1. How long is the Physical Therapist Assistant Program?
The TCC PTA Program is a two-year program consisting of five semesters of academic and clinical instruction.
2. Are any courses offered at night?
No. All our courses and clinical opportunities are during the daytime only.
3. Can I take your program on a part-time basis?
No. Students are admitted as a cohort (group) and the curriculum is designed so that students will complete all of the required course work within five semesters. Each student will successfully complete all required course work prior to or during the semester each course is scheduled.
4. Is your program accredited?
Yes, the Physical Therapist Assistant Program at Tulsa Community College is accredited by:
Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE)
1111 N. Fairfax St.
Alexandria, VA 22314
In addition, Tulsa Community College is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education.
5. Is there a waiting list to get into the PTA program?
No. Applicants who are not admitted to the program this year are given the option of having their files kept and reconsidered for the next year along with other applicants.
6. How many people typically apply for the PTA program each year?
Generally, we get in the neighborhood of 200+ applications for up to 35 positions in the PTA program each year.
7. How many students are admitted to the PTA program each year?
8. Will courses that I take in the PTA program transfer to PT schools such as the University of Oklahoma or Langston University?
No. PTA courses do not transfer in place of PT school courses.
9. I’ve taken courses or already have a degree from another college. Will that count toward the PTA program?
Certainly the general education course requirements could be covered by courses from other colleges. Having all your transcripts evaluated by the TCC Registrar’s Office to determine which will transfer is critical to that process.
10. If I already have a degree, can I complete the program quicker than two years?
No. Your class loads may be somewhat lighter by having already taken some or all of the general education courses, but all the PTA (PHTA) courses must be taken and require two years.
11. I live near the TCC Southeast, Northeast or West campus. Can I take PTA courses there?
General education courses can be taken at any of the TCC campuses. The PTA (PHTA) courses are offered only at the Metro Campus.
12. If I take the general education courses ahead of time, can I complete the program in a shorter time?
No. Even though you may take the general education courses prior to entering the program, it will still take two years to complete the PTA courses. The courses follow a planned sequence, each building upon previous courses, and are not offered out of sequence.
13. I have a degree related to physical therapy. Will these courses transfer?
Students may submit written evidence of pre-existing knowledge of course content and apply to audit or sit for an advanced standing exam of a PTA course. Such requests must be made in accordance with college procedures.
14. What is the job outlook for PTAs?
The current job outlook is very positive. We recommend using the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Outlook Handbook for the forecast on salary and potential job growth.
15. If I apply to the PTA program, can I also apply to other TCC health programs?
Sure, there’s no limit on applications. However, we’d recommend that applicants do some homework regarding which profession truly interests them. There’s really no point putting in applications when you have no interest in the profession.
16. Do PTAs have to sit for a licensing or registry exam?
Yes. Upon successful completion of the PTA program, graduates may be candidates to sit for the national licensing exam. Passing this exam is required for licensure as a PTA in Oklahoma.
17. Do PTAs have to acquire and maintain a license to practice?
In most states, yes, PTAs must acquire and maintain a license to practice. Successful graduation from a PTA school, passing the licensure exam and meeting state licensing requirements must all occur for a person to acquire and maintain a license to practice as a PTA in Oklahoma.
18. If I have had a DUI, DWI or committed a felony in the past, can I still get into the PTA program?
While past deeds may not be a barrier to getting into the PTA program, students participating in TCC's health programs are required to complete a Criminal Background Check and Drug Screen. Acquiring a license as a PTA is under the purview of the Oklahoma Board of Medical Licensure and Supervision.
19. Is BIOL 1314 a prerequisite to get into the PTA program?
No. There are no actual prerequisite courses for the PTA program. However, there are 22 credit hours of general education courses required in the program and all of those can be taken prior to being admitted to the program. BIOL 1314, a four-credit hour Human Anatomy and Physiology course with laboratory time, is one of those courses. As this course material is critical to student success in PTA courses, it is suggested that students get this course and ALDH 1323, a three-credit hour Medical Terminology course out of the way before beginning the PTA program, if possible. PTA program courses are academically challenging, therefore it is beneficial to students to have their general education courses out of the way if possible.
20. I’ve taken courses or have a degree from another college. Will that count toward the PTA program?
Certainly the general education course requirements could be covered by courses from other colleges. Having your transcripts evaluated by the TCC Registrar’s Office is critical to that process. However, the 46 credit hours of specialized PTA (PHTA) courses may not be substituted by courses from other institutions.
21. I’ve had physical injuries or a physical condition that limits my activities. Can I still attend the PTA program?
Please refer to the “Informed Consent” to be signed by all PTA students attesting to their understanding of the physical performance expectations.
22. I know I want to work in physical therapy, but my GPA and/or ACT score are low. What can I do to improve my chances of getting into the PTA program?
Meeting with the counselors in the Academic Advisement office might be a start, as improving one’s GPA is critical. TCC does have an Academic Forgiveness policy. Meeting with the counselors at in the Testing Center might be the next step, as a good ACT score is also critical to success in this program.
23. I did not get accepted this year. What can I do to improve my chances for next year?
The selection criteria is based on a point system involving academics (GPA and ACT scores) and communications (interview, writing sample, clinical observations). Often it’s the GPA and/or ACT scores where applicants could use improvement. We recommend speaking with Academic Advisement or the Testing Center to see about improving these scores. A GPA calculator might be helpful if you are taking more courses in an attempt to improve your GPA.
24. What would be considered a good GPA or ACT score?
A GPA of 3.0 for a minimum of 12 college credits would be helpful to a student pursuing any academic endeavor, as well as an ACT score in the 20s. Less than these scores might possibly be admitted depending on the competitive process, but lower scores tend to demonstrate greater academic challenges ahead for those students.
25. Is there a limit to the number of times I can apply?
26. Are there other PTA programs in the area?
A list of the accredited PTA programs in Oklahoma and surrounding states can be found here.
27. What are the class hours?
Classes are offered between the hours of 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. for three to five days per week each semester. Each semester the course schedules vary.
28. Can I pick classes that fit my schedule?
For the general education course requirements, students may choose the classes that fit their schedules. For the PTA (PHTA) courses, no. There may be some slight flexibility with laboratory sessions only.
29. Do I have to send in my ACT scores?
Each applicant applying to the PTA program must have either ACT or SAT scores to be considered for the program REGARDLESS of age or educational background. The ACT or SAT scores are part of the selection criteria and without them you will not qualify for an interview.
30. I am still in high school. Is there anything I should do?
High school seniors need to send official seventh semester transcript to the Allied Health Division showing what classes they are taking during their senior years. Upon completion of high school another official transcript must be sent with final grades and graduation date.
For answers to questions not covered here, please call the Allied Health Division Office at 918.595.7002.