14 Best Physical Therapy Schools in Florida|Tuition & Key Info.

Physical Therapy Schools in Florida
Physical Therapy Schools in Florida

Once you graduate from the physical therapy schools in Florida and obtain your license, you are eligible to help injured or ill people improve movement and manage pain.

The employment of physical therapists is projected to grow 21 per cent from 2020 to 2030, much faster than the average for all occupations.

About 15,600 openings for physical therapists are projected each year, on average, over the decade.

Many of those openings are expected to result from the need to replace workers who transfer to different occupations or exit the labour force, such as to retire.

In Florida, physical therapists typically work in private offices and clinics, hospitals, patient homes, and nursing homes.

Physical therapists spend much of their time on their feet, actively working with patients.

According to bls.gov, the median annual wage for physical therapists was $91,010 in May 2020.

In this article, we will be discussing a lot about the physical therapy schools in Florida, the job of physical therapists and how you can become a physical therapist.

What Physical Therapists Do

As stated earlier, physical therapists help injured or ill people improve movement and manage pain. Physical therapists are often an important part of preventive care, rehabilitation, and treatment for patients who have chronic conditions, illnesses, or injuries.

Once you graduate from the physical therapy schools in Florida, you should expect to be doing the following:

1) Review the patient’s medical history and referrals or notes from doctors, surgeons, or other healthcare workers.

2) They diagnose patients’ functions and movements by observing them stand or walk and by listening to their concerns.

3) They develop individualized plans of care for patients, outlining the patient’s goals and the expected outcomes of the plans.

4) Physical therapists use exercises, stretching manoeuvres, hands-on therapy, and equipment to ease patients’ pain, thereby helping them to increase mobility, prevent further plan or injury, and facilitate health and wellness.

5) They evaluate and record patients’ progress, modifying the plan of care and trying new treatments as needed.

6) They educate patients and their families about what to expect from the recovery process and how they can cope with challenges throughout the process.

The variety of techniques physical therapists use

Physical therapists use a variety of techniques to care for their patients. Some of these techniques include:

  • Exercises
  • Movement of joints

Exercises involve training in functional movement and may include the use of equipment such as canes, crutches, wheelchairs, and walkers.

Then we have the movement of joints, muscles, and other parts of the body in order to improve mobility and decrease pain.

Finally, the work of physical therapists or the techniques they use varies by type of patient.

For instance, the care a patient who is working to recover mobility that was lost after a stroke receives is different from the care a patient who is recovering from a sports injury receives.

Some physical therapists specialize in just one type of care, such as geriatric and orthopaedics.

There are also physical therapists that help patients develop fitness and wellness programs that are aimed at encouraging a healthy, active lifestyle.

Industry profile for Physical Therapists

We will be looking at the different industries in the United States and the percentage of industry employment, according to the U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics. The ones below have the highest level of employment in Physical Therapists:

General Medical and Surgical Hospitals

  • Employment: 55,790
  • Per cent of industry employment: 1.00
  • The hourly mean wage for physical therapists is $ 44.79
  • Annual mean wage: $ 93,160

Home Health Care Services

  • Employment: 25,460
  • Per cent of industry employment: 1.70
  • The hourly mean wage for physical therapists is $ 47.32
  • Annual mean wage: $ 98,430

Nursing Care Facilities (Skilled Nursing Facilities)

  • Employment: 12,190
  • Per cent of industry employment: 0.79
  • The hourly mean wage for physical therapists: is $ 46.82
  • Annual mean wage: $ 97,390

Offices of Physicians

  • Employment: 12,110
  • Per cent of industry employment: 0.47
  • The hourly mean wage for physical therapists: $ 43.94
  • Annual mean wage: $ 91,400

Offices of Other Health Practitioners

  • Employment: 78,210
  • Per cent of industry employment: 8.66
  • The hourly mean wage for physical therapists: $ 41.91
  • Annual mean wage: $ 87,170

The List of physical therapy schools in Florida

  • Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University
  • Florida Gulf Coast University
  • Florida International University
  • Nova Southeastern University
  • Nova Southeastern University –  Tampa
  • University of Central Florida
  • University of Florida
  • University of Miami
  • University of North Florida
  • University of South Florida
  • The University of St. Augustine for Health Sciences
  • The University of St. Augustine for Health Sciences- Miami
  • Gannon University – Ruskin
  • Florida Southern College

Let us look at the physical therapy schools in Florida in detail.

Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University

Florida A&M University has been granted accreditation by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE) for the Doctor of Physical Therapy curriculum.

