doctosan

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Since about 7th grade or so, I've wanted to become a physical therapist. However once college started I was considering either Pharmacy or Medicine, but realized that neither was for me. Unfortunately my GPA took quite a few blows....right now I am going to start my senior year, and my gpa is around a 2.5/4.... I am thinking of taking some easier classes this year to boost my gpa up, and perhaps stay an extra year to boost it more....Organic Chemistry simply KILLED my gpa....and I still have to take Organic Chemistry I lab...not looking forward to it....

Since about a year or two ago, I decided not to go into Pharmacy or Medicine. I played around with a few different options, but now I am thinking of Physical Therapy again.

What are my chances of getting into a MPT, DPT, Master's in OT, or OTD program? I know I have to bring my gpa up, but how much do I need to bring it up to show that I have what it takes? I am guessing it is not as competitive as Medicine, but competitive nonetheless..

Should I retake the prereqs? take them at a community college? Enroll in a post-bacc program? I took 1 year of physics which wasn't terrible, I was thinking of taking 1 year of calc-based physics since I did okay in calc, and I'd be learning the same material again but with some more math, so that would boost my gpa up hopefully..(5 credit hours each)

Also, some of the community colleges in the area offer Physical Therapist Assistant programs...should I go into one of those? Would that help me in getting into one of the above mentioned programs?

Thanks, greatly appreciated
 
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jbizzle

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Dec 19, 2008
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Pre-Rehab Sci [General]
While your still in school, you should retake all the classes you think you should retake. You really should at least have a 3.0 and at least a 1000 to be even looked at. Some miracles do happen which I have read on this forum, but miracles don't happen to me. No shot at all if your gpa stays that way, bring it up to a 2.9 and have a 1450+ on the GRE and I think they'll look at you. If what I read in other threads are true.



Yup, I'm bitter
 
Jun 23, 2009
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If you don't work, I really suggest to give ALL your time and dedication. Take all those prereqs again and aim for B+ at least .. but really get those A's. I also suggest to take additional science courses in Biology that relates to PT even though they don't have it as a prereq... that way the admissions can see you have potential in you and that you have ability to get higher grades. Also... when you apply .. write a bold personal statement and include what made you different than before .. and why ur gpa was low before than now. If you have a goal setup in your mind about what you want to study in life.. I guarantee that you will pass your classes, because you're gonna be focused and aiming at that goal you've been wanting for. Just make you don't get C's or even B-'s in your classes. Everybody gets lazy, but try not to as much and give at least an HOUR of your day to GRE and study vocabulary, reading, or math applications. That way ure not cramming for GRE at the last minute .. u know. You can do it .. and if they call u for interview .. they considered you and this is ur real chance to shine .. give them the answers that will surprise them and that will keep u in mind, when they decide on picking applicans. I hope this helps and Good Luck :) and remember ppl in medical school .. fail the first semester .. but they take the classes again .. ppl in med. skool also fail the exams each yr around .. but they have the potential to stand up and do wht it takes to pass .. and they did pass .. trust me I know ppl in med school.. who were struggling .. but now theyre in their residencies .. everybody struggles but .. you have to stand up on ur feet and do what it takes to get what u want.
 

jamesmku

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It's not impossible to get in, you just have to bust your ass from this point out. I was in a similar situation. Undergrad GPA was 2.6, so if I can get in, you could get in. I pretty much re-took all my pre-reqs over at a community college, and aced every class, scored decent on the GRE (1190), observed at different settings while working in outpatient setting. As an administrator, of course the low GPA is frowned upon, but you just have to prove to them that you really want it.
 
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doctosan

doctosan

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While your still in school, you should retake all the classes you think you should retake. You really should at least have a 3.0 and at least a 1000 to be even looked at.
I forgot to mention that I work in a microbiology lab in a hospital, would that make up at all for my lack of GPA?

I calculated that I need around 60+ hours of A's to redeem my GPA...a tad bit discouraging...

