For clarification this article is not talking about a single Doctor of a Physical Therapy program demographic, but rather the national averages of the students taken during certain year(s) designated in this article. Specifically, we will address age, sex, race, and ethnicity in Doctor of Physical Therapy admissions from 2008-2013.
Remember that many universities provide preferences to in-state applicants, regional agreements, or students who are affiliated to their pre-physical therapy program, already successfully enrolled, and meeting current program requirements. Furthermore, cultural diversity, international student limitations, and religious adherence can affect specific university applicant profile. That said, here is a glimpse of how you compare to the PTCAS applicants that are accepted to Doctor of Physical Therapy programs nationwide. Overall, there were 15,616 students who applied through PTCAS with 7,177 achieving accepted applicant status.
The 20’s Rule!
The highest percentage of males being accepted in the 2012-2013 class is between 22-25 years of age at 26.4%. The percentage of females increases all the way up to 48.47% in the same age bracket. Additionally, the rate of acceptance for males ages 20-30 is at 6.55% and 5.88% for females. While the trend is very high for admission of box sexes from 22-30 years old, females have a significant better chance from ages 18-21 at 5.59% compared to males at 1.42%. Despite the numbers being weighted for those in their 20’s the range of acceptance varies from 17 to 51+ years of age.
3/5ths – High Female Gender Acceptance
The rate of female gender acceptance remains high at 62.8% of the 2012-2013 class, whereas the male ratio remains just below 40% at 37.1%. There is slight variation in the numbers because .1% did not report gender on their application. To put it another way, about 3/5ths of the 2012-2013 class were female. After crunching the numbers, we come to see that of the 7,177 applicants accepted through PTCAS, 4,503 of them were female.
Gender Trends Lean Male
The trends of male admittance have made incremental increases year by year from 2008 through 2013 with the 2008-2009 class compromising just 32.4% of the accepted applicants, 2009-2020 rises to 33.4%, 2010-2011 at 34.5%, 2011-2012 inches to 35.2%, and finally jumping about 2% in the last year to 37.1%. The total number of male applicants using the PTCAS system has also increased from 33.9% in 2008-2009 to 39.1% in 2012-2013. That is just over a 5% increase in 5 years.
Race and Ethnicity: A Melting Pot
There are at least seven identified groups in the PTCAS applicant and accepted student demographics with the 8th being race unknown. White (not of Hispanic origin) is the largest in both the PTCAS applicant pool and those who become accepted students. Here is the breakdown of the 2012-2013 PTCAS class: White (not of Hispanic origin) 70.9%. Race Unknown 12.6%, Asian 5.8%, 2+ Race/Ethnicity Designations 5.8%, African American/Black (Non-Hispanic) 2.7%, Hispanic/Latino 1.8%, American Indian/Alaska Native 0.2%, and Hawaiian/Pacific Islander 0.2.
So what do we make of all these numbers and demographics in physical therapy school admissions? The first thing to understand is that you are not a statistic for the program to maintain their averages. They do not go into the applicant review process thinking that applicant x is a male so he better that much better than the female they just approved for an interview. Just keep a cool head and highlight your strengths in the application. Control the things you can control like your GPA, GRE, your essay, and presentation at the interview stage. Be confident but realistic and choose schools that give you an advantage or a history of admitting applicants that have the same strengths in their profile.
Reference: Report of the American Physical Therapy Association. (2013). Physical Therapist Centralized Application Service 2012-2013 Applicant Data Report: 2012-13 Admissions Cycle for the 2013 Entering Class: Retrieved July 12th, 2014, from Source Link