Would it be better to tranfer to an university to study pediatric physical therapy?

Should I go straight into an university or should I transfer to an university after two years of community college.

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Three answers:

Some people start at community college because it is usually cheaper than enrolling in a 4-year college from the get-go. But if you can afford it and have the smarts to get into a 4-year college from the start, I would recommend that.


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I would disagree with Sophia (but really it's just my opinion.) However, if you plan on pursuing a doctorate in physical therapy, you'll be attending at least seven years of school. The amount of money adds up extremely fast, and most PT's graduate with over $100k in debt.

The less expensive your undergraduate program the easier it will be to pay that debt off. My recommendation is to start in a community college and work your butt off for a high GPA -- classes there will be a little easier. Transfer those courses to a 4-year institution and maintain that GPA. (Expect to need a 3.5 to be accepted http://www.ptcas.org/uploadedFiles/PTCASorg/About_PTCAS/PTCASApplicantDataRpt.pdf although there are always exceptions)

While you're an undergraduate, join whatever "pre-physical therapy" club your school has and volunteer in it. I was in the presidency of mine for a short time and it made a huge difference in understanding the profession, knowing what would be expected in graduate school, and meeting professors and therapists who were able to really mentor me.

I think that staying at one school the entire four years can be advantageous IF: a) you get ACTIVELY involved in the aforementioned clubs as a freshman, by the time you're a senior you'll have met pretty much everyone on campus involved in physical therapy. Including faculty. b) you have a scholarship offer to the 4-year school c) You attend a university with an accelerated 3+3 program and receive in-state tuition which would allow you to skip your senior year as an undergraduate and immediately begin DPT school. (These are few and far between but you can find them by googling "Accelerated DPT" or "3+3 DPT program.") Here are a couple examples: http://drexel.edu/cnhp/academics/undergraduate/BS-DPT-Physical-Therapy-Option/ https://cph.temple.edu/pt/degree-programs/doctor-physical-therapy-dpt/33-accelerated-pre-baccalaureate-admission

P.S. I did all the work assuming that I'd want to become a physical therapist. However, after being involved on campus, I earned a position as a teaching assistant and found that I love doing that. So I earned a 2-year associate's degree in physical therapist assistantship and will work as a PTA while earning my PhD.

Being a PTA is a great career that pays very well -- especially if you'd rather be in school for 2 years instead of 7. Don't rule it out if you haven't yet done research on it.

Best of luck! Brendon Larsen


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I got my associates degree before going to university through a program called running start (I went to community college beginning in my junior year of high school). It can be a great way to save some money on tuition. I agree that the classes are generally easier than at university, so do plan to study hard and keep a high GPA. Also, it can be harder to be admitted into a university as a transfer student than as a freshman because some universities accept fewer transfer students than freshmen. This was the case at the university I attended. So find out what you would need to get in to the university of your choice as a transfer student in terms of grades, extracurricular activities etc

Another thing to be aware of is that it is common to lose credits in the transfer process. This can happen either by losing credits entirely (I lost 3) or when the university accepts some credits as electives rather than as the original subject category (for example, a sociology class that doesn't fit what the university considers sociology can now be an elective. This happened to about 15 of my community college credits). Generally, this will happen more often when transferring into a private university, out of state, or to a university that is on semesters when the community college was on quarters or vice versa. Do your best to find out all you can about the university you would like to go to. Are there community colleges that they often receive transfer students from? Talk with admissions and advisors at both the community colleges and the universities you are considering and make a plan that puts you on the right track to maintain as many of your community college credits as possible.

I hope this gives you some helpful information as you make your decision. Good luck!


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