Frequently Asked Questions


Frequently Asked Questions

What's the first step to apply?

First, you must be enrolled at ACC. Please see this page for information about how to get started.

Can other courses be substituted for the prerequisite PTHA 1409 Introduction to Physical Therapy?

This course covers specific information and skills that students will need in the Physical Therapist Assistant program. It is taught in both a lecture and lab component and it is a 4 hour course. Due to regulatory agencies, this course can only be taught by accredited PTA programs. Any course that would be considered as an equivalent must be: 1) taught at an accredited PTA Program, 2) be a four hour course with a lab, and 3) have objectives that are comparable to the ACC PTA Program’s course.

How long before my prerequisites or co-requisites expire?

Only two courses have an expiration date. The Anatomy and Physiology requirement must be within 7 years of your application date. If you are using A&P1 and A&P2, the time starts from when you took A&P2. PTHA 1409 Intro to PT must be within 3 years of your application date.

How are bonus points awarded in the selection process?

Applicants with completed course work will have additional bonus points added to their ranking score. The following courses are eligible for bonus points:

PTHA 1409 Introduction to Physical Therapy

  • “A” = 1.5 bonus points
  • “B” = .75 bonus point
  • “C” = 0 bonus points

PSYC 2314, SPCH, Language, Philosophy & Culture

Only two (2) of these co-requisites with the highest grades are selected.

  • “A” = .5 bonus point
  • “B” = .25 bonus point
  • “C” = 0 bonus point

BIOL 2402: Anatomy and Physiology II or Human Physiology

Any student that has completed BIOL 2402 Anatomy and Physiology II, or is transferring Human Anatomy and Human Physiology from the same school, is eligible for additional bonus points, as indicated below.

  • “A” = 1.5 bonus points
  • “B” = .75 bonus point
  • “C” = 0 bonus points

This bonus point system is in place for two reasons.

  • Students that enter the program with all co-requisites completed are more likely to be academically successful in the program
  • Strong academic performance in PTHA 1409 and BIOL 2401 & 2402 correlate with success in this program.

Does the PTA Program schedule "Information Sessions" for prospective students?

Yes. The PTA program requires attendance at an information session as part of the application process. There are regularly scheduled information sessions during the fall and spring semesters in Room 9307. While a face-to-face information session is recommended, students have the option of completing the PTA Information Session online.

Is a waiting list maintained for the PTA Program?

The typical number of applicants is between 40 and 50, of which we accepted a maximum of 22. The program does not maintain waiting lists. Students that applied and did not gain admission into the program and want consideration for admission the following year must submit a new application. No additional consideration is given to the number of times an applicant has applied to the program. For more information, please visit the Application Process page.

How much time is recommended for study purposes?

Students in the PTA course of study should expect to spend at least 12-18 hours per week for study time in addition to class time.

What is the class schedule like?

The general schedule is as follows:

Level 1

  • Fall Semester: late morning, afternoon, and evening classes
  • Spring Semester: all day

Level 2

  • Fall Semester: morning and afternoon classes, clinical 240 hours
  • Spring Semester: clinical 240 hours (2)

Class schedules may change without notice because of our reliance on adjunct faculty and clinicians with expertise in specific patient care areas.

Is there any lab equipment that I will need to purchase?

Yes. You will need to purchase the following equipment:

  • Blood pressure cuff
  • Stethoscope

These supplies are approximately $30-$50 on various online sites.

Where are the clinical education sites located?

All students must successfully complete clinical rotations as part of the requirement for graduation from the PTA Program. All students complete these rotations within the ACC service district. All students are expected to arrange their own transportation to the clinics as assigned.

Is there a required uniform for clinicals?

PTA students are required to follow the dress code/policy for the facility. Hospitals may require specific-colored scrubs. In cases where none is stated, students will wear khaki pants or dress slacks, a solid colored polo shirt, and closed toed shoes when in the clinic. ID badges must be worn at all times and will be obtained through the college.

Will jobs be available when I graduate?

While we cannot predict the job market with 100% accuracy, sources indicate considerable growth in PTA jobs. According to the U.S. Dept. of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Physical Therapist Assistants rank 8th among the top 20 fastest growing occupations in the U.S.

What is the salary for a PTA?

Generally speaking, PTAs earn 75-80% of what a PT earns. A reasonable expectation for a new graduate can be between $38,000 and $48,000/year based on full-time employment. Please keep in mind that pay scales vary depending on the setting and because Austin is a favorable place to live, salaries are generally lower than in other parts of Texas. Graduates that are willing to relocate can expect higher starting salaries. Salaries for Texas PTAs can be found on the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Page.

Is there a licensure exam required to practice when I graduate?

Licensure is required in the State of Texas under the provisions of the Physical Therapy Practice Act 4512E and must be obtained through successful completion of a national exam before the candidate may practice Physical Therapy. The procedure for obtaining licensure as a Physical Therapist Assistant in Texas will be distributed during the last semester of enrollment. Licensure requirements vary in other states and students should speak with the program faculty for assistance with this information.

What are the PTA Program's graduate statistics?

Graduate Pass Rate on National PTA Exam and Employment Rate

First Time Test Takers All takers, within one year of graduation Employed within twelve (12) months after obtaining license
May 2017 100% 100% 92.86%
May 2016 100% 100% 93.75%
May 2015 100% 100% 94%
May 2014 100% 100% 95%
May 2013 100% 100% 100%
May 2012 100% 100% 100%
May 2011 100% 100% 100%
August 2010 100% 100% 100%
August 2009 100% 100% 100%
August 2008 100% 100% 100%

What is a competitive TEAS Score and GPA?

The program does not require a minimum TEAS score. Your score is only compared to your applicant pool so the higher the score, the better. The following table gives the average TEAS scores for the past three classes.

2018 TEAS Avg. 82.3
2017 TEAS Avg. 82.2
2016 TEAS Avg. 78.9
2015 TEAS Avg. 81.2
2014 TEAS Avg. 80.2

The minimum GPA requirement for applying is a 2.8. However, a higher GPA improves your chances of acceptance into the program. The following table gives the average GPA for the past three classes.

2018 GPA Avg. 3.76
2017 GPA Avg. 3.70
2016 GPA Avg. 3.68
2015 GPA Avg. 3.74
2014 GPA Avg. 3.53

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Physical Therapist Assistant Updates

  • The PTA Program Application Period for 2020 Is Now Closed

    The application period for Fall 2021 will begin in September 2020. Please check the Application Process page for updates that may affect your application.

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  • PTA Program Application Status

    All acceptance and alternate letters were sent to applicants via USPS on Wednesday, June 10, 2020. If you do not receive a letter in a few days, please email the Department Chair. You can submit an application for the 2021 application cycle starting September 1, 2020 through the deadline date of May 10, 2021. Any revisions or updates to the application process for next year will be posted on the PTA website.

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  • Anatomy and Physiology I Assessment Testing Suspended for Summer and Fall 2020 Registration Only

    Due to COVID-19, and in response to ACC campuses limiting access to essential personnel only, the A&P I Assessment Test has been suspended for the remainder of this testing period and the Fall testing period. Students will not need permission to register for BIOL 2401 for Summer '20 and Fall '20 registration periods ONLY.

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