If you are in Michigan and looking to earn your doctor of physical therapy (DPT degree) without leaving the state, there are options for you. Several Michigan universities are home to accredited DPT programs, and there are also online programs available to those in Michigan. There is a lot to think about when choosing a DPT program, so here are some general tips to help you consider evaluating your options in Michigan.

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Online DPT Programs vs On-Campus Programs in Michigan

Making a decision between completing a DPT program online or on campus requires an understanding of why one format over the other may work best for you. Are you able to follow a strict program schedule or do you need to adjust what time you do your classwork from week to week to accommodate your other commitments? Do you learn best when you can interact with peers and professors or when you are reading material by yourself? These are all questions you should ask yourself as you are making the decision between going to a brick and mortar or a virtual program.

Last Updated 10/19/20

Currently, all accredited online DPT programs in the United States seem to be hybrid programs (a blend of in person and online learning) since the hands-on nature of the physical therapy field does require some knowledge that can only be taught in person. Online programs will allow students’ freedom to complete all of their classwork from anywhere in the country, while ensuring students learn the important clinical and lab components of a DPT program on campus. Many times, off campus clinical experience requirements may be completed in a student’s community, but it is important to consult the universities you are applying to to know for sure.

The hybrid approach allows students to communicate directly and network with their peers in real life while getting crucial hands-on learning experience, and at the same time be able to complete much of their degrees online.

When choosing between online programs you will want to consider format. Some programs will be synchronous in format – requiring students to log on at a specific time for class. This can be a helpful way to stay focused during lectures and allows students to engage with each other as well as the professor. There are also asynchronous programs, where students complete classwork and watch lectures on their own time. These programs are particularly appealing to those who need more flexibility in completing assignments and deliverables.

If you are looking for an on campus experience, there are a variety of options in Michigan. With on campus programs, classwork as well as lab work is completed in the traditional classroom setting, and then clinical experiences are often completed within the community, off campus, though some schools may have other arrangements.

How Long do Michigan DPT Programs Take to Complete?

DPT programs usually take two and a half to three years, but could be longer or shorter depending on the program. Hybrid programs often fall in this range as well, varying from accelerated options to four year programs. You will typically be in a situation where everyone who starts at the same time takes the same groups of courses together in what is called a cohort.

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

Typical Hybrid DPT Programs Available to Michigan Students

The following hybrid doctor of physical therapy programs are available to students in Michigan.

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 UniversityHybridYesTen 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 Michigan

The following DPT programs can be found on Michigan campuses. There are campuses all over the state, from University of Michigan Flint to Oakland University in Rochester.

ProgramCityTime to CompleteGPA Requirement
Andrews UniversityBerrien Springs3 years3.2
Central Michigan UniversityMount Pleasant3 years3.0
Grand Valley State UniversityAllendale Charter Township3 years3.2
Oakland UniversityRochester3 years3.0
University of Michigan – FlintFlint3 years3.0
Wayne State UniversityDetroit3.5 years3.0
Western Michigan UniversityKalamazoo2.5 years3.0

General Tips on How to Become a Physical Therapist in Michigan

To become a physical therapist in Michigan, 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 Michigan.

Get Licensed – You may want to make sure your NPTE score is set up to be transferred to the Michigan 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 Michigan’s state board for exact requirements.