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Physical Therapy Schools in Texas with Degree Program Overviews

Texas has more than 30 colleges that offer physical therapy programs. Learn about the degree programs, tuition info and program options for the 10 largest schools to make an informed education decision.

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Essential Information

Individuals interested in studying physical therapy in Texas may choose between two primary educational paths: earn an associate's degree toward becoming a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or, after earning a bachelor's degree in a health-related field, pursuing a doctorate in physical therapy to become a physical therapist (PT). While an associate's degree may usually be earned in about two years, doctoral programs may take three to four years to complete, beyond an undergraduate education. All physical therapy programs include clinical or practicum experiences and many are limited admission.

Career Requirements

Both PT and PTA career choices have extensive educational and licensure requirements. Aspiring PTAs need to complete an associate's degree program accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE). Those who plan on becoming PTs need to earn a master's degree or doctoral degree in the field from a CAPTE-accredited school.

After completing their programs, PTs and PTAs must pass examinations for licensure. Continuing education and other approved activities are necessary for license maintenance.

The following colleges and universities are the 10 largest schools to offer CAPTE-accredited programs that help students become eligible for licensure exams. The majority of them offer PTA programs, but 2 universities offer PT programs.


Austin Community College District

Located in Austin, this college offers a 71-credit PTA associate's degree program. The 2-year program requires students to take prerequisites like anatomy and medical terminology. Major courses include topics in human physiology, healthcare communication and rehabilitation techniques. Students must also complete several clinical experiences near the end of the program.

  • Programs Offered: Associate of Applied Science in Physical Therapist Assistant
  • Tuition & Fees (2012-2013): $2,340 in-district; $7,200 in-state; $9,720 out-of-state (undergraduate)*
  • School Type & Setting: 2-year, public; large city

Blinn College

Brenham's Blinn College offers a PTA associate's degree program. The college accepts roughly 20 qualifying students. This program integrates lectures, labs, and several practical experiences to provide students with a well-balanced education. Students take approximately 70 credits of coursework like pathophysiology and therapeutic exercise. Field experiences are also required. For the years 2009-2011, 98% of the graduates passed their licensure exams.

  • Programs Offered: Associate of Applied Science in Physical Therapist Assistant
  • Tuition & Fees (2012-2013): $1,824 in-district; $2,952 in-state; $4,824 out-of-state (undergraduate)*
  • School Type & Setting: 2-year, public; distant town

El Paso Community College

Located in El Paso, this school offers a 5-semester PTA program that integrates practical experiences, general education courses, and physical therapy coursework. Courses cover topics in therapeutic exercise and physical agents. Students must also complete 3 field experiences that will provide them with hands-on training.

  • Programs Offered: Associate of Applied Science in Physical Therapist Assistant
  • Tuition & Fees (2012-2013): $1,966 in-state; $3,646 out-of-state (undergraduate)*
  • School Type & Setting: 2-year, public; large city

Houston Community College

This college in Houston has a 2-year PTA associate's degree program that is offered through the Coleman College for Health Sciences. About 40 applicants are accepted annually. The curriculum includes several practical experiences. Students also take courses in patient care, therapeutic exercise and healthcare communications.

  • Programs Offered: Associate in Applied Science in Physical Therapist Assistant
  • Tuition & Fees (2012-2013): $1,627 in-district; $3,355 in-state; $3,751 out-of-state (undergraduate)*
  • School Type & Setting: 2-year, public; large city

Lone Star College System

The Montgomery campus of this college in Conroe has a 2-year PTA program that consists of 67 credits. This program provides lectures, labs, and clinical experiences. Prerequisites in anatomy and physiology are required. Other classes cover topics in rehabilitation techniques and functional anatomy. Students are also required to participate in several clinical experiences. The school has a selective admissions process.

  • Programs Offered: Associate of Applied Science in Physical Therapist Assistant
  • Tuition & Fees (2012-2013): $1,408 in-district; $3,088 in-district; $3,448 out-of-state (undergraduate)*
  • School Type & Setting: 2-year, public; small city

San Jacinto Community College

This college's South Campus in Houston has a 72-credit PTA program. The college admits only 24 qualifying students. This program provides general education courses, major courses and practical experiences. Specific courses teach students about therapeutic exercise and neurological disorders.

