Best Physical Therapy Programs in Ohio

Updated on February 7, 2024

In this comprehensive guide, we will explore multiple Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) programs across Ohio. Each university is uniquely positioned to offer students a different experience based on their specific needs and professional goals. From tuition costs to acceptance rates, from average salaries to program details, we will provide you with crucial information to help you make an informed decision about your future in physical therapy.

University of Toledo

Toledo, OH

Rating: 9/10

Acceptance Rate: 73%

Tuition: $30,144 (in-state), $30,144 (out-of-state)

Avg Salary: $85,000


The University of Toledo offers an excellent Doctor of Physical Therapy program that focuses on evidence-based practice and hands-on learning. Students get extensive clinical experience in the program’s onsite clinic and at locations across northwest Ohio. Graduates have a 100% ultimate pass rate on the NPTE licensure exam.

Cleveland State University

Cleveland, OH

Rating: 8.5/10

Acceptance Rate: 100%

Tuition: $12,906 (in-state), $21,222 (out-of-state)

Avg Salary: $80,000


Cleveland State University provides an affordable option for earning a DPT in Ohio. Small class sizes allow for individualized attention and mentoring. Students complete clinical affiliations at healthcare facilities across northeast Ohio.Graduates consistently score above national averages on the NPTE exam.

Ohio State University

Columbus, OH

Rating: 9.5/10

Acceptance Rate: 17%

Avg SAT Score: 1315

Tuition: $18,708 (in-state), $36,376 (out-of-state)

Avg Salary: $82,000


The Ohio State University DPT program provides opportunities to work with leading researchers and clinicians. Students complete clinical rotations at the University’s Medical Center as well as other prestigious facilities. Graduates have excellent first-time pass rates on the NPTE and readily find employment across the country.

Walsh University

North Canton, OH

Rating: 8/10

Acceptance Rate: 76%

Tuition: $31,370

Avg Salary: $78,000


The Walsh University DPT program emphasizes developing clinicians focused on patient-centered care and community service. Students complete clinical affiliations at facilities ranging from hospitals to outpatient clinics across Ohio. Graduates report high satisfaction scores on preparation for clinical practice.

University of Findlay

Findlay, OH

Rating: 7.5/10

Acceptance Rate: 60%

Tuition: $31,250

Avg Salary: $80,000


The University of Findlay offers a hands-on DPT program focused on developing competent clinicians in an intimate learning environment. Clinical affiliations within the University’s on-campus clinic and at other sites provide extensive patient experience. Graduates consistently secure employment soon after graduation.

Youngstown State University

Youngstown, OH

Rating: 7/10

Acceptance Rate: 75%

Tuition: $11,356 (in-state), $15,480 (out-of-state)

Avg Salary: $78,000


Youngstown State University provides an affordable DPT program focused on preparing clinicians for rural and underserved areas. Students complete clinical rotations at facilities across eastern Ohio. Graduates report confidence in their clinical skills and readiness for practice after graduation.

University of Cincinnati

Cincinnati, OH

Rating: 9/10

Acceptance Rate: 17%

Avg SAT Score: 1280

Tuition: $15,948 (in-state), $30,816 (out-of-state)

Avg Salary: $83,000


The University of Cincinnati DPT program provides opportunities to engage in research and specialize in areas like sports physical therapy. Extensive affiliations allow clinical experience across major healthcare systems in southwest Ohio. Graduates readily pass the NPTE exam and find employment nationwide.

Mount St. Joseph University

Cincinnati, OH

Rating: 8/10

Acceptance Rate: 73%

Tuition: $27,370

Avg Salary: $80,000


Mount St. Joseph University’s DPT program emphasizes developing competent and caring clinicians focused on service. Students complete clinical rotations across Greater Cincinnati, including hospitals, outpatient clinics, and community health centers. Graduates report feeling well-prepared for clinical practice after graduation.

Ohio University

Athens, OH

Rating: 8.5/10

Acceptance Rate: 25%

Tuition: $16,194 (in-state), $28,354 (out-of-state)

Avg Salary: $80,000


Ohio University’s DPT program provides opportunities for interprofessional education and practice in rural settings. Students complete clinical affiliations across southeast Ohio focused on underserved populations. Graduates readily find employment and feel equipped to provide excellent patient care.

Xavier University

Cincinnati, OH

Rating: 8/10

Acceptance Rate: 73%

Tuition: $31,900

Avg Salary: $78,000


Xavier University’s DPT program focuses on developing clinicians committed to ethics and social responsibility. Students complete clinical rotations at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital and other facilities focused on service to vulnerable groups. Graduates report feeling well-prepared to practice patient-centered physical therapy.

See Other Best Physical Therapy Schools in the Midwest

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the main factors I should consider when choosing a DPT program?

The cost, location, clinical rotation opportunities, average class size, faculty expertise, graduation and licensure exam pass rates are all key factors to weigh when selecting a DPT program. Focus on schools that fit your budget needs and career goals.

Which Ohio DPT programs have the highest average starting salaries?

Graduates from the University of Toledo, Ohio State University, and University of Cincinnati DPT programs report average starting salaries of $82,000-85,000, among the highest in the state. However, many factors beyond the school impact salaries.

How competitive is admission to DPT programs in Ohio?

Admission to Ohio’s DPT programs is moderately to highly selective, with acceptance rates ranging from 17% at Ohio State University to 100% at Cleveland State University. Applicants generally need an undergraduate GPA of 3.0-3.7 and strong GRE scores.

Can I work while enrolled in a DPT program in Ohio?

Most Ohio DPT programs strongly discourage working during enrollment due to the rigorous course loads and clinical rotation schedules. However, some students work limited hours on weekends or summer breaks depending on the program’s policies.

Which Ohio DPT programs offer specialization tracks?

The University of Toledo, Ohio State University, University of Cincinnati and Ohio University offer elective courses or capstone projects allowing DPT students to specialize in areas like sports physical therapy, neurorehabilitation, pediatrics, etc.

Do all Ohio DPT graduates pass the NPTE licensure exam?

Yes, ultimately all recent graduates from the DPT programs listed here pass the NPTE exam needed for licensure, most on their first attempt. Programs report average first-time pass rates ranging from 86% to 100%.

Can I complete clinical affiliations outside of Ohio in a DPT program?

Most Ohio DPT programs have affiliations in surrounding states allowing for some clinical rotations outside Ohio. Students interested in out-of-state placements should check with programs on partnership locations and availability.

Are there DPT programs in Ohio offering dual degrees?

Yes, Ohio State University allows DPT students to concurrently earn a PhD in fields like anatomy, physiology or biomedical engineering. The University of Cincinnati offers a DPT/MPH dual degree program in conjunction with public health.

Do I need to complete prerequisite coursework before applying to Ohio DPT programs?

Yes, most programs require prerequisite undergraduate courses in biology, chemistry, physics, anatomy, physiology, etc. Applicants should complete all prerequisites before matriculating but may apply with some in progress.

What specialized patient populations do clinical rotations focus on?

Ohio DPT programs offer clinical experience with diverse populations – pediatrics, geriatrics, neurological conditions, orthopedics, rural/underserved groups, etc. Students should identify programs aligning with their interests.

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