Physical Therapist Assistant

Students who wish to be considered for admission to the Technical / Clinical Phase of the PTA program must present credentials in accordance with the following requirements:

  1. Submit a completed College application indicating Physical Therapist Assistant as the intended major (PTA).
  2. Submit high school transcript or GED score. Applicants must have completed work equal to a standard high school course with a minimum of 16 units including:
    1. Two (2) units of mathematics (1 of which is algebra).
    2. Two (2) units of science (1 unit of biology and 1 unit of chemistry with a minimum grade of “C”) with related laboratory or equivalent. Applicants without high school biology and / or chemistry can satisfy this requirement by completing BIO 121 and/or CHE 121 with a grade of “C” or better.
  3. In addition, one of the following credentials must be submitted.
    1. ACT score composite of 18 or above, or;
    2. SAT score of a minimum of 1,000 total, or;
    3. Submit college transcript including 31 semester hours consisting of four 4 credit laboratory science courses and five 3 credit courses selected from the PTA Pre-Technical Phase curriculum. Grades for the nine courses must each be a “C” or better and result in a GPA of at least 2.5.
  4. All applicants must take College placement assessments in English, Mathematics, and Reading and must place above the developmental level prior to enrolling in PTA courses.
  5. Submit official college transcript(s), for credit evaluation, if applicable.
  6. Submit a Petition for Admission to the program’s Technical Phase in November to be considered for the spring class.
  7. College transcript including Pre-Technical Phase courses listed under the PTA program of study completed at the time of Petitioning for Admission to the Technical Phase of the PTA Program.

Note: Enrollment into the Technical Phase of the PTA program is conditioned on successful completion of all the Pre-Technical Phase courses prior to the start of the Technical Phase II courses. Due to class size limitations, the College does not guarantee acceptance into or continuous enrollment between the Pre-Technical Phase and Technical Phase courses.

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Essential Functions

Essential Functions and Program Specifications

Students are to familiarize themselves with these essential functions and their associated technical standards and determine whether or not they are able to perform the specified tasks.

The essential functions are:

  • Affective/behavioral skills
  • Cognitive skills
  • Communication skills
  • Observation skills
  • Physical and emotional health
  • Psychomotor skills

Read the full description of the essential functions and program specifications.

Program Requirements

Upon acceptance into the program’s Technical Phase the student is required to:

  1. Attend the mandatory PTA Program Orientation.
  2. Demonstrate proof of computer literacy. Successful completion of one of the following will fulfill this requirement: demonstrate computer proficiency obtained through life experiences, demonstrate computer skills obtained at another academic institution including high school or acquired through on the job training, or complete a computer science course such as CIS 100.
  3. Purchase all required PTA textbooks, manuals and lab equipment kit.
  4. Adhere to the PTA Program Dress Code, which requires purchasing PTA uniforms. Note: no ear gauges, piercings other than a single post in the ear lobes, or visible tattoos are permitted while in uniform. If a clinical site has a dress code more restrictive than that of the PTA Program, students will adhere to the more restrictive code.
  5. Purchase student liability insurance annually.
  6. Submit application for Child Abuse History Clearance, FBI Clearance, and a PA Criminal Record Check. Note: a Child Abuse History will and a Criminal Record and/or FBI Record may exclude the student from participating in the Program.
  7. Assume all responsibility for transportation to and from all facilities used for educational experiences, including clinical agencies assigned.
  8. Maintain current CPR certification until the completion of clinical PTA courses by passing American Heart Association CPR for the Healthcare Provider. A copy of each student’s CPR certification will be kept on file by the program.
  9. Submit documentation of an Annual Influenza Vaccination.
  10. Have a comprehensive physical examination, which includes documentation of selected vaccinations and a urine drug screen within three months prior to entering the Physical Therapist Assistant Program clinical component.
  11. Maintain health insurance during clinical education assignments.

Additional Guidelines for Admission

Admission to the Technical Phase component of the PTA program is very competitive and completion of minimum requirements does not guarantee admittance.

After submitting the College application, applicants must take the PTA program’s Pre-Technical courses listed under Semester I and Semester II of the Program of Study prior to submitting the online Petition for Admission. The online Petition for Admission demonstrates the applicant’s attainment of the PTA Special Admission Requirements and successful completion of BIO 131, BIO 132, MAT 106, PHY 115, ENG 101, ESW 222, ESW 224, THA 105 and PSY 206. The Pre-Technical courses BIO 131, BIO 132, PHY 115, ESW 222 and ESW 224 must be completed over a period within five years before enrollment into the Technical Phase courses. Admission to the program’s Technical Phase is based on a point system and ranking procedure. The Physical Therapist Assistant Admission Point Score Worksheet is located on page 6 of the Petition Information Packet.

A Total Point Score is derived for each applicant and used in ranking applicants who submit a completed online Petition for Admission during the established timeframe.

Progression in Physical Therapist Assistant Program

Candidates for the A.A.S. Degree in Physical Therapist Assistant may progress within the program’s Technical Phase and be recommended to the PA State Board of Physical Therapy for certification and eligibility to take the NPTE if the following requirements have been met:

  1. Minimum grade of “C” in all General Education / Foundational Pre-Technical Phase courses and in all PTA Technical Phase courses.
  2. Complete each phase of the PTA curriculum as identified under the Program of Study.
  3. Complete all courses within two years once admitted and enrolled in the program’s Technical Phase.

Note: A student who withdraws from the program’s Technical Phase and seeks readmission at a later date is eligible for readmission based upon space availability as well as meeting minimal specified requirements in effect when readmitted.

Licensure Considerations

Licensure / Certification Considerations

The PA State Board of Physical Therapy may refuse, suspend or revoke the Physical Therapist Assistant certification of a person who has:

  • Attempted to obtain or obtained registration by fraud or misrepresentation.

Been convicted of a felony or of a misdemeanor which relates to the person’s suitability for registration as a Physical Therapist Assistant in a Federal, state, territorial or foreign court of competent jurisdiction.

  • Convection as used in this paragraph includes a finding, or verdict of guilt, an admission of guilt or a plea of nolo contendere.
  • Become addicted to alcohol or hallucinogenic, narcotic or other drugs which tend to impair judgment or coordination.

For a complete list of reasons that the PA State Board of Physical Therapy may refuse, suspend or revoke the Physical Therapist Assistant certification of a person, refer to the Pennsylvania Code, Chapter 40. State Board of Physical Therapy, Sub Chapter C. Physical Therapist Assistants §40.181. Refusal, suspension or revocation of certification. All questions related to licensure / certification are to be directed to the

Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, State Board of Physical Therapy
P.O. Box 2649,
Harrisburg, PA 17105-2649

Due to the physical campus closings, temporary measures have been made for student placement assessments. Review the next steps and frequently asked questions.