10 Best Physical Therapy Schools In California In 2023

Are you a new resident in California searching for the best Physical Therapy Schools In California both to enroll in or offer your services?

Physical therapists cannot be ignored when considering quality healthcare. It is a key part of the medical system to help care for patients who have sustained injuries while participating in outdoor games and sports, car accidents, or doing work-related activities,

They are an essential occupation and are always in demand due to their versatility and function in a number of establishment of settings, including outpatient clinics, schools, hospices residential homes with people of all ages and backgrounds, which makes it a good career for anyone who loves working with the public.

Becoming a physical therapist requires years of education, clinical training, and testing, but it is a very rewarding career.

According to statistics from 2016 by the American Physical Therapy Association, 200 colleges and universities in the United States provided Doctor of Physical Therapy degrees to eligible students.

Also, in our list of best Physical Therapy Schools In California, we bring you great options you should jump on both public and private.

Some provide undergraduate degrees, Doctorate programs, etc to prepare students for advanced studies.

1. The University of Southern California

The University of Southern California happens to be the Oldest Private Research University in California.

The University of Southern California has appeared as number 1 on the U.S. News and World Report list of best physical therapy programs, which literally makes it the best Physical Therapy Schools In California.

They have a good reputation for being one of the most preferred, qualitative research and educational environment for physical therapy in California.

It offers a Doctorate in Physical Therapy for those seeking a prestigious University to obtain an honorable certificate.

This University offers a 3-year program on its available courses including science-related ones, such as Neuro-Pathology, Cellular and Systems Physiology, Principles of Disease, and others.

Students are required to take prerequisites like Chemistry and Psychology and also do a minimum of 150 hours of clinical experience in a facility where physical therapy services are performed.

Address: Los Angeles, CA 90007

Acceptance rate: 16%

Graduation rate: 92%

Avg cost after aid:  $30k

2. California State University, East Bay  – Public University

California State University, East Bay is a public university but one of the best Physical Therapy Schools In California.

The institution offers a degree in Therapeutic Studies, which is a required program for Physical Therapy schools.

Students of California State University must take 115 credits in courses such as Animal Biology, Biomechanics, Sports Psychology, Human Physiology and Anatomy, and exhibit.

Also, performance requirements are emphasized in sports such as swimming, basketball, and other fitness activities.

Reviews of this school are generally good, students are well stretched to learn through conduction of researches.

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California State University, East Bay is mainly a commuter school, which is great for locales who wish to pursue a career in physical therapy.

Address: 25800 Carlos Bee Blvd, Hayward, CA 94542

Acceptance rate: 74%

Graduation rate: 74%

Avg cost after aid:  $12K

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3. California State University, Long Beach – Public University

California State University, Long Beach is another public university that qualifies as one of the best Physical Therapy Schools In California by offering a Doctorate of Physical Therapy.

Students here are also required to take 115 credits in science disciplines such as Pharmacology, Biomech Principles, and Anatomy including a 6-week clinical practice. This program is completed in 3 years.

Students at this campus keep to an open door policy with their professors, the resident life activities, and the general overall friendly atmosphere as strengths of attending the Long Beach campus.

Address: 1250 Bellflower Blvd, Long Beach, CA 90840

Acceptance rate: 28%

Graduation rate: 67%

Avg cost after aid:  $9,423

4. California State University, Fresno – Public University

California State University, Fresno is also one of the best Physical Therapy Schools In California and a public university that offers a Doctorate of Physical Therapy degree.

Students of this institute must take several prerequisite classes and receive a bachelor’s degree as well as an overall grade point average of 3.0 before enrolling in this program.

The curriculum requires a variety of science classes and keep-fit exercise programs. Students also have the added educational advantage of working at one of the two on-site clinics while undergoing studies.

Student reviews of this campus are amazingly graceful, from the love of cultural diversity as well as that in classes and majors. This increases competition, hard work, and fun which is a socially engaging place to be.

Address: 5241 N Maple Ave, Fresno, CA 93740

Acceptance rate: 59%

Graduation rate: 58%

Avg cost after aid:  $5,872

5. California State University, Northridge – Public University

California State University, Northridge is among the list of universities that offer a Doctorate degree in Physical Therapy.

It runs a three-year program where students must take classes in sciences such as Biology, Physics, Psychology, etc.

It is one of the best Physical Therapy Schools In California because they offer many degrees and courses in spite of a large number of students and competitiveness.

They are of immense benefit to any student, with some classes in Financial Literacy and Cooking 101.

In addition, the students here are also exposed to tutoring and counselors to support every student enrolled at the university, giving it a small community feel.

