Physical Therapy School Rankings

Physical Therapy School Rankings Based on US News

There are no official physical therapy school rankings, however US News has recently published its graduate health rankings based on peer assessment surveys of faculty staff of physical therapy schools.  In the methodology of the health rankings system, US News reports surveys were sent to 201 of the 212 physical therapy schools in the fall of 2011.  They received a 40% response rate (around 80 schools) and based their physical therapy school rankings on those responses.  Faculty staff were asked to rank the accredited schools based on a score of 1 (marginal) to 5 (outstanding), and to mark “don’t know” if they had limited knowledge of the school.  Below are the top ten physical therapy schools ranked by US News.

1 University of Southern California, Los Angeles 4.3
2 University of Delaware, Newark DE 4.2
3 University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh PA 4.1
3 Washington University in St. Louis, St Louis MO 4.1
5 University of Iowa, Iowa City IA 3.9
5US Army - Baylor University, Fort Sam Housten TX 3.9
7 Emory University, Atlanta GA 3.8
7MGH Institute of Health Professions, Boston MA 3.8
9Northwestern University, Chicago IL 3.7
9University of Miami, Coral Gables Florida 3.7
9University of North Carolina Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill NC 3.7

Don’t take these physical therapy school rankings too seriously though as you can see that peer reviews could be quite biased and there was also quite a low response rate for this survey.

It is a difficult decision choosing which PT school is right for you. There are so many to pick from so you might want to think about factors such as:

  • What is the curriculum and structure of the program like?
  • How long as the program been running and is it respected?
  • What type of students attend the facility?
  • How good are the facilities and equipment?
  • Where is the campus located and is it in a busy area?
  • How big is the school and how many PTs are enrolled?
  • What is the duration of the program?
  • What are the physical therapy prerequisites for entry?
  • How much will it all cost and is there financial aid available?

You might also think about visiting several campuses and liaising with current students and lecturers to help decide what programs and PT schools  best suit your career goals, personal interests and  needs.

The main thing to remember is that all schools must be accredited by CAPTE, and all students graduating from physical therapy school have equal skills and are equally employable, regardless of the school ranking.