Best Physical Therapy Programs in Utah

Updated on February 7, 2024

Utah is home to several highly-ranked physical therapy programs that produce skilled and licensed PTs ready to enter the workforce. The top Utah PT schools featured below are known for their hands-on clinical opportunities, expert faculty, and small class sizes that facilitate one-on-one learning. Graduates pursue careers in various settings like hospitals, private practices, sports clinics, schools, and more.

University of Utah

Location: Salt Lake City, UT

The University of Utah offers a top-ranked DPT program emphasizing evidence-based practice and clinical experience. Students receive early exposure to patients and finish the program prepared to provide compassionate, thoughtful care.

Rating: 9/10

Acceptance rate: 11%

Tuition: $32,724 per year (in-state); $62,578 per year (out-of-state)

Avg salary after graduation: $86,850

Website: http://health.utah.edu/physical-therapy-athletic-training/programs/doctor-physical-therapy/index.php

Description: The University of Utah DPT program places emphasis on clinical reasoning and evidence-based practice. The 30-month curriculum includes opportunities for clinical rotations, service learning, and interprofessional education. Students also complete a research project focused on an area of interest.

Weber State University

Location: Ogden, UT

Weber State University offers an accredited DPT program that combines classroom learning with abundant clinical opportunities starting early on. Students gain hands-on experience in an on-site clinic serving the local community.

Rating: 8.5/10

Acceptance rate: 13%

Tuition: $11,196 per year (in-state); $26,076 per year (out-of-state)

Avg salary after graduation: $83,650

Website: https://www.weber.edu/dpt

Description: Weber State’s DPT program emphasizes clinical reasoning, patient communication, and evidence-based practice. The curriculum blends rigorous coursework with 32 weeks of clinical rotations. Students also complete service learning projects providing free care.

Brigham Young University

Location: Provo, UT

BYU’s highly selective DPT program admissions attracts outstanding students. Graduates consistently score above national averages on licensing exams and praise the program’s supportive environment.

Rating: 9/10

Acceptance rate: 6%

Avg SAT score: 1310

Tuition: $5,970 per year (LDS); $11,940 per year (non-LDS)

Avg salary after graduation: $89,500

Website: https://exercisescience.byu.edu/academic-programs/graduate/doctor-of-physical-therapy

Description: BYU’s faith-based DPT program places service at the core of its mission to develop ethical, compassionate therapists. Students gain clinical experience across the lifespan in settings like hospitals, schools, and specialty clinics.

Southern Utah University

Location: Cedar City, UT

Southern Utah University offers a 110-credit DPT program focused on producing skilled general practitioners for rural and underserved areas through community-engaged learning.

Rating: 8/10

Acceptance rate: 15%

Tuition: $8,288 per year (in-state); $20,638 per year (out-of-state)

Avg salary after graduation: $79,900

Website: https://www.suu.edu/hss/kinesiology/pt/dpt/

Description: SUU’s program aims to meet the demand for PTs in rural Utah through early clinical opportunities and service learning. The hands-on curriculum emphasizes practical skills tailored to meet community needs upon graduation.

Utah Valley University

Location: Orem, UT

UVU offers an accredited DPT program focused on compassionate, evidence-based care. Students work alongside expert faculty and complete clinical rotations across diverse settings in the Mountain West.

Rating: 7.5/10

Acceptance rate: 17%

Tuition: $7,863 per year (in-state); $21,249 per year (out-of-state)

Avg salary after graduation: $82,100

Website: https://www.uvu.edu/dpt/

Description: UVU’s 116-credit DPT program emphasizes hands-on learning, research, and interprofessional education. Students complete clinical rotations across hospital, outpatient, and specialty settings to gain well-rounded experience.

Dixie State University

Location: St. George, UT

DSU offers an accredited DPT program focused on producing skilled therapists for Southern Utah through strong community partnerships and early clinical opportunities.

Rating: 7/10

Acceptance rate: 18%

Tuition: $7,781 per year (in-state); $19,681 per year (out-of-state)

Avg salary after graduation: $77,850

Website: https://dixie.edu/health/dpt/

Description: DSU’s 118-credit DPT program aims to meet demand for PTs in rural communities. The curriculum emphasizes practical clinical skills with opportunities for clinical experience across hospital, outpatient, and specialty settings.

Utah State University

Location: Logan, UT

Utah State offers an accredited, 112-credit hybrid DPT program blending online coursework with in-person labs and clinical rotations for flexibility. Students gain hands-on experience across diverse settings.

Rating: 8/10

Acceptance rate: 12%

Tuition: $9,638 per year (in-state); $30,173 per year (out-of-state)

Avg salary after graduation: $85,100

Website: https://dpt.usu.edu/

Description: Utah State’s hybrid DPT program meets the needs of working and rural students through distance coursework and in-person clinical components. The flexible format facilitates required clinical rotations statewide.

