APTA Launches Physical Therapist Centralized Application Service (PTCAS)

Online Service Streamlines Application Process to Physical Therapist Programs 

ALEXANDRIA, VA, July 31, 2008 — The Physical Therapist Centralized Application Service (PTCAS) for prospective physical therapist (PT) students and professional education programs is now available from the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA).

The Web-based tool simplifies the application process for prospective PT students and facilitates the admissions process for professional PT educational programs by allowing applicants to use a single Web-based application and one set of materials to apply to multiple PT programs.

PTCAS also promotes the physical therapist profession and educational programs to applicants and provides applicant data for institutional, regional, and national analysis. PTCAS will not determine whether an applicant has met the PT program requirements or is eligible for admission.

"PTCAS is first and foremost a benefit to prospective physical therapist students," said APTA President R Scott Ward, PT, PhD. "Applicants have requested this type of service to help ease the variable and distinctive processes of applying to individual programs and we are excited to be making this tool available."

Approximately one-third of all professional PT programs recognized by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education will participate in PTCAS during the 2008-09 admissions cycle.

PTCAS applicants will submit a completed Web-based application that includes biographical data, colleges and universities attended, academic course history, physical therapy observation hours, a list of references, work experience, extracurricular activities, honors, professional licenses, and a personal essay. The 2008-09 PTCAS admissions cycle begins on August 1, 2008.

PTCAS will help applicants more easily research PT program requirements and navigate the complexities of the PT admissions process. "Health sciences and pre-physical therapy advisors welcome this standardized application system," Ward said. "PTCAS will help our profession track applicant pools and provide valuable data on application trends. This standardized approach will allow us to better communicate trends inter-professionally, with advisors, and with our applicants."

PTCAS will be administered by Liaison International (LI), an education information technology company located in Watertown, MA. For further information on PTCAS, go to www.ptcas.org.

Physical therapists are health care professionals who diagnose and manage individuals of all ages, from newborns to elders, who have medical problems or other health-related conditions that limit their abilities to move and perform functional activities in their daily lives. Physical therapists examine each individual and develop a plan of care using treatment techniques to promote the ability to move, reduce pain, restore function, and prevent disability. Physical therapists also work with individuals to prevent the loss of mobility by developing fitness- and wellness-oriented programs for healthier and more active lifestyles.

APTA (www.apta.org) is a national organization representing physical therapists, physical therapist assistants, and students nationwide. Its goal is to foster advancements in physical therapist education, practice, and research. Consumers can visit www.findapt.us to find a physical therapist in their area, as well as www.moveforwardpt.com for physical therapy news and information.