Physical therapy education in Saudi Arabia

Ahmad Alghadir, Hamayun Zafar, Zaheen Ahmed Iqbal, Shahnawaz Anwer

Research output: Journal article publicationReview articleAcademic researchpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


[Purpose] To review the physical therapy educational program model, professional curriculum, and gender representation at major universities, as well as the quality and scope of physical therapy practice in Saudi Arabia. [Methods] Information regarding course curriculum, gender representation, and the quality and scope of physical therapy practice was collected from six universities in Saudi Arabia, the Saudi Physical Therapy Association, and the Saudi Health Commission. [Results] The first bachelor’s degree course of physical therapy was started in Saudi Arabia more than 30 years ago. In the last 10 years, the number of universities offering a bachelor’s degree in physical therapy has risen from 6 to 16, of which 14 are governmental and two are private. The 5- to 6 year bachelor’s degree program in physiotherapy includes an internship and preparatory prerequisite courses. Postgraduate study in physical therapy was introduced in 2000. Most universities offer segregated physical therapy courses for male and female students. [Conclusion] The enrollment of students in physical therapy programs in Saudi Arabia is gradually increasing. There are many opportunities to extend the scope of practice and contribute to the health needs of the Arab population and international communities.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1633-1636
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Physical Therapy Science
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2015


  • Curriculum
  • Education
  • Physical therapy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation


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