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Colleges selection that would best prepare daughter for Doctorate of Physical Therapy School

shelly10shelly10 Registered User Posts: 18 New Member
I've started this discussion in search of advise. My D is a senior in high school and is trying to select a college after getting her acceptances. Here is a list of colleges below that she was accepted/waitlisted/deferred to.


Arcadia (PT School)
Ithaca (PT School)
Quinnipiac University (PT School)
Marquette (PT School)
University of Delaware (Exercise Physiology)
University of Pittsburgh (Arts and Sciences)
Cal Poly San Luis Obispo (Kinesiology)
University of Washington (Pre Health)
University of Iowa (Kinesiology)
Chapman University (Exercise Physiology)
Gonzaga University (Human Physiology)
Rutgers University (Biological sciences)

Boston University (waitlisted)
University of Wisconsin Madison (deferred)

**Her goal is to become a PT, and according to her list of acceptances she was able to get into some freshman entry DPT programs. Out of those freshman entry PT schools Marquette is her first choice and we will be visiting there a second time in a couple of weeks. However, she also has some other really great choices that she is strongly considering. Her first choices out of the other schools are:

University of Pittsburgh
Boston University (waitlisted)
University of Washington
Cal Poly SLO

Now it's decision making time.

In making her selection her primary concerns are:
1. If she chooses to go to a 4 year undergrad school will she be able to hold her GPA high enough, especially in the math and sciences, to get into DPT school without studying at all times and doing nothing else. She is a very good student but is concerned that she will not be able to get the 3.5-4.0 GPA in math and sciences that is required for DPT school and that she would be taking classes primarily premed students. She goes to a very intense high school currently and has been able to maintain a 4.0, but she studies a lot.
2. She would prefer to be located closer to her family on the west coast, however this is not a deal breaker.
3. She wants to make sure that there is a good pre-health advising program to help guide her into DPT school.
4. Are there volunteer/internships opportunities for her at the university and the surrounding areas?

Thank you for any advice that you can provide me so I can help her in this very difficult decision. Just having someone elses perspective is very helpful.


Replies to: Colleges selection that would best prepare daughter for Doctorate of Physical Therapy School

  • hophop Registered User Posts: 741 Member
    Attending a direct entry program will take away a lot of the stress.
    If she knows for certain that PT is where she's headed, then opt for a direct entry.
    If her primary concern about direct entry is her potential math grades, be sure that she knows where the tutoring or counseling offices are prior to her first math class. There's no shame in tutoring and sooner is always better. Study groups work too, and can be a good way to get to know others in her cohort.

    What are the net costs (total cost minus any grants or scholarships) associated with each school choice?
    How easy will it be to get to and from the school?

  • thumper1thumper1 Registered User Posts: 63,485 Senior Member
    edited March 19
    Is she wants to be a PT, the Direct Entry programs are the way to go. Otherwise...no guarantee she will actually be accepted to a PT program when she applies.

    If she picks any one of these direct admit programs you have listed...she would be able to switch out to a different major if she so chooses.

    ETA....if she was waitlisted as an undergrad admit to Boston University...I think it would,be an UP HILL climb to get accepted into the Sergant School for PT.

    She has some excellent Direct Admit PT programs on her list.

    I'm not sure why she would consider anything else...unless cost if a factor.

    RE: being on the west coast...she applied to TEN colleges on the east coast. If this was a top criteria...the list was all wrong.

    @carolinamom2boys what do you think??
  • leftrightleftleftrightleft Registered User Posts: 314 Member
    I agree with going the direct entry route. The Marquette program is a tough admit so kudos to your daughter. Milwaukee is a nice city for young people and should make travel between home and school easy. I'm assuming your daughter has a good merit offer there as well.
    I've known several students who have not gotten admitted to grad programs despite doing well in undergrad so I understand her concerns. Best of luck!
  • happy1happy1 Registered User Posts: 18,204 Senior Member
    edited March 19
    Another vote for the direct entry route if she is sure she wants PT. It will take a lot of the stress out of the process. And she has some very nice choices!

