Know the Ins and Outs of the Physical Therapy Admission Process

Know the Ins and Outs of the Physical Therapy Admission ProcessWhat do you know about the Physical Therapy Admissions Process? If nothing, that is quite understandable. Discover the ins and outs of physical therapy admissions process here.

What is PTCAS?

According to APTA, you can either apply online or you can do that locally. If you prefer to do this online, the best part of this is you can use a single application for the multiple programs you wish to apply for. You just have to go to the PTCAS or the Physical Therapist Centralized Application Service and check what programs you can apply there.

What should I prepare for the admissions process?

  • Start with information. What you have to do essentially at first is to research. Know which of the programs you think would be suitable for you, your time, capacity as well as your educational needs. Also, through research, you can also determine what the requirements are needed, or if the school still requires you to have a bachelor’s degree first or not.
  • Know what you prerequisites are.  Check what needs to be accomplished. Take note that each program has different prerequisites. In your research, you can already determine what these prerequisites are and if these are suitable for you. Here is the usual PT program that you might encounter:
    • There is a pre-PT course or an undergraduate course. Although some are lenient to what this can be, most prefer that you have a science program as your undergrad program. In many cases, you are required to take the listed courses below as part of the requirements.
      • Anatomy
      • Biology (basic to advance)
      • Chemistry
      • Neuroscience
      • Physics
      • Physiology
      • Psychology (basic to advance)
      • Statistics
      • English Composition
    • Another consideration that you need to take a look into is how well you would be able to accomplish your undergrad program as well as your professional PT program. To better understand this, you should consult your program adviser on the steps you need to take or the academic schedule you need to follow. If in case you are wondering what the usual undergraduate majors PTs take, look at the list below:
      • Biology
      • Exercise Science
      • Kinesiology
      • Psychology
  • Have an actual PT experience. Shadow job if you can. Make sure that this job or experience is supervised by a licensed PT.
  • GRE or the Graduate Record Examination is important so take this at least month and a half before the deadline of the application for admissions.
  • Search for reliable references so it would not be hard looking for one if the program requires it.
  • Be sure that your Official Transcript of Records is on hand or ready to be sent to the school once the school requires it.

What else should I know about?

  • Do not think that being a PTA is the stepping stone to a PT program. There is a great deal of difference between being a PT and a PTA. The latter has a different curriculum than what is given in a PT program. Also, the PTA program has a different set of prerequisites. You don’t need to have a PTA degree to become a highly efficient PT professional.
  • You need to disclose some misdemeanor conduct during the applications process. Though most schools do not stop the applicant from enrolling even if there is a criminal record, failure to do so may be a ground for dismissal from the program. Also, expect that the school may be asking for a drug test during the admissions process; however, school policies may differ.
  • Since competition is tough, many schools require interviews, be it a single interviewer or by a panel. If you are asked for an interview, be sure to come in business attire. Be ready to answer questions such as why you chose PT or what you think of the PT career in general. Be sure to research and anticipate what the interviewers are going to ask.
  • PT programs require only the minimum GPA requirements; however, this may vary from school to school but as of the latest information on GPA, the average is around 3.52.
  • PT volunteer experience is a must for many schools and programs. Make sure that when you have such kind of volunteer work, there is a licensed PT assigned to you to supervise you and to take note the number of hours you have volunteered
  • Prepare to have at least three letters of recommendation. Be sure that the person you are asking the letter for is qualified and professional. Find someone who is not only reliable but can also articulate well.

These facts may be few but these are the most important that every single physical therapy applicant should take note of.

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