Tuesday, November 30, 1999

How to Choose Among Physical Therapy Schools? - Points to Consider

Choosing to continue your education past high school is a big step for anyone these days. Advanced education demands a big time commitment, and isn’t cheap, although the benefits and opportunities that it will provide to you in the years ahead usually far outweigh the short term sacrifices of tuition and your social life. If you are thinking about continuing your education to become a physical therapist, you are probably spending a lot of time researching programs online and wondering how you’re going to choose from among all the available physical therapy schools. Although you are the only one that can make this important decision, there are some key factors that can help you to narrow down your choices and feel confidence in the program that you end up with. Once you’ve narrowed down your selections to a few, it’s up to you to go with your gut about the best fit.

One of the most important things to consider when you are choosing among physical therapy programs is the location. Graduate school is a big commitment of time and energy, and if you’re going to spend most of your time in classes and study sessions, you’ll at least want to be in a city that you enjoy. Think about the types of hobbies and activities that you’ll want to participate in when you’re not studying or working, and then try to find programs in geographical areas that are known for these activities. You might also consider the cities that are known for successful physical therapy practices, as these will likely be the places where you look for volunteer positions or internships during your course of study.

Another two of the most important factors to consider when you are choosing among physical therapy programs is the size of the school and the cost of tuition. Typically these two factors are negatively related, meaning that as the size of the school decreases, the tuition usually increases. Think about how important it is for you to study with the industries best professors and professionals, and think about how important it is for you to have small class sizes where you can receive personal instruction if necessary. Then think about how much you are willing to pay for these perks, and try to find a school that is somewhere in the middle.

Additional things to think about when you’re choosing between different physical therapy programs is the competition for admission. Consider your past grades, graduate school placement test scores, and your current experience in the field. It’s usually a good idea to apply to both competitive and accepting schools, so that you’ll have a few to choose from. You should also make sure that any school you apply to is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE).

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