Best Physical Therapy Programs in Minnesota

Updated on February 7, 2024

Minnesota is home to some of the top physical therapy programs in the nation. With a growing aging population and demand for rehabilitation services, physical therapists are in high demand in the state. When researching physical therapy schools in Minnesota, it’s important to consider factors like cost, reputation, location, accreditation, and program offerings. The top 10 physical therapy schools featured below represent the premier options for earning a DPT in Minnesota.

College of St. Scholastica

The College of St. Scholastica offers a Doctor of Physical Therapy program on its Duluth campus. With small class sizes and abundant clinical opportunities, CSS provides an intimate and rigorous learning environment.

Location: Duluth, MN

Rating: 8/10

Acceptance Rate: 65%

Tuition: $34,934 per year

Avg Salary: $86,850

Website: https://www.css.edu

The CSS DPT program places emphasis on developing competent generalists in physical therapy practice. Students complete clinical rotations at top medical facilities across Minnesota and beyond. Specialty tracks are also available in sports physical therapy, neurology, and women’s health.

College of St. Catherine

The Doctor of Physical Therapy program at the College of St. Catherine is an accelerated 6-year course of study allowing students to complete their bachelor’s and DPT in less time.

Location: St. Paul, MN

Rating: 7/10

Acceptance Rate: 73%

Tuition: $39,900 per year

Avg Salary: $85,700

Website: https://www.stkate.edu

Students gain hands-on clinical experience across the lifespan in this CAPTE accredited program. Small class sizes and abundant faculty support contribute to St. Kate’s excellent student outcomes on the NPTE licensure exam.

Concordia University – St. Paul

Concordia St. Paul’s DPT program emphasizes evidence-based practice across the spectrum of physical therapy. The program takes 28 months to complete.

Location: St. Paul, MN

Rating: 8/10

Acceptance Rate: 60%

Tuition: $34,500 per year

Avg Salary: $88,300

Website: https://www.csp.edu

Concordia St. Paul enjoys an excellent reputation regionally and nationally. Its faith-based approach promotes whole person wellness while training highly competent PTs. Abundant clinical opportunities are available across the Twin Cities metro.

College of St. Scholastica – Rochester

The DPT program offered by St. Scholastica’s Rochester campus focuses on training primary care physical therapists skilled in prevention, wellness, and chronic disease management.

Location: Rochester, MN

Rating: 7/10

Acceptance Rate: 72%

Tuition: $34,934 per year

Avg Salary: $87,100

Website: https://www.css.edu/rochester

This program emphasizes interprofessional education allowing students to collaborate with Rochester’s massive healthcare community. Clinical rotations are arranged based on student areas of interest.

Mayo School of Health Sciences

The Mayo School of Health Sciences offers a doctor of physical therapy through an innovative curriculum focused onpatient values, interprofessional teams, and practiced-based learning.

Location: Rochester, MN

Rating: 10/10

Acceptance Rate: 3%

Tuition: $44,000 per year

Avg Salary: $90,500

Website: https://mayo.edu

As part of the prestigious Mayo Clinic academic community, students enjoy unmatched opportunities to learn from world-renown rehab professionals. The program takes 34 months to complete with clinical rotations integrated each semester.

St. Catherine University

St. Kate’s offers an excellent doctor of physical therapy program integrating clinical experiences early through their Clinical Learning and Evidence Applied Research (CLEAR) curriculum model.

Location: St. Paul, MN

Rating: 8/10

Acceptance Rate: 60%

Tuition: $39,900 per year

Avg Salary: $86,000

Website: https://www.stkate.edu

Students gain clinical exposure in PT practice areas spanning neuro, ortho, cardio, and more. St. Kate’s small class sizes ensure abundant faculty interaction and support. Graduate outcomes on board exams are excellent.

University of Minnesota

The U of M’s physical therapy program is offered through the Medical School’s Department of Rehabilitation Medicine. The program takes 33 months to complete.