  • Programs Offered: Associate of Applied Science in Physical Therapist Assistant
  • Tuition & Fees (2012-2013): $1,312 in-district; $2,296 in-state; $3,496 out-of-state (undergraduate)*
  • School Type & Setting: 2-year, public; large suburb

South Texas College

McAllen's South Texas College offers a PTA associate's degree program. Students complete 70 credits of courses, and topics cover physical agents and neurological disorders. A capstone course and clinical experiences are also mandatory. For the years 2010-2012, 97% of the graduates passed the licensure exams.

  • Programs Offered: Associate of Applied Science in Physical Therapist Assistant
  • Tuition & Fees (2012-2013): $5,160 in-district; $6,045 in-state; $7,170 out-of-state (undergraduate)*
  • School Type & Setting: 4-year, public; midsize city

Tarrant County College

Fort Worth's Tarrant County College has a 5-semester PTA program. Students take classes in healthcare communications, patient care and therapeutic exercise. In order to successfully complete this program, students must also participate in 4 clinical experiences. Admission to the program is competitive.

  • Programs Offered: Associate of Applied Science in Physical Therapist Assistant
  • Tuition & Fees (2012-2013): $1,296 in-district; $1,994 in-state; $4,512 out-of-state (undergraduate)*
  • School Type & Setting: 2-year, public; large city

Texas State University - San Marcos

This university in San Marcos offers a 3-year Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) program. The entire program takes 3 years to complete, and only 40 applicants are accepted annually. Applicants need to have bachelor's degrees. DPT students complete clinical training, research and major courses. Courses cover topics in neuroscience, anatomy and therapeutic interventions.

  • Programs Offered: Doctor of Physical Therapy
  • Tuition & Fees (2012-2013): $6,354 in-state; $12,672 out-of-state (graduate)*
  • School Type & Setting: University, public; small suburb

University of Texas at El Paso

Located in El Paso, this university has a 99-credit DPT program. Students complete courses in motor control, neuroscience and neuromuscular rehabilitation. They also participate in clinical experiences. Application requirements include a bachelor's degree, and only 32 students are accepted each year

  • Programs Offered: Doctor of Physical Therapy
  • Tuition & Fees (2012-2013): $5,525 in-state; $11,843 out-of-state (graduate)*
  • School Type & Setting: University, public; large city

School Comparison: At a Glance

School Name School Type and Setting Physical Therapy Programs Offered Tuition and Fees (2012-2013)
Austin Community College District 2-year, public; large city Associate of Applied Science in Physical Therapist Assistant $2,340 in-district; $7,200 in-state; $9,720 out-of-state (undergraduate)*
Blinn College 2-year, public; distant town Associate of Applied Science in Physical Therapist Assistant $1,824 in-district; $2,952 in-state; $4,824 out-of-state (undergraduate)*
El Paso Community College 2-year, public; large city Associate of Applied Science in Physical Therapist Assistant $1,966 in-state; $3,646 out-of-state (undergraduate)*
Houston Community College 2-year, public; large city Associate in Applied Science in Physical Therapist Assistant $1,627 in-district; $3,355 in-state; $3,751 out-of-state (undergraduate)*
Lone Star College System 2-year, public; small city Associate of Applied Science in Physical Therapist Assistant $1,408 in-district; $3,088 in-district; $3,448 out-of-state (undergraduate)*
San Jacinto Community College 2-year, public; large suburb Associate of Applied Science in Physical Therapist Assistant $1,312 in-district; $2,296 in-state; $3,496 out-of-state (undergraduate)*
South Texas College 4-year, public; midsize city Associate of Applied Science in Physical Therapist Assistant $5,160 in-district; $6,045 in-state; $7,170 out-of-state (undergraduate)*
Tarrant County College District 2-year, public; large city Associate of Applied Science in Physical Therapist Assistant $1,296 in-district; $1,994 in-state; $4,512 out-of-state (undergraduate)*
Texas State University - San Marcos University, public; small suburb Doctor of Physical Therapy $6,354 in-state; $12,672 out-of-state (graduate)*
University of Texas at El Paso University, public; large city Doctor of Physical Therapy $5,525 in-state; $11,843 out-of-state (graduate)*

Source: *NCES College Navigator.

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