Physical Therapist Assistant A.A.S. - Admission Process

Admission Process

Application Procedures

In addition to the admission requirements of Chattanooga State, the applicant must meet the following requirements to be considered for acceptance into the Associate of Applied Science Degree Physical Therapist Assistant program:

  • Attend a PTA information session. This session is required (except with written permission from PTA program director).
  • Meet with an advisor and start taking appropriate college credit courses.
  • In addition, the student must have completed the following prerequisites prior to enrollment in the first PTA course. 
    • All Learning Support courses based on college placement testing must be completed successfully.
    • BIOL 2010, Anatomy and Physiology I
    • ENGL 1010, English Composition
    • Mathematics general elective
    • PSYC 1030 Introduction to Psychology
    • Must maintain a “C” or better in all courses

Note: Applicant must have completed all learning support classes to meet minimal eligibility requirements for the program. For students who have not had college level courses, ACT test results or college assessment test results must also be submitted.

Refer to the PTA admission checklist to successfully complete the application process on or before the first Monday in February of each year:

To compute your PTA application points and estimate how competitive your application may be, use the PTA Program Point Calculation Worksheet (worksheets are located on the PTA website under program packet).

Deadline

The first Monday in February of each year is the deadline for preferred consideration. Be sure you have completed and submitted all required information—use the PTA Admissions Checklist to ensure that your application process is complete.

Transfer Students

Students who apply as a transfer from another PTA program must have a minimum of 2.5 GPA and at least a “C” or “Pass” in all PTA program courses.  General Education courses will be evaluated by the Records office and the PTA course work will be evaluated by the admissions committee and a decision made based on syllabus and course content of previous courses.  Students may be required to demonstrate competency in previous course work through written examination, performance in lab or through written assignments. Acceptance of transfer students cannot exceed the maximum number of students (24) in each co-hort

Selection Process

  • Admission to the Physical Therapist Assistant Program is a competitive process. Selection into the program is based on a comparative analysis of test scores, transcripts, interviews and other application materials.
  • Students who submit their admission materials postmarked by the first Monday in February of the year in which fall admission is sought will have their applications reviewed by a screening committee. (Only if there were not enough qualified applicants to fill the 24 available spaces in the class would applications be accepted after the February deadline.) To have the PTA file complete, the applicants must have an application, transcripts, recommendation forms, observation form and have taken the TEAS.
  • Tennessee residents and those within our service area are given priority consideration.
  • Selection for interview/admission is based on a point system. Points are awarded to the applicant using the following categories: (also refer to the point calculation worksheet available on the program website or from the division office).
  • Science GPA—high school GPA if no college credit has been completed.
  • Program GPA—from college support courses for the Physical Therapist Assistant Degree (if a minimum of six credits has been completed) or high school GPA (if no college credit has been completed).
  • TEAS scores—Student's composite score is used in a formula to determine points awarded. A higher composite score leads to more points in this category.
  • Work experience as a PT technician or aide within the last two years for a min of 6 months. The purpose is to enhance your understanding of the PTA's role in the therapy team. 
  • Number of program science courses (BIOL 2010, 2020 or PHYS 1030) which have already been completed. (Science courses taken prior to admission into the Physical Therapist Assistant Program must be passed with at least a “C” grade and must be taken within a five-year limit to qualify for points in the application process or to satisfy program course requirements.)
  • Once the database is established using information supplied by the applicant, a verification form to approve file information regarding the above criteria is available for the student to review upon request. When information is verified and/or corrections made, points are calculated and applicants are numerically ranked. Applicants with the highest points (usually 40 applicants) are invited to advance to the interview stage of the admission process.
  • An admission/interview committee (consisting of members from Chattanooga State’s Division of Nursing & Allied Health, academic and clinical faculty and/or Student Services staff) assigns point values during a personal interview regarding the following criteria: knowledge of physical therapy, professional presentation, communication skills, interpersonal skills ethical reasoning and organizational/planning skills. Interview points are combined with previously established database points to determine an overall application score. This point system is used to determine which applicants are offered admission. The composition of the class will reflect diversity based on age, gender, and race. (Usually, a class of 24 is accepted.)
  • Progression with the program is contingent on results of a physical examination, background check, and drug screening.
  • Students must have current CPR certification (Health Care Provider course from American  Heart Association)  prior to beginning the Physical Therapist Assistant Program.
  • Failure to complete drug screen, background check, CPR certification and required immunizations by the deadline will make the student ineligible for enrollment into the program.