Applying to PT School

Thinking About Applying in 2017?

Below are some Regis student tips about the application and interview process.  A couple disclaimers before beginning: this site will be changing A TON in the next 6 months; with that in mind, this page is by no means finished. Check for updates and a new format in a few months.  Secondly, these are not Admission-sponsored pieces of advice–they come from students (mostly me. Hi. I’m the Admissions Rep for the Class of 2018 and head up this blog.)

So, you’re applying to PT school! What a dream. I recommend you think about these pieces of your application early on:

  • Who is going to write your recommendation letters?
    • This may sound silly, but lay the ground work right now by going to office hours, connecting with your employer, and explicitly stating your enthusiasm for PT. If you’re currently in undergrad, ask your faculty members for recs BEFORE the summer semester hits!
    • When you actually ask for a letter, ask in person. Then, follow up with an email that highlights at least THREE things that distinguished you from your classmates in that course. Did you organize group projects? Facilitate small group discussions? Ask extra questions to the professor about research you looked up on your own time? Whatever it is, gently remind the professor that you’re a rock star. This also helps jog the memory of a faculty member you may have had 10 years ago and give them fodder to write that rec with.
    • Quite frequently, professors and clinicians will ask for a sample letter that you’ve constructed that they can sign off on. Biggest tips: DON’T SELL YOURSELF SHORT and EDIT, EDIT, EDIT! You’d be surprised how often grammar is an issue. Also, you may think you know comma usage or your teacher will correct it when he/she submits it, but that is definitely something to check.
  • Where do you want to go?
    • Location is more important for PT school than for your undergraduate degree–you’re going to be making connections with faculty members, future colleagues, and clinicians in the area you decide to get your DPT in.  I knew that I wanted to be in Colorado, so that naturally narrowed down my list quite a bit!
    • Finances. They are rough, vary quite a bit between schools, and you sadly will have less funding opportunities available as a graduate student. Figure out how much it will cost with loans and potential scholarships for each program.  I vote you factor in finances BUT similarly factor in how you fit into the program–find a happy medium. (Fun fact: Regis offers ten $20,000 scholarships (spread over the whole program) to each cohort!)
  • Be wary of rankings. 
    • Guaranteed, if you’re going to an accredited program, you will be given the tools to pass the NPTE and become a PT. Beyond being somewhat wacky and subjectively calculated rankings, they really should not influence where you go to school! Being successful in PT school is largely based on fit and program emphasis; read faculty bios to get a glimpse at what may be highlights of the program.  Whether you feel you fit into the #100 ranked program or the #1 program, I highly recommend going by feel over name.  Also, consider Regis. It’s really cool.

Timeline for applying: 

Being the prepared, awesome future PTs that y’all are, I won’t bore you with particulars. Here are some tips, though:

Right now: start writing every day. Write about  moments that make you want to be PT, write about the weather. Whatever. Just get those writing juices flowing! You’d be amazed by how much writing helps you establish your voice and help you sculpt exactly what you want to say–both for the applications and the interviews.

June 29th: the tentative first date you can apply on PTCAS!

First off, breathe. Relax. If you haven’t sent off your requests for recommendations, do that now.

Make your list of where to apply! Don’t bother applying to 20 billion programs; yes, you’re a star, and you’ll get into some nice schools. Just be cognizant that if you’ve done your research, you should have an idea of some excellent programs that are the right fit for you and you’ll be ready to apply to just a few.

August-September: Finish that application and submit! Yes, some programs have later deadlines and some have earlier ones. A lot of my classmates elected to use the earliest due date as the date they’d have all their supplemental applications done by; I recommend this completely! More so, if a program has rolling admissions, DEFINITELY get that in as soon as you can. You could even finish most the application before that July 6th deadline if you wanted to.

APPLICATION TIPS:

  1. Oh, cool. You like to help people? Awesome. Sadly, if you’re applying to PT school, so does everyone else. Think of a unique reason why you want to be a PT.
  2. At least for Regis, leadership and holistic learning is a huge emphasis.  Make it clear to each school that you have read about their program!
  3. Feel validated just for applying. This is big. When I applied, I hadn’t taken the GRE, still had 7 outstanding prerequisites, and still felt like the creative writing major I used to be.  Own your differences and play them as strengths!

INTERVIEW TIPS:

At least for Regis, we have some wonderful blog posts about the Regis interview weekend. That being said, here are some general tips:

  1. Particularly at Regis, this is true: be yourself. Yes, duh. But really. Not every PT has to be charming and outgoing. Similarly, not every PT has to radiate book smarts and professionalism. These are all important traits, but don’t feel the need to overact or try to emulate your fellow interviewee. You are there for a reason; you don’t need to play up anything.
  2. Show your genuine interest with faculty and current students. Ask them real questions and try to learn something while interviewing. Regis has a group interview format, and remember that you will often work in a collaborative healthcare environment so you should look to work as team during the interview weekend.

With that, all I can say is good luck! I look forward to meeting you as fellow peers and colleagues! Please feel free to email me with any questions at cpassarelli@regis.edu.

Blogger: Carol Passarelli

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

I’m hoping this slideshow makes you think something like, “Wow, those Regis cool cats look awesome! I should go there!”

A little about me: I’m originally from the Bay Area and went to the University of Southern California for English and psycholinguistics. I graduated in 2015 with a BS in Human Biology (surprise change!) and am now in my second year at Regis. I’m the Admission Representative for the Class of 2018, creator/editor of this student blog, and the Colorado Core Ambassador this year. Email me at cpassarelli@regis.edu with any questions/comments!

Want more information about Regis? Check out our school’s website!