Fortis Institute

Location: Salt Lake City, UT

Fortis Institute offers an accredited, accelerated DPT program emphasizing clinical reasoning and hands-on skills with a holistic approach to patient care and wellness.

Rating: 7/10

Acceptance rate: 17%

Tuition: $31,446 per year

Avg salary after graduation: $79,850

Website: https://www.fortis.edu/campuses/salt-lake-city-utah/programs/doctor-of-physical-therapy-dpt.asp

Description: Fortis Institute’s DPT program takes 28 months to complete, blending rigorous coursework with clinical rotations across hospital, outpatient and specialty settings. Small classes facilitate one-on-one learning.

Rocky Mountain University

Location: Provo, UT

RMU offers an accredited DPT program focused on evidence-based care and clinical skills. Students gain practical experience managing patients across conditions and lifespan in the university’s on-site clinic.

Rating: 7.5/10

Acceptance rate: 15%

Tuition: $10,954 per year

Avg salary after graduation: $84,300

Website: https://www.rmu.edu/program/doctor-of-physical-therapy/

Description: RMU’s 132-credit DPT program emphasizes patient communication, cultural competence, and evidence-based practice across lifespan and condition. The hands-on curriculum blends coursework with clinical rotations.

Sage Colleges

Location: Layton, UT

The Sage Colleges offers an accredited, hybrid DPT program combining online coursework with in-person labs, clinical rotations, and residencies. Graduates deliver evidence-based care across settings.

Rating: 7/10

Acceptance rate: 17%

Tuition: $28,995 per year

Avg salary after graduation: $80,500

Website: https://www.sage.edu/academics/health-sciences/doctor-of-physical-therapy/

Description: The Sage Colleges’ flexible DPT program meets the needs of working students. The 132-credit curriculum emphasizes clinical competency through residencies in underserved communities nationwide.

See Other Best Physical Therapy Schools in the West

Frequently Asked Questions

What are some of the top DPT programs in Utah?

Some of Utah’s top DPT programs are offered at the University of Utah, Weber State University, Brigham Young University, Southern Utah University, Utah Valley University, Dixie State University, Utah State University and private institutions like Fortis Institute. These schools are known for their clinical opportunities.

How long does it take to complete a DPT program?

Most accredited DPT programs take 2.5-3 years to complete on a full-time basis. This includes classroom coursework paired with clinical rotations totaling around 30+ weeks across settings. Some schools also offer 1-year residency programs.

What is the cost of DPT programs in Utah?

For public Utah universities, annual DPT tuition ranges from about $7,800 (in-state at SUU) to $32,700 (out-of-state at the University of Utah). Private programs cost over $30,000 per year. Many students pursue scholarships or loans to fund their DPT education.

What is the average starting salary for DPT graduates?

On average, DPT graduates in Utah earn around $80,000-90,000 starting out. Those working in hospitals or skilled nursing facilities tend to earn higher salaries. Location, specialty, experience level and facility also impact Utah physical therapists’ pay.

How competitive is DPT program admissions in Utah?

Admissions at top Utah DPT programs is competitive, with acceptance rates ranging from 6-18% on average. Applicants generally need a strong GPA (>3.0), competitive GRE scores, observation hours and a resume showing relevant healthcare experience.

What are common clinical opportunities in Utah DPT programs?

Utah’s major healthcare systems and clinics partner closely with in-state DPT programs for clinical placements. Students gain experience across settings like University Hospital, Intermountain Healthcare, MountainStar Sports Medicine, private outpatient clinics and skilled nursing facilities.

What is the job outlook for PTs in Utah?

The job outlook for physical therapists in Utah is excellent. With its large older population and active communities, the state expects over 500 openings for PTs each year over the next decade – an annual growth rate of 2.7%, faster than national projections.

Can DPT programs be completed part-time?

While classroom portions may offer some flexibility, DPT programs require full-time commitments to complete extensive clinical rotations. Hybrid options like Utah State’s distance-based program with in-person labs/clinicals provide more flexibility for working students.

Are there DPT program scholarships available?

Yes, Utah DPT programs provide departmental scholarships for eligible students. Additional funding sources include APTA minority scholarships, military/veteran support and federal loans forgivable upon working in shortage areas after graduation. Leveraging these can reduce costs.

Can PTs practice with just a DPT, or is a license required?

You must pass the National Physical Therapy Exam (NPTE) and meet Utah licensure requirements before you can legally practice as a physical therapist within the state. A DPT degree on its own does not allow you to treat patients.

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