    FWIW my D decided late in the game (junior year of undergrad) that she wanted to pursue speech therapy (a different field I know) -- she had to study for and take the GRE, she really worked to bring her GPA up as high as she could junior/first semester senior year, she had to do all the applications/essays/get recommendations etc, she traveled to visit schools and for some interviews (and did others by Skype), and then she had to wait until mid-March to know if she got into a program and what city she would be for grad school. Additionally, her grad program is an additional semester because she came in without all of the background that an undergrad speech major had. Thankfully things worked out well for her and she did love her undergrad experience but if she had known from the start she wanted to do speech therapy it would have been nice to skip this grad school round of applications.
  • JustGraduateJustGraduate Registered User Posts: 672 Member
    I've been going to PT for 3 years, and have gotten to know the PT's very very well. Over these 3 years we've spent a lot of time talking about the process of becoming a PT, different schools, the change to doctorate only, OT and the move towards doctorate, just about everything. And they all know more good students who tried to get into PT school and failed than those who got in. The PT's are primarily < 5 years out of school and see it's gotten more difficult not less. Plus the admission results they see aren't exactly predictable..... some UG schools get students into PT programs that you wouldn't expect, while those schools who seem very strong can send very few in any given year. None of these PT's went to a direct entry program - and all wish they had been able to. The only downside to this approach is changing your mind about PT once you start. BUT the plus is you typically realize that earlier in the process if you're in a direct entry program so not quite as much invested if you find a change is appropriate.
  • happy1happy1 Registered User Posts: 18,204 Senior Member
    edited March 19
    Correction to post #4 - Her grad program will be an additional 2 semesters since she went in without an undergrad degree in speech therapy.
  • twogirlstwogirls Registered User Posts: 5,858 Senior Member
    I agree that the direct entry route is the way to go. PT has become very competitive and if she waits there is no guarantee she will be accepted later on.
  • taskmstrxtaskmstrx Registered User Posts: 81 Junior Member
    Direct entry is the way to go. Not only does it take the pressure off GRE's, interviews and applications, but a lot of schools require volunteer/observation hours that can be difficult to obtain depending on the area you're in. My kids always tell students to go direct entry- they've had more than 1 classmate who didn't get in the first try and had to sit out a year.

    And congratulations on the Marquette entry! They get lots of applications for those spots.
  • rosered55rosered55 Registered User Posts: 2,706 Senior Member
    I don't know anything about PT programs, but if you and your daughter are interested in information about Milwaukee and Wisconsin generally, please feel free to PM me.
  • me29034me29034 Registered User Posts: 1,206 Senior Member
    I think @labegg has a daughter in the PT program at Marquette.
  • shelly10shelly10 Registered User Posts: 18 New Member
    Thanks me29034. It would be nice to hear how @labegg's daughter likes it. Thanks
  • shelly10shelly10 Registered User Posts: 18 New Member
    Hi Thumber1 and others for your great advice, and point of view. Just to clarify my daughter's list of schools. Yes, it appears to be way off track in that most of her schools that she applied to are in the east and she wants to be in the west. The reason for this is that during her application process we thought we were moving from the NJ to Wisconsin, so she added some Wisconsin schools; and then, our living location changed again to Oregon, so once again she applied to more schools, this time in the west. Unfortunately, much to her dismay, there are very few, if any, freshman entry DPT programs in the west. So now she is trying to decide what school in the west would be her better choice. She is not so sure of Marquette. She knows it is a great program and it would be the most practical choice, but doesn't really love it because of the location and lack of diversity (not sure if this is true). She's just concerned that she won't like it as well as some of the west coast schools.
  • HImomHImom Registered User Posts: 29,520 Senior Member
    My relative was dating a guy who got his bachelor's degree at UOregon and then applied broadly to get into PT school. He ended up in Pocatello Idaho, which surely was NOT very diverse either, after a lot of scrambling and stress as to whether or not he'd get into PT grad program. He did get the degree there and is now practicing in HI.

    I'd say she should give a very careful and hard look at the PT programs, since it's much less stress when you're already in the program from freshman year than wondering whether you will or won't be admitted. It is a VERY competitive and expensive field. My H has been using various PTs a lot over the past 5+ years--shoulder, back, neck and then back again. I used them after breaking my fibula.
  • bhs1978bhs1978 Registered User Posts: 289 Junior Member
    As a therapist myself, I ALWAYS recommend direct entry whenever possible. I know students currently attempting to get in from undergrad programs with little to no success. It's HIGHLY competitive. Starting in PT and switching out is no problem, however, you cannot start in something else and switch to direct entry. It is unfortunate there are not more direct entry programs for her on the West Coast.

    Congratulations to her impressive list of acceptances.
  • MYOS1634MYOS1634 Registered User Posts: 31,484 Senior Member
    Another vote for Direct Entry. If she doesn't like Marquette, Ithaca or whichever school is the cheapest.
    It really is the best path. So much uncertain otherwise and lower odds of success.
    It's a case of "a bird in the hand is better than two in the bush" - but it's her career at stake here.
    I have yet to meet a person who didn't wish they'd taken the direct entry route.
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