The Top Ten Physical Therapy Schools in California

There are over 200 PT schools in the United States, with many of the top universities for physical therapy located in California. The annual average salary for physical therapists in California is $98,000, making it an excellent state in which to pursue a career in physical therapy.

California State University, Sacramento

I am a current physical therapy student at California State University, Sacramento and I have just completed my 36-week internship. I completed three clinical placements during my internship, focusing on adult neurology, orthopedics, amputees, pediatrics, and geriatrics. I am grateful for the diverse range of experience that I was able to gain during my internship and I believe that it has prepared me well for my future career as a physical therapist.

There are many different physical therapy schools in California, but I am glad that I chose to attend CSU Sacramento. The program is highly respected and the faculty are experienced and dedicated to teaching their students the skills they need to be successful in the field of physical therapy. I would recommend this program to any students who are interested in pursuing a career in physical therapy.

California State University, Fresno

Fresno State's physical therapy program is dedicated to preparing its students for a lifelong commitment to learning and service. PT students at Fresno State are exposed to a diverse range of patients, allowing them to develop well-rounded skillsets. The program also requires all students to complete multicultural education courses, ensuring that they are competent in working with patients from all backgrounds. The skills and commitment to service that graduates of the program possess make them highly sought-after.

Physical therapy students at Fresno State can get involved with community service through the Jan and Bud Richter Center for Community Engagement and Service Learning. This is an excellent way for students to apply their knowledge in a real-world setting while also giving back to the community. If you're considering a career in physical therapy, Fresno State is definitely worth checking out!

The University of the Pacific

If you're looking for an accredited physical therapy program that will give you the skills and knowledge you need to succeed in the field, the University of the Pacific is a great choice. Since 1985, the school has been preparingPhysical Therapists for practice and its 24 dedicated faculty members boast a combined 230 years of teaching experience.

One of the things that sets the University of the Pacific apart from other PT programs is its small class size. Each class enrolls only 36 students, so you'll get plenty of individual attention from your professors. Additionally, the student-to-faculty ratio is 8:1, so you'll never feel like just another number.

PT students at the University of the Pacific often participate in research projects to further their knowledge on new developments within their field. This hands-on learning opportunity gives you a chance to gain real-world experience while still in school. And because the program is located in California, you'll have access to some of the best clinical facilities and practitioners in the country.

Mount Saint Mary’s University

Mount Saint Mary’s University is one of the top physical therapy schools in California. The school's 100% pass rate for its graduates on the licensure examination and all of its recent graduates being able to find employed show how well the school is doing.

The school’s curriculum is designed to prepare students for a career in physical therapy. The coursework covers topics such as anatomy, physiology, kinesiology, and rehabilitation. In addition, students must complete a clinical internship in order to graduate.

Mount Saint Mary’s University has an excellent reputation, and its graduates are highly sought-after by employers. If you are considering a career in physical therapy, this school should definitely be at the top of your list!

Chapman University's Physical Therapy Program

Chapman University's physical therapy program is one of the best in the state of California. The school is accredited and has been running its physical therapy program for many years, meaning it has a wealth of resources available to students.

The university has several research laboratories on campus, including the Motion Analysis, Musculoskeletal, and Neuromuscuclar laboratories, as well as the Gait Rehabilitation and Research Lab. This gives students ample opportunity to get involved in cutting-edge research projects during their time at Chapman.

Lastly, students have the opportunity to get involved in clinical experiences in various countries like Costa Rica and Italy. This unique opportunity allows students to gain valuable hands-on experience in different cultures and healthcare systems.

Overall, Chapman University's physical therapy program is an excellent choice for anyone looking to pursue a career in PT. The school's long history, impressive research facilities, and global clinical opportunities make it a top choice for aspiring PTs.

Loma Linda University

Loma Linda University, located in Loma Linda, CA, offers a Doctor of Physical Therapy degree as well as post-professional PT and PT assistant programs. The physical therapy PhD curriculum at Loma Linda University is research-oriented with an emphasis on topics like pain science and lifestyle health. The university also offers an orthopedic residency program.

Loma Linda PT students have been providing Street Medicine to low-income San Bernardino residents since 2015. This commitment to service is just one of the many things that make Loma Linda University stand out among other physical therapy schools in California. If you're looking for a top-notch PT education with a strong emphasis on research and service, Loma Linda University is definitely worth considering!

SDSU: A Top PT School for Research & Community Service

SDSU is the perfect choice if you're searching for a physical therapy school that has an excellent curriculum and top-notch research facilities. SDSU students receive an excellent education with a focus on topics like neuroplasticity and rehabilitation biomechanics, preparing them for successful careers in physical therapy.

In addition to classroom learning, students at SDSU also have the opportunity to get involved in hands-on lab work focused on stress and pain responses. And with faculty assistance available for research projects, students can really dive deep into their studies.

But it's not all work and no play at SDSU! There are also student organizations focused on community outreach, so students can give back while they learn. Plus, as one of the leading physical therapy schools in California, SDSU has a strong reputation for excellence.

So if you're looking for a top-notch PT school that will prepare you for a successful career, be sure to check out SDSU!

Samuel Merritt University

Located in Oakland, California, Samuel Merritt University is a health sciences university that offers degrees in physical therapy, nursing, occupational therapy, and physician assistant studies. The school's Health Sciences Simulation Center is cutting-edge, with computerized mannequins and standardize patients. Healthcare teams at the school provide valuable real-world experience to PT students by responding to life-like scenarios.

In addition to the simulation center, the school also has Community Participant Labs, which are another way for PT students to get hands-on experience. Students gain hands-on experience by providing supervised physical therapy services to the community. Bringing together theory and practice in a practical setting is what this allows students to do.

For those interested in pursuing a career in physical therapy, Samuel Merritt University is an excellent choice. The school's rigorous curriculum and hands-on learning opportunities prepare students for success in the field.

UCSF & SFSU: A Top-Tier PT Education

The joint physical therapy program between UCSF and SFSU is one of the best in the country. Each year, 50 students are admitted into the program and go on to graduate with a 100% pass rate on the national licensing exam.

This PT program is highly competitive, but it's worth it if you're looking for a top-tier education. The curriculum is rigorous and will prepare you well for a career in physical therapy.

If you're considering applying to PT school in California, definitely check out UCSF & SFSU. You won't be disappointed!

USC's DPT Program

The University of Southern California offers an innovative, hybrid format for its Doctor of Physical Therapy program. This unique approach combines online learning with traditional, on-campus instruction.

USC's hybrid physical therapy students will get the full university experience. They'll benefit from the university's world-class faculty and facilities, while also enjoying the flexibility of online learning.

USC is a renowned leader in physical therapy education, with the cutting-edge hybrid program embodying the university's dedication to interdisciplinary collaboration and groundbreaking translational research efforts. This combination of online and on-campus instruction will provide students with the best possible preparation for a career in physical therapy.


There are many things to consider when choosing a physical therapy school. Each student has different needs and goals, so it's important to find the program that is the best fit for you. I believe that all of the PT programs in California offer something unique and valuable. Each student must decide for themselves which program will best help them succeed in their chosen career of physical therapy.



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Got kids about to go to college, so making my own research and sharing here!
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