FAQs

What qualification(s) should I earn before applying to a physical therapy Graduate school?

Before applying to a physical therapy Graduate school it is necessary to have an Undergraduate degree in either physical therapy or a related field. Graduate programs in physical therapy have different educational requirements depending on what branch of physical therapy you are studying to go into.

A B.Sc. in Biology is a good Undergraduate degree for this purpose as it covers courses like Anatomy, Biology, Physics, Chemistry and Math, which you need to study for your physical therapy degree. Or you can take what is known as a pre-physical therapy course – these are offered by many colleges in the U.S. Though there are other options available to you in this respect, these two choices are widely regarded as the best preparatory options for undertaking a Graduate degree in physical therapy.

What is the difference between Transitional Master of Physical Therapy and Direct Entry Master’s degree?

The Direct Entry Master’s degree program is designed for students who have not undertaken studies in physical therapy but who wish to pursue the degree with an eye to practicing this medical discipline upon graduation. Students who hold an Undergraduate degree in an unrelated field must take this Graduate degree program for approximately 2-3 years depending on course selection.

The Transitional Master of Physical Therapy degree is designed for students who already hold an Undergraduate degree in physical therapy. This type of Graduate degree is also intended to provide practicing physical therapists with an opportunity to use their course credits and experience to attain a higher degree.

What do I need to get a license for practicing as a physical therapist?

There are several requirements to be undertaken before acquiring a license to practice as a physical therapist. First, students must acquire their Graduate degree in physical therapy from an accredited institution. Second, students, now graduates, must pass the National Physical Therapy Examination. Each State has different requirements in addition to the base examination. See http://www.visalaw.com/IMG/ptchart.pdf for a full listing of requirements on a State by State basis.

After your acquire your license to practice as a physical therapist you will need to take continuing education courses to keep up with advancements in the field as the standard licensing for a physical therapist must be renewed biannually, and additional information or knowledge may be required to pass the updated exam as well.

How can I apply for the physical therapy scholarship?

The first step in applying for a scholarship when studying physical therapy is to complete a FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid). This can be done through the official FAFSA website: http://www.fafsa.ed.gov. There, you can find information on both Federal and State physical therapy scholarships available to prospective students.

There are also organizations above and beyond the FAFSA program that offer aid to prospective or studying physical therapists. Some of these are student aid organizations specific to an educational institution. Others can be found through the website of the American Physical Therapy Association. It is recommended that you apply for multiple scholarships as competition is quite fierce and applying to several for which you qualify will increase your odds of actually receiving financial aid.

Does every physical therapy school require an admission interview?

Admission interviews are a standard form of applicant screening applied by educational institutions that offer degrees in the medical professions. Very few schools do not use this practice, and you would be well advised to avoid those that do not, since they are foregoing one of the best indicators of how successful a medical professional will be in dealing with their patients.

Don’t worry about the admissions interview. Simply prepare well for it by being knowledgeable and presenting yourself in a calm and professional manner. Admissions interviews are conducted differently from institution to institution, and you may be interviewed by a single individual or by an interviewing committee. Whatever kind of interview you participate in, answer as best you can, remember to breathe and stay calm, and make a good impression.

Who is a physical therapist assistant?

As with other types of assistants tasked to, or working under, medical professionals, physical therapist assistants help licensed, practicing physical therapists administer to their patients. Physical therapist assistants hold an Associate’s degree, and like physical therapists, they must be licensed by the State in which they practice. However, the training involved in becoming a physical therapist assistant is less strenuous than that involved in becoming a full physical therapist.