Application Instructions

Application deadline is October 16, 2017

For the class beginning in June 2018 Applications will be accepted starting July 1, 2017

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Thank you for your interest in Bradley University’s Doctor of Physical Therapy program. We are extremely proud of our faculty, our curriculum, our research, our students, and our graduates. Our faculty is very student-centered. With a small class size of 24, there is ample opportunity for one-on-one instruction and interaction between faculty and students. Students form a strong bond with one another that continues throughout the 3-year curriculum. We would be delighted to have you consider Bradley for your physical therapy education. Please read the following instructions carefully, and if you have questions at any time, contact Carol Wessler at (309) 677-3489, or

The Bradley University Doctor of Physical Therapy program subscribes to the Physical Therapy Centralized Admission System (PTCAS). To apply you must apply to PTCAS ( AND follow the directions below.

Payment of Graduate School Processing Fee:

A non-refundable Graduate School processing fee of $40 ($50 for international applicants) is required. This fee is in addition to the PTCAS Application Fee and is submitted directly to Bradley University. Payment by credit card only, no checks or money orders will be accepted. Use the following link for on-line payment of the processing fee. (This link will go live on June 29, 2017.) Your application will not be processed unless this fee is submitted.


Admittance to the Bradley University Doctor of Physical Therapy program is competitive and the spaces per class are limited to 24, thus applicants are encouraged to apply early. While we do not have an early acceptance date, the Admission Committee may accept highly qualified applicants prior to the deadline. The application deadline is October 16, 2017. All application materials must be received by this date. Applications complete after this date will not be reviewed. It is the applicant’s responsibility to see that all materials have been received by PTCAS by October 16, 2017. It is to your advantage to apply early so that any unanticipated delays in your application process may be resolved by the application deadline. You may contact PTCAS to check if all materials have arrived. All information necessary for completing your application can be found at and on this site.

Please note that we do not conduct interviews with applicants for the Physical Therapy program. Thus the information you provide in your application solely determines your acceptance or denial.

The Bradley University Doctor of Physical Therapy program begins in June (Summer Session 1) of each year. Accepted students coming to Bradley University must have a bachelor’s degree by the first day of class and be ready to attend classes by the first week in June. Accepted students must be able to progress through the curriculum in the required sequence of courses.


Submit your official GRE scores to code #7706 for the Bradley University Doctor of Physical Therapy program. Do not use any other Bradley University GRE code. GRE scores for code #7706 will automatically be sent to PTCAS. Using any other Bradley GRE code will result in your official scores not being seen. Please refer to the PTCAS website for more information on sending your GRE scores to PTCAS.

 Graduate Assistantships:

The Department of Physical Therapy usually offers a limited number of half-time Graduate Assistantships. These positions are competitive and apply to only one academic year of the program. In return for working within the department for 10 hours per week, a GA will receive a partial tuition remission and minimal stipend. Because our application process begins so early, we cannot guarantee these positions until late in the Spring semester. A separate application process is required and will be initiated after you are fully admitted into the program and have started classes in the summer.

Letters of Recommendation: 

Two letters of recommendation are required, preferably one from an academic reference, and one from a supervisor/employer reference. For specific instructions, please see the Bradley directory page at Recommendations must be completed online through the PTCAS application. Letters of recommendation mailed directly to the Bradley Dept. of Physical Therapy and Health Science will not be considered. 

If you have questions please call Carol Wessler at 309-677-3489, or email at

Additional Admissions Considerations

  1. Essential Skills: It is expected that students entering the program will be able to meet the technical standards of the program with or without reasonable accommodation. Please read these standards before applying. (Essential Skills)
  2. Criminal Background: While it will have no effect on your admission to our program, please be advised that conviction of certain felonies may preclude your ability to become licensed as a physical therapist in certain states, including Illinois. If admitted to the program, a criminal background check will be done before your first clinical, at your expense.

  3. International Students: Foreign (non-U.S.) citizens with a visa, and Canadian citizens are eligible for admission. However, do not send foreign or Canadian documentation to PTCAS, or to our Department. Our policy is to consider only U.S. courses. Only applicants with undergraduate degrees from U.S. schools will be eligible for admission.

  4. Competitive Advantage: Admission to the DPT program is competitive. High grades and high test scores will make your application more competitive. However, the Admissions Committee looks at other factors as well. The following items, though not required, will make your application stronger and thus increase the likelihood of admission, or being ranked higher on the wait list.

  5. Course requirements – All required courses must be completed by the time you start the program. However, some students have waited until the year they apply to take several science courses. This makes it difficult for the Committee to make a decision on your academic abilities. It is highly recommended that you complete all of your required science courses before you apply. Those who have several courses incomplete, though plan to finish by the time the program starts, will be at a competitive disadvantage.

  6. Exposure to Physical Therapy and Health Care – Most applicants have seriously considered physical therapy for some time and have been exposed to physical therapy either by observing and/or actually working in a physical therapy department. Please include these experiences in the PTCAS activities section. A minimum number of hours are not required, but at least 40 hours of observation or experience in a variety of physical therapy settings is highly recommended. Some applicants have worked in health care in some capacity. These experiences should be highlighted as well. See the additional web page “The Successful Applicant”

Admissions Process

Applications (PTCAS and the Bradley Application fee) are received starting in July of each year. The review process by the Admissions Committee will begin as applications are received. The Admissions Committee will review applications received by October 16th.

The Committee scores each applicant in 3 general areas:

  1. Science preparedness (approximately 30%). Factors considered are the required course GPA, Anatomy and Physiology GPA, Physics GPA, additional recommended courses taken and the difficulty of science courses. Students are docked points if required courses are missing.
  2. General academic preparedness (approximately 40%). Factors considered are the cumulative GPA, GRE scores, the breadth of courses taken, involvement in research, your ability to communicate in writing, and the perceived rigor of the undergraduate institution.
  3. Non-academic factors (approximately 30%). Factors considered are the amount and quality of exposure to physical therapy and health care, amount and quality of service activities, evidence of your ability to work with people, evidence of the qualities of motivation and persistence, evidence of leadership and ability to handle responsibility, letters of reference, and the perceived interest in Bradley University. The committee understands that it may be difficult for every applicant to excel in all these areas.

A total score is generated which serves as a basis by which the Admissions Committee 1) deliberates admissibility and offers admission to an applicant, 2) determines which students are placed on the waitlist and, 3) determines which students are denied. Committee scores and deliberations are confidential.

The Admission Committee will begin admitting successful applicants sometime in November. The timing of this is partially contingent upon the verification of your transcripts by PTCAS. Thus is to the applicant’s advantage to apply early. 

Admitted applicants must submit a $500.00 deposit to reserve a place in the class by January 15, 2018. Applicants accepted between January 15th and March 1st will have 2 weeks from the date of the notification to submit the deposit. Applicants accepted after March 1st will have 1 week from the date of notification to submit the deposit.

The non-refundable $500.00 deposit is considered a commitment to enter the program and will be applied to the incoming student’s tuition. Should a student withdraw his or her commitment, the deposit will be forfeited and not refunded. Withdrawal from the program must be made in writing (email acceptable) as soon as the incoming student changes his or her mind about attending Bradley.

Questions about anything? Contact Carol Wessler at 309-677-3489 or