The Successful Applicant
The admissions committee takes the review process very seriously. Your application is judged on several levels. The following list will give you some insight into the review process and perhaps some insight into your chances of being accepted.
- Following directions: Your first test in any professional program is to read and follow the application instructions and meet posted deadlines. If you have questions about the process you should call the program for clarification. You are encouraged to submit all materials early (at least a month ahead of the deadline) to avoid any mistakes that cannot be corrected prior to the deadline. This will also allow time for PTCAS to verify your transcripts. It is your responsibility to check the status of your material received by PTCAS. We will not contact you if you have missing items (transcripts, references, etc.).
- Science preparedness 30%: The grade point average (GPA) from the required courses is heavily weighted in this area. In addition, the grades received in anatomy and physiology are considered most important. If you have retaken a required course, we will figure your required course GPA with the highest grade. You should have a minimum of a 3.0 GPA in all required science courses. The committee also considers if you have taken additional science courses (including movement science courses) beyond the required science courses. Although science courses from a community college are acceptable, the committee considers how many science courses were taken at a community college. The committee is particularly concerned when a student, while attending a 4-year-institution, takes most of his or her science course at a community college. In addition, the applicant will be docked if some of the required courses have not yet been taken. Please be very clear in the PTCAS application on the courses that you plan to take. If you exclude a required course on your current or anticipated coursework, the committee assumes you will not be taking that course. In this case your application will not be reviewed because you do not meet the course requirements.
- General academic preparedness 40%: The cumulative GPA is the most highly considered factor in this area. We use the cumulative GPA as calculated by PTCAS. You should have a minimum of a 3.0 cumulative GPA. In most all cases an applicant will be denied if the cumulative GPA is below a 3.0. In addition to the GPA, we consider factors such as the rigor of your institution, the rigor of your major, if a minor was taken, and your involvement in research. We also look for the consistency of your GPA from semester to semester and/or your consistency from institution to institution if you attended more than one institution. The GRE score is considered in this area. Also your ability to write and clearly answer the questions posed on the application is considered in this portion of the review. In extreme cases, the committee will consider re-calculating your GPA, excluding a semester or an institution that is not reflective of your true academic ability. A case might be if you were very ill for a semester or had a rather extreme circumstance that adversely affected your grades. The inability to adjust during your freshman year is NOT considered an extreme circumstance. In order for the committee to consider a request of this nature, you will need to submit a written statement to the committee. This will need to be done prior to receiving your application. Contact the department for directions. We are unable to disregard a semester if that semester contains required courses.
- Non-Academic factors 30%: In order to survive the academic rigor of the program and eventually pass the national licensure examination, your academic abilities and skills need to shine. But in addition to academic skills, the applicant needs to demonstrate to the committee character traits that are desirable as a health care professional. Physical therapy is a very demanding profession and the committee considers several factors that will give us insight into your character. The committee understands that not every applicant will excel in every area. However, it is important to elaborate regarding your experiences to help the committee determine the quality and intensity of your activities.
- Exposure to health care: The committee attempts to determine the quality of your exposure to health care and physical therapy. Those who have worked hands-on with patients in some form or fashion are rated higher than those who have simply observed. You should attempt to make it clear what you have done during your experience in health care.
- Interpersonal experiences: The interpersonal interaction in physical therapy can be rather intense. We look for evidence where you have experienced situations of interpersonal intensity, interpersonal problem solving and/or working with a diverse population of people. These are usually assessed through your work experience and/or volunteer experiences.
- Service and Persistence: Physical therapy is a service and helping oriented profession. Thus the applicant should have evidence of giving of one’s time and talents to help others. We also consider the character building that occurs when someone faces adversity and persists through that adversity.
- Leadership and responsibility: A physical therapist has to show significant levels of leadership and ability to handle responsibility. A physical therapist makes decisions in which they can significantly help individuals and can potentially harm individuals. This is a huge responsibility. So the committee looks for the individual who has evidence of leading others and/or taking responsibility for the well being of others.
- The committee will take into account the following variables when assessing your non-academic activities: 1) the complexity of interpersonal interactions, 2) the level of interpersonal problem solving and decision making, 3) the level of independence and self-direction in your leadership activities, 4) the frequency and intensity of your activities, 5) the amount of responsibility you held in your activities, 6) the degree of personal sacrifice to achieve goals or serve others, and 7) the impact, consistency and significance of your volunteerism.
- Somewhat unrelated to your character is your genuine interest in Bradley University. We will assess your familiarity with the program and your interest in coming here. We are not interested in individuals who canvas a large number of programs through PTCAS with no knowledge of our program.
The Successful Applicant:
- Follows directions
- Applies early
- Meets all deadlines
- Has a high required science GPA
- Great grades in anatomy and physiology
- Has taken additional science and movement science courses
- Has a high cumulative GPA
- A consistent or improving GPA from semester to semester
- A high GRE
- Has been exposed to patient care
- Has demonstrated the ability to work with people on an intense level
- Has demonstrated service and persistence
- Has demonstrated the ability to lead and be responsible
- Show a genuine interest in Bradley University
Disclaimer: The above factors we consider in an application are subject to change without notice.