Best Physical Therapy Programs in Missouri

Updated on April 8, 2024

Physical therapy is a growing field in healthcare, providing rehabilitation services to help people regain mobility and manage pain and disabilities. For those interested in becoming physical therapists, Missouri has several highly-ranked programs to consider. This list highlights ten of the top physical therapy schools in Missouri based on factors like tuition costs, average salaries after graduation, program ratings, and more.

Washington University in St. Louis

Location: St. Louis, MO

Rating: 9/10

Acceptance Rate: 15%

Avg SAT Score: 1495

Tuition: $55,850 per year

Avg Salary: $88,000


Description: The top-ranked physical therapy program in Missouri can be found at Washington University in St. Louis. Its Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) program takes about 3 years to complete and incorporates clinical rotations alongside classroom learning. The school reports a 100% ultimate pass rate on board exams for its DPT graduates.

Saint Louis University

Location: St. Louis, MO

Rating: 8.5/10

Acceptance Rate: 58%

Avg SAT Score: 1260

Tuition: $44,000 per year

Avg Salary: $83,500


Description: With its Jesuit tradition emphasizing service and social justice, Saint Louis University offers a 3-year Doctor of Physical Therapy program focusing on evidence-based practice. Students benefit from early clinical experiences and service opportunities in the St. Louis area.

University of Missouri

Location: Columbia, MO

Rating: 8/10

Acceptance Rate: 78%

Avg SAT Score: 1215

Tuition: $36,000 per year

Avg Salary: $80,000


Description: Mizzou’s DPT program spans about 2.5 years of study, incorporating research opportunities and rural clinical rotations. Its faculty includes nationally recognized leaders in fields like orthopedics, neuro-rehab, and pediatrics.

Rockhurst University

Location: Kansas City, MO

Rating: 7.5/10

Acceptance Rate: 68%

Avg SAT Score: 1170

Tuition: $38,500 per year

Avg Salary: $78,000


Description: With a curriculum blending classroom instruction and clinical work, Rockhurst’s DPT program emphasizes developing competent clinicians focused on whole-person care. Students get early exposure to patient care and complete clinical rotations nationwide.

Maryville University

Location: St. Louis, MO

Rating: 7/10

Acceptance Rate: 68%

Avg SAT Score: 1090

Tuition: $33,900 per year

Avg Salary: $77,500


Description: Maryville University’s DPT program can be completed in about 2.5 years, focusing on evidence-based practice and cultural competence. The curriculum blends classroom and lab work with clinical education through the on-campus clinic and sites nationwide.

Southwest Baptist University

Location: Bolivar, MO

Rating: 6.5/10

Acceptance Rate: 74%

Avg SAT Score: 1040

Tuition: $28,500 per year

Avg Salary: $73,000


Description: With a program philosophy of “scholar of practice,” Southwest Baptist prepares compassionate DPT clinicians through its 2.5 year curriculum. Students benefit from the program’s Christian perspective and complete clinical rotations in rural areas.

University of Health Sciences and Pharmacy in St. Louis

Location: St. Louis, MO

Rating: 6/10

Acceptance Rate: 60%

Avg SAT Score: 1100

Tuition: $31,745 per year

Avg Salary: $70,000


Description: This private institution offers an accelerated 2-year DPT program with clinical experiences integrated each semester, allowing students to apply skills in patient care settings early on. Its curriculum emphasizes competent, compassionate, and ethical practice.

Missouri State University

Location: Springfield, MO

Rating: 5.5/10

Acceptance Rate: 81%

Avg SAT Score: 1065

Tuition: $22,000 per year

Avg Salary: $68,500


Description: Missouri State offers an affordable in-state option for earning a DPT through its 3-year hybrid curriculum with online and in-person components. Students complete clinical rotations through the Ozarks Regional Clinical Education Consortium sites.

Truman State University

Location: Kirksville, MO

Rating: 5/10

Acceptance Rate: 62%

Avg SAT Score: 1170

Tuition: $20,952 per year

Avg Salary: $65,000


Description: Truman State’s DPT program incorporates case-based learning for clinical decision making throughout the 3-year blended curriculum. Students benefit from clinical sites across rural regions in Missouri and opportunities for interprofessional collaboration.

See Other Best Physical Therapy Schools in the Midwest

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the top factors to consider when choosing a DPT program?

Some key considerations include cost of tuition, strength of faculty and clinical opportunities, reputation and ranking, location/access to clinical sites, and program culture/fit. Consider your career goals in choosing a generalist vs specialized program focus.

What is the typical length of DPT programs in Missouri?

Most Doctor of Physical Therapy programs in Missouri take 2.5-3 years to complete. This includes classroom instruction blended with part-time and full-time clinical rotations for practical experience in patient care settings.

What are admission requirements for DPT programs in Missouri?

Admissions requirements vary but often include prerequisite undergraduate coursework in science (anatomy, physiology, etc.), minimum GPA around 3.0, GRE scores, observation hours, letters of recommendation, application essays, and interviews.

How much does tuition typically cost for Missouri DPT programs?

Tuition for top DPT programs at private universities averages $35,000-55,000 per year. Public university programs offer lower annual tuition around $20,000-25,000 for in-state students. Total program costs generally range from $60,000-150,000.

What is the average starting salary for DPT graduates in Missouri?

The average starting salary for physical therapists in Missouri is approximately $65,000-88,000 per year, depending on factors like education, certifications, experience level, and job setting (e.g. hospitals, outpatient clinics, etc.).

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