Master of Physical Therapy
Successful candidates are then qualified to apply for and take the Physical Therapy national licensure exam (in their particular state; students who pass this exam are then licensed as Physical Therapists (and may typically use the designation MPT or simply PT).
Until the end of the 1990s, Physical therapy education was structured as a Bachelor's Degree. Those who completed the program were qualified to apply for the exam (and to subsequently enter Physical Therapy practice). However, with the on-going support of the American Physical Therapy Association (the accrediting organization for all American PT academic programs) the bachelor's degree in physical therapy was slowly replaced by the Master of Physical Therapy. Physical therapy education is currently transitioning to a clinical doctorate, the Doctor of Physical Therapy degree, with the majority of current programs offering the DPT.
Those who have graduated with either the BSPT (Bachelor of Physical Therapy) or the MSPT (Master of Physical Therapy) degrees are considered "equivalent" and equally qualified to practice physical therapy as those who have graduated with the more recent DPT degree; as they are all equal first professional degrees for the practice of the profession of physical therapy.
- The MPT discussed at About.com
- Homepage of the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA)
- APTA discussion of the transition to a DPT