How Long Is A PT School (And Why)?

Exact Answer: Three Years

PT is a popular acronym used for representing physical therapists. Physical Therapists are certified experts who help treat individuals of all ages. Many people suffer from conditions like disabilities, frictions and other similar problems. Physical Therapists are crucial in improving the general quality of life by treating such problems through prescribed exercises and lifestyle changes.

A physical therapist needs to have a certified degree from a recognised institution. Further, he also needs to have a license from the competent licensing body of the nation. To attain the degree, the candidate has to attend a PT School, the duration of which differs from country to country.

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How Long Is A PT School ?

StudyTime Required
Undergraduate studiesFour years
Physical Therapy Graduate SchoolThree years
Total time to become A Physical TherapistSeven years

A student desirous of pursuing a career in physical therapy has to attend the PT school designed for this purpose. The PT School lasts for about three to four years in most countries. This is preceded by a three or four-year undergraduate study. Thus, it would take a prospective Physical Therapist nearly seven to eight years to become a licensed practitioner of the discipline.

In the United States of America, a candidate has to graduate from a CAPTE accredited course. This is followed by the NPTE test. Completing the graduate program would take a person about a minimum of three years but can also be more depending on the length of the particular program.

The length of the PT School is influenced by the Physical Therapy course chosen. In the USA, such courses are for three years. It includes primary content from areas like basic biology, physiology, exercise physiology, neuroscience, musculoskeletal and many other relevant topics. The medium of study in a PT School is mostly through classroom lectures while it also contains many lab and clinical assignments.

However, if the students are serious about their goals regarding Physical Therapy, they can opt for a Freshman Entry Doctor of Physical Therapy. This course is only six years and will surely save a precious year of the student in contrast to the traditional Physical Therapy School.

Why Is PT School So Long?

The basic reason as to why a PT School is so long is that it requires it to be so. In order for Physical Therapists to be fully capable of their duties and responsibilities, they have to be properly educated. In addition to that, field practice is a must for them considering they would be needed to operate in a real-world environment once they obtain their license from the concerned authority.

In a real-world scenario, several patients would come to these Physical Therapists with their numerous ailments. The Therapist would be required to treat them as a qualified and experienced Therapist would. The courses offered by the PT School make sure that their student can emulate all those skills in themselves to perform their duties to the best of their abilities.

However, not all courses offered by the PT School are of the same duration. Different courses contain different aspects of the therapy and thus, each of them has its time requirements and constraints. Thus, the length of the PT School depends on the course chosen by the candidate for their Physical Therapy school.

Some PT courses are complex than others and require detailed study leading to more time needs. On the contrary, some are relatively simple and can be completed in less time.


Becoming a Physical Therapist would take a person nearly seven years after their high school completion. Four years is the time required to complete undergraduate studies. Out of these, the PT School lasts for three years.

In PT school, the student can choose a course of his choice. This choice is also reflected in the length of the PT School and more demanding courses need more time.


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