The Most Important Details to Consider When Researching Future Therapy Grad Schools
In researching schools to apply there are many factors to consider. I will focus on the main 5 factors you want to consider when deciding which PT, OT and SLP schools to apply.
Location is also important when you are taking your current place of residence into account. You are more likely to receive an acceptance from a medical school in the state which you live. You usually have more support from family and friends where you live. You will also have a direct connection to the community you are wanting to serve, and this can make you a more competitive applicant. The location should not limit you in your applying entirely, but it is a very key element in your decision-making.
One of the factors that I am completely one-sided about when deciding where to apply is whether a school is accredited or not. I will always side with accredited programs because you are not playing “what if” with your future degree. If your program is accredited you will have one less barrier between you and your license to practice in the future.
Look at the program’s statistics to decide if you will apply to it. Look at the percentage of in-state vs out-of-state accepted, average GRE score, average science GPA, average overall GPA, etc. Do your GPA or GRE scores fit within their averages? This will help you narrow down your list to the schools most likely to accept you.
Curriculum Focus and Environment
Some schools offer sports rehab focus or manual therapy focus at their program. Some programs are research focused or specialized in an area of great interest to you in your future practice. Some schools have state of the art labs and some have advanced tech or spacious lecture halls. Apply to programs that are strong in your areas of interest and well designed for your best learning conditions.
Applying to schools in areas where you have a strong support system with family and friends nearby can make the transition into this new chapter much easier. Again, it is good to have a connection to your new “stomping grounds” and place of residence for the next 2-4 years.
Using the criteria described above can help you choose the best school for you. The more wisely you choose programs to apply to, the more you increase your chances of getting into one of them. Be organized and do your research.