Application Process

Physical Therapist Assistant Application Process

Before you proceed with the application process, we encourage you to read the Physical Therapist Assistant FAQ. If you need additional help, please contact us.

  • Applicants must be enrolled in Austin Community College. Click here for more information. Admission to Austin Community College does not guarantee admission to a Health Sciences program.
  • The Physical Therapist Assistant program is open to all students. A health science background is not required to apply.
  • Applicants must meet the Technical Standards required by the program.

New students are accepted into the Physical Therapist Assistant program in the Fall.

Applications are accepted from September 1 to June 5.

The application process is now 100% online through the PTA Central Application System (CAS). A completed application must be received by the posted deadline date. See the How to Apply section for details regarding the PTA CAS.

Click here to view the Physical Therapist Assistant Associate of Applied Science (AAS) degree plan.

Use the following steps as a checklist before you continue to the next section “How to Apply.”

Health Sciences Admission

  1. Activate your ACC email account. All correspondence regarding your application will be sent to your ACC email address. For information on how to set up your ACC email account, please see this page.
  2. Complete the program-required immunizations and retain a copy of your immunization form.

Prerequisites and Co-requisites

  1. Complete the following prerequisite courses with grades of “C” or better. Applicants must meet a 2.8 GPA minimum in both prerequisites and co-requisites if any co-requisites have been completed. See Step 3 for more information regarding co-requisite courses.
    • ENGL 1301: English Composition I
    • HPRS 1106: Essentials of Medical Terminology
    • MATH 1314: College Algebra or MATH 1342: Elementary Statistics (Any college-level math from the Core Curriculum can be submitted for this requirement.)
    • PSYC 2301: Introduction to Psychology
    • BIOL 2404: Introduction to Anatomy and Physiology
      • BIOL 2401 and BIOL 2402 can both be used to substitute for BIOL 2404.
      • The Anatomy and Physiology requirement must be completed within seven years of the application date.
      • For students with both A&P I and II credits, A&P II will be used to determine the seven years rule.
    • PTHA 1409: Introduction to Physical Therapy
      • PTHA 1409 must be taken within 3 years of the application date.
      • Refer to the PTHA 1409 information page for information on the petition process, course substitutions, and other info for this course.
  2. Students taking prerequisite courses (including PTHA 1409: Introduction to Physical Therapy) in the Spring semester are eligible to submit an application that same semester. The Spring semester is the latest semester any prerequisite can be completed for consideration in that application cycle. For courses not taken at ACC, a transcript is required for your application to be processed.
  3. Students need to complete three additional co-requisites courses. While it is not necessary to complete them before applying, they must be completed in order to graduate. Completion of these courses before admission correlates to a higher success rate in the program. Students are advised to complete all co-requisite courses before applying to the program. Completed co-requisites are eligible for bonus points to the applicant’s ranking score (see bonus points in FAQ), as well as calculated in the GPA.
    • SPCH 1318: Interpersonal Communication or SPCH 1311: Introduction to Speech for Healthcare Professionals (SPCH 1315: Public Speaking or SPCH 1321: Business and Professional Communication can also be substituted for this requirement.)
    • PSYCH 2314: Human Growth and Development (Any transferred psychology lifespan course can be substituted for this requirement if course objectives indicate the course covers birth to death.)
    • PHIL 2306: Ethics (Any course from the Language, Philosophy & Culture section of the Core Curriculum list can be substituted for this requirement.)