Location: Minneapolis, MN

Rating: 10/10

Acceptance Rate: 3%

Tuition: $45,500 per year

Avg Salary: $92,300

Website: https://med.umn.edu

This highly competitive program attracts some of the nation’s top PT students. Students work with world-class faculty across the Medical School and Masonic Healthcare System gaining exceptional interprofessional clinical training.

University of St. Thomas

The University of St. Thomas offers an accelerated 6-year course of study allowing high performing students to complete their bachelor’s and DPT together.

Location: St. Paul, MN

Rating: 7/10

Acceptance Rate: 73%

Tuition: $40,750 per year

Avg Salary: $84,500

Website: https://www.stthomas.edu

Early confirmation of qualified high school seniors ensures admission to this competitive program. Faculty are experts in specialty areas preparing students for diverse PT practice settings.

St. Ambrose University

St. Ambrose offers an accelerated 5-year doctor of physical therapy allowing students to complete prerequisites and enter the 3-year doctoral program earlier.

Location: Davenport, IA (Twin Cities Campus)

Rating: 7/10

Acceptance Rate: 65%

Tuition: $31,898 per year

Avg Salary: $84,000

Website: https://www.sau.edu

This reputable DPT program has a Twin Cities campus making it a convenient option for Minnesota residents. The program emphasizes evidence-based practice across specialty PT tracks from ortho to neurology.

Winona State University

Winona State offers an excellent DPT program integrating clinical experiences early through their Physical Therapy Practice Sequence model spanning four semesters.

Location: Winona, MN

Rating: 7/10

Acceptance Rate: 73%

Tuition: $28,300 per year

Avg Salary: $82,900

Website: https://www.winona.edu

This CAPTE accredited program emphasizes developing generalist physical therapists skilled in prevention, wellness, acute care, rehabilitation, and chronic disease management. Faculty have exceptional industry connections securing clinical sites.

See Other Best Physical Therapy Schools in the Midwest

Frequently Asked Questions

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

The average cost of tuition for a DPT program in Minnesota ranges from $28,300 to $45,500 per year. Factoring in expenses, expect to invest around $100,000 to $150,000 in your PT education.

Which PT program in Minnesota is the most competitive?

The University of Minnesota and Mayo Clinic School of Health Sciences have the lowest acceptance rates at 3%. Their world-class reputations draw top students from across the country.

How long does it take to get a DPT degree in Minnesota?

Most DPT programs in Minnesota take 3 years to complete. Accelerated options at schools like St. Kate’s and St. Thomas allow completion in as little as 6 years combined with a bachelor’s degree.

What is the average salary for a PT in Minnesota?

The average annual salary for a physical therapist in Minnesota is $88,770 according to 2021 data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Those working in top healthcare networks may earn over $100,000.

What scores do you need to get into PT school in Minnesota?

Competitive applicants generally have a GPA over 3.6 and GRE scores of around 156 Verbal, 144 Quantitative, and 4 Analytical Writing. Observation hours and a stellar essay help too.

What classes do you take for physical therapy school?

Common DPT prerequisites include biology, anatomy, physiology, chemistry, physics, psychology, statistics, and more. In the doctoral program expect coursework in areas like neuroscience, biomechanics, pharmacology, and advanced clinical topics.

Does Minnesota offer Doctor of Physical Therapy programs?

Yes. All accredited physical therapist education programs in Minnesota offer clinical doctorates in Physical Therapy (DPT). A DPT takes 3 years beyond a bachelor’s degree.

What are the top ranked PT programs in Minnesota?

The number one ranked PT program in Minnesota is at the Mayo Clinic School of Health Sciences. The University of Minnesota, Concordia St. Paul, St. Catherine University, and College of St. Scholastica also rank among the best.

Where do PT students do their clinical rotations?

Students complete clinical education experiences across a variety of practice settings including hospitals, outpatient clinics, schools, and specialty facilities. Top partners include Mayo Clinic, Twin Cities Orthopedics, Courage Kenny Rehab, and Gillette Children’s Hospital.

What is the NPTE exam and when do PT students take it?

The NPTE (National Physical Therapy Exam) tests knowledge essential for PT practice across patient populations. It must be passed to gain licensure. Most programs have students take it in their final semester before graduating.

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