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Top Physiotherapy/Physical Therapy Universities in 2022-2023

Apr 27, 2022

Best Physiotherapy Colleges and Universities in the World

About Physiotherapy

Physiotherapy, often known as physical therapy, is a health-care profession that focuses on restoring movement and function to those who have been injured, ill, or disabled. The movement experts who are qualified to help patients improve their quality of life by prescribing physical treatment, providing hands-on care, and educating patients are known as either physiotherapists or physical therapists. In the USA, the term physical therapist is used frequently, whereas, in other parts of the world, such as Canada, Australia, Ireland, etc., the term physiotherapist is popular. 

Duties of a Physiotherapist

Patients must recover properly after an injury, surgery, or illness to maintain their health and well-being for a long-time. Physiotherapists utilize exercise, acupuncture, dry needling, massage, electrotherapy, and a number of other treatment modalities to help patients recover from an injury. The following are the key responsibilities of this group of healthcare professionals:

  • Examine a patient to assess the patient’s physical abilities through evaluative procedures such as functional ability tests
  • Design and prescribe treatment goals based on the diagnosis 
  • Evaluate teaching methods and modify them to suit patient needs
  • Educate family and caregivers on the patient’s condition and suggest ways to improve and maintain the given physiotherapy treatment 
  • Collaborate with other healthcare professionals such as doctors, occupational therapists, and health workers to discuss the background of the patient’s health as well as the progress of the patient
  • Keep up-to-date with the latest developments in the field of physiotherapy
  • Supervise and train junior physiotherapists and physiotherapy assistants and other support workers
  • Maintain all of the patients’ clinical and healthcare records
  • Conduct and create physical health programmes for patients, the community, and health care workers

Popular degrees for pursuing a career in Physiotherapy

A student wishing to become a physiotherapist can opt for an undergraduate graduate degree either in physiotherapy or in relevant fields such as biological or behavioral science, physiology, psychology, or sports science, followed by a graduate level program in physiotherapy. But these degrees need to be from an accredited university. For example, the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE) is in charge of accrediting physiotherapy degrees offered across all the universities in the USA. Many students prefer to gain some practical experience after completing their undergrad before going for a master’s degree. In the USA, a Doctor of Physical Therapy degree is necessary to practice along with state licensing. 

Bachelor’s programs

  • Bachelor in Physiotherapy (BPT)
  • B.Sc. in Physiotherapy
  • B.S. in Rehabilitation Studies
  • B.S. in Kinesiology
  • B.S. in Applied Physiology and Kinesiology

Master’s programs

  • Master’s in Physiotherapy (MPT)
  • M.Sc. in Physiotherapy
  • M.Sc. in Kinesiology
  • M.S. in Health Services Administration
  • M.S. in Nutrition and Exercise Physiology
  • M.Sc. in Neurophysiotherapy

Doctorate in Physiotherapy

  • Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT)
  • Doctor of Physiotherapy (DPhysio) 

Specializations in Physiotherapy

Physiotherapists give patients strategies and tools to overcome pain and mobility issues to make sure that they live a quality life for a long term. Specialization is the process through which a physical therapist develops a greater depth of knowledge and skills related to a specific area in physiotherapy. The following are some of the specializations in the field of physiotherapy: 

  • Advanced Physiotherapy
  • Neurophysiotherapy
  • Cardiorespiratory Physiotherapy
  • Pediatrics Physiotherapy
  • Physical Therapy in Musculoskeletal Healthcare and Rehabilitation
  • Musculoskeletal  Physiotherapy
  • Sport Science and Performance Coaching
  • Applied Sport and Exercise Science
  • Pain Science and Management
  • Neuromusculoskeletal Healthcare
  • Clinical Exercise Science
  • Hand Therapy
  • Veterinary Physiotherapy
  • Orthopedic Physiotherapy
  • Geriatrics Physiotherapy
  • Post-operative Physiotherapy
  • Wome’s Health

Duration of programs in Physiotherapy

In general, undergraduate degrees in physiotherapy last three to four years, with four years being the norm in the United States. Master’s degrees in physiotherapy usually last one to two years. physiotherapist and takes three to four years to finish.

Country Bachelor’s Degree Master’s Degree Doctoral Degree
USA and Canada 4 years 1-2 years 3-4 years
UK 3-4 years 1-2 years 3-4 years
Australia 3-4 years 1-2 years 3-4 years
Others 3-4 years 1-2 years 3-4 years

Career opportunities in Physiotherapy

There are many places where a physiotherapist can work, for example, hospitals, clinics, nursing homes, rehabilitation centers, schools, sports and fitness centers, private, etc. Therefore, they have a lot of options to choose a work environment that is best suited for them and their skills such as 

  • Physiotherapist 
  • Sports physiotherapist
  • Professor or lecturer in physiotherapy
  • Personal trainer
  • Physician associate
  • Aquatic or marine life physiotherapist
  • Management
  • Private physiotherapist

Average salaries for Physiotherapists

Physiotherapy is a well-paying career, although the salary depends on the degree of education,  level of experiences, skills and also on the country. The demand for physiotherapists would remain high due to the increased life expectancy and aging population, especially the baby boomers. The following are the average salaries physiotherapists earn in popular countries: 

Country Average salary in USD*/year
UK 61,423 (Source: Glassdoor)
Canada  61,308 (Source: Talent)
Australia 67,909 (Source: Talent)
USA 80,000 (Source: Talent)

*Note: All prices mentioned in the USD are for reference only. Exchange rates may vary from time to time and from country to country.

