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Experience vs. GPA

Discussion in 'Pre-Physical Therapy' started by emcarr26, Aug 1, 2011.

  1. emcarr26

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    I graduated from DePaul January 2009 with a Bachelor of Arts majoring in Psychology--Human Development. My graduating GPA was 3.0. I have also been a Certified Personal Trainer since 2007 and gravitated towards a sub-specialty of resistance training emphasizing safety, injury prevention and spinal core rehabilitation using slow tempo movements completed to muscular exhaustion. The machines used to conduct the slow protocol sessions are chiropractic grade medical machines known as MedX. In 2010 I opened a private personal training studio dedicated to this sub specialty and am the founder and director of PGSP (Private Gym Slow Protocol). Although my GPA is on the low side, I am determined to take the next step in my career by going back to school for DPT. I am starting class 8/22 to complete the missing science prerequisites (2 full time semesters worth) and plan on applying next summer/fall for 2013 admissions. Be honest, will my low GPA deter school from admitting me? Will the 2 yr gap between under grad and grad prove to be a problem?
     
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  3. jesspt

    10+ Year Member

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    If you do well in your science pre-requisites, it should raise your cumulative and pre-req GPA to a more competitive level.

    Franklly, I think the admissions board of most schools will care more about your GPA than your previous experience. However, if you get to an interview, being able to discuss how your previous experiences are relevant to the PT profession may make an impression.
     
  4. DancerFutureDPT

    DancerFutureDPT Academic Administrator
    Moderator Faculty 7+ Year Member

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    I agree with Jess - your experience is unique and relevant, however whatever PT school you go to will still teach you using their methods, want you to follow certain protocols with learning/teaching exercises, etc, so while you have a helpful background from an exercise standpoint, it won't be so helpful as to overshadow a low GPA...do you have PT observation too? Make sure you get that in there too.

    You should definitely be able to raise your GPA with the prerequisites - make sure you knock those out, which will bring up your GPA (especially your prereq GPA), and that will make you look more impressive to schools - not only is your GPA high in that case, but they'll see the improvement between when you graduated and now. But I think ultimately, GPA > experience. Everyone coming in will have at least a baseline number of PT observation hours, and while it's helpful to have experience outside the PT field but that might be relateable, it isn't required. Also, no matter how much awesome experience you have, you have to be able to pass the PT school classes, which is why GPA becomes a factor (not saying you'll fail...3.0 is hardly a bad GPA, and you still have the prereqs to do. I'm just speaking generally here).

    Try to do as well as you can on the GRE too, just to make sure you're well rounded in your application.

    The gap in your application timeline is no biggie - a lot of people take a few years off to work, travel, make money, decide to go in a different career direction, etc. PT schools like diversity, not only in gender/race, but in educational background and age - they don't want a class that's entirely students fresh from undergrad graduation. As long as you used that time wisely, which it definitely sounds like you have, you're fine. It'd be a little harder to say that if you had spent the last 2 years working a part-time job in an unrelated field and spent the rest of your time sleeping and watching TV.
     
  5. johncronejr

    2+ Year Member

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    Bring up your GPA in your prereqs.

    My advice on your experience: You can discuss this in your interviews, but don't overemphasize. You don't want to appear as one that already has their mind made up about certain treatments. It is far easier for an employer/school to train someone fresh than it is to have to break old mindsets and then train them. You don't want to appear as the latter.
     
  6. Yohan

    Yohan Class of 2014
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    "Well, you can't change the past, so focus on the future." That was told to me by an admissions counselor a few years ago when I asked a similar question as you. There are many parts to the application (unfortunately GPA is used for one of the first "cuts" made), so focus on getting 4.0's in your remaining classes and making the rest of your application (ie. LOR's, personal essay, extra-curricular activities, etc.) stellar.

    I'm starting a DPT program this year and here were my stats:
    Overall GPA: 2.76
    Prerequisite GPA: 3.90
    GRE: 1130 (V: 440 Q: 690 AW: 3.5... taken 3 times)
    Time between undergrad and applying: 9 years.
    I also felt that the rest of my application was strong, but that is subjective depending on who's reading it.

    Hopefully this will give you some hope and help you focus on the future and stop worrying about the past. Good luck!
     
  7. ChristMyLife

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    Wow, congratulations! Where did you get into, if you don't mind me asking?
     
  8. adh28

    2+ Year Member

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    Hello everyone, I too had a question in regards to experience v GPA. I have about 3 semesters left worth of classes (including pre-reqs) and I have about 65 hours of inpatient hours and have worked at an outpatient clinic for about 10 months as an aide/support staff. I have met the schools' minimum requirements for PT observation hours that I would like to attend and was considering toning my volunteer hours down for now to focus on my science pre-reqs (chem, physics, and bio) while I continue with my aide position. Do you think this will be ok? I don't want to feel like I just met the minimum observation hours requirements and put that on my apps, but I also feel like work and class loads of these science classes will be challenging enough for me. Do schools take into consideration very heavily how much past the minimum requirements students went in observation hours on the application?
     

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