get the required experience within the PT field by shadowing, working as an aide, etc (the required number of hours differs for each PT school). Study and do well on the GRE. Then apply for PT school. Graduate from PT school. Pass the boards. After all this, you can practice as a PT.

Many have an undergrad degree that fills most of the prereqs for PT school (such as kinesiology, exercise science, athletic training) so they usually can apply to PT schools right away. Some don't have any of the prereqs and spend 1-2 extra years taking those classes.

Hope that helps.
 
Mar 25, 2010
6
0
0
east coast
Status
Rehab Sci Student
1. get a degree and finish the prereqs (classes/ GREs) to have a PT school even LOOK at your application
2. once accepted and in a school, do well in your PT classes
3. pass board exams
4. look for a job as a PT