How do I earn a Transitional Doctor of Physical Therapy (tDPT) or Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) degree and can I earn one through an online school program?

If you are interested in securing a career in physical therapy or have already been practicing as a licensed physical therapist, you will need to obtain your Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) degree. All physical therapists are required to own this degree to start or continue their career. For beginners, this is called a DPT degree program, and for the experienced, you will need to obtain a transitional Doctor of Physical Therapy degree through a tDPT program.

For working professionals in the field of physical therapy, earning your Transitional Doctor of Physical Therapy (tDPT) degree through an online distance learning school will be no problem. These types of programs are generally common and easy to find; therefore, providing a convenient way to adhere to the industry’s most recent standards. By obtaining your tDPT degree through an online format, you can maintain your job responsibilities and continue getting a paycheck while earning your degree. In this capacity, you can earn your degree in as few as one to two years.

Coursework in an online transitional doctorate degree program in physical therapy may include core subjects such as diagnostic imaging, medical screening and differential diagnosis, nutrition, pharmacology, and other advanced therapy techniques. You will also learn about professionalism in the workplace, as well as, how to be an effective leader and manager. Also, at this point, this is an excellent time to select a specialization, if you would like. Concentrations may include general orthopedics, geriatrics, women’s health or perhaps pediatrics if working with children appeals to you.

While strolling through the educational path leading to a career in physical therapy as a student that has just recently obtained their bachelor’s degree, you will be ready to enter an online Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) program. Earning a master’s degree in this field is no longer necessary, and besides, finding a master’s program in physical therapy is very rare, if not impossible. However, you are eligible to pursue your doctorate degree, and it is also a requirement to obtain licensure to begin your practice. With physical education and science prerequisites under your belt, you are ready to earn your Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) degree.

How long will it take you to obtain a DPT degree? Possibly, depending on your dedication, it will take you three to four years to complete, as well as, a one-year residency. Can you find a 100% online program for a DPT degree? Probably not. Due to the nature of the career, hands-on instruction is a must. If you find a hybrid program that allows you to do most of your coursework online, be sure that you can meet on-campus requirements as well, before signing on. You will also need to plan on working closely with a local clinic or hospital in your community to meet all internship requirements for graduation.

Coursework in an online Doctor of Physical Therapy program may include neuroscience and motor control, musculoskeletal diseases and disorders, therapeutic interventions, advanced human anatomy, pharmacology, cardiopulmonary studies, physiology, as well as, therapeutic exercises, pathology, histology, biomechanics and statistics courses. You will also learn about professional ethics, office healthcare practices and legalities, and facility management.

In whichever category you fall in, all licensed physical therapist must eventually have the proper credentials as required by the American Physical Therapy Association’s regulations before 2020. Are you curious about a career as a physical therapist? If so, has compiled a list of the Top 5 Online Doctor of Physical Therapy Degree Programs for your convenience.