Frequently Asked Questions
Physical Therapy Education Program



What is a physical therapist?

Physical therapists are health care professionals who are considered to be movement specialists. Using a variety of clinical applications, physical therapists help to restore, maintain, and promote physical function. They work in a variety of different settings including hospitals, clinics, home health providers, schools, work settings, nursing homes, and sports facilities. More detailed information about the role of a physical therapist can be found on the web site sponsored by the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA).

How much does a physical therapist earn?

According to a study completed by the American Physical Therapy Association, the median salary for physical therapists in 2013 was $85,000. The median salary varies depending on the geographic region in which the therapist is working, employment setting (i.e., hospital, outpatient facility), years of experience, and sex.

What is the job outlook for physical therapists?

The job outlook is good! The United States Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics lists physical therapist as one of the fastest growing occupations in the U.S., projecting a growth rate of 34 percent between 2014 and 2024. This means that during that period of time, an additional 71,800 jobs will be available for physical therapists. This growth will likely be the result of demand for services by aging baby boomers. Also, the number of individuals living with chronic diseases, like diabetes and obesity, is rising. Many of these chronic conditions result in loss of mobility.

How do I become a physical therapist?

The required degree to enter the field is a Doctor of Physical Therapy. You must first complete a baccalaureate degree and seek admission to a physical therapy education program that is accredited by the Commission for Accreditation of Physical Therapy Education. Most programs require three years of education after the baccalaureate. The APTA web site provides a wealth of information on the education of physical therapists.

Once you have graduated, you will have to be licensed to practice in your state of residence. This requires passing the National Physical Therapy Exam administered by the Federation of State Boards (FSBPT). Information about licensure and the examination can be found on the FSBPT web site.

How do I get into a physical therapy education program?

The admission requirements differ with each program, so, be sure to check out the requirements for the program you would like to attend. APTA provides a directory of programs and some ideas about how to select the program that is right for you. Realize, however, that admission to a physical therapy program is highly competitive. There are far more applicants to each program than slots for new students, and the average overall GPA for accepted applicants in 2014 – 2015 was 3.57/4.00.



Does PCOM have a program in physical therapy?

A physical therapy education program is under development at Georgia Campus - Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine. The College has hired a Program Director, a Director of Curriculum and Instruction, and two additional faculty members. The current faculty members have more than 125 years of combined experience in physical therapy and more than 80 years of combined experience in physical therapy education. The application for candidacy for accreditation is being developed and will be submitted on December 1, 2017. If candidacy status is granted, PCOM plans to admit its first group of students to the program in June 2018. It is not too early to start planning for your future education. Information is being added to the program's web pages. Additional information is available on our admissions requirements page. You may also apply online.

If you would like more information about the plans for the physical therapy program at PCOM, please contact us at the email address or phone number listed below, or complete our online information request form:

Phone: 770-682-2305


Accreditation Status

Graduation from a physical therapist education program accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE), 1111 North Fairfax Street, Alexandria, VA 22314; phone; 703-706-3245; is necessary for eligibility to sit for the licensure examination, which is required in all states.

Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine is seeking accreditation of a new physical therapist education program from CAPTE. On December 1, 2017, the program submitted an Application for Candidacy, which is the formal application required in the pre-accreditation stage. Submission of this document does not assure that the program will be granted Candidate for Accreditation status. Achievement of Candidate for Accreditation status is required prior to implementation of the professional phase of the program; therefore, no students may be enrolled in professional courses until Candidate for Accreditation status has been achieved. Further, though achievement of Candidate for Accreditation status signifies satisfactory progress toward accreditation, it does not assure that the program will be granted accreditation.