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Which is considered the best Physical Therapy School in the USA??

Discussion in 'Physical Therapy' started by mac_kin, May 1, 2007.

  1. mac_kin

    mac_kin Senior Member 5+ Year Member

    Mar 14, 2006
    Just out of curiosity. I've researched this more for schools in Canada and more for med schools.

    But in the US, which is considered to be the top-notch Physical Therapy school? Which other ones rank high??

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    PREMEDWOAHS dare to dream 2+ Year Member

    Dec 24, 2006
    Health: Physical Therapy (Master's/Doctorate)
    Ranked in 2004*

    Rank/School Average assessment score (5.0 = highest)

    1. University of Southern California 4.3
    2. Washington University in St. Louis 4.1
    3. University of Pittsburgh 4.0
    4. University of Delaware 3.9
    5. MGH Institute of Health Professions (MA) 3.8
    US Army-Baylor University (TX) 3.8
    University of Iowa 3.8
    8. Emory University (GA) 3.7
    Univ. of North Carolina--Chapel Hill (NC) 3.7
    10. Duke University (NC) 3.6
    Northwestern University (IL) 3.6
    Temple University (PA) 3.6
    University of Miami (FL) 3.6
    14. Boston University 3.5
    U. of California--San Francisco/San Francisco State U. 3.5
    16. Creighton University (NE) 3.4
    Marquette University (WI) 3.4
    New York University 3.4
    Northern Arizona University 3.4
    University of Illinois--Chicago 3.4
    University of Indianapolis 3.4
    University of Maryland--Baltimore 3.4
    23. Arcadia University (PA) 3.3
    Simmons College (MA) 3.3
    25. Columbia University (NY) 3.2
    University of Alabama--Birmingham 3.2
    University of Florida 3.2
    University of Kansas Medical Center 3.2
    University of Minnesota--Twin Cities 3.2
    Virginia Commonwealth University 3.2
    31. Texas Woman's University 3.1
    Univ. of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center 3.1
    University of Nebraska Medical Center 3.1
    University of Wisconsin--La Crosse 3.1
    35. Ithaca College (NY) 3.0
    Ohio State University 3.0
    University at Buffalo--SUNY 3.0
    University of Kentucky 3.0
    University of Utah 3.0
    40. Belmont University (TN) 2.9
    Northeastern University (MA) 2.9
    Old Dominion University (VA) 2.9
    Sacred Heart University (CT) 2.9
    Stony Brook University (NY) 2.9
    Thomas Jefferson University (PA) 2.9
    U. of Texas Medical Branch--Galveston 2.9
    Univ. of Colorado Health Science Center 2.9
    University of Central Arkansas 2.9
    University of Missouri--Columbia 2.9
    University of Washington 2.9
    University of Wisconsin--Madison 2.9
    52. Elon University (NC) 2.8
    Mayo School of Health Related Sciences (MN) 2.8
    Medical College of Georgia 2.8
    Pacific University (OR) 2.8
    Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science (IL) 2.8
    St. Louis University 2.8
    Texas State University--San Marcos 2.8
    UMDNJ/Kean Univ./Seton Hall Univ. 2.8
    University of Connecticut 2.8
    University of Montana--Missoula 2.8
    University of Vermont 2.8
    University of the Pacific (CA) 2.8
    64. Armstrong Atlantic State University (GA) 2.7
    Eastern Washington University 2.7
    Indiana University--Indianapolis 2.7
    Ohio University 2.7
    SUNY Health Science Center--Syracuse 2.7
    Samuel Merritt College (CA) 2.7
    U. of Texas Southwestern Med. Ctr.--Dallas 2.7
    University of Michigan--Flint 2.7
    University of Rhode Island 2.7
    University of Tennessee--Memphis 2.7
    74. California State University--Fresno 2.6
    Central Michigan University 2.6
    Drexel University (PA) 2.6
    Georgia State University 2.6
    Louisiana State Univ. Medical Center 2.6
    Louisiana State Univ.--Shreveport 2.6
    Medical University of South Carolina 2.6
    New York Medical College 2.6
    North Georgia Col. and State Univ. 2.6
    Oakland University (MI) 2.6
    Regis University (CO) 2.6
    Rutgers State U.--Camden - UMDNJ 2.6
    Shenandoah University (VA) 2.6
    Slippery Rock Univ. of Pennsylvania 2.6
    Texas Tech Univ. Health Sciences Center 2.6
    Univ. of Tennessee--Chattanooga 2.6
    University of North Dakota (ND) 2.6
    91. Duquesne University (PA) 2.5
    Grand Valley State University (MI) 2.5
    Loma Linda University (CA) 2.5
    Medical Col. of Ohio/Bowling Green State U./U. of Toledo 2.5
    Quinnipiac University (CT) 2.5
    Rockhurst College (MO) 2.5
    U. of Texas Health Science Center--San Antonio 2.5
    University of Evansville (IN) 2.5
    University of Puget Sound (WA) 2.5
    West Virginia University 2.5
  4. truthseeker

    truthseeker Senior Member 10+ Year Member

    Sep 2, 2004
    In response to premedwoahs post of the rankings. I went to DesMoines University (actually called the University of Osteopathic Medicine and Health Sciences when I went) and I didn't see it listed.

