Entry-level physical therapist education in the United States of America

Joseph Threlkeld, Karen Paschal

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Schools for physical therapist education in the US began in the latter part of the 19th century. The American Physical Therapy Association was formed in 1921 and has assumed a leadership role in fostering the quality and consistency of physical therapist education and practice. Growth in the number and complexity of physical therapist educational programmes during the first half of the 20th century was driven, in large part, by the need for rehabilitation of injured military personnel and by the polio epidemics. Physical therapist education in the US is now firmly embedded in an academic model of higher education and is rapidly converting to the doctoral entry-level degree, similar to other US educational tracks that produce autonomous healthcare practitioners. The future trends in US physical therapist education are seen in the establishment of organised residencies and fellowships. This, in turn, fosters autonomous practice and clinical specialisation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)156-162
Number of pages7
JournalPhysical Therapy Reviews
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 1 2007

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation
  • Rehabilitation
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine


Dive into the research topics of 'Entry-level physical therapist education in the United States of America'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this