Feb 2, 2021
4
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  1. Pre-Physical Therapy
Hi Everyone,

After graduating from my undergraduate college, I have been grinding non-stop to improve my GPA and wanted to know what else there is I can do to stand out. I have been doing my own dual post-bac program at the local community college and local CSU in my hometown to improve my GPA. By the end of this summer, I will have taken over 250 units of undergraduate coursework. I'm kind of tired of taking undergraduate courses to improve my GPA, so I was curious if you think applying to an online, one-year, master's of science program in applied kinesiology or physiology would be beneficial? If so, which programs would you recommend with my stats for starting Fall of 2021?

Here are my stats:
USC Undergrad GPA: 2.03
Cumulative GPA: 3.001
Post-Bacc GPA: 3.75
Cumulative Pre-req GPA: 2.82
Averaged Pre-req GPA: 3.14
Highest Grade Pre-req GPA: 3.42
GRE: Verbal (above 150) Math (above 150) Writing (above 3.5)
Observation Hours: 900+ (4 different settings, 6 different locations)
Extracurriculars: NASM-CPT, TA/Tutor for Anatomy/Physiology, volunteer at a donation center bi-weekly, gymnastics instructor, strong recommendation letters
 

kdubz7w7

2+ Year Member
Jun 28, 2017
196
140
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  1. Physical Therapist
Hi Everyone,

After graduating from my undergraduate college, I have been grinding non-stop to improve my GPA and wanted to know what else there is I can do to stand out. I have been doing my own dual post-bac program at the local community college and local CSU in my hometown to improve my GPA. By the end of this summer, I will have taken over 250 units of undergraduate coursework. I'm kind of tired of taking undergraduate courses to improve my GPA, so I was curious if you think applying to an online, one-year, master's of science program in applied kinesiology or physiology would be beneficial? If so, which programs would you recommend with my stats for starting Fall of 2021?

Here are my stats:
USC Undergrad GPA: 2.03
Cumulative GPA: 3.001
Post-Bacc GPA: 3.75
Cumulative Pre-req GPA: 2.82
Averaged Pre-req GPA: 3.14
Highest Grade Pre-req GPA: 3.42
GRE: Verbal (above 150) Math (above 150) Writing (above 3.5)
Observation Hours: 900+ (4 different settings, 6 different locations)
Extracurriculars: NASM-CPT, TA/Tutor for Anatomy/Physiology, volunteer at a donation center bi-weekly, gymnastics instructor, strong recommendation letters
Hi,
From what I understand, it usually isn't super beneficial. I have a master's and I remember one program telling me point-blank "we don't care that you have a master's degree" (and it's in exercise science!). It is definitely a way to demonstrate that you can handle graduate level work, I talked about it in my PT interview, but I doubt it was a game-changer in me being accepted. From what I have read on here it usually is not worth the effort, time, and COST. It honestly doesn't look like you can really do anything else, other than that undergrad GPA you have decent stats and it shows that you have put the effort in to prove your ability to handle course work.
I am not sure how PTCAS will calculate your GPA and that may be the only sticking point? I didn't have to apply through PTCAS so I don't know how that works. Hopefully someone else can weigh in about that.
I hope a school sees your dedication to improving your application, you've put a LOT of work in! Good luck!
 
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wiseOldPT

2+ Year Member
Jan 21, 2019
144
171
Have you tried applying to PT school? If you apply to schools that don't do an automatic toss, I think you have a really good shot. How long ago was your undergrad? Especially if longer ago, that GPA starts to matter less (we know people grow up!). Regardless, you have now shown with your post-bacc that you can do the work. I think time to stop taking classes and start applying.
 
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wiseOldPT

2+ Year Member
Jan 21, 2019
144
171
(and no, wouldn't recommend a masters program, especially an online one. They are cash cows, you won't get much out of it and it won't help your career)
 
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Feb 2, 2021
4
1
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  1. Pre-Physical Therapy
Hi,
From what I understand, it usually isn't super beneficial. I have a master's and I remember one program telling me point-blank "we don't care that you have a master's degree" (and it's in exercise science!). It is definitely a way to demonstrate that you can handle graduate level work, I talked about it in my PT interview, but I doubt it was a game-changer in me being accepted. From what I have read on here it usually is not worth the effort, time, and COST. It honestly doesn't look like you can really do anything else, other than that undergrad GPA you have decent stats and it shows that you have put the effort in to prove your ability to handle course work.
I am not sure how PTCAS will calculate your GPA and that may be the only sticking point? I didn't have to apply through PTCAS so I don't know how that works. Hopefully someone else can weigh in about that.
I hope a school sees your dedication to improving your application, you've put a LOT of work in! Good luck!
Thank you for the kind words and advice. I definitely have put in so much work and just want to get in already! PTCAS calculates my GPA per school, per subject, and then by undergraduate cumulative. But yes, my GPA is what seems to be hindering my application. If there's anything else you could recommend to do in the meantime to improve my chances of getting into PT school that would be greatly appreciated! In the meantime, I guess I will just continue to take undergraduate courses under the assumption I don't get into a school this round.
 