It is one of the physical therapy schools in Florida that awards Doctor of Physical Therapy degrees (DPT) once students complete their curriculum.

In this school, the curriculum is designed to provide students with a combination of didactic and clinical experiences that is necessary to perform effectively as entry-level physical therapists.

+ Division of Physical Therapy
+ 334 Palmer Ave Room 306, Lewis-Beck Bldng
+ Tallahassee, FL  32307-0001Program Director:
+ Dawn Brown-Cross, PT, MBA, EdD, CLT (850) 412-7866

See Program Details

Florida Gulf Coast University

This is one of the institutions that offer the doctor of Physical Therapy degree (DPT).

It is a three years program that utilizes a variety of instructional methods, including traditional lectures, problem-based case studies and computer-based instructional materials, all aimed at helping students become Doctors of Physical Therapy.

The Doctor of Physical Therapy Program at Florida Gulf Coast University is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE).

  • The tuition for in-state students is: $373.38
  • The tuition for out-of-state students: $1, 300.66

Department of Rehabilitation Sciences
10501 FGCU Boulevard South
Fort Myers, FL  33965-6502

See Program Details

Florida International University

The FIU Physical Therapy department through its Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) degree prepares students racially and culturally to become caring and competent physical therapists.

FIU Physical Therapy promotes effective interprofessional collaboration in the advanced research in healthcare delivery and evidence-based practice.

The Doctor of Physical Therapy program at Florida International University is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE).

Resident Tuition Costs: Tuition only (113 credits) is $76,325 and Tuition + Est. costs is $81,927.

Non-Resident Tuition Costs: Tuition only (113 credits) is $138,028 and Tuition + Est. costs is $143,630.

  • Department of Physical Therapy
  • 11200 SW 8th Street
  • Miami, FL  33199-0001
  • Interim Program Director:
  • Mark Rossi, PT, PhD, CSCS
  • (305)348-6640  

See Program Details

Nova Southeastern University

Nova Southeastern University is one of the physical therapy schools in Florida that is offering PT education.

From the entry-level, professional Doctor of Physical Therapy (D.P.T.) programs to the blended PT PhD program.

They also offer Residency training for individuals who want additional training in specific areas of Physical Therapy.

They also have training for those offering licensed PTs continuing education programs.

NSU offers post-graduate Neurologic PT and Orthopedic PT Residency and there is a new faculty with residency programs for individuals who plan to make the transition to a full-time academic position.

T-D.P.T. program: $533 per-credit-hour. (Anticipated tuition subject to change by the Board of Trustees without notice).

NSU student services fee of $500 per semester.

Graduation fees: $100 (diploma only), $250 (attending dinner and commencement).

HPD Access Fee: $145 annually.

  • Physical Therapy Department
  • 3200 S. University Drive
  • Ft. Lauderdale, FL  33328-2018
  • Program Director:
  • Dr. Jennifer Canbek, PT, MS, PhD, NCS
  • PT Director and Associate Professor
  • (954) 262-1662   

See Program Details

Nova Southeastern University –  Tampa

The Professional Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) Program located at Nova Southeastern University’s Tampa Bay Regional Campus is an entry-level program that blends face-to-face and online teaching using multi-media and engaging teaching strategies.

They have a close-knit learning community that is designed for those who desire flexibility in learning.

The NSU DPT-Tampa Bay Program combines online, as well as face-to-face instruction to create a distinct learning experience.

Professional Doctor of Physical Therapy Program – Tampa Bay at Nova Southeastern University is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE).

The annual tuition is the same rate for Florida residents and out of state students: $30,919.00.

Health Professions General Access Fee: $145.00

Interim Program Director:
Shari Rone-Adams
(954)-262-1740

University of Central Florida

This is one of the physical therapy schools in Florida that offers the Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) program which prepares students to become competent, compassionate, and ethical physical therapists that is able to effectively treat patients.

At the University of Central Florida, the Doctor of Physical Therapy program is a 3-year professional doctoral curriculum, which comprises nine consecutive semesters.

The program includes multiple clinical education experiences, such as internships which can range from eight weeks to twelve weeks in duration.

The UCF DPT program at the University of Central Florida has a 100% licensure pass rate each year.

  • Program in Physical Therapy
  • 4000 Central Florida Boulevard
  • HPAI, Room 256 D
  • Orlando, FL  32816-8005
  • Program Director:
  • Patrick Pabian PT, DPT, SCS, OCS, CSCS
  • Program Director
  • (407) 823-3462  
  • Application deadline: October 15 for the summer

Tuition is $575.99 for In-State students and $1,400.39 for out-of-State students. See Program Details.