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Address: 18111 Nordhoff St, Northridge, CA 91330

Acceptance rate: 58%

Graduation rate: 50%

Avg cost after aid:  $5,703

6. California State University, Sacramento – Public University.

California State University, Sacramento is one of the best Physical Therapy Schools In California that offers a Doctorate in Physical Therapy.

The curriculum of this institute comprises classes in Human Anatomy, Kinesiology, Statistics, and Exercise Physiology.

Students must complete a 36-week internship in a variety of settings. The university also offers benefits simulation labs that help students experience hospital emergencies first-hand.

It is mostly a commuter school, where adults and graduate-level students fit in on campus. Student reviews of the school include a serene environment and a variety of modern facilities including computers and wifi access to make studying more enticing.

Students who earn good grades can be employed to work on campus.

Address: 6000 J Street, Sacramento, CA 95819

Acceptance rate: 68%

Graduation rate: 46%

Avg cost after aid:  $9,733

7. Point Loma Nazarene University – Private Christian liberal Arts College

Point Loma Nazarene University exclusively offers a BA in Pre-physical therapy.

Students are required to take classes in exercise science and athletic training, which will equip them to scale through the prerequisite for admission into Physical Therapy programs at other schools also ranking it as one of the best Physical Therapy Schools In California in terms of options.

Students who need a Bsc or Doctorate degree in physical therapy can get a supportive learning environment before transferring to a doctorate program at a larger university.

Point Loma Nazarene University as the name implies also provides a private, Christian education, for students who are searching for a Christian community while studying.

Address:  3900 Lomaland Dr, San Diego, CA 92106

Acceptance rate: 76%

Graduation rate: 75%

Avg cost after aid:  $31k

8. San Francisco State University – Public university in San Francisco

San Francisco State University offers a Doctorate in Physical Therapy and it is one of the prestigious and best Physical Therapy Schools In California.

This is a three-year degree that runs on at least a 30-week clinical practice and classes in anatomy and clinical health.

In order to graduate from this program, students are required to fulfill writing of an evidence-based review of a current critical problem.

Students also need to present their written papers to staff and fellow students. This demand which can be challenging to students, coupled with a rigorous curriculum, makes it one of the best Physical Therapy Schools In California.

Address: 1600 Holloway Ave, San Francisco, CA 94132

Acceptance rate: 70%

Graduation rate: 51%

Avg cost after aid:  $34k

9. Chapman University – Private University in Orange, California

Chapman University is another university that offers a  Doctorate in Physical Therapy.

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Also, it is a 125-credit program with courses in rare fields like Functional Human Anatomy and Cultural Diversity, Psychology in Healthcare with at least 40 weeks of clinical practice.

Benefits of this school include its size of about 6,500 undergrad students making it relatively easy to manage by the school board and also it has a welcoming atmosphere, and Christian values.

Address: 1 University Dr, Orange, CA 92866

Acceptance rate: 57%

Graduation rate: 79%

Avg cost after aid:  $39k

10. St. Mary’s College of California

St. Mary’s offers a private, Catholic school educational setting without a Doctorate-level program.

However, they offer a Health Service Major in Physical Therapy which serves as a good platform for students who want to earn a Master’s or Doctorate in Physical Therapy, which they can do from another university.

Students here are required to take numerous classes in science, such as Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Human Anatomy, and Physiology.

St, Mary’s provides students with a plethora of student clubs and activities, including various athletic teams, social justice, and community service organizations, intramural teams, and on-campus jobs.

Address: 1928 St Mary’s Rd, Moraga, CA 94575

Acceptance rate: 82%

Graduation rate: 73%

Avg cost after aid:  $34k

Details You Should Know Before Applying in a California University

Since each state regulates its own physical therapy certification, students who graduate from a university in California should refer to the guidelines set by the Physical Therapy Board of California.

Guidelines are slightly different depending on which level you are applying for: Physical Therapy, Physical Therapist Assistant, or Electromyography Certification.

Procedures also differ if you have a degree from a university not in California.

A basic outline of certification procedures includes the following steps:

The school creates your Federation account and sends you your log-in information

Student completes the profile to access exams and services

School validates graduation (This can happen as early as 90 days before your graduation

The student applies for NPTE and CAL-LAW through the federation

The Physical Therapy Board of California grants the student examination eligibility within three business days

Student receives an Authorization to Test letter via email

Student schedules examination location for the NPTE and location and date for the CAL-LAW

Student takes care of any application deficiencies

Student takes examination

The Federation sends examination scores to PTBC and makes them available to students online

The Physical Therapy Board of California grants the license.

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