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PTCAS Quick Start Guide and FAQs

What is PTCAS? 

The Centralized Application Service (PTCAS) simplifies the process of applying to physical therapy programs. You start by selecting the programs you wish to apply to, then you submit one application that includes all necessary materials. Once received by PTCAS, your application and materials go through a verification process before being transmitted to all of your selected programs. Click here to start your application.

Note that PTCAS will begin accepting applications on July 1, 2020. You cannot submit your application before this date. 

How long does the application process take? 

It's important you apply as early as possible since completing your application can be a lengthy process, and since application processing times vary throughout the cycle. Below is a suggested timeline that includes key actions to keep the application process on track. This timeline may need to be adjusted based on your programs' deadlines and requirements. 


Key Actions

Prior to the Start of the Application Process

  1. Research programs you wish to apply to. Pay special attention to:
    • Cycle dates and deadline requirements. 
    • Application fees.
    • Reference requirements. 
    • Minimum requirements, including prerequisites, standardized test scores, supplemental applications, foreign evaluations, etc. 
  2. Ask your schools to send you the official transcripts you'll need to enter your coursework
  3. Begin contacting potential references to confirm their participation. 
  4. Begin drafting your personal essay.
  5. Review the instructions in this Help Center. 

At Least 3 Months Prior to Deadline

  1. Create your account
  2. Complete the Colleges Attended section. 
  3. Complete the References section. 

At Least 10-12 Weeks Prior to Deadline

  1. Ask your schools to send official transcripts directly to PTCAS. If there are any holds on your account at a school, resolve them now to avoid delays in sending transcripts.
  2. Begin entering coursework into your application.
  3. Check in with your references to confirm that they received the reference request via email.

At Least 6-8 Weeks Prior to Deadline

Complete and submit your application. Review the verification process. Monitor your application for receipt of transcripts and letters of reference and follow up on any missing items.

At Least 4-6 Weeks Prior to Deadline

Continue monitoring your application until your status is verified.

After Deadline

Download a copy of your application for your records.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Coursework, Transcripts, and GPAs Programs and Statuses Fees and Payments COVID-19 Guidelines
Do I need to send transcripts?

Yes, you must submit official transcripts to PTCAS. See Sending Official Transcripts for more guidelines on each type of transcript.


Where do I find the Transcript Request Form?

The Transcript Request Form is found in the Colleges Attended section, after you submit a college or university entry.


Should I send my high school transcripts?



My transfer credits are listed on my primary transcript. Do I still need to send all transcripts?

You must report all colleges and universities attended and submit official transcripts, even if your transfer credits are listed on your primary transcript. See Sending Official Transcripts for more guidelines.


How do I know what my primary institution is?

Your primary institution is the college or university where you earned or will earn your first undergraduate college degree.


Do I really have to enter all coursework?

Yes, you must enter all US and English Canadian coursework into the Transcript Entry section of the application. You can also opt to pay for Professional Transcript Entry (PTE).


How do I list my repeated courses?

Report all attempts of repeated coursework in the Transcript Entry section.

If the course is in-progress or planned and you have not yet earned a new grade, report the grade you originally received, along with the planned/in-progress course. The original grade will be counted in your GPA until a new grade is earned.


Should I include foreign coursework in the Transcript Entry section?



Why is my PTCAS GPA different from the GPA on my transcripts?

The PTCAS GPAs factor in all coursework taken, regardless of the college or university and any academic forgiveness policies. See Calculating Your PTCAS GPAs for more information.


I don't agree with the GPA. How do I change it?

The PTCAS GPAs factor in all coursework taken, regardless of the college or university and any academic forgiveness policies. If after reviewing your calculated coursework you find an error with your GPA, review Disputing and Correcting PTCAS Course Subjects and GPAs.


How do I remove a program?

To remove a program, first navigate to the Add Programs tab and select the desired program(s). Then navigate to the Submit Application tab and remove the undesired program(s).


Can I apply to more programs after I submit my application?

Yes, if the program's deadline date has not yet passed and the application cycle is open.


Should I submit my application if I'm still waiting on transcripts, references, and/or official test scores?

Yes. You can submit your application before your transcripts, references, and/or official test scores are received by PTCAS.


Will PTCAS update me on the status of my application?

Your application status for each program is listed in the Check Status section of the application. PTCAS will notify you when official transcripts and references are received, and when you are verified.


When will I learn about admissions decisions? Did I get in!?

You must reach out to your program(s) to learn about a school's admissions decisions.


Is there any other way to pay other than by credit card?

We currently only accept payments by credit card: Visa, Mastercard, American Express, and Discover.


I want a refund. What do I need to do?

Refunds are not given for any reason. Review Refunding/Withdrawing Your PTCAS Application for more information.


Do fee waivers expire?

If you qualified for and were awarded a PTCAS fee waiver, your fee waiver expires in 14 days, including weekends and holidays. See PTCAS Application Fee and Fee Waivers for more information.


Why don’t I see the option for a fee waiver?

PTCAS has a limited amount of fee waivers to award over a cycle. If you do not see the option to apply for a fee waiver, then all fee waivers have been awarded and none are left to be dispersed.

How is PTCAS responding to the COVID-19 pandemic?

PTCAS continues to operate as expected and you can contact the PTCAS Customer Service team with any questions. For additional questions and updates, visit the COVID-19 Application Updates for Students page.


What do I do if my college can't send official transcripts to PTCAS?

Most institutions have staff working remotely to fulfill official transcript requests. You must contact your institution(s) first to learn their COVID-19 guidance. If after contacting your institution(s), you still cannot obtain official transcripts due to COVID-19, review the COVID-19 Transcript Hardships process.


I uploaded my unofficial transcripts for the COVID-19 Transcript Hardships process. How long until they are processed?

You must submit your application first before your unofficial transcripts are processed. On average, it takes up to five business days for your unofficial transcripts to be marked as Arrived in the Check Status tab.


Where can I see that my unofficial transcripts are processed?

Once your transcripts are processed, they will be marked as Arrived in the Check Status section of the application.


Can my application be verified if I only have unofficial transcripts?

Most institutions have staff working remotely to fulfill official transcript requests. You must contact your institutions first to learn their COVID-19 guidance. If you used the COVID-19 Transcript Hardships process, your application can be verified with unofficial transcripts. Note that some schools may still require official transcripts before they review your application.


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