Best choice for physical therapy?

My son has narrowed his college selection to 5 finalists. He’s interested in becoming a physical therapist, so he’ll ultimately need his DPT. His undergraduate finalists (in order of estimated costs):

  1. Northeastern (NUin) - most expensive
  2. UCONN (not in yet)
  3. U Delaware
  4. Temple
  5. UMASS Amherst - least expensive

We’ve done a lot of research on the pros and cons of each university, but would love to hear from current PT students or alumni about the pros and cons of the respective exercise science / kinesiology / pre-PT programs. (We already understand which are 6, 6.5, 7 year programs).
Thanks!

My daughter intends on getting her accelerated 3+3 bs/dpt as well and just trying to finalize her decision after getting acceptances now. She got into Northeastern Honors Program, but they do not have an accelerated program anymore, so this will factor into her decision making. She got into accelerated programs at Rutgers, MCPHS, U of Hartford and Seton Hall. She is all but certain she will attend Sacred Heart University in Fairfield, CT majoring in Biology for their 3+3 and accepted to their honors program.

I think this ranking could be useful since it is the closest to physical therapy.

https://www.usnews.com/best-graduate-schools/top-nursing-schools/nur-rankings

That’s fantastic. Congrats to your daughter! It sounds like she has some great choices.

I initially thought my son would choose an accelerated program as well, and that’s still a possibility, but it’s looking like he wants a more “traditional” 4 year college experience and then the DPT experience afterwards.

Knowing that you are into a 3+3 is really great. Hopefully my son’s approach works for him.

Thanks for your response.

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Ok, thank you.

My daughter is an exercise science major at UD (sophomore but actually a junior because she started with 30 credits). She LOVES UD (honors program) and shadows at their PT center every Friday. She narrowed it down to US, Scranton and Quinnipiac, but wanted a 4/3 program. She’s very happy with her courses in spite of being online. Hopefully in the fall!

That’s great to hear! Is her shadowing done on the STAR Campus?

Yes it is, which is great because hospitals, pt centers, schools etc. are not allowing shadowing due to covid. I think she received her second covid vaccine this weekend which is nice.

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My friend’s daughter completed her undergraduate degree in kinesiology (?) at UD (OOS), went to her state school for her DPT, and is now a practicing PT in a major teaching hospital.

IMO all of the schools on this list will prepare students for DPT programs. It is up to the student to do what he/she needs to accomplish in order to be a strong applicant. As you know, DPT programs are quite competitive. Which one does he like the best, and where does he feel he can do the best academically? Is cost an issue and is there money left over for grad school if he attends a more expensive school?

My family member attended our state school (not on this list). He spent about 18 months volunteering at a PT practice after graduation (was originally not PT) and then successfully applied to programs (is a current student).

Good luck!

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That’s great feedback, thanks. Still trying to figure out the “best fit” piece (academically, location, campus, etc.). Cost is a consideration, but not make or break. To your point, if undergraduate is less expensive, we may be able to help out a bit with grad school costs.
Thanks.

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Oh, and one of my current high school seniors applied to UCONN, UMASS, Temple, UD and SUNY Binghamton, SUNY is the cheapest after merit (actuarial science). Unfortunately none except UD are having in person tours yet. My daughters walked around the Temple campus over thanksgiving weekend. Did you visit any?

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We visited UMASS and UCONN pre-pandemic. My wife and son are on the UD campus right now, and driving back through Temple on the way home today. These are difficult times to be choosing a college!

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Make sure to check out Main Street, my daughter liked the Temple campus, but the homeless population seem to be more aggressive than in other areas like NYC.

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Update. They are back from the UCONN, UD, Temple trip. Pretty sure we are down to 2 schools now: UCONN AND UD. Now we wait for March 1st UCONN decision. Not hoping for a UCONN rejection, but it would make the decision easier…haha. The only real negative about UD is the 6 hour drive for us. Otherwise it seems like a perfect fit and he absolutely loved the campus.

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That’s fantastic! :relaxed:

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Thanks for the update, looks like we need to get to UCONN. My daughter loved UD so much, we never made there.

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UCONN’s campus is much quieter and more remote than UD’s. It’s beautiful. If you don’t mind being “in the middle of nowhere” it can be a perfect fit. When I attended college I didn’t feel the need to leave campus much. I grew up in a city, so I was craving trees and grass and land. UCONN has that type of feel. But if you want lots of things to do off campus and easy access to major cities, it wouldn’t be a great fit.

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Thank you, that’s what I’m afraid of and why my 19 year old daughter decided just to go to UD. We live outside NYC and my kids like going into the city or even smaller shopping areas here (bubble tea and poke bowls and crystal shops, plus thrift stores). However, they also love hiking and being outdoors. Were you able to get a good feel of UCONN even without going into buildings?

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Congrats to your daughter. My son ended up at Quinnipiac U direct admission PT program. Came down to QU and Sacred Heart. Make sure you read the fine print with Sacred Heart’s program as it is not truly “guaranteed” admission to DPT program. Unless things have changed think you still need to take GRE and score in 25th percentile. Obviously, lower standards than if applying from outside the program but still something to deal with. My son was not greatest standardized test taker so was a factor in his decision. As long as he maintains 3.20 GPA with his Science/Math and Overall he gets into DPT program.

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Thanks! And I suspect the requirements at SHU may have changed from what you describe on the GRE - noted here that minimum score not required: Graduate Admission Requirements & Application | Sacred Heart University The seat is guaranteed with the 3.2 GPA as well.

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