Pre-Health career pathways

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Pre-Physical Therapist pathway

Pre-Physical Therapy PathwayPre-health advising

You are encouraged to meet with a pre-health advisor at least once a semester to discuss options for careers in medicine, opportunities to gain relevant experience, discussing the best time to apply, preparation for the MCAT, the AMCAS application, and much more. For more information, schedule an appointment with your advisor.


Partnerships/Priority Consideration/Pipeline Programs

Four-year plan

College year 1


  • Maintain a strong GPA and focus on coursework.
  • Make an appointment with a pre-health advisor to introduce yourself.
  • Begin to get involved with clubs and student organizations.
  • Begin volunteering and gaining physical therapy observation hours.

Involvement (Clubs and student organizations)


College year 2


  • While maintaining a high GPA, look into opportunities for research and continue to gain observation hours in different physical therapy settings.
  • Build relationships with professors as they may become letter writers.
  • Attend pre-health meetings and events.
  • Begin to look into preparing for the GRE (Studying and Registration).

Clinical experience

PTCAS recognizes volunteer, shadow, and paid work as PT observation hours.  Each DPT Program may have specific requirements such as type of setting, number of hours completed, and type of work.  For instance, NAU does not require students to have PT observation hours, but highly recommends them.  Midwestern does require 60 hours of PT observation that must be verified by a licensed PT via PTCAS.  A.T Still University requires 30 PT observation hours, but does not require that they are verified.  It is important to check each program’s requirements. 


  • Research  (Basic Sciences, Clinical, Academic)

Leadership and community service 

Study abroad

Explore schools

Grade point average

  • PTCAS GPA Guidelines
    • PTCAS GPA’s include courses only from colleges and universities in the United States and Canada, repeated courses, study-abroad courses (if reported on a United States transcript), and withdrawn failing.
    • Overall Cumulative GPA includes all undergraduate, Postbaccalaureate, graduate, and professional courses.
    • Science GPA includes anatomy and physiology, biology, chemistry, and physics.
    • Grade Repeat Policy at ASU

College year 3


  • Maintain a high GPA and stay involved with campus clubs/ organizations, volunteer opportunities, and clinical experience.
  • Start prepping for the GRE (take the GRE by spring of Junior year).
  • Apply through PTCAS one year prior to when you plan to matriculate.
  • Reach out to possible evaluators who will write strong letters of recommendation.
  • Continue to meet with your pre-health advisor at least once a semester.   

Graduate Record Examination (GRE)

Prep courses and practice exams

Physical Centralized Application Service (PTCAS)

Personal statement

Review of personal statement offered by Pre-Health Office.

  • PTCAS Guidelines
    4,500 characters long (Approximately 1 page)
    Draft by April of junior year (the year prior to matriculation into physical therapy school).

Letters of recommendation (LOR)  

Identify people who know you well and can firmly comment on your ability as a student and future Physical Therapist. PTCAS will only allow up to 4 references to be submitted and will not allow letters to be submitted through a letter service. Ask in advance and give your letter writers sufficient time to complete and submit.  Also, remember to stay in touch with letter writers who you may also ask in the future!

Mock interviews

Schedule mock interview with Pre-Health Office your senior year 

College year 4


  • Meet with pre- health advisor to prepare for interviews.
  • If waitlisted or rejected, explore post-bac options or consider taking a gap year.

Postbaccalaureate programs