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Discussion in 'Pre-Physical Therapy' started by katelly, Aug 8, 2015.

  1. katelly

    2+ Year Member

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    I am thinking about narrowing down the number of schools I am going to apply to so that I can avoid taking an extra semester of pre-reqs. The short list still includes my top three choices, University of Montana, Northern Arizona U, and Idaho State U. Some of the schools on this shorter list still 'highly recommend' courses that they don't consider requirements like microbiology, exercise physiology, and other upper devision sciences. My question is if I should plan on taking another semester (spring 16) to take some of these classes. Of course the grades will never factor in to this cycle of applications, but do you think that just taking these classes could make the difference for me? I know ultimately asking the schools is going to be the only way to know for sure, but I'd like to hear some ideas why this might or might not help my application to help me make this decision. My primary reasons for wanting to avoid this extra semester are to work full time and save money before starting a program in the fall, as well as wanting to enjoy one last winter season without a lot of extra stress of school. For some of these schools a summer class is inevitable (i.e. ISU requires exercise physiology, but my current school doesn't offer it.)

    I was going to avoid putting my own stats up here, but I feel like they might make a difference in this case. Soo. I have a BA in Environmental Studies from University of Montana and graduated with a 3.28 GPA. I have had a 4.0 since going back to school for pre-reqs, but its not bringing up my GPA very quickly. My GRE is v 162, q 152, and aw 5. I don't have many formal extra curricular activities since I am a non-traditional student. Some things I was thinking about including in this section though are certified snowboard instructor, Wilderness First Responder, avalanche level 2, snowboard coach, climber, and since going back to school I have also worked full time.
     
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  3. starrsgirl

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    Just to clarify....are you applying to schools now? (as in will be sending in application soon?). If so, I don't think taking those courses now will help you at all UNLESS any of the schools on your list make interview decisions after January and you could do the course this fall and include it in academic update. The schools really don't factor in courses you "plan" to take or haven't completed. You will already have interview decisions and even admissions decisions for most schools before the spring semester.
     
  4. katelly

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    I am planning on taking a full semester this fall, and using the academic update to report my grades. The classes I am taking this fall are pre-reqs. The ones I would take in the spring are just 'highly recommended' but not requirements.
     
  5. dancing_DPT

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    Pre-Rehab Sci [General]
    Take the classes. It can't hurt you in the application cycle, and having a lower (for PT school applications) cumulative gpa, the grades will bolster your app and make you a more desirable candidate.
     
  6. katelly

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    Thanks Dancer. Do you know that feeling when you hear advise, and realize its exactly what you didn't want to hear? It just takes hearing from someone else to know that. I kinda feel that way now.
    I'd gotten really excited about the idea of not taking that extra semester. I think I will have to take a few steps back, and try to be a little more objective about it. It would certainly help if I don't get in this first cycle.
     
  7. dancing_DPT

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    Believe me, I completely understand. Being a non-trad, the last thing I wanted to do was take lots of classes that didn't ultimately end up being the ones needed by the schools I applied to. But in the end, you have to remember that "getting in" is a combination of having the right stuff for the job (grades, test scores, personality, experience), and being able to navigate the higher ed system and jump through all those hoops.
     
  8. starrsgirl

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    Are you thinking you will need to reapply next cycle? If so, then yes, take the classes. But these spring classes won't make any difference to schools you are applying to now. They will only ever see the grades IF you are accepted already and need to send updated transcripts. The schools will never see your GPA improve from the spring courses. I'm all for doing everything it takes but unless you are preparing for the NEXT round of applications already, you don't need to spend the time or money on the spring courses IMO.

    (In the end, if it were me....if I ended up not getting any interviews, I would take them to prepare for next cycle. If I got interviews and felt they went well, I would NOT take the spring classes.)
     
  9. katelly

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    Haha. I like what you said Starrsgirl! That is more like the answer I was looking for!
    No actually, I think you both have good points. And they are more or less what has been on my mind. I think I will try to lose the attachment I feel to taking a semester off and try to think about it from a more objective standpoint.
    I am doing everything I can to get accepted this year, but know that I can't put all my eggs in one basket. So I am trying to look ahead to next cycle. My GPA doesn't really help me, and being a non-traditional student who has a completely unrelated degree, I think I may have a lot of convincing to do. Maybe this decision about taking classes in the spring is one I should put on hold till a little later in the year. Lets see if I can get some interviews first!
    If I don't get in this cycle I want to know that I can do it the following year. I'm not jumping through all these hoops for nothing!
     

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