For Arizona residents looking for doctor of physical therapy (DPT) programs in Arizona, there are a variety of choices to consider. Between the many campuses in-state universities and a variety of online DPT programs available to Arizona physical therapy students, there are some options, all offering specific advantages. Here are some factors you might want to take into account as you make this important decision.

Online DPT Programs vs On-Campus Programs in Arizona

Making a decision between on-campus and online DPT programs requires knowledge about some of the things that set these options apart. Of course you know that online is completed from wherever you are as opposed to an on campus program’s requirement that you sit in the classroom, but what does that really mean? It all boils down to the level of flexibility that you have and how you are engaged by the experience.

Last Updated: 10/19/20

It is important to note that what we refer to as online DPT programs all currently seem to be hybrid programs (a blend of online and in person learning) as there are things in this field that cannot yet be properly learned virtually. Online programs will give students the flexibility to complete all of their classwork from wherever they are, while ensuring students learn clinical and hands-on skills through required trips to campus. Often, off campus clinical experiences can be completed near a student’s place of residence, but it is important to be sure of this before enrolling in a hybrid DPT program if you cannot be away from your residence for an entire clinical experience.

Another thing to consider is that not all online programs follow the same format. Some programs will be synchronous in format – requiring students to attend class at a specific time. This allows students to engage with each other as well as the professor, and can be a helpful way to keep one’s attention during lectures. Classes at a specific time could be over something as simple as chats or as interactive as live video lectures where everyone can see each other’s faces. There are also asynchronous programs, where most of the material is learned at any time the students want, so long as they adhere to any due dates. These programs can particularly be appealing to those who don’t have a set schedule or have commitments at times when there would usually be class.

If you are looking for an on campus experience, there are several programs offering this in Arizona. With on campus programs, both coursework and lab requirements are completed on campus, and then clinical experiences are often completed off campus within the community, though this may vary from school to school.

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How Long do Arizona DPT Programs Take to Complete?

DPT programs usually take two and a half to three years, but this varies from program to program. Hybrid programs often fall in this range as well, but vary from accelerated options to four year programs. Your program will typically be conducted in a cohort format, where everyone who starts at the same time takes the same groups of courses together.

You can see the specific program lengths for all Arizona on campus and online DPT programs in the tables below.

Typical Hybrid DPT Programs Available to Arizona Students

The following are examples of hybrid Doctor of Physical Therapy programs. Be sure to check with the school to see if they are authorized to operate in your state.

School NameTypeLive ClassesOn-Campus RequirementsTime to Complete
Arcadia University (Sponsored)HybridYesUnspecified2 years
Baylor University HybridSomeTwice per semester2 years
Nova Southeastern University HybridSomeEvery 4th week4 years
South College HybridNoQuarterly2 years
Tufts UniversityHybridSomeEight visits2 years
University of Southern California (Sponsored)HybridYesUp to twice per semester3 years
University of St. Augustine HybridSomeTwice per month4 years

On Campus DPT Programs in Arizona

The following DPT programs have Arizona campuses. There are campuses all over the state – from Midwestern University in Glendale to AT Still University in Mesa.

ProgramCityTime to CompleteGPA Requirement
AT Still UniversityMesa3 years2.8
Franklin Pierce UniversityGoodyear2.5 years3.0
Midwestern UniversityGlendale3 years3.0
Northern Arizona UniversityFlagstaff2.5 years3.0

General Tips on How to Become a Physical Therapist in Arizona

To become a physical therapist in Arizona, here are some common steps:

  1. Earn your Doctor of Physical Therapy Degree – Consider looking for physical therapy programs accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE) which may help you ensure you meet certification requirements in the future.
  2. Pass the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) – To do this, you will need to get approval from both the Federation of State Boards of Physical Therapy (FSBPT) and the state of Arizona.
  3. Get Licensed – Make sure your NPTE score is set up to be transferred to the Arizona Board of Physical Therapy so that the state can issue your certification once you pass and check with the board to make sure you meet any additional requirements for licensure. This is a high-level overview, make sure to check out Arizona’s state board for exact requirements.