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What kind of degree do you need to be a physical therapist?

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Asked by Linda Monday Jan 7th 2008 in Career Planning
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In order to become a physical therapist assistant, you need to have at least a high school diploma.

In many states, however, you need to obtain a minimum of an associate's degree to work as a physical therapist assistant. After completing the necessary educational requirements, you may need to successfully complete an examination in order to obtain licensing as a physical therapist assistant. In some states, licensing is not necessary.

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There are several stages of education you'll need to pass through to become a physical therapist.

First, you'll need a Bachelor's degree to get into a postgraduate physical therapy program. It doesn't matter what your Bachelor's is, although it's recommended that you take classes in biology, anatomy, social science, and math. It generally takes about four years to earn a Bachelor's.

Once you have a Bachelor's degree, you'll need to apply to a physical therapy postgraduate program. You can get a Master's or a Ph.D in physical therapy, and only these advanced degrees are accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE). Depending on the type of degree you're going for, it will take an additional two or three years.

In all states, you'll be required to pass a licensing exam before you can practice as a physical therapist, and your school must be accredited by CAPTE to sit for the test.

Check out some of the online physical therapy degrees listed on Distance-Education.org.

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