Joined: February 6, 2005
Hello everyone, I am a long time reader, first time poster. I will be applying to PT school next year, but due to the need to work full-time and my own difficulties I do not have a stellar GPA. I will probably be right at 3.0 by application time. However, I am a personal trainer with post rehab certifications and experience, a military veteran, and will have some good recommendations (along with a degree in Kinesiology). I have not yet taken the GRE. How important is GPA for acceptance in light of these other qualifications? Thanks for any guidance that you can provide!
Joined: January 31, 2005
I think that your packet seems pretty strong overall, so I am willing to bet your GPA is not that big of an issue. If it is less than 3.0, you might be in trouble, but if it's at least that, the other things will tell the tale. May I recommend Princeton Review for the GRE?
I applied for pt school this fall. A good place to start is [URL=http://www.apta.org.]www.apta.org.[/URL] Gives a lot of information on program requirements. Also, at least for the Florida schools, most dont start accepting until Jan. But it is fairly competitive. I was accepted at usf with around a 3.7 gpa, but certainly lacked the other accomplishments you have. To get a good idea on usf's program, go to http://dpt.hsc.usf.edu and go to the addmission page. They break down the number of applications they've received and gpa's and such.
and about the gpa. I know most schools have a min gpa around 3.0, some higher, some lower.
High GPA = Public Education Lower GPA = Private Education
Same License. More or less money to get there. 3 years of public education in California would've set me back ~24k (school was ~5k) total. Private school would've been closer to 90-110k (school @ 75k) total.
Do you have the GI Bill?
At all costs, keep your student loans down. However...if you're disciplined with $, take ANY and ALL free student loan money below market rates (ie EmigrantDirect @ 4.0%) and plunk it into an interest bearing account like ED. Skim the interest and payback when interest starts accruing. Or not as student loan interest is deductible below a certain gross income level.
Low GPA doesn't necessarily mean Private school. Applying to the Public schools will be worth the app. fee and time to fill out the apps. Your prior experience will be huge so stay focused on that while applying.
Joined: January 8, 2004
From: Los Angeles area
johnny- at the risk of sounding like sour grapes i disagree with High GPA = Public Education Lower GPA = Private Education
My GPA was not a 3.7, but it wasn't as low as 3.0 either. I had good experience and an excellent undergrad education. But, When I was applying, private schools offered MPT and public offered BS only. I did not want a second BS and didn't even apply to public schools. I had several friends in my PT class who got in everywhere they applied and chose private schools for the same reason. Similarly now, the public schools around here offer MPT, not DPT, so I'd still go to private to get the DPT if I had the choice probably. If both had the same degrees and both schools had good reputatations, sure, go for the cheaper way!!!
In no way am i taking away from the value of a good private school education. =)
However, at the end of the day, when condo's in decent areas of Los Angeles are $450k and the cost of living is much higher than it was say 15 years ago, it makes sense to keep all expenses as low as possible. As PT's don't make a whole lot every dollar counts.....especially for a younger person starting out. Fiscal prudence needs to start early in the face of daunting challenges to having a so called normal life (getting married, buying a house, having kids, etc).
Financial independence is freedom.
Case in point: There are old classmates of mine with ZERO student loan debt practicing along side USC grads with 120k loans. Same age, same skill level. Much different stressors.
Joined: October 27, 2002
From: New York, NY
There are schools that don't evaluate your overall cummulative GPA. They look at the last 30 credits of so, many of which have to include some or all of the prerequisite classes. In addition, some separate the cum from the science cum.
It sounds like you should be fine. I serve on an admissions committee so email me privately if you want more information. Don't be afraid to call the schools you are interested in and sit down with someone. I regularly meet with prospective students and review their transcripts.
...aside from the current debate regarding public/private schools etc I thought it would be helpful to provide some information in-line with your questions.
1) 2007 PT schools are seeing the highest number of applicants in 5 years.
2) Problem: I think a 3.0 will present as a challenge simply for the pool of qualified applicants with 3.7 - 4.0 GPAs.
3) Solution: While many programs have done away with the interview process (why a healthcare field would not value this is puzzling to me) many continue to utilize interviews as a valuable component to the application process. PT schools are beginning to see students fail/drop out because of variables that might otherwise been identify had they taken the time to interview the candidates. I would seek out those programs who do hold formal interviews with faculty/students/clinicians etc. This gives the selection team something to go on besides a GPA and a few letters of reference. I have too often encountered the 4.0 GPAs who make poor clinicians all the while the 3.0 GPAs with life experiences such as yourself blossom with the opportunity. Find a program that values you as a whole person and not a number. You will be expected to do the same as a clinician so why not start the process now. I will bet that having met and spoken with you the GPA will find a back seat.
Lastly, ...would a great profession. Good luck to you.
Hi Diesal, I see that you are in the Maryland area. Shenandoah which is my current school, does have an interview process that Ajoe just mentioned. The address is [URL=http://www.su.edu]www.su.edu[/URL]
hey there. Im currently a junior at the university of Illinois at Chicago. Im going for PT but my current gpa right now is a 3.1. Im planning on applying to pt programs this fall in my senior year, and hopefully my gpa will be around 3.2-3.3 around that time. Im planning on taking the GRE this summer with my friend and im also looking into taking genetics this summer. If you were to look at my transcript, it's mostly B's with some A's. But i did get a C in Biology 100 freshmen year. However I redeemed myself by getting an A in Biology 101 the next semester. I also got a C in orgo and Anatomy/Physiology 1 last semester. Hopefully i could get a B in Anatomy/Physiology 2 this semester. Right now i hav about 100 hours of pt observations. I observed in 3 different facilities with a mixture of both outpatient and inpatient physical therapy. I'll be getting more hours in this summer because I want as much as I could get in my limited time. The only thing worrying me is my gpa and the GRE. Should I like my chances of getting into any pt schools?