Physical Therapist Education: How Much Will it Cost?

Physical therapy is a rewarding career, both personally and professionally, but as future physical therapists undergo an extensive education, there’s a fair cost associated with their training. Below we show you how much that physical therapist education will cost.

Students engaged in, or planning on, getting their degrees in practicing physical therapy need to plan for at least two tiers of education. Physical therapists require a Graduate Degree before they can try for their licensing exams, so you’ll need to find a way to pay for both an Undergraduate Degree and a Graduate Degree.

Specific numbers for the costs of your education depend on too many factors to address each individual’s needs, but taken as general totals, the following will hold true for most US students.

Information on Undergraduate Degrees is ubiquitous enough, and basic scholarships can help you defray enough of that cost that we can safely skip over it here. Instead, you should be more focused on the costs for a Graduate Degree. Whether you choose to pursue a Master’s Degree in Physical Therapy, or a Doctorate of Physical Therapy (DPT), you can expect the 2-3 years you’ll spend studying to run approximately $13,000 if you’re studying in-State, and anywhere up to $42,000 if you’re studying out-of-State.

Additional expenses, such as lab fees, course related study materials like textbooks, and even liability insurance can all be applied to your educational costs as well. In this case you can expect to pay up to an additional $5,000 over the course of your Graduate Degree program.


You’ll also need to prepare for costs that will be incurred after your education is concluded. The National Physical Therapy Exam is paid for, as are your State licensing tests. Though the costs for taking the State licensing exams vary from State to State, and it’s worth remembering that you have to take at least two, the cost of the NPTE is fixed, nationally, at $370.

The above are really little more than guidelines as there will always be additional and unforeseen costs incurred in any educational situation. But, you have excellent resources available to you in the form of the APTA and other organizations that work with and support professional physical therapists, all of whom keep detailed information on the costs, requirements, and other information associated with becoming, and staying, a physical therapist.

For more information on avenues for funding your education, such as scholarships, and information on various physical therapy schools, use this website to find the information best suited to you. Plan ahead for your education to minimize unforeseen events and costs, and make sure that you set yourself on the right path for your career goals.