Both on campus Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) programs in Maryland are offered by the University of Maryland – on their Baltimore and Eastern Shore campuses. For those looking for additional programs to apply to or a different kind of experience, there are also online hybrid options available, where a good portion of the degree can be completed right at home. It can be hard to navigate which kind of option is better for you and what the pros and cons are to each kind of program. This guide will help you sift through your choices.

Online DPT Programs vs On-Campus Programs in Maryland

Your decision to pursue either an online or on campus DPT program may come down to your learning style. An in person DPT program may be a good choice for those who need a classroom in order to focus or who run into a lot of distractions at home. An online DPT program, on the other hand, may be the right call for someone who is able to focus better in the comfort of home, or when they are not stressed about commuting to and from campus!

The kind of options that are feasible for some aspiring DPTs can sometimes be limited by schedules and other commitments. Those who are already juggling work, family, or other responsibilities may find that commuting to campus several times per week or even attending class at a set time is a tall order. In these cases, online learning may make earning a degree all the more possible. From eliminating commute time to allowing students to view lectures when it is most convenient for them, online hybrid Doctor of Physical Therapy programs provide varying levels of flexibility for students.

Last Updated 7/7/2021

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Online DPT Programs in Maryland

No matter what online physical therapy program you choose to complete, all current offerings will likely require you to come to campus from time to time to complete labs or other in person activities. There are just some hands on aspects of learning to become a PT that cannot be taught sufficiently online at this moment in time. Because some trips to campus are required in order to earn a degree, these programs are considered hybrid programs rather than true online programs. Despite the campus trips, the fact that much of the coursework is completed online still creates a lot of convenience for many students.

The online portion of these hybrid programs may be delivered in a variety of ways, each way will fall under one of two categories. First, there is synchronous learning. With synchronous learning you log in to view coursework delivered in real time. Then, there is asynchronous learning, which is not live and is completed on your own time (so long as you adhere to due dates). Examples of synchronous learning include live lectures streamed via webcam or a live chat on a discussion board. Examples of asynchronous learning include readings or viewing pre recorded lectures.

Like many graduate healthcare degree programs, online DPT programs require you to complete clinical placement hours in person at a placement site. These placements allow you to gain real life experience in the field as you prepare to become a DPT. When applying to online programs, ask what schools can do for you in terms of helping you secure placement sites local to you.

On Campus DPT Programs in Maryland

University of Maryland Baltimore and Eastern Shore are the two on campus Doctor of Physical Therapy programs offered in Maryland. You would attend class on campus as you completed these programs, and likely you would complete clinical placement requirements local to the university.

How Long do Maryland DPT Programs Take to Complete?

A DPT program is often completed in two and a half to three years. However there are also many programs that are completed in shorter or longer amounts of time.

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

Typical Hybrid DPT Programs Available to Maryland Students

The following hybrid Doctor of Physical Therapy programs are available to students in Maryland.

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 Maryland

The following DPT programs can be found on Maryland campuses:

ProgramCityTime to CompleteGPA Requirement
University of Maryland – BaltimoreBaltimore3 years3.0
University of Maryland – Eastern ShorePrincess Anne3 years3.0

General Tips on How to Become a Physical Therapist in Maryland

To become a physical therapist in Maryland, 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 likely need to get approval from both the Federation of State Boards of Physical Therapy (FSBPT) and the state of Maryland.
  3. Get Licensed – You may want to make sure your NPTE score is set up to be transferred to the Maryland Board of Physical Therapy Examiners 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 Maryland’s state board for exact requirements.