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Pre-Physical Therapy Application Process

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  • ADVISING | Meet with a pre-health advisor ASAP to map out your plan toward PT school admission.  Plan to meet with your pre-health advisor consistently throughout your journey.
  • RESEARCH | Determine which dental schools you are interested in. A good place to start is the APTA website, where you can find information on several PT programs and their timelines. 
  • PREREQUISITES | Research each school to understand and begin work as soon as possible on their application requirements including courses, GPA, shadowing, patient care, etc. 
    • It may be a good idea to bookmark the admissions page for each school you are interested in applying to.
    • Don't be afraid to reach out to your schools of interest and ask for clarification of their requirements if you have questions.
  • TIMELINE | Know the application start date and deadlines for each school you are interested in. Application cycles for PT programs can vary, but the PTCAS Centralized Application Service typically opens in June. 
    • Application deadlines vary, and some schools have early decision deadlines or conduct rolling admissions policies. Please plan accordingly and do not wait until the application deadline. 
  • PTCAS | Familiarize yourself with the PTCAS application site.  For detailed descriptions of each section, information on fees/fee waivers, and other FAQs, visit the PTCAS Applicant Help Center.
    • If a dental program is not a member of PTCAS, they will have their own individual application process and procedures.  Please review each program's official admissions website for full details and instructions about their application process.
  • EXPERIENCE | Start early with shadowing, volunteering, and working with patients. Research and strive to exceed the number of hours each program of interest requires.
  • INVOLVEMENT | Be involved in meaningful activities such as research, community service, work, and extracurriculars that are meaningful and unique. Well-rounded applicants are more competitive.
    • Consider being involved in regular community service.  Admissions committees like to see a committment to a specific cause or organization.
    • Quality is usually better than quantity.  Taking on leadership positions and heading initiatives for one organization means more than being somewhat involved in many different clubs and organizations.
  • RECOMMENDATIONS | Determine what types and how many references your schools of interest prefer and begin early building relationships with potential letter writers.
  • GRE | Check to see if your programs of interest require the GRE. If so, study for the GRE at least 3 months prior to attempting the test. Register 60-90 days prior to taking it and take it at least 6-8 weeks prior to application start date.
    • It is highly recommended that you register for a test date and site as early as possible because prime test dates and sites will fill up quickly.  Be sure to plan ahead!
  • PERSONAL STATEMENT | Start to write your personal essay months prior to the application in a word document. Be sure to edit it carefully and have peers and faculty review and critique as well.  
  • TRANSCRIPT | Transcripts must be sent to PTCAS from all institutions you list in the 'Colleges Attended' section of your application, even if the courses later transferred to another institution. Your application cannot be processed until all of your transcripts have been recieved.
  • SUBMIT APPLICATION | Get all material ready a month prior to the application open date, fill it out, double/triple check for errors, and then submit!
    • Plan to apply early in the application cycle, as the PTCAS verification process may take awhile. Additionally, some programs may have early decision deadlines and/or conduct rolling admissions policies.
  • SECONDARIES | After receipt of materials from PTCAS, each PT school will notify the applicant directly for the need of any additional materials ("secondaries").  Return the secondaries promptly, this shows motivation and genuine interest in that school.
  • INTERVIEW | If chosen, you will be asked to come to campus for an interview (any costs for travel is paid by the applicant).  While a good sign, an interview does not guarantee acceptance.  The interview allows the school to see the person behind the application and how you handle interpersonal situations.  It is a last chance to sell your qualifications.

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 Last Modified 7/28/23