Best Physical Therapy Schools in Georgia

Updated on February 7, 2024

Georgia offers several highly-ranked physical therapy programs that produce skilled and licensed PTs ready to meet the healthcare needs of the state and beyond. The following are 10 of the top DPT programs in Georgia based on metrics like admissions selectivity, affordability, reputation, and career outcomes.

Emory University

Location: Atlanta, GA

Rating: 9.5/10

Acceptance Rate: 11%

Tuition: $52,392 per year

Avg Salary: $86,850


Emory University’s highly competitive program provides comprehensive education readying students to improve mobility, relieve pain, and enhance wellbeing through physical therapy. The curriculum integrates classroom learning with clinical training at Atlanta-area hospitals and clinics. Emory PT graduates achieve stellar board exam pass rates and often secure jobs prior to graduation.

Georgia State University

Location: Atlanta, GA

Rating: 9/10

Acceptance Rate: 9%

Tuition: $32,812 per year (in-state)

Avg Salary: $78,000


The DPT program at Georgia State University focuses both on patient care and research-based innovation. The program includes 36 weeks of clinical experiences providing advanced real-world development. Graduates praise the dedicated faculty and collaborative class dynamic, as well as the prime downtown Atlanta location.

Mercer University

Location: Atlanta, GA

Rating: 8.5/10

Acceptance Rate: 13%

Tuition: $39,120 per year

Avg Salary: $83,500


Mercer University’s School of Medicine offers an advanced 3-year DPT curriculum utilizing early patient contact and clinical rotations. The program focuses both on foundational sciences and developing hands-on physical therapy techniques. Mercer also facilitates optional global health experiences providing care abroad. Graduates report outstanding faculty support and preparation.

Augusta University

Location: Augusta, GA

Rating: 8/10

Acceptance Rate: 11%

Tuition: $22,752 per year (in-state)

Avg Salary: $70,000


Augusta University’s DPT program follows a “whole person healthcare” model considering physical, mental, social health components. The curriculum balances rigorous coursework with 38 weeks of clinicalwork across diverse settings. As Georgia’s public medical school, Augusta furnishes affordable in-state tuition rates plus strong career support for graduates.

North Georgia College & State University

Location: Dahlonega, GA

Rating: 7.5/10

Acceptance Rate: 24%

Tuition: $7,764 per year (in-state)

Avg Salary: $75,000


North Georgia College offers a DPT program blending classroom and lab instruction with clinical training across the lifespan. The curriculum emphasizes evidence-based practice and hands-on development of PT competencies. Small cohort sizes allow for individualized faculty attention. Most graduates attain licensure and jobs within a few months.

Columbus State University

Location: Columbus, GA

Rating: 7/10

Acceptance Rate: 13%

Tuition: $7,056 per year (in-state)

Avg Salary: $70,500


Columbus State’s DPT program focuses on developing competententry-level physical therapists through integrated coursework, lab work, and clinical rotations. The program fosters skill application across diverse settings and patients. Graduates consistently attain high licensure exam pass rates while praise the supportive faculty and evidence-based curriculum.

Southwest University

Location: Atlanta, GA

Rating: 6.5/10

Acceptance Rate: 36%

Tuition: $26,500 per year

Avg Salary: $69,000


Southwest University’s accelerated DPT program allows completion in just 2.5 years. The flexible hybrid curriculum includes online coursework combined with in-person labs and clinicals. Graduates are prepared for PT licensure and praise Southwest’s affordable tuition, accessible schedule, and career placement support.

Armstrong State University

Location: Savannah, GA

Rating: 6/10

Acceptance Rate: 38%

Tuition: $7,200 per year (in-state)

Avg Salary: $68,000


Armstrong State furnishes an affordable DPT education focused on primary care PT for underserved communities. The program balances rigorous coursework with abundant clinical hours across diverse settings. Graduates benefit from Armstrong’s strong regional repute and career prep resources. Most attain PT positions shortly after graduation.

Brenau University

Location: Gainesville, GA

Rating: 5.5/10

Acceptance Rate: 60%

Tuition: $34,500 per year

Avg Salary: $67,500


Brenau University’s School of Occupational Therapy provides an accelerated hybrid DPT pathway blending online and in-person instruction. The program emphasizes faith-based caring and community clinical service. Graduates benefit from Brenau’s regional repute and smaller cohort sizes allowing personalized faculty mentoring. Most secure PT positions within a few months.

Life University

Location: Marietta, GA

Rating: 5/10

Acceptance Rate: 59%

Tuition: $10,545 per year

Avg Salary: $65,000


Life University pioneered the first DPT program in the nation. The program follows an osteopathic approach to PT focused on total body health. Hands-on techniques are emphasized across the curriculum including abundant clinical hours. Life furnishes affordable tuition rates and high licensure exam pass rates. Graduates succeed in traditional and alternative PT career paths.

See Other Best Physical Therapy Schools in the South

Frequently Asked Questions

What GPA and GRE scores are required for DPT programs in Georgia?

Most programs require a minimum 3.0 GPA with additional prerequisites. Competitive GRE scores above 150 for both verbal and quantitative sections are typical. Select programs now allow the option of foregoing GREs.

How much does DPT school cost in Georgia?

Tuition for Georgia’s public DPT programs averages $20,000-25,000 per year for in-state students. Private programs range from $30,000-50,000 annually. Cost of living and other expenses also factor in.

Which DPT program in Georgia is the easiest to get into?

The most selective Georgia DPT programs admit less than 15% of applicants. Programs at Armstrong State University, Brenau University, and Life University tend to furnish higher acceptance rates around 50-60% or above.

Can I work while completing a DPT program in Georgia?

Most Georgia DPT programs strongly discourage working during the intensive 3-year curriculum. However, some students manage part-time flexible jobs. Expect 40+ hour school weeks between classes, clinics, internships and studying.

Are there online DPT programs in Georgia?

Most Georgia programs utilize in-person learning models, however, Brenau University offers a hybrid online-in-person DPT pathway. Southwest University also blends online and in-person coursework in its accelerated curriculum.

What is the career outlook for PTs in Georgia?

The job growth for PTs in Georgia is projected to increase 30% through 2026, significantly higher than national job growth averages. Georgia’s expanding, aging population contributes to strong demand.

How much do PTs earn in Georgia?

The average salary for Georgia physical therapists is $81,250 according to May 2021 BLS data. Salaries typically start around $65,000-70,000 and increase with specializations and experience.

Do I need to be a Georgia resident to apply for in-state tuition PT programs?

In-state tuition eligibility for public Georgia universities typically requires establishing official Georgia residency – often by living and working in the state 12+ continuous months prior to enrollment.

Is PT licensure required to practice as a physical therapist in Georgia?

Yes, completing a DPT degree and passing the National Physical Therapy Exam (NPTE) is mandatory for licensure allowing legal practice as a PT in Georgia.

What is the best DPT program in Georgia overall?

Emory University and Georgia State University consistently rank among the top programs nationally for their selective admissions, renowned faculty, advanced resources, research opportunities, graduate outcomes and more.

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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.