Catalog 2021-2022

Physical Therapist Assistant

Admission Requirements

Changes to the 2021 selection process for the PTA Program:

The observation requirement has been waived for the 2021 election process. However, if you are currently employed as a physical therapy aide, or have been employed as a physical therapy aide during the last three calendar years, please submit those hours using the observation form available online for bonus points in the selection process.

The in-person information session has been also waived for the 2021 selection process but if you have any specific questions about the PTA program, please send them via email to


The Physical Therapist Assistant program utilizes a competitive admission process to select students. Program faculty designed the process to ensure maximum opportunity for student success. The Physical Therapist Assistant program admits students once per year at the beginning of fall semester. Prospective students may gain admission to the college initially as applicants to the Physical Therapist Assistant program in order to complete any required general education courses.

Applicants must submit all required documentation to the Admissions Office by May 21 to be eligible for the competitive selection process. Applicants who are on academic probation or are academically dismissed from the college as of the application deadline will not be considered for selection. Applicants not selected for the program may reapply during subsequent admission intake periods. There is no waiting list between intake periods; applicants must complete the application process for each attempt for entry into the program.

Applicants must submit the following documentation to the Admissions Office by the application deadline for the year they seek admission to the program:

  • Completed and signed application for admission and $25 nonrefundable application fee.
  • Official high school or GED transcripts and/or official college transcripts from all colleges attended in the past (see General Admission Requirements).
  • A minimum grade point average of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale is required on college work attempted in order to be eligible for consideration for admission to the program.
  • Valid ACCUPLACER, COMPASS, ASSET, SAT, or ACT test scores (see ACCUPLACER Placement Examination).
  • Proof of legal presence in the United States.
  • Completed Physical Therapist Assistant Interest Form for the current application period. The form, which is available online, must be submitted electronically.
  • Scores from the Assessment Technologies Institute Test of Essential Academic Skills (ATI TEAS) that are less than five years old as of the application deadline. Students who take the ATI TEAS at another college or at a testing center must submit official scores to Athens Technical College. A minimum adjusted individual total score of 70 percent is required in order to be eligible for consideration for admission to the program. Information about submitting official scores is on the college website.
  • Signed document acknowledging that commission of a felony before or during their enrollment in this program may prevent graduates from taking the licensure exam to become physical therapist assistants and that they may be required to complete drug testing and/or background checks at their own expense prior to participating in clinical rotations at certain host sites for these activities (see Drug Testing/Background Checks). Blank documents are available on the college website.
  • Completed observation form to the Physical Therapist Assistant program office documenting the completion of a minimum of 24 hours of observation in a physical therapy setting or through employment as a physical therapy aide. Blank observation forms are available on the college website. Observation hours must have been completed within three years of the application deadline in order to be used in the competitive selection process.

Although all other materials related to the selection process must be submitted to the office of admissions, observation forms must be submitted directly to the PTA program office for processing. The Physical Therapist Assistant program faculty incorporated an observation requirement into the selection process in order to give prospective students the opportunity to gain an awareness of the job requirements of a physical therapist assistant. Additional consideration will be given to applicants who have completed a minimum of 12 hours each in both inpatient and outpatient physical therapy practice settings. Applicants who have completed observation experiences during the previous application period may use those hours in the subsequent application period. Additional consideration will also be given to applicants who have been employed as a physical therapy aide for a minimum of 500 hours. Any observation or employment hours must have been completed within three years of the application deadline.

Applicants must attend a mandatory Physical Therapist Assistant information session in the application period for which admission is sought. Applicants who have attended an information session during a previous application period must attend another information session. Documentation of attendance at an information session is maintained in the Physical Therapist Assistant program office.

Preference in the selection process will be given to students who have completed mathematics (MATH 1101, MATH 1111, or MATH 1113), anatomy and physiology I and II (BIOL 2113, BIOL 2113L, BIOL 2114, and BIOL 2114L), English (ENGL 1101), introductory psychology (PSYC 1101), and other core classes in the Physical Therapist Assistant curriculum by May 21 of the academic year for which they are seeking admission to the program. Applicants transferring from other colleges must confirm the transferability of credit for these courses with the college's director of registration and records by the May 21 application deadline. If a course has been repeated, only the first two attempts will be considered in the competitive selection process. In addition, bonus points in the selection process will be awarded to applicants who have completed a college level course in medical terminology.

Students selected for admission to the Physical Therapist Assistant program must attend a mandatory pre-admission orientation session once selected. Failure to attend or to make alternate arrangements to obtain necessary information may result in the forfeiture of admission to the program.

After gaining admission to the program and prior to enrolling in the first clinical education course, students must have the following official documents on file in the PTA Program Office:

  • Certification in Basic Life Support (BLS) for Healthcare Providers.
  • Verification of health and malpractice insurance (see Malpractice Insurance).
  • Record of physical exam that is less than six months old and a physician statement that student is in satisfactory health.
  • Results of the following immunizations:
    1. Tetanus, Diphtheria, and Pertussis (Tdap) within the last 10 years
    2. Measles/Mumps/Rubella (MMR) vaccine (2-step) or titer
    3. Varicella (chicken pox) (2-step) or titer
    4. TB test. A PPD skin test must be completed within one year prior to the clinical internship, or more recently if required by the specific clinic. Be aware that some clinical sites require a 2-step TB test. If PPD is positive, the student must have evidence of a chest X-ray and clearance from a physician
    5. Hepatitis B series (3 step) or titer; or if allowed, a signed declination statement must be on file with the clinical facility
  • Different facilities may require additional vaccines (e.g. meningitis, polio, or flu) and it is the student's responsibility to ensure that all required immunizations are completed in order to participate in clinical education at each facility where assigned.

Please send any questions to