PTA Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What courses should I take first to be eligible for the PTA program?

A: You need to complete all learning support courses (for those students whose ACT and/or Compass scores require co-requisite courses) as determined by the college.  High school requirements include Algebra I and I and biology.   

Q: Do I need to take the other general education/core requirements prior to the PTA program?

A: The only pre-requisite courses are those listed in the previous question, however, most or all of the general education courses required for the degree should be completed prior to applying in order for an applicant to be competitive in the highly competitive applicant pool.  Medical Terminology and additional natural science coursework is also recommended but not required.   

Q: Is there a minimum GPA required to apply to the program?

A: Yes, the minimum GPA for all students (both high school and those students with college credit) is a 2.5.

Q: When can I apply for the PTA program?

A: Applications, which can be obtained either from the web or from the Allied Health office, CLBG 1E8, are made available in February each spring and must be submitted no later than June 1 of the year you wish to be admitted to the PTA program.

Q: How do I get at least 24 hours of observation in a physical therapy clinic?

A: You must contact physical therapy clinics in your area, let them know of your desire to enter the PTA program, and ask if they allow observation. Each individual clinic will have a protocol for you to follow for your volunteer experience. It is your responsibility to set up your hours and have those hours documented. 

Q: How do I have observation hours documented?

A: In the application packet or on the website under admission information you will find a form titled "Verification of Observation". This form is to be completed by a physical therapist or physical therapist assistant who supervised you during the observation hours.

Q: Can I go to more than one facility to do my observations?

A: Yes; in fact, at least two different facilities are required.  A total of 24 hours must be achieved prior to the June 1 deadline.

Q: Do I have to complete the observation form if I have been employed in a PT clinic as a technician?

A: Yes. There is a place on that same form for the physical therapist or physical therapist assistant who supervised you to check if you are (or have recently been) employed as a technician.  You must complete at least 12 additional hours of observation in a location separate from your place of employment.

physical therapy

Q: I live out of the area. Can I complete my general education courses at another school?

A: Yes. Make sure you are advised by a faculty member of the PTA program about what courses will substitute and have official transcripts from all other colleges attended sent to the Jackson State Community College Admissions Office and the PTA Program.

Q: What is the process of admission after I have turned in my application?

A: Applicants are ranked according to program coursework GPA, required science coursework GPA, and additional science courses (other than the required). Points for each will be subtotaled. The top ranked students (no more than three times as many as will be accepted) will be scheduled for an interview. The points acquired from the interview will be added to the students' subtotal.  Additional points may be achieved if ACT scores are equal to or greater than 21.  Essay scores are added if applicable resulting in the final total. The 20 applicants with the highest final totals will be accepted into the PTA program.  Two alternates are also selected. 

Q: If I don't get accepted the first time, can I apply again?

A: Yes. There is no limit on the number of times you can apply.

Q: Does a previous application give me any advantage the second time?

A: No. There are no additional points given for repeat applications.

Q: Can I go into a PT Program after I have completed the PTA Program?

A: Technically yes; however, there is no real advantage to having gone through the PTA program prior to admittance to a PT program. This will not increase your chances of acceptance to a PT program nor will it meet the prerequisites for a PT program. The PTA program is a terminal degree program designed for the student who does not wish to seek a bachelor's degree. Upon completion of the PTA program the student will receive his or her Associates of Applied Science Degree and be qualified to sit for the National Physical Therapy Examination and apply for licensure with the Board of Physical Therapy in the state of your choice.