DPT Programs in South Carolina

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 daunting 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.

Arcadia University

College of Health Sciences


Doctor of Physical Therapy

Earn your DPT from a hybrid program. Experience on-campus immersions and apply skills learned online to patients in person. Complete the program in 25 months. Applicants must have a bachelor’s degree but do not need to submit GRE test scores for admission.

  • Accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE) 
  • Complete in 25 months  
  • 32 weeks of in-person experience

University of Southern California (USC)

USC Division of Biokinesiology and Physical Therapy


Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT)

With USC’s Division of Biokinesiology and Physical Therapy, aspiring physical therapists can earn a Doctor of Physical Therapy degree in an innovative hybrid format. Bachelor’s required.

  • Full-time, three-year program 
  • 44 weeks of rich, varied clinical experiences 
  • Regular visits to USC for on-campus, skill-building immersions


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.

On Campus DPT Programs in South Carolina

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

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.