Top 50 universities in the world for Physiotherapy based on world rankings (Shanghai/QS/THE):

QS Ranking Shanghai Ranking THE Ranking University Country Bachelor’s Programs Master’s Programs
2 7 1 University of Oxford UK Click Here Click Here
3 2 4 Stanford University USA Click Here Click Here
5 1 2 Harvard University USA Click Here Click Here
8 17 18 University College London UK Click Here Click Here
13 15 13 University of Pennsylvania USA Click Here Click Here
14 11 9 Yale University USA Click Here Click Here
19 8 11 Columbia University USA Click Here Click Here
23 26 24 University of Michigan – Ann Arbor USA Click Here Click Here
25 16 13 Johns Hopkins University USA Click Here Click Here
26 22 18 University of Toronto Canada Click Here Click Here
27 67 44 McGill University Canada Click Here Click Here
30 201-300 201-250 Western University Canada Click Here Click Here
37 33 33 University of Melbourne Australia Click Here Click Here
38 69 58 University of Sydney Australia Click Here Click Here
40 14 20 University of California – Los Angeles USA Click Here Click Here
46 42 37 University of British Columbia Canada Click Here Click Here
47 51 54 University of Queensland Australia Click Here Click Here
48 18 34 University of California-San Diego USA Click Here Click Here
52 32 23 Duke University USA Click Here Click Here
70 87 42 Catholic University of Leuven Belgium Click Here Click Here
75 31 58 University of Wisconsin – Madison USA Click Here Click Here
77 151-200 124 University of Southampton UK Click Here Click Here
79 30 96 University of Copenhagen Denmark Ckick Here Click Here
85 19 29 University of Washington – Seattle USA Click Here Click Here
87 151-200 116 Lund University Sweden Click Here Click Here
90 101-150 105 University of Birmingham UK Click Here Click Here
100 29 52 University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill USA Click Here Click Here
103 101-150 141 University of Nottingham UK Click Here Click Here
107 23 51 Washington University in St Louis USA Click Here Click Here
112 95 62 Boston University USA Click Here Click Here
120 101-150 85 Ohio State University USA Click Here Click Here
121 101-150 201-250 University of Sao Paulo Brazil Click Here Click Here
126 101-150 125 University of Alberta Canada Click Here Click Here
140 92 80 McMaster University Canada Click Here Click Here
151 151-200 189 Cardiff University UK Click Here Click Here
160 101-150 82 Emory University USA Click Here Click Here
163 101-150 140 University of Pittsburgh USA Click Here Click Here
173 97 154 University of Florida USA Click Here Click Here
179 101-150 72 Erasmus University Rotterdam Netherlands Click Here Click Here
186 40 86 University of Minnesota – Twin Cities USA Click Here Click Here
189 101-150 178 University of Liverpool UK Click Here Click Here
206 301-400 301-350 RMIT University Australia Click Here Click Here
209 101-150 115 Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam Netherlands Click Here Click Here
233 201-300 127 Maastricht University Netherlands Click Here Click Here
235 151-200 201-250 University of Calgary Canada Click Here Click Here
362 301-400 201-250 La Trobe University Australia Click Here Click Here
455 201-300 251-300 University of Iowa USA Click Here Click Here
601-650 501-600 401-500 University of Plymouth UK Click Here Click Here
801-1000 301-400 601-800 University of Alabama at Birmingham USA Click Here Click Here
42 39 Karolinska Institute Sweden Click Here Click Here

Top universities in the USA for Physiotherapy

According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the job prospects for physiotherapists are thought to boost by 22% between 2018 and 2028, far greater than the average rate of growth for all occupations, This is the perfect opportunity for aspiring physiotherapists to study in the USA. Also, the USA ranks highest when it comes to the number of universities offering undergraduate and postgraduate courses in physiotherapy. Even with a USA bachelor’s degree in physiotherapy, a student can earn an average of over 67,000 USD/year (Payscale). 

QS Ranking Shanghai Ranking THE Ranking University Country Bachelor’s Programs Master’s Programs
14 11 9 Yale University USA Click Here Click Here
107 23 51 Washington University in St Louis USA Click Here Click Here
75 31 58 University of Wisconsin – Madison USA Click Here Click Here
85 19 29 University of Washington – Seattle USA Click Here Click Here
163 101-150 140 University of Pittsburgh USA Click Here Click Here

*Note: All prices mentioned in the USD are for reference only. Exchange rates may vary from time to time and from country to country.

