How to Become a Military Physical Therapist

Before deciding to become a physical therapist in the military, it’s important to know that most physical therapy education programs are now considered Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) programs. As such, those who wish to become certified physical therapists may expect to be in school for a longer length of time that it would take to acquire a bachelor’s degree. Of course, the good news is those who complete DPT programs have a much better chance of finding work as a physical therapist, both in the military and in civilian life.


Here is what you need to know about becoming eligible to be a physical therapist in the Armed Forces:

  1. Pick a university that offers physical therapy as a major, and make sure that the program is recognized by the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA).
  2. Speak to an academic advisor to allow him or her to show you what you need to do to complete your physical therapy program in the least amount of time.
  3. Finish all required courses in the undergraduate program to satisfaction. Most of these programs are highly competitive and selective, so make sure that your grades and volunteer hours are exemplary.
  4. Become accepted into a DPT program.
  5. Finish all requirements in the professional program, including all exams and courses. You will also need to attend rotations at several medical facilities, as you will need to complete a research project before you are awarded accreditation. Satisfactorily complete the physical therapy examination following graduation. You will receive your license thereafter. Make sure to check with your state’s continuing education requirements to retain your license.
This is a private website that is not affiliated with the U.S. government, U.S. Armed Forces or Department of Veteran Affairs. U.S. government agencies have not reviewed this information. This site is not connected with any government agency. If you would like to find more information about benefits offered by the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs, please visit the official U.S. government web site for veterans benefits at http://www.va.gov.

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