So you know that pursuing a degree in physical therapy is right for you. You also have an overview of the entire process and what it takes complete each step. With these items in mind, it is now important that you begin to get associated with the terminology that is associated with your journey to establishing your Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) degree.
Below we have carved out what we think are the most important items to get you started on your journey. Please associate yourself with these terms as they will be used throughout the remainder of your research.
Accreditation: “Accreditation is a process used in the US to assure the quality of the education that students receive. It is a voluntary, non-governmental, peer-review process that occurs on a regular basis.”
DPT: “A Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) or Doctor of Physiotherapy (DPhysio) degree is a post-baccalaureate 3-4 year degree which may be conferred upon successful completion of a professional doctoral program.”
GPA: “The GPA is calculated by taking the number of grade points a student earned in a given period of time divided by the total number of credits taken.” “PTCAS calculates a standardized set of grade point averages (GPAs) to help PT programs evaluate applicants using uniform criteria.”
GRE: “The Graduate Record Examinations (GRE) is a standardized test that is an admissions requirement for many graduate schools in the United States…”
NCES: “The National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) is the primary federal entity for collecting and analyzing data related to education.”
NPTE: National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) is “…the examination that every graduate of a physical therapy or physical therapist assistant education program must pass to become a licensed physical therapist or licensed/certified physical therapist assistant (or to regain licensure/certification if lapsed) in the United States (US)…”
Associations and Organizations
The Physical Therapist Centralized Application Service (PTCAS) is a service of the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA). PTCAS allows applicants to use a single application and one set of materials to apply to multiple PT programs. [source]
The Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE) is an accrediting agency that is nationally recognized by the US Department of Education (USDE) and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA). CAPTE grants specialized accreditation status to qualified entry-level education programs for physical therapists and physical therapist assistants. [source]
The American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) is an individual membership professional organization representing more than 85,000 member physical therapists (PTs), physical therapist assistants (PTAs), and students of physical therapy.
The Federation of State Boards of Physical Therapy develops and administers the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) for both physical therapists and physical therapist assistants in 53 jurisdictions – the 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands. These high-stakes exams assess the basic entry-level competence for first time licensure or registration as a PT or PTA within the 53 jurisdictions. [source]