How To Stand Out On Your Physical Therapy School Application

What are some ways that you can stand out on your physical therapy school application? This is such a common question and concern that pre-PT students have when they start to apply to physical therapy school. Believe it or not, there are so many activities out there that will set you apart as a pre-PT student. Activities that can essentially help you leverage yourself as you apply to PT programs as an applicant. What are some specific activities that you can engage in that will help set you apart from other applicants?

One simple thing you can do is see if your school has a pre-PT club. You can just be a member, or you can even try to be on the board. If there isn’t a pre-PT club at your school, join a healthcare or health sciences club. This will show that you’re involved, invested, and interested in the field. You’re doing more than just studying and going to class. Even volunteering with a physical therapy clinic shows your dedication. We have seen students volunteering through Hippotherapy with horses. You could even shadow a K9 physical therapist- this shows that you’re really thinking outside of the box when it comes to observation hours. Not only will you be impressing other programs, but you’ll be getting your feet wet to see if this field is the right fit for you.

If you played a sport in college, you can always talk about that on your physical therapy application. Talk about the skills you have acquired through all of your experiences playing a sport while also balancing academics (this is definitely not an easy thing to do!) Did you have any experience as a leader on your team? Did you develop good communication skills? Did you develop time-management skills? If you can relate to any of these- make sure you let the programs know! Write about your experiences or talk about them during your interviews. Don’t miss out on the opportunity to showcase yourself- being a student-athlete is a huge part of who you are!

Right now, you have some activity, experience, or event that you have done in the past. Something unique that NO ONE else has done. What is that for you? Even if it’s the smallest thing, put that on your application. You will stand out. Brainstorm different ways you can use that experience to relate back to interview questions you're asked, or even when you’re writing essays.

Have you ever thought about getting involved in activities that don’t necessarily have anything to do with physical therapy? Things that are WAY outside of the box- things that the majority of pre-PT students aren’t doing. What about social media marketing? Or helping run a business? This could be physical therapy related or not. But maybe you could start to learn the in’s and out’s of how to run a physical therapy clinic’s social media platform. You could help them get more patients into their clinic using your social media skills- how unique is that to have on your application? Think outside of the box. Invest in yourself, take the leap, and step outside of your comfort zone.

Now, if you’re not currently involved in anything right now, don’t worry. There’s no better time than to start right now. Take that extra step and start doing things outside of the classroom. Challenge yourself- push yourself to a limit you haven’t before. Because I guarantee if you don’t, another applicant applying to the same program as you are will. 


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