Pre-Health at the Downtown Phoenix campus

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Pre-Physical Therapist Pathway

Pre-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. To schedule an appointment, call (602) 496-3300 or email


Dates to Remember

PTCAS typically opens in June and will close beginning of June the following year.  Be aware that PT programs will have specific deadlines to submit.

July 5, 2018PTCAS application opens for submission
August 15, 2018Early decision deadline for applicants
October 2018-May 2019Individual program deadlines
June 1, 20192018-2019 PTCAS application cycle closes

Yearly Planner


  • 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 & student organizations.
  • Begin volunteering and gaining physical therapy observation hours.

Involvement (Clubs & Organizations)



  • 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 & 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/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the United States and Canada, repeated courses, study-abroad courses (if reported on a United States transcript), and withdrawn failing.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 & physiology, biology, chemistry, & physics.
    • Grade Repeat Policy at ASU


  • 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.   

GRE (Graduate Record Examination)

Prep Courses & Practice Exams


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 (LORs)  

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 


  • 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