University of Florida

The entry-level Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) program at the University of Florida-one of the physical therapy schools in Florida-provides students with the required education that is necessary for graduates to take the professional license examination.

The Department is ranked sixth in the nation among graduate programs in physical therapy at public universities by U.S. News and World Report and the program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE).​

Current annual tuition and fees are $22,721.72 for Florida residents and $31,961.72 for non-Florida residents. Tuition and fees are subject to change.

  • Department of Physical Therapy
  • Box 100154 HSC
  • Gainesville, FL  32610-0154
  • Program Director:
  • Mark Bishop, PT,PHD, FAPTA
  • (352) 273-6085  

See the Program details

University of Miami

The University of Miami is one of the top physical therapy schools in Florida that offers the Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) program.

The program is top-ranked and through the university of Miami’s physical therapy program, students are prepared for entry-level practice as Physical Therapists.

Prior to entering the program, the applicant must have obtained a Bachelor’s degree.

Any Bachelor’s degree is acceptable as long as all prerequisite course work has been completed.

The University of Miami Doctor of Physical Therapy Program utilizes block tuition, which simply means students pay by semester rather than by credit hours.

Block tuition is currently $12,000.00 per semester. See tuition details.

  • Department of Physical Therapy
  • 5915 Ponce De Leon Blvd – 5th Floor
  • Coral Gables, FL  33146-2435
  • Program Director:
  • Neva Kirk-Sanchez PT, PhD
  • (305) 284-4535  

See the program details.

University of North Florida

University of North Florida (UNF) is located in Jacksonville, the first coast region of northeast Florida.

The UNF DPT Program is geared towards providing excellent preparation to become excellent generalist practitioners.

  • Department of Clinical and Applied Movement Sciences
  • 1 UNF Drive
  • Jacksonville, FL  32224-7699
  • Interim Program Director:
  • Mary Lundy, PT, MS, DPT
  • (904) 620-2841  
  • Tuition: ($53,295 for In-State and $115,511 for Out of State)

University of South Florida

The University of South Florida Morsani College of Medicine School of Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation Sciences is one of the physical therapy schools in Florida.

Their goal is to make life better through the use of physical therapy and rehabilitation science.

University of South Florida is the 1st state university to offer the DPT degree in Florida.

Their on-campus physical therapy centre has Board-certified providers. In addition, they offer the MS Scholars Program – 1 of only 3 programs Nationally.

Tuition for the 2020-2021 academic year for the USF DPT degree program is ESTIMATED to be:

  • $21,752 for in-state students
  • $29,110 for out-of-state students

You should expect to pay around $1500 on books and $500 on miscellaneous.

  • USF Health Morsani College of Medicine
  • School of Physical Therapy & Rehabilitation Science
  • 12901 Bruce B Downs Blvd.
  • MDC 77
  • Tampa, FL  33612-4742
  • Program Director:
  • Dolly Swisher, PT, MDiv, PhD, FAPTA
  • (813) 974-6203 

See the program details.

The University of St. Augustine for Health Sciences

The University of St. Augustine for Health Sciences is proud to be the largest physical therapy school in the United States.

It is one of the physical therapy schools in st Augustine Florida.

With five campuses offering physical therapist degree programs and three start dates per year, they confer the most degrees of any graduate PT school in the country.

Tuition is approximately $13,337 per trimester for OTD students who attend our Miami, FL campus. See the cost of attendance.

  • DPT Physical Therapy Program
  • Institute of Physical Art
  • 1 University Boulevard
  • St. Augustine, FL  32086-5783
  • Interim Program Director:
  • Jackie Crossen-Sills, PT, PhD
  • (904) 826-0084

University of St. Augustine for Health Sciences- Miami:

  • DPT Physical Therapy Program
  • 800 S Douglas Rd
  • North Tower Ste 149
  • Coral Gables, FL 33134
  • Interim Program Director:
  • Jackie Crossen-Sills, PT, PhD
  • (904) 770-3556

See the Program details.

Gannon University – Ruskin

The Doctor of Physical Therapy Program at Gannon University in Erie, PA is accredited through June 2029 by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE).

Florida Southern College receives and reviews the credentials of applicants through The Centralized Application for Physical Therapy Programs (PTCAS).

Undergraduate Tuition/Fees for Computer Science, Engineering, Health Professions: $18,335  Per Semester Flat Rate 12-18 Credits. See tuition details.