I pretty much re-took all my pre-reqs over at a community college, and aced every class
I heard that schools dislike it when one takes courses at the community college. My friends had suggested I do this but I decided not to for this reason.

observed at different settings while working in outpatient setting.
I am planning to observe some Physical/Occupational Therapists. What do you mean by working in an outpatient setting?
 

jamesmku

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I worked at a outpatient clinic (i.e. private practice) and on half days at work I went to go observe at the hospital.
 
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doctosan

doctosan

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Would becoming a Physical Therapist Assistant or Occupational Therapist Assistant help my situation? I'm working to raise my gpa, but due to my previous years, 3.0 is still somewhat of a long shot. I am planning on retaking the classes that I did poorly in either at the university or community college, but I am thinking that if I become a PTA or OTA, I may be able to get some experience.

Thanks
 
Sep 3, 2009
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peru
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Go for PTA or OTA. It's not worth it to go through all that trouble again. If you decide you absolutely can't live without being a PT or OT after you become a PTA/OTA then you should go back. At least then you can work part time.
 
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doctosan

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Thanks everyone. I have to do some research regarding what programs are available to me (OT, PT, PTA, OTA) and the chances of getting into them...
 

MinnDasota

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Unfortunately, you will have to get your grades up if you want to be competitive. If you know that PT is what you want to do, then retake the classes. I'm not all that familiar with the PTCAS (the centralized application process) as I had just graduated from PT school when it was implemented, but I think they often average the grades of classes you retake??? Many others have experience with this so hopefully can fill you in with this. As a practicing PT, I know many current PT student who got into PT school by taking prereqs in community colleges. You may want to ask the schools you are interested in about what they recommend as they will be the most reliable source.

If you haven't shadowed a PT/OT yet, you might want to start now to make sure it is what you want to do. Many PTs hover around the idea of going into medicine at some point. Point is, if you are going to invest your time and money into PT, you better make sure it's what you want to do.

Oh, and just in case you don't know, PTA/OTA is a totally separate program from PT/OT and there are very few, if any, bridge programs. Classes won't transfer over to the PT program. Pros to this route are the experience and the ability to work as a PTA part time while in PT school to help offset costs. Cons is that you will have to go through 2 years of PTA school, work a little, then go for 3 more years of PT school. You also make a fraction of what a PT would make. If your GPA stays at 2.5, there is no guarantee that you will get into a PT school, even if you are a PTA. Unless you are able to articulate to the applications committees through essays (or if fortunate, through an interview) why you went this route , it is definitely possible that they might assume that you went into PTA because you just couldn't get good enough grades.

Hope that helps a little bit.
 
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doctosan

doctosan

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Unfortunately, you will have to get your grades up if you want to be competitive. If you know that PT is what you want to do, then retake the classes.
This semester has been great so far, I am taking 4 biology classes, all at the 300 level and above (one of which is 5 credit hours) and so far I have 3 A's and 1 B. Hopefully this upward trend will help my GPA out. It took me a while, but I finally had my "aha" moment.

As a practicing PT, I know many current PT student who got into PT school by taking prereqs in community colleges. You may want to ask the schools you are interested in about what they recommend as they will be the most reliable source.
I think I may retake Physics and Organic Chemistry at the local CC after I graduate.

If you haven't shadowed a PT/OT yet, you might want to start now to make sure it is what you want to do. Many PTs hover around the idea of going into medicine at some point. Point is, if you are going to invest your time and money into PT, you better make sure it's what you want to do.
My friend mentioned a field within medicine known as "Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation", is this similar to PT? I don't know much about this field
 

MinnDasota

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Physical Medicine and Rehab=PM&R is a specialty within MD. So if you go this route, you're heading into med school. :) It is not similar to PT. Mostly, they are physicians specializing in non-surgical medicine and tend to work closely with PTs. If you do a search on the MD forum, you will see a few posts on this specialty.

Keep working at it! If you want it enough, you can make it happen!
 

truthseeker

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Physical Medicine and Rehab=PM&R is a specialty within MD. So if you go this route, you're heading into med school. :) It is not similar to PT. Mostly, they are physicians specializing in non-surgical medicine and tend to work closely with PTs. If you do a search on the MD forum, you will see a few posts on this specialty.

