PhD Physiotherapy

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Mar 13, 2023 19:31PM IST

PhD Physiotherapy Overview

Doctor of Philosophy in Physiotherapy or PhD Physiotherapy can be pursued by any student who has completed their postgraduate degree in the field. Physiotherapy, which is an allied medical sciences study of the human body, deals with the relevant impact of anatomy on the overall health of the mind and body. Usually, the duration of the course is three years in India, but it can go up to five years. 

PhD Physiotherapy is a research-based course, meaning students need to decide upon their research and dissertation topics, the submission of which shall mark the course completion. It is designed to be beneficial for all those who wish to help people overcome their bodily disorders and discomforts in a positive and healthy manner while earning a decent income.

All the Physiotherapy institutes offering PhD, such as BHU, AIIMS, Banasthali University, etc., follow the same school of thought and course delivery. Admissions to PhD Physiotherapy courses in India are based on merit or entrance exam scores. The course can cost students INR 20,000 to INR 30,00,000 depending on the duration and institute.

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PhD Physiotherapy Course Highlights

Students can refer to the following highlights about PhD Physiotherapy courses in India. While this page delves into a deep discussion of each of these topics, here is a summary of the characteristics that define the course:

Full Form

Doctor of Philosophy in Physiotherapy




Allied Medical Sciences

Exam Type

Research-based course

Types of Courses



3-5 years

Minimum Qualification Required

MSc Physiotherapy

PhD Physiotherapy Selection Process

Merit-based and Entrance-based

PhD Physiotherapy Top Entrance Exams


Average Annual Course Fees

INR 6,000 - INR 5,00,000

Top Medical Colleges

BHU, University of Calcutta, University of Mumbai, AIIMS, Banasthali University

Career Opportunities

Osteopath, Physiotherapist, Consultant, Researcher

Average Annual Starting Salary 

INR 4,00,000 - INR 8,00,000

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Why Choose PhD Physiotherapy?

PhD courses are highly regarded for the qualification and professional upliftment that they provide. However, the investment made to complete the PhD courses is generally high. Moreover, to ensure that the course is beneficial for the student, they need to ensure its profitability and benefits.

PhD Physiotherapy courses are subject to the same expectations and metrics. Hence, here are some of the chosen arguments in favour of the course. These represent how the course can eventually prove to be beneficial to students choosing it:

  • Scope of Entrepreneurship: Physiotherapy, as a study, allows practitioners to pursue entrepreneurship. As the study involves not only the science of physical therapy but the effect of the environment as well, many physiotherapists choose to build their clinical studios to assist their patients in a mental state of recovery. Hence, students can expect from the course the freedom to establish an independent work structure and environment and personalise it for maximum benefit.
  • High Demand: Nowadays, the hectic and demanding lifestyle has pushed people not only with a need for a quick recovery but a solid one as well. They prefer to consult experts to ensure a solid and good recovery rather than leaving things to time. This has caused a high demand for Physiotherapists. Moreover, the modern lifestyle also creates various issues like posture deterioration which eventually lead to several diseases as well. In order to combat the same, the patients look out for Physiotherapists.
  • High Earnings: Since the demand is high, so is the pay. However, the demand is not the only factor working in favour of good income for Physiotherapists. The science uses physical anatomy to ensure good health and recovery of the patients, it provides a healthy foundation for them to pursue their everyday life and has lasting mental benefits as well. This is also one of the factors that make people invest in physiotherapy, even when they are not in a severe condition of therapeutic attention.
  • Research Opportunities: The demand for physiotherapy is also creating a demand for advancement in existing procedures and the invention of new ones. Recently, as the therapy has been observed to have connections with mental health as well, there has been increasing demand for the proper collaboration of the two. These factors give a wide scope of advancement to the study of physiotherapy. PhD Physiotherapy courses will allow students to actively pursue the research work in the study.
  • Opportunity to Touch Human Lives: Apart from treating patients, PhD Physiotherapy shall give the students an opportunity to work on the advancement of sciences. All this cumulates into a chance for students to touch human lives for the better. Their achievement in the study shall prove helpful and positive, especially for the modern lifestyle, treatment, and recovery procedures.
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PhD Physiotherapy Courses Entrance Exams

In India, admissions to PhD Physiotherapy courses are primarily based on the students’ postgraduate qualifications. If they have a master’s degree in Physiotherapy, then they can apply for admission to the said courses. There are no national-level examinations that are dedicated specifically to these admissions. That said, there are certain examination scores that are accepted by various colleges for admission to PhD Physiotherapy courses.

