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How can I increase my chances of getting into a doctorate of Physical therapy program?

Junior in college applying to DPT programs this summer. #physicaltherapy #admissions

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Subject: Career question for you

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Mary Jane’s Answer

If you have not already done so, you should attempt to shadow some physical therapists. Ideally, you should look for experiences in a variety of settings (e.g., hospital, rehab clinic, nursing home) and with a variety of different patient populations. The more diversity in the field that you can speak to on interviews and essays, the stronger candidate you will be. This might be tricky with COVID-19, so if you can't find shadowing now, try to do some informational interviews and keep checking back with folks through the rest of the spring.

Other things you can do are to research schools to learn more about them and how you'd fit in as a DPT student. You might check LinkedIn to see if there are any alumni from your school attending (or graduates of) the DPT programs that interest you -- they can give you insights as a student that can be helpful while you are interviewing. You can also research the faculty at various programs to learn about their research interests.

You might make an appointment with the pre-health advisor at your undergraduate institution to discuss your application plans. They might know alumni you can speak to and can help you with feedback on essays and other aspects of your PTCAS application, help you prep for interviews, and answer general questions about the process. Good luck!

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Emma’s Answer

Boost your chances of securing a spot in a Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) program by adopting a well-rounded strategy. Kick off your journey with solid undergraduate groundwork, acing your prerequisite courses and keeping your GPA competitive. Immerse yourself in practical field experience by volunteering or taking up a job as a physical therapy aide, showing your dedication to this profession. Grab opportunities to shadow physical therapists, deepening your grasp of the role.

Your application should shine with powerful letters of recommendation and an engaging personal statement. Secure endorsements from those who can vouch for your academic prowess and strong work ethic. Let your personal statement glow with your enthusiasm for physical therapy, your relevant experiences, and your motivations for chasing a DPT degree. Buckle up for any required standardized tests like the GRE, aiming for scores that meet program requirements.

Don't forget to engage in extracurricular activities that display your leadership, teamwork, and communication skills. Stay up-to-date with the latest advancements in the field. Broaden your horizons by applying to a variety of programs and being open to diverse possibilities, which can boost your acceptance odds. If your first attempt doesn't succeed, don't be disheartened. Seek feedback, make necessary improvements, and consider reapplying to continue your quest for a DPT program.
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Christine’s Answer

Gain experience in a variety of settings (inpatient, outpatient, pediatrics) to have a better understanding of the field as a whole.
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