Top Ranked Physical Therapy Programs for Missouri Residents

Given the fact that it is in high demand, physical therapy is a great field to go into at this time and most likely it will continue to be in the years to come. A career as a physical therapist offers many benefits, including a sizable salary. In most cases a doctorate degree is needed to become a physical therapist.

If you aspire to earn a DPT, a Doctorate of Physical Therapy, there are two different types of program options. In the first type of programs, students start their freshman year of college already in a physical therapy program, these programs usually have a duration of 6.5 years. The second type of programs usually last 3 years and are open to students who have already completed their 4 years of undergrad. Check out this list of the top rated physical therapy programs in Missouri:

1. Washington University. According to the U.S News & World Report’s ranking of best grad schools for physical therapy, Washington University snagged the number three spot on the list, falling close behind the University of Southern California and the University of Delaware. It’s not surprising Wash U. was so high on the list, receiving a 4.1 on a scale of 1 to 5, the prestigious university is known nationwide for its high caliber academics. Washington University has a 3 year graduate physical therapy program, a 10:1 student to faculty ratio within the program, and an annual tuition fee of $35,820. So while it might be the best school in Missouri, it’s also the most expensive. While the costly tuition might deter some students from applying to the program, roughly 500 students apply every year for under 100 spots. So, if Wash U. is your first choice, it may be best to apply to another program just as a back-up plan.

2. Saint Louis University. The second best physical therapy program in Missouri, according to the aforementioned ranking, can be found at St. Louis University. SLU, which scored a 3.1 on a scale of 1 to 5, offers a 6 year program. While graduating with a DPT a year earlier than counterparts who enroll in 3 year grad programs could be beneficial, SLU’s $37,350 annual tuition could make an extra year at a less expensive school worth your while.

3. University of Missouri. With a score of 2.9, the University of Missouri holds the third highest rank for physical therapy programs in Missouri. Mizzou offers a 3 year graduate program at a cheaper rate than any of the top 5 schools in Missouri for physical therapy with an annual tuition fee of $23,410.

4. Rockhurst University. Similar to Washu and SLU, Rockhurst’s $34,400 annual tuition is quite steep. Meanwhile, the 3 year programs’ graduation rate of 92% is low compared to the schools listed above. There is only a .1 difference between the score of 2.4 the fourth best physical program Rockhurst University and the score the fifth best program Maryville received.

5. Maryville University of Saint Louis. Maryville University of Saint Louis received a score of 2.3 on a scale of 1 to 5, making it the fifth best physical therapy program in Missouri. Maryville offers a 6 ½ year program similar to SLU’s, but with a dramatically lower tuition of just $23,812 a year. Pursuing a degree at Maryville may not seem as charming as pursuing a degree at a higher ranked institution, but in the long run one would be receiving the exact same degree having saved two very important commodities: time and money.


Factors including the proximity to home, financial aid, and cost of living can all factor into your decision on which program is the best fit for you, in addition to the things we covered such as annual tuition, school rankings, and the duration of a program.

If after evaluating all of these conditions, you still don’t think one of the above programs is what you’re looking for, you might consider looking out of state. Reputable schools such as Ohio University and the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga offer tuition at lower prices for their out of state students.