Best Physical Therapy Programs in Mississippi

Updated on February 7, 2024

Physical therapy is a growing field in healthcare, providing rehabilitation services to help patients regain or improve mobility and manage pain. For those interested in becoming physical therapists, Mississippi offers several quality programs at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. This article explores the top 10 physical therapy schools in the state based on factors like average salary after graduation, cost, admissions competitiveness, and program reputation.

University of Mississippi Medical Center

Location: Jackson, MS

Rating: 8/10

Acceptance Rate: Very Competitive

Tuition: $8,938 per semester (in-state), $26,806 per semester (out-of-state)

Avg Salary: $77,000

Website: https://www.umc.edu/shrp/Programs/Physical_Therapy.html

The University of Mississippi Medical Center offers a 3-year Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) program. As Mississippi’s only academic health science center, UMMC is one of the most selective PT programs in the state. Hands-on clinical experience starts early on, with students completing 34 weeks of clinical rotations. Graduates have a strong 97% ultimate licensure pass rate on the National Physical Therapy Examination.

William Carey University

Location: Hattiesburg, MS

Rating: 7/10

Acceptance Rate: Moderately Competitive

Tuition: $9,828 per semester

Avg Salary: $68,000

Website: https://www.wmcarey.edu/schools/physical-therapy

The DPT program at William Carey University focuses on evidence-based practice and practical experience. Students complete five 8-week clinical rotations beginning in their second year, totaling 36 weeks of hands-on learning in settings like outpatient clinics, hospitals, and pediatric centers. William Carey has smaller class sizes of around 30 students.

Mississippi College

Location: Clinton, MS

Rating: 8/10

Acceptance Rate: Very Competitive

Tuition: $11,430 per semester

Avg Salary: $76,000

Website: https://www.mc.edu/academics/schools/physical-therapy

Mississippi College offers a faith-based DPT program emphasizing patient-centered care. The program takes 3 years to complete, including over 1,000 hours spent in clinical education courses across the state. Hands-on learning starts early on with integrated clinical experiences. Mississippi College also operates an on-site clinic allowing students to hone their skills with real patients.

Delta State University

Location: Cleveland, MS

Rating: 6/10

Acceptance Rate: Less Competitive

Tuition: $7,938 per semester (in-state), $15,342 per semester (out-of-state)

Avg Salary: $65,000

Website: https://www.deltastate.edu/college-of-health-and-human-sciences/physical-therapy/

Delta State University offers an affordable pathway to becoming a physical therapist, with in-state tuition under $8,000 a semester. The rigorous 3-year DPT curriculum includes integrated clinical experiences every semester in addition to over 40 weeks spent in clinical sites across Mississippi and the region in the last two years. Small class sizes of 36 students ensure personalized attention and support.

Belhaven University

Location: Jackson, MS

Rating: 7/10

Acceptance Rate: Moderately Competitive

Tuition: $9,750 per semester

Avg Salary: $69,000

Website: https://www.belhaven.edu/school-of-health-related-professions/doctor-of-physical-therapy/index.aspx

Belhaven University’s School of Health Related Professions offers a faith-based DPT program focused on servant leadership. The three-year curriculum blends classroom instruction with 37 weeks spent gaining clinical experience in hospitals, private practices, and other settings. Belhaven also operates an on-site clinic allowing students hands-on practice with real patients needing rehabilitation.

University of Southern Mississippi

Location: Hattiesburg, MS

Rating: 8/10

Acceptance Rate: Very Competitive

Tuition: $8,644 per semester (in-state), $17,216 per semester (out-of-state)

Avg Salary: $76,000

Website: https://www.usm.edu/graduate-studies/doctor-physical-therapy.php

The University of Southern Mississippi offers a 3-year Doctor of Physical Therapy program emphasizing evidence-based practice. Students complete integrated clinical experiences from year 1 onward. The final 16 months focus exclusively on clinical rotations through partnerships with over 300 sites regionally and nationwide. Small class sizes ensure personalized faculty support and mentoring.

