Future physical therapists in the state of South Carolina have three choices of on campus Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) programs that they can pursue in state – Anderson University, Medical University of South Carolina, and University of South Carolina all have DPT programs. For prospective students who are looking for more options, there are also some hybrid online doctor of physical therapy programs that they can apply to, where they can complete much of their coursework through the comfort of home. With this variety of different choices, it can be a bit dauntinting to narrow down the options into a shortlist of schools to apply to. This resource will help you determine which factors to evaluate when selecting the right programs for you.

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Online DPT Programs vs On Campus Programs in South Carolina

Addressing your lifestyle is a great place to start when it comes to evaluating DPT programs. What commitments do you have during the week that may affect when you can attend class? How easy is it for you to commute to the nearest DPT programs? These are some of the questions you should ask yourself as you figure out which program structures and locations best gel with what you need.

If it is too much for you to be able to regularly commute to the nearest programs from your current home, you will need to decide on whether you want to move closer to an instate campus, whether you want to move out of state, or whether you want to pursue an online DPT program so that you do not have to move.

Last Updated 4/23/2022

Online DPT Programs in South Carolina

All current online DPT programs accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE) are what are considered to be hybrid programs. The hybrid distinction means that there are some components of the program that must be completed on campus. The reason for this is that some of the requirements for earning a physical therapy degree are too hands-on to be taught online. Despite these on campus requirements, trips to the school should be infrequent (check with the programs you are interested in for specific information on how often you need to go to campus), meaning that you will still benefit from the flexibility that comes with completing much of your coursework at home.

An online course can either be delivered synchronously (meaning that class is live and students are required to log on at specific times in order to participate) or asynchronously (meaning students complete coursework on their own time, and that deliverables are either prerecorded or otherwise available at a student’s convenience). 

There are many reasons why you may prefer an online DPT program, and your reasoning may influence whether you’d prefer synchronous or asynchronous courses. If you are interested in online learning that closely mimics the on campus experience and allows for meaningful class discussion, you may be more interested in a program that is heavy on synchronous learning. If you are a particularly busy person with an unpredictable schedule, asynchronous learning may make earning a degree possible for you. Some programs will utilize both delivery formats.

No matter which program you choose, you will still need to complete clinical requirements in person at a placement site. Check with any online programs that you are interested in about what they can do to place you in a site that is conveniently located for you.

On Campus DPT Programs in South Carolina

Most people are familiar with the on campus experience – reporting to classrooms to attend lectures from professors, take exams, and so forth. Graduate programs offer a similar classroom experience. In addition to taking classes, students will need to complete clinical experiences, which will typically occur at placement sites local to the programs attended.

How Long Do South Carolina DPT Programs Take to Complete?

DPT programs often take between two and a half to three years from start to finish. You should always ask the programs you are interested in about specific program length and structure.

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

Typical Hybrid DPT Programs Available to South Carolina Students

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

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 South Carolina

The following DPT programs can be found on South Carolina campuses:

ProgramCityTime to CompleteGPA Requirement
Anderson UniversityAnderson2.5 years3.0
Medical University of South CarolinaCharleston3 years3.0
University of South CarolinaColumbia3 years3.0

General Tips on How to Become a Physical Therapist in South Carolina

To become a physical therapist in South Carolina, 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 South Carolina.
  3. Get Licensed – You may want to make sure your NPTE score is set up to be transferred to the state organization governing PTs 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 the South Carolina Board of Physical Therapy for exact requirements.