Here are some of the entrance examinations whose scores students can use to apply for the mentioned courses:

  • NEET PG: Although NEET PG is designated for admissions to postgraduate medical courses, it can be used for admission to PhD Physiotherapy courses as well. The reason is that NEET SS is applicable for admission to doctoral medical courses, eligibility is not cleared by PhD Physiotherapy. However, it still is an allied study of medical sciences, and hence NEET PG scores are considered usable.
  • CUET: Common University Entrance Test or CUET is the national-level entrance test conducted by the National Testing Agency (NTA). The test scores are considered for admission to various undergraduate, postgraduate, and postdoctorate courses by colleges nationwide. Hence, the scores can be used to apply for PhD Physiotherapy courses as well.
  • College-Specific Entrance Examinations: The majority of reputed colleges in India conduct their personalised entrance tests, especially for specialised and highly-qualifying courses. Since PhD Physiotherapy is an allied medical course, many universities which offer it, ask students to sit the college entrance test for admission to the same.
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PhD Physiotherapy Courses Eligibility Criteria

In order to pursue a PhD Physiotherapy course in India, applicants must satisfy the eligibility criteria for admission. This is important as the course is highly qualified and also allied to medical sciences.

The common eligibility criteria for admission to PhD Physiotherapy courses in India for the students are:

  • To have an MSc Physiotherapy degree,
  • To have an aggregate percentage of at least 55% in MSc Physiotherapy, and
  • To have the required cut-off score in the entrance exam applicable.
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How to Get Admission to PhD Physiotherapy Courses in India?

To get admission to PhD Physiotherapy courses in India, students have options to choose from two admission routes:

  • Merit-based admission, and
  • Entrance-based admission.

Merit-Based Admission to PhD Physiotherapy Courses

Since MSc Physiotherapy is part of the eligibility criteria for admission to PhD Physiotherapy courses, a provision has been made. If the aggregate percentage and overall performance of the applicant in the MSc degree fall in the category of meritorious performance, they can get direct admission to PhD courses.

The admission process can be summarised as follows:

Step 1: After completing the BSc in Physiotherapy, students need to apply for MSc Physiotherapy courses.

Step 2: Complete the MSc Physiotherapy course with an aggregate percentage of 65% or above.

Step 3: Shortlist the colleges which provide direct admissions to PhD Physiotherapy courses on a merit basis.

Step 4: Fill out the application form and attach the MSc Physiotherapy mark sheet and other past academic records. Submit the application.

Step 5: Get the admission letter and submit the tuition fee for the first semester in the chosen college.

Entrance-Based Admission to PhD Physiotherapy Courses

The merit-based admission route is only available for students who have an aggregate of 65% or above in an MSc Physiotherapy degree. All the students who fail to satisfy this requirement need to appear for the entrance exams accepted by the chosen college for admission to their offered PhD Physiotherapy courses.

The entrance-based admission process can be described as follows:

Step 1: After completing a BSc in Physiotherapy, one needs to apply for MSc Physiotherapy courses.

Step 2: Complete the MSc Physiotherapy course with an aggregate percentage of 55% or above.

Step 3: Shortlist the colleges which students find suitable for their goals and check their eligibility criteria for applicable entrance examination scores.

Step 4: Appear for the applicable entrance exam or exams, and clear the cut-off score required by the shortlisted colleges for admission.

Step 5: Fill out and submit the application form along with the MSc Physiotherapy mark sheet, other past academic records, and the entrance exam scores. Submit the application.

Step 6: Await the admission letter or admission lists, and on confirmed admission submit the tuition fee for the first semester in the chosen college.

