UTC physical therapy students work with Chattanooga Ballet performers.

Read healthgrad.com’s full account of UTC program quality here:


More on UTC graduate programs in physical therapy is here:


The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga is home to the state’s No. 1 doctoral program in physical therapy, according to rankings from healthgrad.com, which describes itself as a source of information on the full spectrum of careers in healthcare, from growth areas to job openings to education and training.

The website gathers data from public sources such as the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics—which predicts a 19 percent increase in healthcare jobs by 2024—and multiple private sources in healthcare recruitment and career preparation.

UTC’s top ranking is based on the combination of quality and affordability. The UTC program “is proof positive that you don’t need to sacrifice quality for affordability,” noted healthgrad.com. “At nearly $21,000 less than the state average for DPT programs in public schools, the DPT (at UTC) is a model of value.”

The organization further cited UTC’s 100 percent employment rate as evidence of “this program’s academic rigor and graduate success.”

“Evidence of the quality and strength of our program can be seen in the long history of its graduates going on to distinguish themselves in their careers and their service to the profession,” said Valerie Rutledge, dean of the UTC College of Health, Education and Professional Studies.

UTC began offering undergraduate physical therapy education in 1990. As the profession transitioned to require practitioners to achieve a three-year, post-graduate, doctor of physical therapy degree (DPT), UTC transitioned to offer the required education, and the program graduated its first DPT class in 2002. Current enrollment is 36 students per class annually, with assistantships, scholarships and other financial aid taken advantage of by 20 percent of the doctoral students.

As healthgrad.com noted, DPT students at UTC have opportunities for campus and community engagement events. Students volunteer in health tents for local runs and participate in community service projects offered throughout the program.  The students serve as camp counselors for a local camp for children with disabilities and participate in international clinical service in Haiti.  They also provide supervised physical therapy on campus in Student Health Services.

Healthgrad.com also praised UTC’s potential for “exciting and plentiful” clinical experiences “thanks to university contracts with more than 300 facilities throughout the U.S.”


Media Relations Contacts: Email Shawn Ryan or call 423-425-4363.

Assistant Vice Chancellor for Communications and Marketing at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga