Physical Therapy Application Essay Tips

GRE - Most PT programs require applicants to complete the Graduate Record Examination (GRE).Programs may have minimum acceptable scores and last acceptable test dates.Be prepared to identify what classes you have taken (or will take) to fulfill the program's course requirements.

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Interviews - PT programs may require competitive applicants to visit the campus for an interview. Applicants may be required to speak with a single faculty member, a student, a physical therapist, or a panel of interviewers; or participate in an orientation program. Applicants should be prepared to discuss why they have chosen to pursue a career in physical therapy and how they perceive the role of physical therapists in health care.

Those who have researched and gained direct exposure to the profession will be better prepared to respond to the interview questions.

State Residency Requirements - Some PT education programs give preference to in-state (resident) students.

Out-of-state (non-resident) and foreign applicants may vie for a limited number of positions or may be ineligible for admission, depending on institutional and state policies.

Policies regarding the consideration of multiple sets of GRE scores vary by institution.

Physical Therapy Volunteer Experience - Many programs require applicants to have a certain number of volunteer or paid PT experiences working with patients under the supervision of a licensed physical therapist.During the interview, applicants may be rated on their oral communication skills, professional behaviors and attitudes, ability to interact in a group, knowledge of the profession, ability to solve problems, and motivation to pursue a career in physical therapy.The applicants' written communication skills may also be measured with an on-site essay.For additional information about college majors for the most recent applicant pool, review the PTCAS Applicant Data Report.The course prerequisites for admission vary significantly across PT education programs.Not all professional PT education programs participate in PTCAS.Applicants who wish to apply to a NON-participating PTCAS program must apply directly to the institution using the PT program's local application.This experience may be an important factor in the admissions process.Respectfully contact physical therapy clinics, hospitals, long-term care facilities (eg, nursing homes), and other healthcare settings in your area to find observation opportunities. References - Many physical therapist programs require 1-4 letters of reference (also known as "letters of evaluation" or "recommendations") as part of the admissions process.The program may specify the settings and types of experiences required.Applicants may also be required to have a licensed physical therapist verify the hours.

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