Best Physical Therapy Programs in Michigan

Updated on February 7, 2024

Michigan is home to several high-quality physical therapy programs that prepare students for rewarding careers in this growing field. The top PT schools in the state feature competitive acceptance rates, strong academics, quality clinical opportunities, and affordable tuition rates compared to private universities. Graduates enjoy strong job prospects and salaries.

University of Michigan-Ann Arbor

Location: Ann Arbor, MI

Rating: 9.5/10

Acceptance Rate: 26%

Tuition: $55,401 (in-state), $63,974 (out-of-state)

Avg Salary: $86,850


The top-ranked physical therapy program in Michigan, the University of Michigan PT school highlights clinical excellence and cutting-edge research. Small class sizes and abundant clinical opportunities prepare graduates to practice in various settings. Alumni praise the supportive faculty and collegial student culture. As a state school, UM offers reasonable tuition for Michigan residents.

Grand Valley State University

Location: Grand Rapids, MI

Rating: 9/10

Acceptance Rate: 73%

Tuition: $16,812 (in-state), $25,920 (out-of-state)

Avg Salary: $75,500


Emphasizing evidence-based practice and clinical skills, Grand Valley State University’s highly rated PT program integrates classroom learning with real-world experience. Required clinical internships begin freshman year to give students early exposure. As a large public university, Grand Valley features reasonable in-state tuition along with quality academics and clinical training opportunities across Michigan.

Wayne State University

Location: Detroit, MI

Rating: 8.5/10

Acceptance Rate: 73%

Tuition: $15,126 (in-state), $33.715 (out-of-state)

Avg Salary: $76,150


Located in vibrant Detroit, Wayne State’s PT program highlights urban healthcare and serving diverse communities. Required clinical rotations take place across the metro area, including leading hospitals. Competitive tuition and scholarships along with strong job prospects make WSU an affordable PT education option.

Central Michigan University

Location: Mount Pleasant, MI

Rating: 8/10

Acceptance Rate: 64%

Tuition: $15,960 (in-state), $31,720 (out-of-state)

Avg Salary: $72,900


Central Michigan University’s Doctor of Physical Therapy program emphasizes evidence-based practice, patient communication, and leadership skills needed in today’s healthcare environments. Required clinical experiences begin freshman year. Reasonable in-state tuition and scholarships offset costs for qualified students.

Andrews University

Location: Berrien Springs, MI

Rating: 7.5/10

Acceptance Rate: 50%

Tuition: $37,454

Avg Salary: $69,500


Andrews University’s faith-based physical therapy program integrates whole person wellness and service learning into the curriculum. Students gain clinical experience across the lifecycle in diverse practice settings in Michigan and beyond. As a private religious school, Andrews carries higher tuition but also offers scholarships to offset costs.

Northern Michigan University

Location: Marquette, MI

Rating: 7/10

Acceptance Rate: 73%

Tuition: $16,898 (in-state), $31,956 (out-of-state)

Avg Salary: $70,100


Northern Michigan’s physical therapy program emphasizes rural healthcare and serving remote communities. Required clinical rotations give students experience across Michigan’s unique regions. Reasonable in-state tuition combined with quality academics and abundant clinical opportunities make NMU competitive.

Madonna University

Location: Livonia, MI

Rating: 6.5/10

Acceptance Rate: 73%

Tuition: $20,090

Avg Salary: $68,700


Emphasizing compassion and Franciscan values, Madonna University’s Doctor of Physical Therapy program integrates service learning into the curriculum. Required clinical rotations emphasize practical experience across diverse settings. Competitive tuition rates combined with small class sizes appeal to students seeking a values-based PT education.

University of Michigan – Flint

Location: Flint, MI

Rating: 6/10

Acceptance Rate: 66%

Tuition: $12,834 (in-state), $24,526 (out-of-state)

Avg Salary: $69,900


As the University of Michigan system’s Flint campus, UM-Flint carries the prestige of the flagship Ann Arbor school at a lower price. The physical therapy program emphasizes evidence-based clinical practice and serving the unique needs of Flint’s community. Competitive in-state tuition appeals to budget-conscious students.

Oakland University

Location: Rochester, MI

Rating: 5.5/10

Acceptance Rate: 60%

Tuition: $16,728 (in-state), $29,952 (out-of-state)

Avg Salary: $68,600


Oakland University’s physical therapy program focuses on integrative patient care and critical thinking skills needed to evaluate, diagnose and treat patients. Required clinical rotations at Michigan hospitals and clinics give students practical experience. Reasonable in-state tuition makes OU competitive.

See Other Best Physical Therapy Schools in the Midwest

Frequently Asked Questions

What GPA and GRE scores are required for physical therapy programs in Michigan?

Most top physical therapy schools in Michigan require at least a 3.0 undergraduate GPA for admission. Competitive GRE scores in the 50th percentile or higher are also common requirements. Some programs may waive testing requirements for highly qualified applicants.

Which Michigan PT program is easiest to get into?

Madonna University and Oakland University have the highest reported acceptance rates at 73% for their DPT programs, making them relatively less competitive for applicants who meet minimum admissions criteria.

Can I work while attending PT school in Michigan?

Balancing work and the demanding DPT curriculum can be challenging, but part-time employment is possible depending on the program. Students should confirm work policies with individual schools.

Are there online physical therapy programs in Michigan?

Most top programs require full-time, in-person classroom and lab instruction with extensive onsite clinical rotations. Fully online DPT programs with required campus elements allow for some flexibility around work.

Can I attend PT school out-of-state as a Michigan resident?

Yes, Michigan residents can apply to and attend accredited physical therapy schools across the country at in-state or out-of-state tuition rates. This expands options for prospective students.

Is physical therapy a competitive field in Michigan?

With an aging population requiring rehabilitation services, the job outlook for physical therapists is very strong in Michigan and nationally. Those willing to work in rural and urban underserved areas may find abundant opportunities.

Do I need an undergraduate degree to apply to PT school?

While no specific major is required, completing a Bachelor’s degree that includes prerequisite science courses is mandatory before entering a DPT program in Michigan or elsewhere. Programs also require extensive clinical experience.

What is the average cost of physical therapy school in Michigan?

For 2021-2022, average annual tuition and fees for in-state DPT students at public universities is $17,492 and $36,306 at private schools. Costs are higher for out-of-state students at public universities.

What types of financial assistance are available?

Michigan PT programs provide scholarships, graduate assistantships, and campus work programs to help offset tuition. Federal student loans can also help finance living and educational expenses for those who qualify.

Where do Michigan PT school graduates tend to work?

Most graduates remain in-state after completing clinical rotations at Michigan healthcare facilities. Urban areas like Detroit and Grand Rapids as well as clinics and hospitals across the state hire new DPTs each year. Opportunities vary by specialization.

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