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Feb 2, 2021
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  1. Pre-Physical Therapy
Have you tried applying to PT school? If you apply to schools that don't do an automatic toss, I think you have a really good shot. How long ago was your undergrad? Especially if longer ago, that GPA starts to matter less (we know people grow up!). Regardless, you have now shown with your post-bacc that you can do the work. I think time to stop taking classes and start applying.
I applied last summer with a cumulative GPA of 2.71 and prayed for a hail mary that one school would accept me. This summer will be my second time applying! I also obtained my degree from USC in August of 2019, so not too long ago.
 
Feb 2, 2021
4
1
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  1. Pre-Physical Therapy
(and no, wouldn't recommend a masters program, especially an online one. They are cash cows, you won't get much out of it and it won't help your career)
What are your thoughts on doing an open-university (or open-enrollment program) by paying per graduate class to get ahead of PT school and start taking DPT classes to show that I am able to keep up with the intensity? I asked a couple of programs, but haven't found one that would allow this yet.
 

wiseOldPT

2+ Year Member
Jan 21, 2019
144
171
What are your thoughts on doing an open-university (or open-enrollment program) by paying per graduate class to get ahead of PT school and start taking DPT classes to show that I am able to keep up with the intensity? I asked a couple of programs, but haven't found one that would allow this yet.
Never heard of that happening. And you wouldn't really show the intensity unless you were taking the full courseload, which won't happen. Just focus on applying broadly to schools who advertise "holisitic" admissions. You just don't want to get tossed before your application is looked at. Any conversations you can have with admissions folks prior to applying will help as well. Your application should be spelling out reinvention- emphasize how you are not the person you were in undergrad anymore, don't just let the transcripts do that but spell out, I've taken X number of credits in higher level courses with X GPA since graduating. I do not think taking more classes, at any level, is going to help you at all anymore.
 
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Apr 7, 2021
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  1. Physical Therapist
I agree with comments above that you shouldn’t spend more money on a masters. Can I ask what kinds of schools you applied when you did last cycle/where you’re looking for this cycle? From my experience, public state schools are the most affordable which also means most competitive. When I applied a few years with ~3.0 prereq and ~3.4 cumulative GPA unfortunately I was rejected from every more affordable state school. The only school I was accepted to was private and in the middle of nowhere and reached accreditation a month into my program but had a backup plan in case it didn’t reach accreditation. As long as people met minimum requirements (I can’t remember what that was but it was a little below 3.0 GPA and 300 GRE), I believe they were invited to an interview. And once you make it to the interview process your application then doesn’t matter as much as the interview, but you have to get to that stage first. My program was on the east coast but there were multiple people from my class from the west coast that branched out and applied to places like that because they thought it was their only chance to get in anywhere. I still had good clinicals and learned the most during those. I think you need to focus on places that look at last 60 (or most recent) credits GPA, ones that take the highest grade in each pre-req versus averaging them, ones that are newer/aren’t as known, ones that take multiple cohorts per year, or even ones that may not be a part of PTCAS if they’re out there. You really have to think about if it’s worth it. For me, since my school wasn’t in a city, I spent way less on rent during school and had a strict budget to not spend more than I needed to. I know everyone says avoid private grad schools, but sometimes it’s the only option if you really want to do the career. Do research on settings where you could pay off loans faster/be open before you apply and research areas where you’d possibly want to work. I can’t stress that enough. I graduated last year and while I love the profession and know it’s what I want to do, but you definitely have to make sacrifices with a high tuition. Feel free to message if you want to discuss more. Good luck with this cycle!
 
