How to Write a Standout PT School Letter of Recommendation in 5 Simple Steps

Are you preparing to apply to a physical therapy program and need to secure strong letters of recommendation? Writing an effective letter of recommendation for PT school can be a daunting task, but it’s a crucial component of the application process. A well-crafted letter can make a significant difference in helping you stand out among the competition. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll break down the process into five simple steps, ensuring you have all the tools you need to create a compelling letter that highlights your strengths and qualifications.

Step 1: Gather Relevant Information

Before you begin writing, it’s essential to collect all the necessary information from the candidate. Reach out to them and request details such as their academic achievements, GPA, relevant coursework, extracurricular activities, volunteer experiences, and any other notable accomplishments. Having a comprehensive understanding of their background will allow you to craft a letter that accurately reflects their strengths and potential.

Step 2: Create a Professional Header

Start your letter with a formal header that includes your contact information, the date, and the recipient’s details. This header should be formatted professionally, ensuring it sets the right tone for the rest of the letter.


Your Full NameYour TitleYour OrganizationYour AddressYour City, State, Zip CodeYour Phone NumberYour Email AddressDateRecipient's Full NameRecipient's TitleRecipient's OrganizationRecipient's AddressRecipient's City, State, Zip Code

Step 3: Craft an Engaging Introduction

The introduction is your opportunity to capture the reader’s attention and provide context for your recommendation. Begin by stating your relationship with the candidate and the duration of your association. Then, provide a brief overview of the candidate’s strengths and qualifications, highlighting why you believe they are an excellent fit for the physical therapy program.

Step 4: Outline the Candidate’s Qualifications

In this section, you’ll delve into the specific qualities and achievements that make the candidate stand out. Consider structuring your points using bullet points or short paragraphs for clarity and readability.

  • Academic Excellence: Discuss the candidate’s academic performance, including their GPA, relevant coursework, and any honors or awards they have received.
  • Clinical Experience: If the candidate has completed internships, clinical rotations, or volunteer work in a healthcare setting, highlight their hands-on experience and the skills they developed.
  • Interpersonal Skills: Physical therapy requires excellent communication and interpersonal abilities. Provide examples that demonstrate the candidate’s ability to interact effectively with patients, colleagues, and professionals from diverse backgrounds.
  • Leadership and Teamwork: Describe instances where the candidate has displayed leadership qualities or successfully collaborated with others in a team setting.
  • Passion and Dedication: Highlight the candidate’s genuine interest in the field of physical therapy and their commitment to helping others through this profession.

Step 5: Write a Compelling Conclusion

In the concluding paragraph, reiterate your strong recommendation for the candidate and express your confidence in their ability to excel in the physical therapy program. You may also offer to provide additional information or clarification if needed.


In conclusion, [Candidate's Name] possesses the academic aptitude, clinical experience, interpersonal skills, and passion necessary to thrive in your physical therapy program. I strongly recommend them without reservation, and I am confident that they will make valuable contributions to your institution and the field of physical therapy. Please do not hesitate to contact me if you require any further information or clarification.Sincerely,Your Full NameYour Title

By following these five steps, you’ll be well-equipped to craft a compelling letter of recommendation that effectively showcases the candidate’s strengths and qualifications. Remember to tailor the letter to the specific program and highlight the qualities that align with their values and requirements.

Writing a strong letter of recommendation is an invaluable opportunity to support a deserving candidate’s aspirations and contribute to the growth of the physical therapy profession. Take the time to thoughtfully articulate the candidate’s potential, and you’ll play a vital role in their journey toward a rewarding career in this dynamic field.

Elements of a strong recommendation letter


How many letters of recommendation do you need for PT school?

Three letters of recommendation are required. You should request recommendations from individuals who can speak to your professional or academic readiness to attend a rigorous graduate program. These recommenders must be: A physical therapist (PT) who has directly supervised you.

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