Top 3 Physical Therapy Schools in Alabama

Are you looking for a career that offers security against future economic uncertainties? Physical therapy schools in Alabama offer a great opportunity to gain skills that will lead to a satisfying career in the medical field. Statistics from indeed.com found that working as a physical therapist will earn you $94,000 annually. This is six percent better than the national average with demand rising steadily since 2006. In addition, the industry as a whole is expected to grow by 33 percent through 2016. This is a lucrative career that is not going to go belly up anytime soon. Fortunately, there is no shortage of world-class pt schools in Alabama.

Alabama Physical Therapy Schools

1. University Of South Alabama [view site]

The department of physical therapy at the University of South Alabama is geared towards educating physical therapists to give quality care in diverse settings. A doctor of physical therapy (DPT) degree is offered to students who would like to begin a career in physical therapy. There are two categories that you can consider for application.

Graduate Level Application

  • This is open to applicants who at least have a bachelor’s degree from an accredited university or college.
  • Applicant must have a GPA above 3.00 with a minimum grade of “C”, in each prerequisite course.
  • Applications and GRE scores should be reported to the university admissions office by 15th of December. The minimum GRE score is 1000 and must have been taken within the last 15 years.
  • 50 hours of minimum work observation under the supervision of a licensed physical therapist.
  • International students should have a TOEFL score greater than 600, TSE grater than 60 and TWE greater than 4.5.
  • The deadline for international students is 15th October of the previous year.

Advanced Undergraduate Applications

  1. Applicants should have at least 96 semester or 144 quarter hours of college prerequisites applicable to graduate level applicants.
  2. A GPA score that is above 3.50.
  3. Fulfill all the necessary application requirements stipulated in graduate application points 3 to 5.

Program Prerequisites For All Applicants

  1. 2 semesters of physics with labs.
  2. 2 courses of English composition.
  3. 1 course of statistics.
  4. 3 courses of social sciences.
  5. 2 semester of general or cell biology for science majors.
  6. 2 semester of general chemistry for science majors.
  7. 1 course of Pre-calculus algebra or higher mathematics.
  8. Human physiology.

2. Alabama State University [view site]

This university offers a three year clinical doctorate in physical therapy degree (DPT) degree. This will prepare you to sit for the national physical therapy exam for licensure to start practicing.

Graduate Applications

  1. Bachelor’s degree or equivalent from an accredited institution with a minimum GPA of 2.5.
  2. GRE and MAT test score documentation.
  3. $25 application fee.
  4. Transcripts from all higher learning institutions attended.
  5. Three letters of recommendation evaluating your ability to keep up with graduate level studies.
  6. International applicants should have satisfactory TOEFL scores in addition to an affidavit of financial ability to pay all study expenses.
  7. All applications should be received by April 15 for fall programs, October 15 for spring programs, and February 15 for summer programs.

Prerequisites For Physical Therapy Studies

  1. 3 credit hours of general psychology.
  2. 4 credit hours of human anatomy with lab.
  3. 3 credit hours of statistics.
  4. 4 credit hours of human physiology.
  5. 3 credit hours of sociology or upper level psychology.
  6. 8 credit hours of biology science with lab.
  7. 3 credit hours of developmental psychology.
  8. 4 credit hours of college chemistry with lab.
  9. 3 credit hours of English composition.
  10. 3 credit hours of pre-calculus trigonometry or higher.
  11. 3 credit hours of English grammar.
  12. 3 credit hours of speech.

In addition, you will be expected to have completed a minimum of 80 hours as a physical therapist under the supervision of a licensed physical therapist. You will also have to submit a written statement declaring clearly your desire and ability to pursue a doctorate in physical therapy.

3. University Of Alabama At Birmingham [view site]

The university of Alabama at Birmingham has a doctor of physical therapy program for students with baccalaureate degrees in other fields. The course is scheduled to take nine semesters and leads to the awarding of a DPT degree.

Admission Requirements

  1. Applicants must have a baccalaureate degree from an accredited institution in the United States.
  2. Applicants should have completed at least 40 hours of physical therapy observation with the documentation being submitted to PTCAS by December 15.
  3. Applicants must have a minimum GRE score of 3.0, prerequisites and 60 semester hours grade point average.
  4. The university has a medical history questionnaire and physical that applicants will have to complete.
  5. You should also be prepared to complete a criminal background check before starting first semester studies.
  6. PTCAS application runs from June to 15th December and followed by interviews between January and March. All admissions are finalized by April with students being notified by the university. Studies commence in January of the following year.

Program Prerequisites

  1. English composition.
  2. Psychology.
  3. Pre-calculus with trigonometry.
  4. Physics with lab.
  5. General chemistry with lab for science majors.
  6. Biology inclusive of mammalian or human physiology.
  7. Statistics.
  8. Medical terminology.

The university encourages applicants to review non academic requirements for licensure since practicing physical therapy is regulated by state law. Admissions may also be considered on probationary basis in cases where the applicants do not meet the admission criteria.

Costs of Studying in Alabama

The cost of studying in Alabama physical therapy schools varies from one institution to another. A doctorate course will cost from $13,000 to over $50,000 for the entire program. You should be prepared to pay extra expenses such as matriculation deposits and special lab fees for certain courses. There are institutions which offer the same course online for at a cost of $9,000 to $27,000. A master’s course will set you back anywhere from $7,800 to $26,000. All of this should not overwhelm you because financial grants and low interest student loans can plug this hole. Federal governments also run an aid program that can be accessed by filling out the FAFSA form. Other aid programs include FSEO grants, PELL grants, and Perkins loans. It is always advisable to study in an accredited university or college as employers prefer candidates from these institutions.

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