Online Doctoral Degrees in Physical Therapy

An online doctoral degree in physical therapy may be ideal for students who wish to pursue a career in academia and research in the field of physical therapy. In these three to five-year programs, students may learn how to address health issues through the contribution of targeted research within the profession of physical therapy. Program coursework may include dissertation courses alongside major-specific courses including diagnostic imaging, foundation of autonomous practice, and global healthcare issues.

Upon graduation, students may seek employment in their chosen capacity of physical therapy. Doctoral-level graduates may gain employment in post-secondary education, research and development, or in healthcare facilities.

Program Overview

  • Prerequisite: Bachelor’s Degree at minimum
  • Program Length: Three to five years to complete
  • Post-Grad Options: Employment
  • Projected Employment Growth: 39% (2010-2020)*

Program Coursework

The curriculum within a doctoral-level physical therapy degree program may consist of research-heavy dissertation courses, electives, and core courses. These courses may teach students how to conduct scholarly research that pertains to physical therapy, including legal issues, healthcare policy and reform, and patient education. Core physical therapy classes may include the following:

  • Foundation of Autonomous Practice
  • Prevention and Wellness
  • Diagnostic Imaging
  • Pharmacology and Pathophysiology
  • Global Healthcare Issues
  • Clinical Nutrition
  • Motor Control

Career Options

Doctoral-level graduates may seek career opportunities in universities, physical therapy clinics, hospitals, residential care facilities, or home health care agencies. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment opportunities for those pursuing careers as physical therapists are projected to increase by 39% from 2010-2020.*

Possible careers include:

  • Physical Therapist
  • Athletic Trainer
  • College Professor
  • Occupational Therapist

*U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook

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