Physical Therapy Degrees in Oregon with School Overviews

Oregon has four schools that offer physical therapy programs. Learn about the degree programs, tuition info and program options for these schools to make an informed education decision.

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Physical Therapy School Options in Oregon

Prospective students seeking a career in the field of physical therapy have few options available within Oregon. Students can choose from associate's and doctoral degree programs in physical therapy.

To work in the field of physical therapy in Oregon, physical therapists and physical therapy assistants must become licensed. Licensure requires physical therapists to complete an accredited Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) or master's degree in physical therapy and pass the National Physical Therapy Examination. However, all physical therapists will be required to possess a DPT by 2015. Physical therapy assistant (PTA) licensure requires students to graduate from an accredited PTA program and pass the National Physical Therapy Examination.

Lane Community College

Offered through the health professions division at the Eugene campus, the Associate of Arts Oregon Transfer (AAOT) - Pre-Physical Therapy and Associate of Applied Science - Physical Therapist Assistant programs are options for aspiring physical therapy professionals at Lane Community College. The transfer program is designed for those students who plan to continue their education toward the goal of becoming licensed, professional physical therapists (PTs). The AAOT program requires the completion of 95-100 credits of coursework that includes general education studies focusing on composition, math, statistics, speech, psychology, chemistry, biology and physics.

The two-year Associate of Applied Science - Physical Therapist Assistant program prepares students for careers as PTAs and has received accreditation from the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE). In addition to general education studies, program coursework includes human anatomy and physiology, medical terminology, clinical practice labs and applied kinesiology, as well as a required 648-hour guided co-op clinical experience. Graduates are eligible to take the National Physical Therapy Examination and become licensed PTAs.

Mt. Hood Community College

Mt. Hood Community College offers prospective students a two-year PTA program at the Gresham campus. Administered through the allied health division, the Associate of Applied Science - PTA program consists of classroom lecture combined with laboratory practice. Students will receive instruction in manual techniques, quality assurance and clinical applications. Direct, hands-on experience through clinical rotations provides students with the opportunity to integrate their learning and develop their skills. This associate's degree program has achieved recognized accreditation by the CAPTE and is taught by instructors with physical therapy experience. Students who successfully complete the program are prepared to take the national exam that is required to become a licensed PTA.

Pacific University

Located in Hillsboro, Pacific University's School of Physical Therapy offers a doctoral program in the field; it's the only such program in Oregon accredited by the CAPTE. The three-year DPT program is designed for entry-level students. Following the first year, coursework is combined with clinical experience internships, and the school is affiliated with around 250 clinics. Coursework covers patient assessment and management, anatomy, motor control, bioethics, neuromuscular systems, research methodologies and therapeutic exercises.

The physical therapy program also examines the specific needs of older patients and young children. In order to graduate, physical therapy students must complete either a thesis or a capstone project. The thesis option requires students to perform research on a professional or clinical issue, while the capstone project requires students to formulate a clinical question utilizing evidence-based principles. Graduates are prepared to take the physical therapy national licensing exam.

Treasure Valley Community College

Treasure Valley Community College is a two-year, public school that offers an AAOT - Pre-Physical Therapy Emphasis program at the main campus located in Ontario. Designed as a preparatory program for eventual transfer to a four-year school, this AAOT program focuses on general education coursework in biology, chemistry, algebra, medical terminology, psychology, elementary functions, microbiology, organic chemistry, physics, statistics, human anatomy and physiology. Entry to the program is based on meeting basic skill level requirements, including composition, communications and mathematics. Further education is required for licensure.

School Comparison Table

School Name School Type & Setting Physical Therapy Degrees Offered Undergraduate Tuition & Fees
Lane Community College Two-year, public; fringe rural Associate of Applied Science - Physical Therapist Assistant,
AAOT - Pre-Physical Therapy
$3,682 in-state per year,
$8,362 out-of-state per year (2012-2013)*
Mt. Hood Community College Two-year, public; large suburb Associate of Applied Science - Physical Therapist Assistant $4,579 in-state per year,
$9,979 out-of-state per year (2012-2013)*
Pacific University Four-year, private not-for-profit; large suburb Doctor of Physical Therapy $30,752 program tuition per year (2013-2014)**
Treasure Valley Community College Two-year, public; distant town AAOT - Pre-Physical Therapy Emphasis$4,680 in-state per year,
$5,130 out-of-state per year (2012-2013)*

Source: *NCES College Navigator, **Pacific University.

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