The 2016-17 admissions cycle begins on June 30, 2016. Applicants may start and submit the PTCAS application as soon as it is available. The 2016-2017 PTCAS application cycle will officially close on June 1, 2017, unless otherwise announced.
All physical therapist education programs recognized by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE) with accredited or candidate status, are invited to participate in PTCAS. Institutions that participate in PTCAS must require all applicants to the professional (entry-level) PT program to apply through the service, including individuals who are given preference in the admissions process.
The purpose of PTCAS is to facilitate the PT admissions process for applicants and programs, promote the physical therapist profession and educational programs to a broad spectrum of applicants, and provide rich applicant data for institutional, regional, and national analysis. PTCAS serves as a clearinghouse for application data. APTA and PTCAS do not play a role in setting programs' admission criteria, determine whether an applicant is eligible for admission, or make admission decisions on behalf of a PT program.
PTCAS will consider an application complete and ready for transcript verification, once the following items are received:
PTCAS will also accept up to four (4) letters of reference, signed PT observation hours forms, TOEFL scores, official GRE scores sent via the Educational Testing Service (ETS), and foreign transcript evaluation reports from World Education Services (WES), as required by participating programs. PTCAS does not hold applications for these missing documents, but individual programs will not consider applicants with missing materials.
Once an application is deemed complete by PTCAS, the service will compare original transcripts to the self-reported course information on the application to verify accuracy, calculate more than 20 PTCAS GPAs, and submit the verified application file to the applicant's designated PT programs. PTCAS processing may take up to five weeks once all required materials are received.
PTCAS will begin to release application data to designated PT programs in July. Programs may contact applicants directly about their application immediately after an application is processed by PTCAS, after a few weeks, or only after the deadline has passed, depending on the program policy.
Programs determine whether an applicant is eligible for admission and will notify applicants directly regarding all admission decisions. Programs may not take all PTCAS application fields into consideration in the admissions process. Admission policies and prerequisites vary significantly by program.
PT programs also may require applicants to send additional materials directly to the institution, known as supplemental materials. PT programs will not consider an applicant's file or offer acceptance until all required materials are received. Supplemental materials may include a graduate school application, official GRE scores, original foreign transcripts, or other items. Failure to submit all required materials by the program’s deadline may jeopardize an applicant's eligibility for admission consideration.