Physical Therapist Assistant Admission Requirements
The Physical Therapist Assistant program at Hawkeye is considered a 1+1 model. Students must complete separate admissions requirements for Phase 1: Admissions Requirements and Phase 2: Program Requirements.
Phase 1: Admission Requirements
During Phase 1, students complete the general education courses, which can be completed full-time in as little as one year, or part-time.
To be accepted to Phase 1 students must:
Be a high school graduate or equivalent.
Apply at Hawkeye
Meet basic skill competencies in reading, writing, and math.
Basic skill competencies assessment provides information about your academic skills in reading, writing, and math. This information will be used to determine your acceptance, course selection, and registration.
Competency is met by achieving the following sub scores on the ACT or the COMPASS assessment:
|ACT sub scores ||COMPASS scores |
- 19 - Math
- 19 - Reading
- 19 - English
- 42 - Algebra
- 82 - Reading
- 65 - Writing
Complete all of the following college success courses with a "C" grade or higher at Hawkeye Community College or comparable courses at another accredited college:
- ENG061 College Preparatory Writing II
- MAT063 Elementary Algebra
- RDG040 College Preparatory Reading III
Any combination of the above fulfilling the basic skills requirements in math, reading, and writing.
For full acceptance into the Physical Therapy Assistant program, you must successfully complete the Phase 2: Program Requirements and the Physical Therapist Assistant program application.
Phase 1: Admissions Process
Send your official transcripts and test scores to the Admissions office.
Completed applicant files (Admissions has your application, official transcripts, and test scores) will be processed as follows:
Applicants not meeting the program's Phase 1 admission requirements will be sent an inactivation letter.
Applicants meeting all Phase 1 Basic Skills requirements will be considered Physical Therapist Assistant 'Wait' students and will be able to take general education courses as required in Phase 1 of the program.
Being a 'Wait' student does not guarantee Phase 2 acceptance. Phase 2 program applicants who successfully complete Phase I courses, Phase 2 entrance requirements, and complete the Phase 2 program application will continue with Phase 2 of the program as openings are assigned.
Phase 2: Program Entrance Requirements
Phase 2 contains the Physical Therapist Assistant (PTA) technical courses and clinical education experience, which are completed on a full-time basis in approximately 12 months.
Phase 2 requires a Physical Therapist Assistant program application.
Before applying to Phase 2 of the program, applicants must complete the following requirements.
One semester of high school physics with a grade “C” or better. A full year of high school physics is suggested, but not required.
If you currently attend an Iowa high school that does not offer physics or you cannot work it into your schedule, discuss the possibility of taking physics through the Iowa Communications Network with your high school guidance counselor.
If you have graduated from high school, a remedial course at the high school or college level will be required to fulfill this entrance requirement. A high school level course is available for post-high school students. Contact the program advisor for more information.
One year of high school biology, English, and math (algebra and geometry) are strongly suggested but not required.
Proof of completion of a total of 24 observation hours with a licensed physical therapist or physical therapist assistant at three different clinical sites (eight hours per site).
Observations must include at least two different types of facilities (example: outpatient, hospital inpatient, home health, rehab center, or long-term care).
Arranging observations is the responsibility of the student.
Document the observations on the Pre-Admission Observation Hours form [pdf]. Return the form with your Phase 2 application.
Transfer students need to interview with a program faculty member or attend a Physical Therapist Assistant program MORE session before applying for Phase 2 of the program.
Students who take Phase 1 courses should attend a Physical Therapist Assistant program MORE session in place of an interview.
It is highly recommended this interview or MORE session occur prior to starting Phase 1 or shortly thereafter. Contact the program advisor to set up an interview time. The college will alert students of the MORE session dates.
A minimum cumulative GPA of 2.75 is required for Phase 1 with no lower than a:
- "B" in BIO168 Human Anatomy and Physiology I w/lab,
- "B" in BIO173 Human Anatomy and Physiology II w/lab, and
- "C" in any individual Phase 1 general education course.
BIO168 and BIO173 must have been completed within the last five years of starting Phase 2, unless waived by the program director.
At least 18 credits of Phase 1 coursework must be completed with the required grades prior to applying for Phase 2 of the program.
Phase 2: Admissions Process
Complete and submit a Phase 2 application. Phase 2 applications are available outside of Grundy Hall 159, Health Education and Services Center 208, or by emailing the program advisor.
Phase 2 Application Checklist [pdf]. This form was created to help applicants complete their Phase 2 program applicant file. You do not need to submit this form in your Applicant Packet.
Phase 2 program applicants who successfully complete Phase I coursework and Phase 2 entrance requirements will continue with Phase 2 of the program as openings are assigned.
Students will be notified of their acceptance or non-acceptance via their Hawkeye email.
Twenty students are accepted into Phase 2 each Fall Semester. The Physical Therapist Assistant program uses a rolling application process. Applicants will be accepted based on the date the Phase 2 program applicant file was completed.
If necessary, alternates will be contacted, based on the date the Phase 2 program applicant file was completed, to fill unconfirmed positions in the program.
Students that are accepted to Phase 2 will receive a Physical Therapist Assistant Student Handbook that details additional information about the program, including the physical exam, updated immunizations, and criminal background checks that need to be completed prior to the start of Phase 2 courses.
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Health Education and Services Center 208
Grundy Hall 159