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Popular PhD Physiotherapy Colleges in India

The best medical colleges for students to pursue PhD Physiotherapy courses in India are mentioned below, along with their annual tuition fees for the course:

Name of College

Annual Tuition Fees (in INR)

All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi


All India Institute of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Mumbai


Amity Institute of Physiotherapy, Noida


Banasthali University, Jaipur


Benaras Hindu University, Varanasi


Birla Institute of Technology and Science, Pilani


Dr. D Y Patil College of Physiotherapy, Pune


K M Patel Institute of Physiotherapy, Jol


Meenakshi College of Physiotherapy, Chennai


Shri. Guru Gobind Singh Tricentenary University, Gurgaon


Srinivas College of Physiotherapy and Research Centre, Mangalore


University of Calcutta, Kolkata


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PhD Physiotherapy Study Abroad

Physiotherapy, as a method of recovery and rehabilitation, has been gaining popularity and recognition worldwide. The study provides hope and positivity to the sufferers of severe physical injuries and treatments. The nature and impact of this allied medical study are so massive that the career and advancement opportunities in various nations have nearly tripled in the last two decades.

Since the study is popular and known even abroad, Indian students can easily choose to pursue PhD Physiotherapy courses abroad as well. While the course duration and fees shall vary vastly from India, the qualification shall be hugely beneficial for their careers.

Here are some of the top universities abroad to pursue PhD Physiotherapy courses:

Name of the University


George Washington University 


Karolinska Institute


King’s College London


Trinity College Dublin


University of Essex


University of Nicosia


University of Otago

New Zealand

University of Ottawa


University of Pécs


University of Sydney


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What is PhD Physiotherapy Course Fee?

In India, the educational expenses to study in government or semi-government colleges are far more affordable in comparison to private institutes. Even in terms of qualification, courses offered at government institutes are given more significance. However, due to the limited number of seats available in government colleges, the competition for admission is severely high. 

Eventually, admission to private colleges is the only option left, which does offer quality education but at almost three to four times the educational costs incurred at government colleges. That said, students with meritorious records can use their percentages and even good entrance exam scores to get relief on their tuition fees.

In general, the following fee structure can be derived for PhD Physiotherapy courses in India:

Type of Institute

Average Annual Course Fees (in INR)

Government and Semi-Government Universities and Colleges


Private Colleges and Deemed Universities


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PhD Physiotherapy Syllabus

The subjects which form the framework of PhD Physiotherapy courses in India is mostly the same throughout the various colleges. Though the name of the exam and discipline may differ, the course study is aimed at similar qualifying levels, so the subjects overlap.

Here are the subjects included in the course syllabus of PhD Physiotherapy in India:

PhD Physiotherapy Subjects

Musculoskeletal & Sports


Plasticity & Neurophysiotherapy


Health Promotion & CBR

Women’s Health



Physical Fitness

Life Style Modification



Research Methodology


Palliative Care in Pain

Oxygen Therapy & Oxygen Delivery Devices

Pre-Operative and Postoperative Management of Traumatic and Non-Traumatic Disorders

Palliative Care in Pediatric Rehabilitation

Chest Physiotherapy Techniques

Physiotherapy Management of Spinal Disorders & Dysfunctions

Physiotherapy Management of Fractures of Upper and Lower Extremity

Physiotherapy Management of Amputation

Physiotherapy Management of Orthopedic Diseases

Physiotherapy Management of Sports Injury, Soft Tissue Injuries, reconstructive Surgeries, Congenital Malformations

Physiotherapy Management of CNS & PNS Dysfunctions

Physiotherapy Management of Infectious Disorders of Nervous System

Physiotherapy Management of Acquired Brain Injury

Physiotherapy Management of Pediatric Congenital and Acquired Conditions

Physiotherapy Management of Cardio-vascular Diseases

Physiotherapy Management of Post Cardiac Surgeries

Physiotherapy Management of Respiratory Diseases

Physiotherapy Management of Pulmonary Surgeries

Palliative Care in Pulmonary Rehabilitation

Physiotherapy Management of General Medical & Surgical Conditions

Palliative Care of Chronically Ill and Frail Elderly


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PhD Physiotherapy Scope in India - Career and Job Prospects

PhD Physiotherapy courses can help students bag job opportunities in varying forms. They can opt to follow the many available job profiles and directions. The only thing they need to check for is whether the professional direction helps them to gain their targeted career and personal goals or not. 

