There are seven on campus Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) programs in the state of Missouri – from Washington University – St. Louis to University of Missouri – those interested in completing a DPT degree in state have options when picking  a program. In addition to all of these options, they’re also hybrid online programs that Missouri residents can apply to, allowing them to complete their degree at institutions across the country without leaving the state. With all of these choices, it can be hard to decide what schools to apply to. This page will help you start thinking about which schools may be best for you. 

Online DPT Programs vs on campus Programs in Missouri

What you know about your learning style may influence the kind of DPT programs that you are interested in applying to. If you find yourself easily distracted at home, you may want to take your classes on a campus in a classroom free of distractions. If you are more comfortable learning at home, an online program may be for you. Additionally if commuting or other tasks related to getting to campus are too much for your busy schedule, an online DPT program program may offer you more flexibility.

Your schedule and commitments may naturally limit what DPT programs will work for your schedule. If you have a family at home or juggling work commitments communing to class may be difficult as well as attending classes at specific times every week. If this is the case, an online degree may offer you more flexibility that allows you to fit learning into your life. Online programs may offer varying degrees of flexibility, from simply eliminating commuting time to allowing you to attend class whenever it is best for you through pre-recorded lectures or other asynchronous means. 

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Last Updated 9/20/2021

Online DPT Programs in Missouri

Currently, there are no truly 100% online accredited Doctoral of Physical Therapy programs out there. This is because earning your doctor of physical therapy degree requires hands-on learning that can only be taught in the classroom at this point in time. So, current offerings fall under the category of hybrid programs. These programs allow you to do most of your coursework at home while occasionally going to campus to complete hands-on and skills learning. Despite the on campus requirements, the ability to complete much of the degree online adds a necessary element of convenience to learning.

When learning online, courses may be delivered in one of two ways – either synchronously or asynchronously. With synchronous learning, you will report to class virtually at a set time to view lectures or complete deliverables live. Because everyone is completing class at the same time, you can expect to collaborate with peers and professors as you attend class or other activities.  Asynchronous learning allows you to login to complete classes and deliverables on your own time. With asynchronous learning, not everybody is completing the work at the same time which leads to a lower degree of interaction with peers and professors. Some programs may mix both asynchronous and synchronous learning.

Even in an online program, you will need to complete clinical placement requirements at placement sites. The real world experience you earn at these sites is key to your preparation to become a physical therapist. Online programs may be able to help you secure placements local to you – make sure to ask the programs you’re interested in if and how they can help you find and secure placement sites in your area.

On Campus DPT Programs in Missouri

As previously mentioned, there are several on campus institutions in the state of Missouri that offer physical therapy degree programs. Those interested in an on campus program probably know what to expect, especially if they have earned a bachelor’s or other degree on campus. With on campus programs, you report to class regularly on campus. For clinical placements, you will likely report placement sites local to the university.

How Long do Missouri DPT Programs Take to Complete?

It typically takes two and a half to three years to complete a DPT program. However, this is not a hard and fast rule and it may take you longer or shorter to complete one of these programs. 

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

Typical Hybrid DPT Programs Available to Missouri Students

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

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 Missouri

The following DPT programs can be found on Missouri campuses:

ProgramCityTime to CompleteGPA Requirement
Maryville University of St. LouisSt. Louis6.5 year combined undergraduate and doctoral3.0 (admitted as undergraduate)
St. Louis UniversitySt. Louis6 year combined undergraduate and doctoral3.2 (admitted as undergraduate)
Missouri State UniversitySpringfield3 years3.0
Rockhurst UniversityKansas City30 months3.0, with 3.2 in science and prerequisites
Southwest Baptist UniversityBolivar3 years2.75
University of MissouriColumbia3 years3.0
Washington University – St. LouisSt. Louis32 months3.0 in science and prerequisites

General Tips on How to Become a Physical Therapist in Missouri

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