Physical Therapy Schools In California

Today, there is a growing need for physical therapists. Students can choose from 20 physical therapy schools in California offering an excellent education for careers as physical therapists or physical therapist assistants. Career outlooks are promising for people who have completed the necessary education. Those interested in pursuing careers in physical therapy (PT) can apply to colleges and universities for a doctor of physical therapy (DPT) or receive a master’s degree for physical therapist careers. Associate degrees are also available for physical therapist assistant jobs. In addition to completing required education, students must become licensed and pass state examinations as well as national tests. Come and explore PT schools in California, licensing requirements and careers in physical therapy.

Top Schools

California offers many opportunities for PT training with a huge number of universities and college campuses to choose from. When researching education options, make sure to choose an appropriate school offering a two year associate’s degree, three or four-year doctorate degree or masters degree. California is well-known for notable PT schools in Sacramento, Long Beach, Northridge and the Universities of Fresno. However, USC and UCSF are two universities, which have the honor of ranking among the top 15 schools within the U.S.

California Physical Therapy Schools

1. (USC) University of Southern California

The University of Southern California is a world renowned research facility

The University of Southern California is a private institution with top-ranking. This university has a huge assortment of academic opportunities from which to choose and offers a good education, faculty support and an appealing campus lifestyle. Applicants can find information for applying at

High school seniors from around the world are encouraged to apply for undergraduate admission to this school offering diversity and a quality education. In addition, students can apply to graduate admission to become prepared for positions in professional practices, education and research. The school provides professional programs, and graduate studies in more than 400 areas, as well as the Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) program.

The three-year DPT program prepares students with the necessary studies to become physical therapists. After completing all the courses upon graduation, students have achieved the skills and knowledge to become self-assured practitioners. USC is one of the finest PT schools in California and provides students with the skills to find good paying jobs in rehabilitation careers.

Applicants interested in the DPT program have to satisfy admission requirements. Students enrolling in PT must hold a minimum of a bachelor’s degree or the equivalent in any field of study except PT. Students must complete an application for USC Graduate School and a PTCAS application online at the time of enrollment. In addition, all applicants must have a passing score on their aptitude test (Graduate Record Exam).  Students should have an undergraduate grade point average of 3.0 in addition to prerequisite courses.

2. (UCSF) University of California, San Francisco

UCSF is a top university with advanced health and research facilities

Students take classes at the UCSF Department of Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation Science on campus located at the School of Medicine. UCSF works in partnership with SFSU (San Francisco State University) providing two graduate degrees. Degrees include choices of the DPT and a PT science doctorate (DPTSc).

California physical therapy schools expect the best of their students, and consequently have several requirements for acceptance. The UCSF DPT program run 36 months including summers. The doctorate degree program is fully accredited assuring students of a valuable, well-respected education.

Applicants for the entry-level program must already have a bachelor’s degree. All students are required to have an average GPA score of 3.0. In addition, UCSF requires 150 hours of clinical experience under the supervision of licensed physical therapists at the time of the application deadline.

Students considering UCSF also need letters of recommendations from three people who are familiar with your abilities and know you personally. This includes at least one practicing physical therapist. A current GRE score no older than five years is also required for admittance. UCSF has several course prerequisites that must be completed before applying. Fields of study include chemistry, physics, physiology, psychology and statistics.

Apply for the DPT entry-level degree at Visit the website and read through detailed material about specific requirements, FAQs and fees. Applications must be completed by October 1st the year before expected entry into the school.


After graduating from PT schools in California, students must pass the licensing requirements by the California Physical Therapy Board. Graduates applying for a license must have completed their education from nationally accredited universities or colleges. After passing the national examination and receiving a certificate, applicants must pass the CLE (California Law Examination). To get a license applicants must pay a license and application processing fee. Non residence of California are also responsible for paying a processing fee for fingerprinting.


Thanks to many medical advancements, people are naturally living longer. This means there is a constant need for rehabilitative care in several areas. PT jobs are still strong in private practices, sports centers and rehabilitation organizations. Adult day care, long-term care facilities, nursing homes and hospitals all require qualified physical therapists. With high demand for care givers the job prospect looks great for the future.

After graduating from physical therapy schools in California, graduates may find work in any one of several California cities that fit the criteria for PT jobs. These cities have been rated based on the quantity of medical facilities and population. Consider Los Angeles, San Diego, San Francisco, Sacramento, Chula Vista, San Bernardino, Santa Rosa and Oakland as potential job markets for careers in PT. Nationally, steady growth is expected at least through 2016, which means anyone of these cities might be prime locations for job offers.

USC and UCSF are just two of the many physical therapy schools in California, which offer an  excellent education and prepare students for any number of careers in the health care industry. Job candidates must complete schooling, pass state and national testing, as well as completing California licensing requirements before they are finally ready to advance to a new career. Students can be assured that California physical therapy schools will provide the education, training and credentials for a bright future in physical therapy.

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