Purpose/Hypothesis: Advancing clinical practice has facilitated substantial changes in curriculum and student populations in physical therapist (PT) education. While programs admit highly qualified students, many will encounter challenges impacting their academic success. Current evidence suggests the association of cognitive measures and academic success. However, these cognitive measures have provided a limited understanding of students’ experiences of academic success. Therefore, the purposes of this study were to explore how recent graduates experience academic success in the second year of a PT program and how these experiences impacted their academic success. Number of Subjects: 8 recent DPT graduates (ages 24-37) Materials and Methods: This study is the second of a three-phase qualitative study. A purpose sampling of 8 recent DPT graduates participated in a semi-structured individual interview. Program (curriculum and student) documents were collected. Each interview was recorded and transcribed verbatim. After thorough data analysis, themes were identified within and across the cases. Results: Data analysis revealed four major themes: (1) navigating advanced coursework, (2) modifying previous academic strategies, (3) seeking support outside the classroom, and (4) developing physical therapist identity. Conclusions: Despite the variation in their background and educational path, the findings revealed that participants had similar academic, social and professional experiences. When participants implemented personal and social learning strategies, they were able to navigate their educational environment to achieve academic success defined by increasing knowledge, attaining clinical competencies, and developing professional identity. Clinical Relevance: Understanding academic success will be essential to moving forward in creating an effective professional development framework from year one to three.