Massachusetts residents have many options when it comes to applying to on campus Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) programs in the state. From state schools such as the University of Massachusetts Lowell to private institutions focused entirely on healthcare such as MGH Institute of Health professions, there are a variety of programs littered all over the state, from Springfield to Boston. Despite all of these choices, some aspiring DPTs may be looking for other options that offer more flexibility or other benefits. Luckily for them, there is also the option to apply to hybrid online DPT programs, which allow students to complete much of their degree in their home state, regardless of how far they are from campus. With all of the DPT programs out there, the decision of which schools to apply to can be daunting. This guide will help you figure out how to choose the best program for you.

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Online DPT Programs vs On-Campus Programs in Massachusetts

The decision to apply to more online or in person programs may be influenced by your learning style. If you require a learning environment that is separate from your home due to distractions or any other reason, an on campus DPT program may be the right call for you. If you are someone who learns better from the comfort of home, however, an online DPT program may be a better fit for your learning style.

Learning style is not always the biggest concern when flexibility becomes a priority. Some DPT program applicants may be balancing work, family, and other commitments that limit when and where they can attend class. When these limitations arise, a major factor for program choice becomes determining which can even work with a busy schedule to begin with. Online or hybrid DPT programs in particular may offer flexibility by eliminating commute time or in some instances allowing students to attend pre-recorded classes on their own time. In other instances, live classes may be delivered at times that are more convenient for the busy person.

Last Updated 8/19/2021

Online DPT Programs in Massachusetts

Earning a Doctor of Physical Therapy degree does require some level of hands on learning that at this point in time can usually not be accomplished outside of a campus. Because of this, online DPT programs fall under the category of hybrid programs, as most of the coursework is completed online but some trips to campus are required for lab work and other in person requirements. These campus trips may be no more than a few times per year.

Coursework for an online DPT degree may be delivered in one of two ways – synchronously or asynchronously. Synchronous delivery is live- students may have to log on at a specific time to attend class or complete another deliverable. Asynchronous delivery is not live and involves deliverables that may be completed on one’s own time.

On campus lab work is not the only out of house requirement when earning an online DPT degree. Students will also need to report to clinical placement sites to earn real world experience. With online DPT programs, you may be able to be placed at a site that is local to where you live. Make sure to talk with representatives of prospective programs about if you can complete clinical requirements locally and what help they would offer you in securing a placement site.

On Campus DPT Programs in Massachusetts

For the many on campus programs offered in the state of Massachusetts, you would follow the protocol that is familiar to anyone who has completed any college program on campus – report to class in person during scheduled class times. Clinical hours would likely be completed in the community surrounding the university.

How Long Do Massachusetts DPT Programs Take to Complete?

A DPT program may take between two and a half and three years to complete. However each program will vary and may take shorter or longer than this time frame.

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

Typical Hybrid DPT Programs Available to Massachusetts Students

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

School NameTypeLive ClassesOn-Campus RequirementsTime to Complete
Allen CollegeHybridSomeTwice per term3 years
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 Massachusetts

The following DPT programs can be found on Massachusetts campuses:

ProgramCityTime to CompleteGPA Requirement
American International CollegeSpringfield3 years3.2
Boston UniversityBoston3 years3.0
MCPHS UniversityBoston3 years3.0
MGH Institute of Health ProfessionsBoston2.5 yearsN/A
Northeastern UniversityBoston2.5 years3.0
Simmons UniversityBoston3 years3.0
Springfield CollegeSpringfield3 years3.0
Tufts UniversityBoston2 years3.0
University of Massachusetts LowellLowell3 yearsUnknown

General Tips on How to Become a Physical Therapist in Massachusetts

To become a physical therapist in Massachusetts, 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 Massachusetts.
  3. Get Licensed – You may want to make sure your NPTE score is set up to be transferred to the Massachusetts Board of Allied Health Professionals 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 Massachusetts’s state board for exact requirements.