Clinical Doctorate of Physical Therapy

How much adjustment is there between undergraduate and graduate school?

It was a fairly large adjustment between undergraduate and graduate school for me.  The workload in graduate school is significantly greater than in undergrad and it is essential to stay on top of things and not procrastinate.

Keesha Olsen

DPT Class of 2015

 

It is sort of like drawing a comparison between apples and oranges; undergraduate coursework is laced with courses that you aren't necessarily going to be able to see the relevance of to your life. Graduate school is different because everything you learn is something you're going to need to use or to know for the future. Another difference though is that if you applied to such a specific program as this, you pretty much have to be sure that it is something you love to do, and that makes all the information seem personal and more retainable. You will hear a lot of jokes about social lives going down the drain, but most of it is talk...some of it will be true on certain weeks (exam weeks, weeks with a couple lab practicals, etc.). For the most part, though, you will probably continue the pattern that worked most efficiently for you in undergrad.

Patty Kool

DPT Class of 2015

 

 

There are adjustments, but they are easy adjustments. I believe transitioning into graduate school is actually easier than transitioning into undergraduate school. Since you spend so much time with your PT classmates, they inevitably become a group of close friends. You quickly create a “professional friendship” with the professors, who are approachable and eager to help you learn and manage the studies. Thus, you have a wide support unit as soon as you start school.

 

Plus, GPAs don’t matter nearly as much in grad school as undergrad. The focus is to learn the material as best you can to make you the best PT possible. It’s a freeing feeling, in fact, to not rate yourself by a decimal number. There are relatively few “busy assignments,” and at this level, most all the material fits your passions and interests. Overall, once you get to the PT program, you are taking classes you want to take and are surrounded by like-minded people that want you to succeed. This makes it easy to transition into.

 

It should be stated, however: the biggest adjustment is finding the rhythm and discipline to study (at least a little) every day of the week. A mistake is to let Friday and Saturday be “study-free” days.

Patrick Lawrence

DPT Class of 2015

 

The biggest adjustment for me is setting aside time each day to study information from class. In undergrad I would just wait until a couple days before an exam to study, but it's harder to do that in grad school. If you study a little every day, it will also help you stay stress-free when exams roll around.

Nate Keniston

DPT Class of 2015

 

 


 

Page last modified April 2, 2013