Oct 20, 2019
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10
I completed a 1 yr masters in biomedical science (in person) which ended up having coursework that I was able to use to fulfill my prerequisites, which definitely helped me out, as I did better in grad school than I did in undergrad. While I found the experience to be valuable in terms of preparing for a rigorous program, I don't believe it impacted my application as much as I would have initially thought. Additionally, some programs will not factor graduate coursework into your last 45 or 60 credit GPA. If you have any prerequisites left that are below a "B" that you haven't retaken yet I would suggest retaking those to improve your science and/or prerequisite GPAs. What I have also found to be helpful is applying to small programs in order to increase your chances in getting an interview/offer, since they tend to receive less applications. There are a lot of great programs out there that are less known and don't receive as much recognition as the larger state schools that could prepare you very well for a career in PT. Don't give up, if you show them you are well rounded and present yourself as a dedicated lifelong learner constantly trying to improve yourself to achieve your dream of becoming a DPT you can get in. Feel free to message me if you want any more information on being in a Master's program, I'm happy to help. Good luck!
 

kdubz7w7

2+ Year Member
Jun 28, 2017
196
140
Status (Visible)
  1. Physical Therapist
Thank you for the kind words and advice. I definitely have put in so much work and just want to get in already! PTCAS calculates my GPA per school, per subject, and then by undergraduate cumulative. But yes, my GPA is what seems to be hindering my application. If there's anything else you could recommend to do in the meantime to improve my chances of getting into PT school that would be greatly appreciated! In the meantime, I guess I will just continue to take undergraduate courses under the assumption I don't get into a school this round.
I was going to say what some other people said - look for the schools that are more "holistic" (I've heard they're great and I've heard it's hogwash, can't hurt / might help) and I've seen that some schools more heavily consider the last 60 credits. I still wouldn't bother taking more UG courses, Good luck!!!
 

ya1

2+ Year Member
Mar 9, 2019
421
214
Hi Everyone,

After graduating from my undergraduate college, I have been grinding non-stop to improve my GPA and wanted to know what else there is I can do to stand out. I have been doing my own dual post-bac program at the local community college and local CSU in my hometown to improve my GPA. By the end of this summer, I will have taken over 250 units of undergraduate coursework. I'm kind of tired of taking undergraduate courses to improve my GPA, so I was curious if you think applying to an online, one-year, master's of science program in applied kinesiology or physiology would be beneficial? If so, which programs would you recommend with my stats for starting Fall of 2021?

Here are my stats:
USC Undergrad GPA: 2.03
Cumulative GPA: 3.001
Post-Bacc GPA: 3.75
Cumulative Pre-req GPA: 2.82
Averaged Pre-req GPA: 3.14
Highest Grade Pre-req GPA: 3.42
GRE: Verbal (above 150) Math (above 150) Writing (above 3.5)
Observation Hours: 900+ (4 different settings, 6 different locations)
Extracurriculars: NASM-CPT, TA/Tutor for Anatomy/Physiology, volunteer at a donation center bi-weekly, gymnastics instructor, strong recommendation letters
Did you search for schools that only look at the last 60-100 units GPA? I believe Loma Linda used to do that.
 
May 26, 2020
25
24
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  1. Pre-Physical Therapy
Hi! I am someone who both got a masters in kinesiology, works in undergrad and pre-PT advising (at CSUF), and was just accepted to PT school to begin this summer.
First and foremost, I think you're right to not waste any more time and money on undergrad classes, especially because as long as you pass the classes with a C or above, you can't rewrite the grade in the transcripts. Best case scenario since it is categorized by school, they'll see that you retook it and did better, but it wont get rid of or replace your old, lower grade so you'll just have a ton of units floating around your application.

Second, I would agree with everyone above and say don't get a masters with the idea that it'll give you a leg up or prove anything to the program you're applying to. I did my masters degree because I specifically want to pursue performance therapy and wanted to conduct research as well as know more about applied concepts (my degree is in motor behavior and biomechanics) so that I had the breadth and depth of knowledge in these subdisciplines; I am glad that I did it, but I think it boils down to motivation and if you are simply motivated by potential impression factors for PT applications, I think you would be disappointed with how much work and money you spent for not much payoff, categorically.

Lastly, I would say take this time to rack up as many experience hours as possible. You already have a lot with good breadth across the fields, but now might be a good time to find one place/therapist and just let them be your mentor for a substantial amount of time. I worked with a private performance therapist (a USC DPT alum) for a year between application cycles (like, 1500 hours or so?) with whom I got to work one-on-one, he taught me everything as if I were already an SPT coming for a clinical rotation, got to work with patients (and he even deferred to me on the more training-based side of things, letting me come up with new exercises and asking about rationale as well as coach them), and I can definitively say it was probably the best experience I could have gotten, plus he wrote me a KILLER letter of rec because all of our time was spent one-on-one and he got to know me as a person.

Hope it helps, and best of luck!!
 
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