    I have been a clinical instructor for 15 years and have seen duds from top schools, and superstars from bottom schools.

    Point being it is the individual, not the school that makes a difference.
    PTatHeart, atcdpt and bnwj89 like this.
  5. ONstudentPT

    ONstudentPT Member 5+ Year Member

    Jul 27, 2006
    Mac Kin,

    Just some advice... If you decide you really want to get into physiotherapy... go to a Canadian school if you have the marks to get in... PT schools in the states are very expensive.. and the Ontario schools are all high qaulity schools ... I am sure that there are good schools in the states as well but with such a huge number a schools to choose from it may be hard to tell which schools are good or bad.. plus if you want to practise in Canada you will have to pass the practical PNE.. i am not sure how well the american schools would prepare you for that.
  6. PT2MD

    PT2MD Hold my beer... 2+ Year Member

    Aug 3, 2006
    Lone Star State
    I have always questioned the rankings. It's been a long time since I've seen an updated list, but I'm not completely sure how objective they are. I'm pretty comfortable with the top few (USC and WashU) but only by reputation. I have had at least a few students from all over and have experienced a pretty wide range of skill.

    UTMB prepared me well for life in the clinic, but I try to pound into students' heads that you really don't start learning until you get out of school. You learn more in your first year of practice than your whole 2-3 years in PT school.
  7. DocDavin


    May 2, 2007
    Where you go to school is not very important. As PT2MD said, physical therapy is mainly learned on the job. In school, just learn your anatomy and physiology well. PT is just applied anatomy and physiology. The school I went to is not on the list, but I feel I got an outstanding education, especially in anatomy, physiology, and neuroscience. In picking a school, I would look at cost, location (a place you are willing to be for 2-3 years), how soon you can start, and now soon you can finish. Once you graduate, no one will ever ask where you went to school unless they are trying to make conversation.
  8. I have done a bit of research looking for the best PT schools and while there are many variables and compiles of what the best school is one of the biggest factors for me was which had the facilities and state of the art program. Here is a list I have compiled from the top 40 schools in America that have the best facilities. I also took in to account the ranking system from USnewsCollegeSearch.

    University of California--San Francisco (Brand new Facility Nov. 2010)
    University of Southern California
    University of Pittsburgh
    Washington University in St. Louis
    University of Delaware
    University of Miami
    University of Iowa
    US Army-Baylor University
    Arcadia University
    MGH Institute of Health Professions
    Northwestern University
    Emory University
    University of North Carolina--Chapel Hill
    Duke University
    New York University
    University of Florida
    University of Illinois--Chicago
    University of Maryland--Baltimore
    Creighton University
    Marquette University
    Ohio State University
    University of Minnesota--Twin Cities
    University of Utah
    Boston University

    Please fill free to add to this
  9. sheranudeep

    sheranudeep Banned

    Mar 7, 2012
    Whatever school you join , make sure that the school is recognized . And also have update technological equipments .
  10. truthseeker

    truthseeker Senior Member 10+ Year Member

    Sep 2, 2004
    I have been a CI for 21 years. I have had students affiliate with me from 14 different schools. I can tell you without reservation, that the school does NOT make as much of a difference as does the mentality, intensity, and drive of the student that attends the school.

    I have had excellent, average, and poor students from all of the schools I have affiliated with.

    The best school is the one that you can get into and is the least expensive. Period.
    PTatHeart likes this.
  11. Litlwarrior08

    Litlwarrior08 2+ Year Member

    May 23, 2011
    TruthSeeker "The best school is the one that you can get into and is the least expensive. Period."

    Really like this statement. Personal achievement and getting the job done well (best patient care)should be our motivator.
  12. sheranudeep

    sheranudeep Banned

    Mar 7, 2012
    If you are looking for the best schools in america and also where fees is comparatively less then others , then you should look for schools in Texas . Texas has the best schools as well fees is less . Try it .
  13. Silvertonic486

    Silvertonic486 2+ Year Member

    Mar 10, 2010
    Hi, I am sorry if this is off topic. However i would greatly appreciate a response to this . Thanks in advance.

