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.

What is the PTA CAS?

  • This is the Central Application System used by the PTA Program.
  • Students must create an account. The account set up fee is $25. For students that demonstrate financial need, this fee can be waived. All information about financial assistance can be found here.
  • Applications that are mailed or dropped off at the Health Sciences Office or the PTA Program will not be processed.

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 coursework will have additional bonus points added to their ranking score. The following courses are eligible for bonus points:

PTHA 1409 Introduction to Physical Therapy

  • 90-100 = 1.5 bonus points
  • 85-89 = 1.0 bonus points
  • 80-84 = 0.5 bonus points
  • 73-79 = 0 bonus points
Co-requisite Courses
Students that have completed all co-requisites (SPCH, PSYC 2314, and Ethics) with a grade of C or higher, will have one bonus point added to their ranking score. If a student has any co-requisites that are not completed, they are ineligible for any bonus points for these courses.

This bonus point system is in place for two reasons:

  • Students who enter the program with all co-requisites completed are more likely to be academically successful in the program.
  • Strong academic performance in PTHA 1409 correlates 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 approximately 50, of which we accept 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. 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 new graduate can expect to earn between $45,000 and $53,000/year based on full-time employment. 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 who 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?

The most recent statistics can be found on the Physical Therapist Assistant home page.

What is a competitive GPA?

The minimum GPA requirement for applying is 2.8. However, a higher GPA improves your chances of being accepted into the program. The following table gives the average GPA for admitted cohorts for past years.

2023 Average 3.55 3.80
2022 Average 3.53 3.83
2021 Average 3.74 3.84

Search the Health Sciences Website

Physical Therapist Assistant Updates

  • UPDATE: Central Health MAP Basic Insurance

    Central Health - Medical Access Program (MAP) Basic coverage is no longer accepted at clinical sites effective Fall 2024. Only MAP (non basic) will be accepted.

    Read more
  • Castlebranch new account creation process

    There is a new process to create a Castlebranch account. Preview the new process and other videos to help you create your Castlebranch account.

    Read more
  • Health Sciences Castle Branch Price update

    We want to inform you about a recent change regarding the pricing of Castle Branch. The prices for Castle Branch packages are changing effective May 15, 2024.

    Read more