The State of Illinois is home to several of the nation’s top physical therapy schools. Programs include masters and doctorate degrees, either of which will allow you to pursue the career in physical therapy you desire. When selecting one of the physical therapy schools in Illinois, it is critical the program be accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education.
Working as Physical Therapist Assistant
Many individuals will work as a physical therapist assistant while pursuing further education in order to become a fully credentialed physical therapist. In order to hold a position as a PT Assistant, you must have a minimum of an associate’s degree. It is also important to note that not all of the physical therapy schools in Illinois are appropriate for those who wish to become a PTA. The training to become a PTA is a unique program from the training to become a DPT, or Doctor of Physical Therapy.
Furthering Your Physical Therapy Career
Becoming a physical therapist requires the completion of a bachelor’s degree or at least three years of undergraduate studies toward achieving that degree before entering program for a master’s or doctorate degree from an accredited physical therapy school in Illinois. Master’s programs can result in three different credentials: (1) Masters of Physical Therapy (MPT), (2) Masters of Science in Physical Therapy (MSPT), or a simply a (3) Masters of Science (MS), dependent upon the school from which the degree is obtained. Doctorate programs always result in the same credential, regardless of where the degree is achieved: a Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT).
State Examination for Physical Therapy
After achieving a masters or doctorate degree in physical therapy, you must pass both a national and state licensing examinations before being allowed to practice as a physical therapist in any given state. Both examinations are state administered, and those physical therapists who move from one state to another after passing the examination will be required to register in the new state before entering into active practice again.
Educational Prerequisites for Physical Therapy Schools in Illinois
Getting admitted t o Physical Therapy Schools in Illinois includes some specific prerequisites and the criteria for admittance to any given masters or doctorate program can vary from school to school. For this reason, you should thoroughly review the admittance criteria with the college or university of your choice in order to ensure your undergraduate program curriculum meets the requirements for the program you wish to pursue for your physical therapy masters or doctorate degree.
Most Physical Therapy Schools in Illinois require a Bachelor of Science degree or a minimum of three years toward a BS in order to be admitted to a graduate program. Physical Therapy Ph.D. programs require not only a BS but also a Masters of Physical Therapy.
Accredited Physical Therapy Schools in Illinois
Department of Physical Therapy & Health Science
Olin Hall 240
Degree Programs: Undergraduates planning to pursue a masters or doctorate program in physical therapy can begin their studies at Bradley with a Bachelor of Science in Health Science and can follow that up with a Doctor of Physical Therapy course of study in the university’s Department of Physical Therapy & Health Science.
Governors State University
1 University Parkway
University Park, IL 60484-0975
Degree Programs: Governors State and the Department of Physical Therapy provide students with the base knowledge necessary for working as a physical therapist through the achievement of a Doctor of Physical Therapy credential. Graduates enter the workforce with a complete understanding of the nature of physical injuries and the therapies that put patients on the road to recovery.
555 31st Street
Downers Grove, IL 60515
Degree Programs: The Midwestern University doctorate degree program focuses on preparing students to become clinical practitioners in the field of physical therapy, with the ability to provide competent generalist care for patients who have suffered injuries or who deal with ongoing physical challenges as a result of chronic and progressive illnesses.
Northern Illinois University
209 Wirtz Hall
DeKalb, IL 60115
Phone: (815) 753-1383
Fax: (815) 753-0720
Degree Programs: The Northern Illinois University College of Health and Human Services offers two doctorate programs for physical therapy students: Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT), for those just entering the field, and the Transitional Doctor of Physical Therapy (tDPT), for practicing physical therapists returning to school in pursuit of an advanced degree.
The University of Illinois at Chicago
1919 West Taylor Street
Room 560 AHSB, MC 528
Chicago, IL 60612-7249
Degree Programs: Among the top ranked physical therapy schools in Illinois and the nation, The University of Illinois at Chicago offers six distinct courses of study: (1) Master of Science in Rehabilitation Sciences; (2) Doctor of Physical Therapy; (3) PhD in Disability Studies; (4) PhD in Kinesiology, Nutrition and Rehabilitation; (5) Fellowship in Orthopedic Manual Physical Therapy; and (6) Continuing Professional Education for those already working in the field of Physical Therapy.
645 N Michigan Ave, Suite 1100
Chicago, IL 60657
Degree Programs: The Northwestern University Physical Therapy and Human Movement Sciences Department offers Continuing Education for active physical therapists and physical therapist assistants, as well as three degree programs: (1) Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT), (2) PhD in Neuroscience with a specialization in Movement and Rehabilitation Science, and (3) Doctor of Physical Therapy with a PhD in Engineering (DPT-PhD Eng).
Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science
3333 Green Bay Rd.
North Chicago, IL 60064
Degree Programs: Consistently listed among the top Physical Therapy Schools in Illinois, Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Sciences offers four programs for physical therapy students, including the entry level Doctor of Physical Therapy for those students just preparing to enter the field, as well as course of study for returning students in the Doctor of Physical Therapy and Master of Science programs. The department additionally offers a Fellowship Program for concentrated study in Manual Physical Therapy, specifically in Orthopedics.
If you need more information regarding any of the Physical Therapy Schools in Illinois, feel free to visit the school’s website or contact the program director.
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