Required Forms & Documentation

  1. Complete the mandatory Physical Therapist Assistant Information Session. A face-to-face session is recommended for the most complete information about the program. Save the completion confirmation email to upload as a PDF in the PTA Central Application System (CAS) when you begin the application process.
  2. Submit transcripts directly to the PTA CAS from any institution, including ACC, that you will use to transfer credit for the PTA degree plan. Only transcripts submitted to the PTA CAS will be used for GPA calculation and for transfer credit. It is recommended to request electronic transcripts for quicker processing.
  3. Must have a minimum of 40 hours of volunteer experience within five years of the application date at one facility. PT aids or technicians may count employment hours for this requirement. Applicants must keep track of hours on the Volunteer Log found on the program website. No volunteer hours required for 2021 application cycle. For more information, click here.
  4. Complete three Work Skills Assessment forms.
    • One form must be completed by the licensed PT or PTA that supervised the volunteer experience.
    • Two forms must be completed by both ACC PTA faculty members in your PTHA 1409 lab section. Faculty will complete these Work Skills Assessment Forms for all students at the completion of the PTHA 1409 course. These will be filed by the department and submitted to the PTA CAS for the student.
    • If a transfer equivalent for PTHA 1409 from another school was approved, two PTA faculty members from that school must fill out the forms. Contact the Department Chair for details on how to submit forms from faculty external to ACC.
    • Students must enter the contact information for the PT or PTA that will fill out this form in the designated area of the PTA CAS. The program will email the person indicated by the student a link to fill out the form. It remains the student’s responsibility to follow-up with this person to ensure the form is completed. The PTA Program faculty/staff will not do this.
  5. Upload your essay to the PTA CAS. The prompt is located in the PTA CAS under “Required Documents—Writing Sample.” All essays are de-identified and graded by the full-time faculty. The maximum score on an essay is a 40. The topic for the essay is: “Describe a situation in the classroom or workplace where you experienced an interpersonal conflict and how you resolved this. Include strategies you implemented to resolve the situation.
  6. All applicants must complete the TEAS Exam (Allied Health version) before applying to the program. For information on how to schedule your TEAS Exam through an ACC testing center, click here. You may also choose to schedule your TEAS Exam online or at a PSA testing center. There is no expiration date for the TEAS score until ATI releases a new version of the TEAS. At this point, all applicants to the PTA Program must have a score report for the newest version. This is true regardless of how recent the older version was taken. Ample notice of upcoming changes will be provided to students on the PTA website and on the Health Sciences website. There is no cutoff score or minimum requirement on the TEAS. The composite score will be used for ranking purposes and cannot be substituted with a score for an individual component of the exam. Listed below are resources to aid in preparing for the TEAS Exam:


  1. During the application period (see “Deadline” above), go to the CastleBranch website and click the link “Place Order.”
  2. Enter UL64im in the “Package Code” field. After entering your personal information, the system will prompt you to upload your 1-page immunization form for each of the four required immunizations. The cost to set up the account is $30.
  3. Documents are approved when you receive a green check next to the requirement. All items must be approved in CastleBranch before your application will be accepted. CastleBranch forms are Health Sciences Division requirements and are separate from the PTA CAS process.

Click this link to access the PTA CAS and submit the following:

  1. Official transcripts from every college or university from which you plan to transfer credit for this degree, including ACC. ACC does not participate in a service that allows students to electronically send the transcripts to the PTA CAS. When you reach the transcript section of the PTA CAS, you will need to follow the instructions for option 2 and request that your transcripts are sent to the PTA CAS via United States Postal Service. From the PTA CAS, click on the link for the PDF of the Transcript Request Form to see the mailing address. It is located at the bottom of this form. You do not need to send this form with your transcript request, simply provide ACC the mailing address to the PTA CAS
  2. A PDF of the TEAS test score page, which includes the composite score and the scores broken down by test section
  3. A PDF of your typed essay
  4. The contact information for the PT or PTA that will complete the Work Skills Assessment Form for you. This is waived for the 2020-2021 application cycle. You do not need to add this information.
  5. A PDF of the completed Volunteer/Observation Hours Log
  6. A PDF of the Information Session completion confirmation email, signed and dated
  7. There is a $25 application fee to submit your application through the PTA CAS. When you complete the application and are ready to submit, you will be provided information on financial assistance for those applicants that qualify for financial hardship.

Please note that the PTA CAS is the only way to apply to this program. No mailed or printed documents will be accepted by the Health Sciences office or the PTA Program faculty/staff.

  • GPA 1: English, Math, A&P, and PTHA 1409 is weighted 55%
  • GPA 2: All other prerequisites and co-requisites completed is weighted 15%
  • ATI TEAS composite score is weighted 10%
  • Essay is weighted 15%
  • Work Skills Assessments are weighted 5%
  • Bonus points: Details are provided on the FAQ page

Application status letters are mailed in mid-June.

Search the Health Sciences Website

Physical Therapist Assistant Updates

  • 2021 PTA Program Application Status

    We are currently processing applications submitted to the PTACAS. Continue to check your email for messages that require action on your part from the PTACAS and/or from the PTA department. Emails informing you of your acceptance status will be sent near the end of June.

    Read more
  • Free PCR Testing for Students & Faculty

    Free PCR Testing for COVID-19 is available to students and faculty at the following links:

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  • TEAS Testing Requirements for Health Sciences Applicants

    A TEAS Exam score is required to apply to the following programs: Dental Hygiene, Occupational Therapy Assistant, Physical Therapist Assistant, Radiology, and Vocational Nursing.

    If you are not applying to one of the programs above, then you are not required to take the TEAS Exam at this time. Please refer to the Application Process page for your program to see all application requirements.

    Read more