• On behalf of the Physical Therapist Centralized Application Service and the American Physical Therapy Association, we hope that you are safe and healthy during these unprecedented times. We understand the challenges DPT education programs, applicants, and pre-health advisors are facing as a result of the global COVID-19 pandemic. This webpage will provide updates on the impact of COVID-19 on PTCAS and the DPT admissions process.

    Currently, PTCAS operations remain open and functioning at full capacity. The application processing team continues to verify and release completed applications to designated programs. Additionally, the customer support teams for programs and applicants continue to provide uninterrupted service.

    With regard to the upcoming 2020-21 application cycle, PTCAS remains scheduled to open to applicants on June 17, 2020, with applicant information to be shared with programs beginning on July 1, 2020.



    As updates regarding the DPT admissions process at PT education programs become available, they will be shared here.

    May 8, 2020: PTCAS Early Decision Notice:

    For the upcoming 2020-21 application cycle, the decision has been made to eliminate the early decision process for applicants and participating DPT education programs in PTCAS.Several factors were considered in making this decision, including ongoing U.S. Department of Justice investigations into admissions practices and commonality of similar programs in comparable health professions application services, among others. To help address this change, PTCAS has added earlier deadline dates for the 2020-21 application cycle, beginning August 17. With this policy change, applicants will be able to complete and submit an application as early as July 1 for as many PTCAS programs as they would like – PTCAS will no longer require that applicants wait for an acceptance decision from their top-choice program to apply to additional programs. Questions regarding the elimination of the PTCAS Early Decision process should be sent to CAS@apta.org.

    March 27: 2020: PTCAS Admissions Recommendations to DPT Education Programs

    As a result of the extraordinary situation that DPT education programs, current and future students, and pre-health advisors find themselves in as a result of the global COVID-19 pandemic, PTCAS and the American Physical Therapy Association wish to reassure everyone involved in the admissions process that we are all this together, and we will continue working together through the challenges presented. While the planned pathway to DPT education has likely changed for many future students, PTCAS is committed to offering guidance and recommendations to DPT programs and pre-health advisors to help alleviate the fears and concerns that applicants may have during the current and upcoming application cycles.

    While each DPT education program will ultimately make its own decision regarding changes to application and admissions practices and policies, PTCAS has made recommendations in the following areas to programs:

    • Online and/or distance learning courses: Programs can, where possible, accept spring and summer 2020 coursework that is delivered via online or distance learning to fulfill a prerequisite course requirement.
    • Pass/Fail or Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory courses: Programs can, where possible, accept spring and summer 2020 coursework that is graded on a Pass/Fail or Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory basis to fulfill a prerequisite course requirement, particularly if the applicant was not given the choice to take the course on this basis. Note: Some programs may require proof from applicants that they were not offered the choice of receiving a letter grade, or that the choice to move to a Pass/Fail grading basis was made prior to seeing the final letter grade in the course.
    • Interviews: Programs requiring interviews can use remote interview processes where possible, either via prerecorded methods, or through live video-conferencing. Use of phone interviews is suggested for applicants without access to video technology. Applicants preparing for remote interviews where a webcam will be enabled are encouraged to dress professionally, as they would for an in-person event.
    • Application deadline dates: Programs that have deadline dates that have not yet passed may consider deadline extension requests from applicants who may have difficulty meeting the deadline date. Applicants are advised to contact programs directly to request these extensions. The last date to submit an application during the current 2019-20 application cycle is May 15, 2020.
    • GRE Testing: Programs requiring the GRE can accept the new at-home GRE testing being offered by ETS. More information on the home GRE testing is available on the ETS website.
    • Transcripts: For applicants who are unable to obtain an official transcript from their registrar's office due to campus closures, PTCAS will accept applicant-supplied, unofficial transcripts for the remainder of the 2019-20 application cycle. Unofficial transcripts will be accepted for purposes of application processing and verification only. PTCAS programs should review applications with unofficial transcripts as they would any other application. Unofficial transcripts are made available by many institutions to applicants via the web, so applicants should check with their institution for information on how to obtain a copy. Note: Applicants may still be required to provide an official transcript for purposes of receiving offers of admissions and/or prior to matriculation into a program.
    • PT shadowing/observation Hours: Programs should review their shadowing hour requirements for the current and upcoming application cycles, and consider reducing or waiving requirements for the minimum number of shadowing hours, as well as requirements for setting types, patient diagnoses, and PT verification of shadowing experiences.

      While PTCAS and APTA are resources for future students during this process, we encourage all applicants to reach out to their interested programs for additional guidance on starting or completing an application. Programs may include information regarding changes to their specific application and admission requirements in response COVID-19 on their individual program websites. It is recommended that applicants refer to each program's website for additional information before contacting the program directly. Contact information for each program can be found in the PTCAS Program Directory.
  • Last Updated: 5/8/2020
    Contact: academicservices@apta.org