In India, after completing PhD Physiotherapy, students can choose to make a career as a:

  • Physiotherapist: The person is responsible to assist their patients in recovering from their disorders, surgeries, traumatic impact on the body, etc. Students can apply for jobs with an established clinic, hospital, rehabilitation centres, or as in-house Physiotherapists for sports teams.
  • Professor: Students can choose to contribute their services as a teacher and help future talent to hone and become qualified practitioners of Physiotherapy. They can alongside follow through with their research projects and other opinionated theoretical advancements.
  • Researcher: Students can join research centres to work as assistant research scientists initially. Over time, they can work their way up to their research projects. The scope of advancement in the field of Physiotherapy makes it a profitable endeavour.
  • Consultant: Upon graduation, students can opt to work with consultancy firms that help individuals through recovering process, both physically and mentally. They provide salaried employment to Physiotherapists to deal with their clientele.
  • Entrepreneur: Students can also set up their businesses as Physiotherapy Consultants or Physiotherapists. They can work either on a contractual basis or set up a clinic of their own.
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What is PhD Physiotherapy Graduates’ Salary?

Physiotherapists are the high-earning individuals of present-day India, especially in urban settings. Here are some of the job profiles of PhD Physiotherapy graduates and the average annual salary that they can expect in India from their jobs:

Job Profiles

Average Annual Salary (in INR)





Physiotherapy Researcher 


Physiotherapy Professor




Physiotherapy Clinic


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Required Skills to Become a Physiotherapist

PhD Physiotherapy can provide students with the qualification required to get a job as a Physiotherapist. However, apart from education and knowledge, they will need some inherent skills to become successful in their chosen career. These skills need to be imbibed and worked upon constantly to get the desired results.

Here are some of the most important professional skills required in a Physiotherapist:

  • Motor Skills: Physiotherapists work to help their patients improve their motor skills through physical and other therapeutic techniques. It goes without saying that they need to have what they preach. 
  • Physical Awareness: Physiotherapists need to have knowledge about the physical aspects of the human body. This includes the visible tissues and organs and the hidden framework, such as muscles and the skeleton system. Since this very knowledge is the basis of their services to patients, they need to ensure staying up to date with what they are speaking, that is when they believe themselves to be forgetting something they must reaffirm their knowledge as soon as possible.
  • Communication Skills: The professionals have to interact on a regular and personal basis with their patients. Moreover, therapists need to use words and conversation to their advantage to help their patients. This makes it inevitable for them to have communication skills.
  • Interpersonal Skills: Though it is not possible to connect with everyone on a positive and comfortable note, it is a professional requirement for Physiotherapists. They need to establish a connection with their patients to help them and shall require interpersonal skills for the same.
  • Observational Skills: There are certain details that patients themselves are not even aware of. As their Physiotherapist, students shall have to observe their movements and progress during the sessions. All the guidance, communication, and progress and status noting require them to possess good observation skills.
  • Managerial Skills: Time management is very important for Physiotherapists. They have to deal with varying clients on a regular basis while ensuring proper time and attention to each. It is therefore expected that they have their calendar and schedule clearly set with the lowest possible instances of clashes.
  • Patience: In order to work efficiently with the patients who are recovering from their problems and injuries, Physiotherapists need to be patient with them. Their patients cannot do things at their pace and may need additional time and motivation to take even a single progressive step.
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FAQs about PhD Physiotherapy

Are there online PhD Physiotherapy courses available in India?

No, there are no online PhD Physiotherapy courses available in India. It is a research-based course and the restrictions imposed on your physical movement are very limited. You can pursue the course easily while sitting in a different city or country than your institute, as long as you maintain a continuous conversation with your PhD faculty. Hence, even if no online courses are available, you can pursue them in a slightly similar manner.

Can I pursue PhD Physiotherapy as a part-time course in India?

Yes, you can pursue PhD Physiotherapy as a part-time course in India. The course is research-based and the discussions with faculty are not designed as traditional courses. Moreover, the completion of the course is based on your dissertation submission and clearance. Hence, irrespective of whether you attend your classes as a full-time student, the course shall require a dissertation to get completed. Hence, the class schedule is based on your communication with the faculty.

Which national entrance exam is the best to apply for PhD Physiotherapy courses?

The national entrance exam which is the best to apply for PhD Physiotherapy courses is NEET PG. Although CUET is also a good option, since the majority of institutes offering the course are medical or allied medical institutes, they have a preference for NEET examinations. On the other hand, it must be considered that CUET shall test you for the aptitude required for PhD courses, while NEET PG is designed for admission to postgraduate courses.

Can I pursue PhD Physiotherapy after completing DPT?

Yes, DPT is a postgraduate degree course and can be used to apply for PhD Physiotherapy courses. Even though the degree is common in the USA, it is considered valid in India and hence can be used to apply for PhD Physiotherapy in India. Indian students can pursue their DPT course online as well from India.