Top universities in the UK for Physiotherapy

Studying in the UK is one of the best choices for international students, especially when it comes to physiotherapy, as the UK offers a lot of scholarship and funding options. The NHS Learning Support Fund provides funding support of at least 6,363 USD/year to all pre-registered students for undergraduate and postgraduate physiotherapy courses. Qualifying students will also receive up to 3,818 USD in additional funding. Plus, student loan companies help students with tuition and maintenance loans. The fees for undergraduate physiotherapy in UK colleges range from 24,253 USD/year to 33,188 USD/year. While the fees for postgraduate physiotherapy courses for international students start anywhere from 29,000 USD/year. 

QS Ranking Shanghai Ranking THE Ranking University Country Bachelor’s Programs Master’s Programs
2 7 1 University of Oxford UK Click Here Click Here
103 101-150 141 University of Nottingham UK Click Here Click Here
189 101-150 178 University of Liverpool UK Click Here Click Here
90 101-150 105 University of Birmingham UK Click Here Click Here
8 17 18 University College London UK Click Here Click Here
151 151-200 189 Cardiff University UK Click Here Click Here
87 151-200 116 Lund University Sweden Click Here Click Here

*Note: All prices mentioned in the USD are for reference only. Exchange rates may vary from time to time and from country to country.

Top universities in Australia for Physiotherapy

Because physiotherapy is on Australia’s Skilled Occupation List (SOL), getting a work visa is almost guaranteed. Therefore, many students prefer studying in Australia in comparison to the USA and UK. After completion of either a bachelor’s degree in physiotherapy or a master’s degree in physiotherapy, students have to register with the Physiotherapy Board of Australia in order to start their practice. 

QS Ranking Shanghai Ranking THE Ranking University Country Bachelor’s Programs Master’s Programs
37 33 33 University of Melbourne Australia Click Here Click Here
206 301-400 301-350 RMIT University Australia Click Here Click Here
362 301-400 201-250 La Trobe University Australia Click Here Click Here
38 69 58 University of Sydney Australia Click Here Click Here
47 51 54 University of Queensland Australia Click Here Click Here

Top universities in Canada for Physiotherapy

Physiotherapy is a highly regulated profession in Canada, but it is also in high demand, making it a perfect place to study a professional degree in physiotherapy. As per the Canadian government, physiotherapy will be on the rise from 2019 to 2028, therefore many universities in Canada are offering post-graduate and undergraduate courses in physiotherapy. 

QS Ranking Shanghai Ranking THE Ranking University Country Bachelor’s Programs Master’s Programs
26 22 18 University of Toronto Canada Click Here Click Here
46 42 37 University of British Columbia Canada Click Here Click Here
126 101-150 125 University of Alberta Canada Click Here Click Here
140 92 80 McMaster University Canada Click Here Click Here
27 67 44 McGill University Canada Click Here Click Here

Academic requirements for studying Physiotherapy

Since physiotherapy is a healthcare profession, getting admitted to one in the USA is highly competitive. Students must have strong academic records. Individuals should have high GRE scores in addition to a high GPA before applying. The following are some academic credentials required for admission to physiotherapy courses in top universities. 

Bachelor’s level

  • A pre-degree or foundation course with a GPA of 3.0 or greater (on a scale of 4.0)
  • Academic transcripts
  • SATs or ACTs score
  • Personal statement 
  • Letter of recommendation (optional for some universities)
  • Valid passport
  • English proficiency test scores such as TOEFL (generally above 90) or IELTS (generally above 6.0)

Master’s level

  • A bachelor’s degree in physiotherapy or relevant fields from an accredited institute with a GPA of 3.0 or greater (on a scale of 4.0)
  • Academic transcripts
  • Personal statement 
  • Letters of recommendation
  • Valid passport
  • Residency or work experience 
  • GRE score of 290 and above (although varies from university)
  • English proficiency test scores such as TOEFL (generally above 90) or IELTS (generally above 6.0)
Frequently Asked Questions

Yes, physiotherapy and physical therapy are almost interchangeable terms. Physical therapy is commonly utilized in the USA, whereas physiotherapy is commonly used in other regions of the world, such as the UK, Canada, Australia, and Ireland.

Physiotherapy is a noble health profession, highly in demand, particularly in countries with well-developed healthcare systems, organizations, and policies for citizens like the USA, UK, Australia, Germany, etc. 

Yes, obtaining a license to practice as a physiotherapist requires registration. For example, in the UK, they must be registered with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC), while in Australia, registration is handled by the Physiotherapy Board of Australia while the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) is involved in the USA. However, in order to be registered, an applicant must pass the national physiotherapy examination of that country or state. 

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