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Physical Therapy Early Assurance Program (EAP) for College Sophomores

The objective of SUNY Upstate Medical University’s Physical Therapy Early Assurance Program is to allow exceptional, motivated students at any accredited undergraduate institution to apply and secure their acceptance to our Doctorate of Physical Therapy program as early as their sophomore year.  The program is designed to free students from the pressures and expense associated with applying to numerous physical therapy schools, allowing them more freedom to pursue unique academic interests and experiences.

Accepted students are required to complete their remaining two years of college and earn a bachelor's degree by May of the year of enrollment, earn a minimum 3.30 prerequisite GPA and a minimum 3.30 cumulative GPA (from all colleges previously attended). GREs are not required for students accepted through the Early Assurance program. Accepted students are also expected to complete a minimum of 40 hours of shadowing with a physical therapist in a different setting than the previous shadowing experiences.   

Students that have completed two years of college study but have advanced standing due to AP, IB or college credits earned while in high school are eligible to apply.

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Applicants to the Early Assurance Program must have:

  • Forty hours of shadowing of a Physical Therapist, completed after high school graduation. At least 20 hours must be completed with one Physical Therapist. Applicants may list on their application PT shadowing completed while in high school, but that can’t count in the 40 hours. (Applicants unable to get 40 hours of shadowing due to PT offices being unavailable to shadow due to COVID restrictions should speak with an Admissions Advisor to discuss their options.)
  • A minimum cumulative grade point average of 3.30 calculated from all colleges previously attended (matriculated and non-matriculated)
  • A minimum science prerequisite grade point average of 3.30 in physical therapy science prerequisites (see next two bullet points).
  • Four (4) of the 8 science prerequisite courses listed below completed by the end of the spring semester of the sophomore year with grades of “B” or higher, taken from an accredited college*:
    • Anatomy and Physiology I with lab (3-4 semester hours)
    • Anatomy and Physiology II with lab (3-4 semester hours)
    • General Biology I with lab (3-4 semester hours) 
    • General Biology II with lab (3-4 semester hours) 
    • General Chemistry I with lab (3-4 semester hours)
    • General Chemistry II with lab (3-4 semester hours)
    • General Physics I with lab (3-4 semester hours)
    • General Physics II with lab (3-4 semester hours)

* Our AP and IB credit policy is to accept AP and IB courses however the undergraduate college accepted the credits.  For a student who fulfilled one or two of the science prerequisites with AP or IB credits prior to entering college, they would still need to take four of the science prerequisites in their first two years of college to meet this requirement.  For a student who fulfilled three, four or five of the science prerequisites with AP and/or IB credits prior to entering college, they would need to take two of the science prerequisites from the remaining science prerequisites in their first two years of college to meet this requirement.  If an applicant completed six of the science prerequisite courses with AP and/or IB credits prior to entering college, they would need to take one of the science prerequisite courses, though they are encouraged to take two.  If an applicant met any of these courses from credits earned while in high school at an accredited US college, we will accept those courses to meet the prerequisite as long as the grade is “B” or higher (no grades of “Pass” allowed).  If admitted, all of the remaining science prerequisites will need to be completed prior to enrolling with grades of “C” or higher, though we would prefer “B” or higher.

The courses below are additional prerequisites that do not need to be completed at the time of applying, however they do need to be successfully completed with a grade of “C” or higher prior to enrolling as a physical therapy student at Upstate.

  • English elective (3 semester hours)
  • Statistics (3 semester hours)
  • Psychology (3 semester hours)
  • Social Science elective (3 semester hours)

The EAP application becomes available March 1 and is due no later than 11:59 pm EST on June 15.  All supporting documents must be post-marked by June 15.  It is the applicant's responsibility to ensure that all items are received on time.  Applications are reviewed over the summer and interviews are scheduled for August, prior to the junior year. Applicants must be available to attend the interview day, which is held via Zoom.

The PT program begins in the summer term (June) after completion of the bachelor’s degree. Student Admissions will verify acceptances in January of the year of entry at which time a deposit will be required.  Candidates who decide (for whatever reason) not to continue with the Early Assurance Program but rather to apply to other Physical Therapy programs via the regular admissions process must first withdraw their guaranteed acceptance to SUNY Upstate. The Admissions Committee would be happy to consider your regular admission application via PTCAS from candidates in this situation.

A completed application consists of:

  • SUNY Upstate Physical Therapy Early Assurance application: Apply Now (available March 1-June 15)
  • Official High School Transcript. This may be mailed to our office (766 Irving Ave., Weiskotten Hall 1212, Syracuse, NY 13210) from your high school or e-mailed to our office ([email protected]) directly from your high school Counselor from their work e-mail address.We cannot accept transcripts via Naviance.  The transcript must show your high school graduation date.
  • Two letters of recommendation. One must be from a professor (preferably science) from the applicant’s undergraduate college.  Letters of recommendation from high school teachers or counselors will not be accepted.  Personal letters of recommendation will not be accepted. 
    • Applicants will include their reference's name, organization and department, position/title, relationship to you, telephone number, and e-mail address on the Upstate College of Health Professions application.
    • Once you enter your reference’s information in the application, they will be sent instructions on how to submit the letter of recommendation. Both you and your references will receive a confirmation once it’s submitted.  
  • Submission of official transcripts from all colleges attended. This includes college credits earned while in high school or over a summer or winter break while in college.

    Transcripts should be sent to:

    Office of Student Admissions
    SUNY Upstate Medical University
    Room 1212 Weiskotten Hall
    766 Irving Avenue
    Syracuse, NY 13210

    If the college is able to send the official transcript electronically, they can send to [email protected] (preferred).
  • $65 Application Fee
    • The application fee for EOP/HEOP students may be waived.  Please ask your EOP Director to e-mail ([email protected]) our office to verify your enrollment in the EOP/HEOP program at your institution.
  • If applicants have AP and/or IB credit for any of the science prerequisites, they must be listed on the official undergraduate college transcript showing which course at the college it met. If not, applicants will be required to submit a degree audit to verify the class that the AP or IB met.

SAT/ACT scores are not required to apply.

The number of students admitted will vary by year.
We encourage students from diverse backgrounds to apply.

Questions may be answered by an Admissions Advisor by e-mailing [email protected] or calling 315-464-4570.