  • Doctor of Physical Therapy Program
  • 105 Commercial Center Drive
  • Ruskin, FL 33573
  • Program Director:
  • Richard W. Johnson, PT, EdD
  • 813-658-4904

See the Program Details.

Florida Southern College

This is one of the physical therapy schools in Florida that offers a physical therapy degree aimed at preparing entry-level physical therapy practitioners through dynamic engaged learning experiences.

Students get equipped with the skills that they need to provide patient-centred and evidence-based care.

Their Doctor of Physical Therapy classes is all face-to-face, with 36 students in each cohort.

They are one of the few physical therapy schools in Florida where you can complete your Doctor of Physical Therapy in just two and a half years.

Cost for Tuition for the 28-month program: $105,300.

The actual tuition paid at the beginning of each semester based on $975 per credit hour.

  • DPT Physical Therapy Program
  • Florida Southern College
  • 111 Lake Hollingsworth Drive
  • Lakeland FL, 33801
  • Program Director:
  • Nancy Nuzzo, PT, PhD
  • (863) 680-4718

See the Program Details.

3+3 physical therapy programs in Florida

Among these physical therapy schools in Florida are 3+3 physical therapy programs. To see the few physical therapy programs in Florida, click here.

The Physical Therapy admission process

If you are ready to apply to a doctor of physical therapy program in any of the physical therapy schools in Florida, then the  Physical Therapist Centralized Application Service allows DPT program applicants to use a single online application and one set of materials to apply to multiple education programs.

Most, but not all professional DPT programs, participate in PTCAS.

Applicants who wish to apply to a nonparticipating PTCAS program must apply directly to the institution using the DPT program’s local application.

Preparing for the Admission Process

The first step to getting into a physical therapy school is to research DPT programs to determine the ones that best meet your needs.

Programs are accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education, which assures quality in physical therapist education.

Checking Prerequisites

You are not required to select a particular undergraduate major in order to be eligible for admission to a DPT program.

The most common undergraduate majors among Physical Therapy students include exercise science, biology, kinesiology, and psychology.

While selecting a college major, consider how you will satisfactorily complete the prerequisite courses for your designated DPT programs in addition to the college/university’s degree and major requirements.

You are advised to work with your academic and/or pre-PT advisor to plan your course schedule.

Visit the PTCAS directory or the institutional website to determine what courses are required by each institution.

DPT programs may require preprofessional (pre-PT/undergraduate) science courses to be completed in a four-year university/college within the seven to 10 years prior to enrollment.

Be prepared to identify what classes you have taken (or will take) to fulfil the program’s course requirements.

In the physical therapy schools in Florida, the most commonly required course prerequisites are:

  • Anatomy / A&P 1 with lab

  • Psychology

  • Biology 1 (not botany or zoology)

  • Biology 2 (not botany or zoology)

  • Physiology / A&P 2 with lab

  • General Physics 1 with lab

  • General Physics 2 with lab

  • General Chemistry 1 with lab

  • General Chemistry 2 with lab

Please note that some DPT programs only accept anatomy and/or physiology courses completed in biology, neuroscience, anatomy, or integrated physiology department.

DPT programs may not accept a combined anatomy and physiology (A&P) course or those completed in other departments, such as kinesiology.

Visit PTCAS directory to determine what type of anatomy and physiology courses are required for admission.

Physical Therapy Schools in Florida Requirements

1) Minimum GPA: Most DPT programs have minimum grade point average requirements. The minimum score among the physical therapy schools in Florida varies.

2) Most DPT programs require applicants to complete the Graduate Record Examination.

3) Many physical therapist programs require one to four letters of reference (also known as “letters of evaluation” or “recommendations”) as part of the admissions process.

PT programs may require competitive applicants to visit the campus for an interview.

State residency requirements. Some DPT programs give preference to in-state (resident) students. That means out-of-state (nonresident) and foreign applicants may vie for a limited number of positions.

Criminal background checks. DPT programs may ask applicants to disclose any previous felony or misdemeanor convictions as part of the application process.

A program’s technical standards and/or essential skills document may describe the physical, behavioral, and/or cognitive abilities needed to complete the physical therapist curriculum at that particular institution and to competently perform as a physical therapist upon graduation.

What are your thoughts about these physical therapy schools in Florida? Please share your thoughts below.

Editor’s Pick

References on physical therapy schools in Florida:

bls.gov: https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes291123.htm#st

apta.org: https://www.apta.org/your-career/careers-in-physical-therapy/pt-admissions-process

naturalhealers.com:https://www.naturalhealers.com/physical-therapy/physical-therapy-schools/

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