Is DPT valid in India?

Yes, a DPT or Doctor of Physical Therapy degree is valid in India. It is a post-baccalaureate course common in the USA. Students can pursue the course as their postgraduate degree after completing their BPT. They may pursue it in addition or as an alternative to MPT (Masters of Physical Therapy) or MSc Physiotherapy.

Are Physiotherapists doctors?

No, Physiotherapists are not doctors but rehabilitation professionals. These professionals need to get themselves registered with the Rehabilitation Council of India to get a license to practice. This is due to the fact that they work closely with recovering patients and need to practice caution. The registration allows a formal acknowledgement of responsibility on Physiotherapists and exerts answerability upon them for their interactions and impact on their patient’s life.

Do I need MSc in Physiotherapy only to apply for PhD Physiotherapy?

Yes, you need MSc in Physiotherapy to apply for PhD Physiotherapy. As a research-based course, course study is not possible as in curriculum-based courses. It is a requirement that you have the relevant background to pursue the research-based course, and hence, MSc in Physiotherapy is among the eligibility criteria for admission to the said course.

Can I complete my PhD Physiotherapy in two years?

No, you cannot complete your PhD Physiotherapy in two years. The research-based course has to be pursued for at least three years. Even if your dissertation gets completed within two years, you cannot submit the same for clearance with the college before the completion of three years. You might have to widen your research scope in such a case and devote more time to some aspects of your dissertation.

What is the maximum course duration of PhD Physiotherapy course?

The maximum course duration allowed for PhD Physiotherapy course is five years. The course is a research-based course in India and can be completed only when the dissertation on the selected topic is submitted by the student and gets cleared by the college. Hence, while a common extension is stipulated for the course, students can only take it for up to five years and not above.

Can I pursue PhD Physiotherapy after completing BPT?

Yes, you can pursue PhD Physiotherapy after completing BPT, which is a Bachelor of Physiotherapy, but not immediately. You will have to first complete your postgraduate degree in Physiotherapy to continue with PhD. Since BPT is an undergraduate course, it cannot be used to apply for PhD courses. You can, however, apply for MSc Physiotherapy which is a postgraduate course.

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Related Questions


Abhik Das, Student / Alumni

-Answered on May-17-2021

Dear student, yes, you can apply for PhD Archaeology admission with your master’s degree in History, However, you must also keep in mind that you have to fulfil all the PhD archaeology admission eligibility criteria laid down by the institute/university officials from where you wish to pursue your PhD study. Several reputed universities accept the NET exam scores for offering admission into the PhD archaeology programme whereas, there are several university-level entrance exams as well in which you can appear to secure a seat like BHU-RET, IPU CET, Christ University Entrance Test (CU-ET), AMU Entrance Exam etc.

Kindly click on the link to find out the reputed universities offering PhD archaeology admission directly based on the previous qualifying exam scores through our Common Application Form. For any admission-related queries, kindly contact us on our toll-free number - 18005729877!


Abhik Das, Student / Alumni

-Answered on May-06-2021

Dear student, yes, you can pursue a career as a professor after pursuing masters in a different discipline post completing your graduation in English. But, you cannot pursue a career as a professor without completing your master's degree studies. You see although it is not compulsory that your have to pursue masters in English only to become a professor. Instead, you can pursue masters in Journalism, Media Studies, Law etc and later go on to obtain your PhD degree in a discipline related to your discipline in masters degree studies to fulfil your dream of becoming a professor. You can also clear a reputed eligibility test like the NET, SET (any state) or SLET after obtaining your master's degree to start as an Assistant Professor or Lecturer and further get promoted to the post of a professor after obtaining 12/14 years of teaching experience. But, you cannot become a professor without having a masters degree against your name. 

Given below is the link through which you will find out every detail regarding how you can become a professor - 


Samiksha Rautela, Student / Alumni

-Answered on Mar-30-2021

Dear Student,

Dharmashastra National Law University, Jabalpur does not provide a stipend to the PhD scholars however, National Law School of India University (NLSIU), Bangalore does. Each candidate is offered a monthly cash stipend of Rs 40,000, as well as additional costs plus expenses, adding up to Rs 24.85 lakh per candidate over the course of three years.

Hope we answered your query, if not, write back to us in the QnA zone.

Thank You