9 Tips for Applying to Physical Therapy School

I applied over 2 years ago so things may have changed, but below you’ll find some tips from my experience. If you have more specific questions, please feel free to message me.  I am here to help!


1. Start your application as early as you can!  The PTCAS application usually opens in July so I suggest trying to submit it as early as possible, BUT as edited & well thought out as possible. You don’t want to submit a rushed application with numerous typos & dumb mistakes.  If one of the schools you are applying to has early admission, DO IT! Every school’s application process is different, but some schools admit the majority of their class from early admission applications.

2. Research the prerequisites well before you are ready to apply to PT school so you won’t be stuck taking post-baccalaureate classes. You should really research ALL of the requirements needed for the schools you would like to apply to. It might help to make an excel sheet. I remember my freshman year of undergrad, I had a blue notebook with all of my PT school info in it and I used it up until I applied to PT school 4 yrs later.

3. I majored in Exercise Science (Kinesiology), but you can major in whatever you’re interested in.  Just make sure you are incorporating the PT School pre-requisites into your schedule.  Keep those grades up! Especially in your pre-requisites.  

4. GET INVOLVED! Another thing that I believe helped my application stand out was the number of leadership positions I held in undergrad and the amount of community volunteer hours I had.  Try to research different organizations at your school that you may be interested in and google different volunteer opportunities in your area.  You can even join an organization that is dedicated to volunteering and giving back to the community!

5. Research the schools you are thinking of applying to. If you can, go visit the school so you can get a feel for the program. Write out a list of all the questions you have about the program and talk to the staff and current students. Make sure the staff learns your name.  Researching is important because you do not want to get stuck in a program that you don’t enjoy.

6. While volunteering, make sure you are forming relationships with the Physical Therapists.  Pick their brains. Learn!  A few things I learned as an aide has helped me in school.  Also, forming those relationships with the PTs can aid in getting you awesome recommendation letters!

7. Do not wait until the last minute to study for the GRE.  I know so many people who have had to take it 2-3x and trust me, you don’t want to take that test more than once.  It is expensive and not fun at all.  Thank God I only had to take it once.  I used the Kaplan GRE Book which included 4 online practice tests and I also downloaded the Magoosh app.  *Another tip: check to see if your school gives out GRE waivers so you can save yourself some money. #ThankMeLater

8. I think the hardest part of the application process for me was the personal statement.  It took me forever to figure out what I really wanted to say and I wanted to make sure it stood out.  I had about 3 people edit it and I edited it myself about 48957389475 times before I actually submitted it haha. Try to be creative & think of ways you can make your essay sound different than everyone else’s.

9. The application process is a competition so try to exceed all expectations as much as you can. Once you are admitted, remember that it is not a competition anymore.  Your cohort becomes your family and y’all have to be there for each other.  Don’t be afraid to ask for help.  You are there to learn so no question is a stupid question.

Best of luck to everyone applying!

*Click here to find out more about my DPT Journey.

*Click here for another article that I found helpful.

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