Physical Therapy School - Timeline

It is important to create a timeline for yourself when applying to physical therapy programs but perhaps more importantly, your timeline should be flexible. Course scheduling, extra-curricular activities, deadline changes, etc. all contribute to the need of having flexibility in your timeline.

Application submission deadlines vary greatly between schools. For specific application deadline dates, you should always check individual physical therapy school websites. A list of physical therapy programs, including admissions deadlines, entrance requirements, credentials awarded, fees etc. can be found on the AP TA website, under “Program and Applicant Data Reports” and is available to students for free. Additionally students can also find information on individual school deadlines for PTCAS participating schools on the PTCAS website.

Generally applications are submitted one year prior to the year you plan to attend. It is always a good idea to apply early. Applying early can help you avoid delays, allow for timely processing and improve your chances of being admitted to schools using rolling admissions.

Here is a timeline that you should consider prior to and while applying to schools.

 

Prior to Applying
  • Take prerequisite courses and meet with advisors
  • Begin to establish and develop “contacts” with professors, GSI's, campus staff members, community members, employment supervisors, etc.
  • Open a Letter Service file.
  • Begin researching physical therapy programs
  • Get involved in extracurricular activities to acquire the skills and experience to stand out as an applicant, e.g., join a student org, volunteer, work or research activities.
  • Prepare for and take the GRE – Register and choose from approximately several dates but it is recommended you take the GRE well in advance of applying to PT programs.  Because application submission deadline dates vary, there is no ideal time to take the GRE. 
  • Attend various health professional school workshops, graduate school fairs, etc.
  • Order and collect official transcripts from ALL colleges and universities that you have attended.
  • Gather Letters of Recommendations.
The Application Cycle
  • Should be taking the GRE or waiting for the release of your score from an earlier test. It is a good idea to take an earlier test dates and help avoid delays. 
  • Confirm deadline dates for individual PT programs.  (Many PTCAS participating schools have deadlines in late Fall continuing through the Spring)
  • Begin to fill out and submit applications for PT programs. If applicable, contact PTCAS, or individual schools directly for specific questions that are not found in their instruction manuals
  • Have letters of recommendation sent to individual schools or PTCAS - check individual schools for specific criteria
  • PTCAS  verifies primary application & begins releasing application to schools within four weeks of receipt
  • Continue to work, volunteer, etc.
Last stages of the Application Cycle
  • Several PT programs interview candidates
  • Make an appointment for a Mock Interview with a pre-health advisor at the Career Center
  • When interviews are completed schools inform applicants of admission status. Admissions decision processes and timelines vary between physical therapy programs.
 

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