Mississippi University for Women

Location: Columbus, MS

Rating: 6/10

Acceptance Rate: Less Competitive

Tuition: $7,920 per semester (in-state), $15,360 per semester (out-of-state)

Avg Salary: $68,000

Website: https://www.muw.edu/catalog/current/collegesanddepartments/nursingandhealthsciences/dpt

Mississippi University for Women offers a 121 credit DPT program blending classroom and lab work with 38 weeks of clinical education. Students gain experience in areas like acute care, orthopedics, pediatrics, and neurological rehabilitation through clinical partnerships across Mississippi and other states in the Southeast region as they prepare to improve patients’ movement and function.

Alcorn State University

Location: Alcorn State, MS

Rating: 5/10

Acceptance Rate: Less Competitive

Tuition: $7,996 per semester (in-state), $16,869 per semester (out-of-state)

Avg Salary: $63,000

Website: https://www.alcorn.edu/academics/schools-and-departments/school-of-nursing/doctor-of-physical-therapy-dpt

Alcorn State University offers an affordable pathway to becoming a Doctor of Physical Therapy, with total tuition and fees of $15,992 for Mississippi residents. Students develop clinical skills through integrated experiences over 6 semesters plus 40 weeks of full-time clinical rotations. Small class sizes ensure individualized instruction and mentorship. Graduates have a 100% licensure exam pass rate since the program’s inception.

Blue Mountain College

Location: Blue Mountain, MS

Rating: 5/10

Acceptance Rate: Less Competitive

Tuition: $9,750 per semester

Avg Salary: $65,000

Website: https://bmc.edu/academics/areas-study/physical-therapy

Blue Mountain College offers a 110 credit DPT program blending scientific knowledge and practical clinical training based on a Christian worldview. Students complete integrated clinical experiences each semester in addition to 40 weeks of clinical rotations in the last two years. Blue Mountain graduates 95% of students, who consistently score above national averages on licensure exams.

See Other Best Physical Therapy Schools in the South

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the average cost for a DPT program in Mississippi?

The average tuition cost for the top DPT programs featured here is approximately $9,000 per semester for Mississippi residents and $17,000 for non-residents. Total program costs range from around $60,000 to $100,000 or more depending on university and residency status.

Which Mississippi DPT programs are most competitive?

The University of Mississippi Medical Center, Mississippi College, and the University of Southern Mississippi have the most competitive admission standards for their DPT programs, accepting well under 15% of applicants on average.

How much do physical therapists earn in Mississippi?

The average salary for physical therapists in Mississippi is approximately $68,000 annually according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Salaries typically start around $60,000 and increase with specialization and years on the job.

Are there DPT programs in Mississippi with rolling admissions?

Yes, a few Mississippi universities like Delta State, Alcorn State, and Blue Mountain College have non-competitive admissions and may offer rolling admission decisions to qualified candidates rather than formal application deadlines.

Do you have to have a Bachelor’s degree to apply to DPT programs?

While some schools offer early assurance undergraduate to DPT programs, most require applicants to complete a 4-year undergraduate degree with prerequisite coursework prior to starting a Doctor of Physical Therapy program. Strong GPAs (3.5+) and test scores are also essential.

What are typical physical therapist job duties?

Physical therapists examine patients with mobility issues, chronic pain, or disabilities and create customized treatment plans that may include exercises, hands-on joint and soft tissue mobilization, modalities like heat/ice, assistance devices, etc to facilitate healing and function.

What undergraduate degree is best for physical therapy school?

Exercise science, biology, kinesiology, physiology and other sciences are common backgrounds for DPT programs, but any major is acceptable as long as prerequisites are met.

Can you get into PT school with a low GPA?

While the most competitive programs require very high GPAs (3.6+), those with GPAs around 3.0 may still get into less selective DPT programs, especially with high GRE scores, strong letters of recommendation, and observation hours.

What is the minimum GRE score for physical therapy school?

There is no universal minimum GRE score, but for top programs you typically want quantitative and verbal scores above 150. The average scores of admitted PT students tend to be around 156 and 153 respectively.

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Rohit Mittal is the co-founder and CEO of Stilt. Rohit has extensive experience in credit risk analytics and data science. He spent years building credit risk and fraud models for top U.S. banks. In his current role, he defines the overall business strategy, leads debt and capital fundraising efforts, leads product development, and leads other customer-related aspects for the company. Stilt is backed by Y Combinator and has raised a total of $275M in debt and equity funding to date.