    I have been accepted to (2) schools please help me in deciding which one to choose . Here is a little background information, I have applied to about 10 schools. I received a call back from (4) saying to come in and do an interview. I am located in Texas, I do not have a problem with moving . Money is not a real concern for me. North Dakota University and University of Health and Science both sent me a letter saying you have been accepted.

    Here is my real question , I know this will be opposite from the norm of standard questions . Which school is EASIER? Yes, I realize that schooling will be hard . If I did not, I would not have bothered even perusing this let alone accepting both schools.

    Please, any information would be great , thanks again and God Bless :)
  14. jchen707

    jchen707 5+ Year Member

    Jun 25, 2011
  15. goyo1010

    goyo1010 5+ Year Member

    Oct 13, 2010
    these rankings are meaningless. the methodology is extremely biased.
  16. Jarrodmac10

    Jarrodmac10 2+ Year Member

    Oct 23, 2011
    :thumbup: Agree
  17. jtux


    Oct 6, 2011
    How is it biased at all? From what I understand rankings are established based on peer review. That seems like the most unbiased way to do it; actual physical therapists in academia who are able to understand and respect what is going on at each school. It’s not some committee from the U.S. news that just comes down and evaluates them based on whatever they choose. The rankings and the standards behind them come directly from physical therapists. I can’t think of a better way to do it.
  18. TxDPT14

    TxDPT14 2+ Year Member

    Aug 22, 2011
    They are biased rankings because the "peer reviewing" is not done by graduates of the schools, it's done by the faculty of the schools. I mean, how ironic is it that the most expensive PT schools rank the highest? It's because their faculty gets paid more so of course they will have nothing but good things to say about the school on those "peer reviews"
  19. jtux


    Oct 6, 2011
    I'm not sure I understand your rationale. I would expect graduates to be even more biased towards their school than faculty. Faculty often come from different schools and have worked in multiple institutions, giving them a better perspective than graduates. Also I don't understand why a faculty members salary at their own school would effect their evaluation of another school. Obviously the better schools do have more money, why do you think harvard has a 30 billion dollar endowment? A lot of it is based on research and development of new and better techniques in PT that improve the profession as a whole. Obviously there are excellent smaller schools that go unnoticed, but saying that rankings are altogether meaningless doesn't really seem fair or well founded.
  20. CherokeeWahine

    CherokeeWahine 5+ Year Member

    Jul 5, 2011
    I'm not going to say whether the rankings are a good or bad thing, but look at the numbers:

    Per Methodology: Graduate Health Rankings, 201 PT schools were sent surveys. There are a total of 212 CAPTE accredited PT schools (including 3 abroad). Out of those 201 schools that were sent surveys, the response rate was only 40%, which means roughly 80 schools responded.

    Since the response rate to the survey was only 40%, do most schools really care about the rankings anyway?
  21. goyo1010

    goyo1010 5+ Year Member

    Oct 13, 2010
    They're biased in that they are peer reviewed. These are not objective measures. According to the current knowledge held by the peer reviewer, however accurate or misconstrued they are, the survey is completed. You don't have a panel of randomly chosen individuals who grade a program based on a survey, or a tool, that has been tested for validity and reliability. That's why it's biased.

    Even though these individuals may come from different schools and have worked at different institutions, they still hold biases, giving this one school a better ranking just because, or giving this school a lower ranking simply because they heard some "bad" things about it, etc.

    If the process were done more like CAPTE accreditation, then these rankings would be more credible. However, doing so would be extremely time consuming, and not really all that necessary.
  22. jtux


    Oct 6, 2011
    I'm not sure you read my first reply before reading my second. Anyway, there's no point in getting into a big argument about it. I just don't think they should be so quickly tossed aside as completely meaningless, but that's just me.
  23. TxDPT14

    TxDPT14 2+ Year Member

    Aug 22, 2011
    I don't really think anyone meant that they were completely meaningless but they're all accredited and once it comes time to actually make a decision on where I wanted to go, for me, it was much better to weigh out pros and cons and speak to current students than to base a decision on a ranking. The rankings are not meaningless but they just weren't as important to me in the end as they seemed when I first looked into applying :)
  24. jtux


    Oct 6, 2011
    Yeah I agree. I'm actually having a dilemma like that myself, in deciding between schools. I'd appreciate your opinion if you want to read my post is this thread:
  25. IrisSong


    May 24, 2014
    For what it's worth I based my decision on program rankings and regret the decision to a large part. If I could go back in time and change my decision I would. If I could transfer to a school that fit me better, I would. I absolutely agree with others who have pointed out that they are all accredited, the quality of the physical therapist/physical thearpy student is individually determined, and most learning will be performed on the job.
    Last edited: May 30, 2014

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