References

  • Enter up to four (4) evaluator names on your PTCAS application. Review the PTCAS Directory to determine the number and types of evaluators required by each institution.

    Electronic References (Strongly Recommended)

    • Select the "ELECTRONIC" reference type.
    • Enter the e-mail address for evaluator.
    • PTCAS will automatically e-mail from the evaluator once the reference request is saved.
    • Alert evaluator to watch for an e-mail from noreply@ptcas.org  with the subject "PTCAS Reference Request."
    • If e-mail is not received, instruct the evaluator to check spam/junk folders or provide an alternate e-mail address as some e-mail servers filter out messages from PTCAS.

    Paper References

    Paper references are discouraged because they take longer to process. Arrange for only one reference to be sent to PTCAS per evaluator. PTCAS will not accept references mailed by applicants.

    • Select "PAPER" reference type.
    • Print the PTCAS Reference Form (PDF).
    • Each bar-coded form is unique to you and the evaluator.  
    • Deliver the printed reference form to the evaluator.
    • The evaluator must complete the paper form and attach it to a signed letter of reference on official business or institutional letterhead.
    • Evaluator must mail the letter of reference and PTCAS form to PTCAS in a single envelope.

    Check Status of References

    PTCAS will automatically e-mail you after each reference is received. After you submit your application, login to check the real-time status of your references.

    Reference Deadlines

    Arrange for PTCAS to RECEIVE all of your references by the application deadline date selected by the program. Programs may not consider applicants who submit late materials. PTCAS does NOT enforce reference deadlines and will forward the references to your designated PT programs even if they arrive late.

    PTCAS Processing of References

    PTCAS will begin to forward your references to your programs once your application is complete.

    • PTCAS will NOT determine if you have met the reference requirements for a particular program.
    • PTCAS will NOT hold your application for missing references.
    • If your reference arrives after your application is mailed, PTCAS will forward it to your PT program(s).

    Waiver

    The Family Education Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA) gives applicants the right to access letters of reference written unless they choose to waive their right of inspection and review. Prior to requesting a reference from an evaluator, you must indicate whether you will waive your rights. PTCAS will display your waiver decision to your evaluator and designated PT programs. PT programs may interpret references as more honest and candid if you waive your right to see the letters. If you decide not to waive your right to the reference, then you must contact the evaluator or the PT admissions office directly to view the reference and you may be asked to explain your reasons for your choice during the interview(s). Your waiver decision on the PTCAS web application serves the same purpose as a legal signature, and is binding. Once your reference is received by paper or electronically, you cannot make changes to your waiver decision.

    More Reference Instructions

    Review the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) and read the full PTCAS instructions (.pdf), for additional reference instructions relative to:

    • Committee and Composite Letters
    • College and University Letter Services
    • Submission of "Extra" References to Program (not PTCAS)
    • Reference Investigations
    • Changing Your References (if evaluator is unresponsive or declines reference request)
    • List of Questions on the PTCAS Reference Form
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