Keep working at it! If you want it enough, you can make it happen!
There is an entire forum on PM & R on SDN
 
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doctosan

doctosan

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Physical Medicine and Rehab=PM&R is a specialty within MD. So if you go this route, you're heading into med school. :)
That was the issue I had with it. I've heard that medical school is insanely difficult. Does anyone know how PT school compares in terms of difficulty?
 
Oct 13, 2009
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I would retake only the prereq courses and try to get into a masters program since your almost done with you undergraduate degree. You can raise your gpa and get a masters at the same time. they will look a masters over a bachelors in any day. instead of you staying another undergraduate year get a masters.
 

MinnDasota

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That was the issue I had with it. I've heard that medical school is insanely difficult. Does anyone know how PT school compares in terms of difficulty?

PT school can be difficult at times but I doubt it's even remotely as hard as med school. Truthfully, I would say PT school was intense (not necessarily difficult) because they shoved so much into my brain in such a short period of time. Either way, you have no choice but to study your tail off to get through. I'm sure if you put your mind to it you will be fine.
 
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doctosan

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Thanks for all of your help guys

I graduated this past summer with a B.S. in Biology. I started attending the community college and took Anatomy/Physiology 1, and other prereq courses. The semester went well, and I received a 4.0 :)

Next semester I plan to take Anatomy and Physiology 2, as well as the remaining prereqs.

Unfortunately I was not very serious during my undergraduate years, and my BS gpa is ~2.5 :(

Assuming I get a 4.0 next semester, that would give me about 60 hours of 4.0

Along with a decent GRE (I will start prepping this week for a test in May). Would this upward trend be good enough for me to have a fair shot at PT schools, or should I do another semester/another year at the community college?

I have not started shadowing yet, so I will hopefully begin that soon as well

If it makes any difference, I am an Illinois resident planning to apply to all PT schools in Illinois, and perhaps a few other states
 

Akiramay

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Congrats on graduating and doing so well in your classes! I think if you keep this upward trend, as well as have a good amount of observation hours and good GRE score, you will be just fine. Despite a low BS gpa, many schools look at the last 60 hours of your coursework. And if your pre-req grades are A's or B's, that will help as well. I'm a PT student at Northwestern, so if/when you have any questions, feel free to ask me!
 
Jan 3, 2011
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Rehab Sci Student
People generally seek advice to confirm what they already know. Your chances are bad, but way better than winning the lottery :D.

Even the bad PT schools get 100+ applicants of which they take 40. Let's be optimistic and say half get in. Ok for you the glass is half empty and so you must assume to be in the half that doesn't get in.

Now, game time, heads you lose. If you were to flip a coin once (50:50 chance) and get heads, you're not getting in, again assume the glass is half empty. Can you imagine flipping a coin twice and getting heads... yes this happens 25% of the time, in your case though 25% is more like 90% that you lose (I know I was being optimistic earlier but I had to go back to rationality). How about 3 heads in a row, still conceivable... How about 4, you guessed it, happens a decent enough amount, that you could and would be screwed by this happening. How about 5, aha now this is where thing start to turn in your favor... time for a new game.

If you are to start a business how much money will you need if all your calculations add up to $100,000? Anyone that's ever started a business will tell you, you actually need $200,000 to last 6 months (length of the application process). Doesn't matter how well your calculations are, that's the nature of the beast. Take the result from this game and apply to first game and you get 10 schools, the number of schools you need to apply to, to stand a chance of getting in.

This is still optimistic considering these school have more like 300 applicants applying and only let in 30 (I know it's 40 but for simplicity's sake) so your chance is still 1 in 10, again stop being optimistic your grades are bad. Apply to 15 school to be safe and just like that, you're ACCEPTED! :thumbup:

P.S. for students with GPA 4.0= (ans)-4, for 3.5 (ans)-2, 3.3 = ans+/-2, 3.0=(ans)+3, 2.8 = (ans)+3, 2.5=(ans)+5