COVID-19-Related Admissions Changes

COVID-19-RELATED ADMISSIONS CHANGES for APPLICATION CYCLE 2020-2021

The University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences recognizes applicants are facing unprecedented challenges during this public health emergency. Please be assured that our staff and admissions committee members understand the issues that you are facing and will continue to adjust our assessment of applications and applicants as needed. Our primary concern is the safety of all applicants.

Please use this page to stay up-to-date on how the pandemic affects application requirements for the 2020-21 PTCAS cycle.

Pass/fail coursework

We recognize that COVID-19 has disrupted academic plans across the country and that applicants are facing unprecedented challenges related to the pandemic. Admissions is aware that due to COVID-19 and the impact on colleges and universities, some students are being issued pass/fail, credit/no credit prerequisite grades. We will accept this grading system during the semesters/quarters impacted by COVID-19 as long as the college or university documents “pass/P or credit/CR” and the credit hours on the transcript. We will not accept a prerequisite course grade of if it indicates on the transcript that the individual received less than a C grade in the course (for example, Pass-D, fail/F, withdrawn failing/WF).

Regarding pass/fail coursework impact on cumulative GPA calculation: Cumulative GPA includes ALL coursework ever taken regardless of how many times a course was taken. Although “pass/P” or ‘credit/CR” count towards earned credits towards a degree, they do not do not factor into overall GPA. Note: a grade of “fail/F” or “withdrawn failing/WF”  is factored into GPA calculations as an F.

We are not revising our required prerequisite coursework or credits.

Pass/fail coursework for repeated/retaken prerequisite courses

In the event an applicant repeated prerequisite coursework during the semesters impacted by COVID, we will calculate and compare two prerequisite GPAs and take the one that is higher and most favorable for the applicant. The two prerequisite GPA scores that will be calculated and compared are: 1) a prerequisite GPA score with the prior (letter) course grade and 2) a prerequisite GPA with the Pass/Credit from the granting institution’s transcript as the course grade on the repeated course. Again, we will use whichever prerequisite GPA is higher and more favorable to the applicant.

We are aware that due to COVID-19 and the impact on colleges and universities, some students are being issued pass/fail, credit/no credit prerequisite grades. We will accept this grading system during the semesters/quarters impacted by COVID-19 as long as the college or university documents “pass/P or credit/CR” and the credit hours on the transcript. The Pass or Credit ‘grade’ does not factor into the prerequisite GPA calculation, but the course credits will be accepted. We will not accept a prerequisite course grade if it indicates on the transcript that the individual received less than a C grade in the course (for example, Pass-D, fail/F, withdrawn failing/WF).

Online coursework and labs

As has been the case with our program since inception, admissions requirements including prerequisite coursework, (including labs) can be taken at any regionally accredited institution- including online courses.

Observation hours

Due to self-quarantine, social distancing, and other virus mitigation policies, it may be more difficult for applicants to accumulate significant preparatory experiences such as observation with a licensed physical therapist. Therefore, for the 2020-2021 PTCAS cycle, we are waiving our observation hour requirements; however, we do still recommend observation hours if applicants are able to obtain them. We do encourage applicants to upload any hours completed to PTCAS.

Letters of recommendation

We recognize that the course of study changes and challenges in obtaining observation hours, resulting from COVID-19, may impact an applicant’s ability to obtain a letter of recommendation from a physical therapist. Therefore, for the 2020-2021 application cycle, we have revised this requirement and now require two letters of recommendation from other types of reviewers. Please refer to admissions requirements – acceptable evaluators for letters of recommendation. We also understand that the depth of applicants’ interactions with typical recommenders may be affected and that the specificity of comments may be less or have a different tone due to a lower number of in-person contact hours. This will be taken into consideration with the individual’s full application.

GRE

We still require the GRE for application to our program. As has been with our program for several years, scores up to five years old are accepted. In an effort to meet the needs of students who are unable to take the GRE General Test at a test center due to public health concerns, ETS is temporarily offering a GRE General Test at-home option.

Application deadline

Due to the revisions we have made to admissions delineated above, we will maintain our application deadline of September 15, 2020.

Related

Please refer to our both our website detailing all admissions requirements as well as our website on how to apply to our program.