Physical Therapy Career Exploration Program

Physical Therapy Career Exploration Program

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Program dates:
July 10 - July 21, 2017

Application available:
November 1, 2016 - April 21, 2017

Download the program flier.

Eligibility Requirements

The program is offered to current 10th-, 11th- and 12th-grade students from Richmond Public Schools and surrounding counties that are interested in exploring a career in physical therapy.

Program Description

The Physical Therapy Career Exploration Program is a rigorous, two-week summer program that exposes high school students to different specialties and aspects of physical therapy through study skills activities, reading discussions, research, hands-on workshops and public speaking exercises. The goal is to get students thinking about how to gain acceptance to and succeed in a professional health sciences school before they even get to college.

The two-week, nonresidential program will focus on:

  • Increasing awareness of the profession of physical therapy as a career option
  • Providing high school students with exposure to physical therapy
  • Giving students an opportunity to experience a learning environment that is compatible with the standards of higher education that will enhance their overall academic skills
  • Providing high school students with preparatory information for successful admission to the physical therapy program at VCU
  • Encouraging students to feel confident about succeeding in the profession of physical therapy

Students are required to provide their own transportation to and from the program on a daily basis. Lunch and any resource materials required to participate in the program will be provided. Commitment to full attendance, including an orientation session and closing event, is required to participate.

Application Requirements

For consideration to enter the program, students must complete a full application and submit supplemental materials, including two letters of recommendation and an official high school transcript.  Preference is given to students from disadvantaged backgrounds (educational, social or economic).

Program Contact Information

Cheryl Ford-Smith, PT, D.P.T., NCS, at

Virginia Commonwealth University
Office of the Vice President for Health Sciences
Division for Health Sciences Diversity
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