All schools have their own set of requirements for admission, and many of them also have varying requirements for their numerous programs. Admissions standards for those entering into an associate’s degree program might not be the same as those for a bachelor’s degree, master’s degree, or certificate program. To a certain extent, you’ll simply have to research a variety of schools to see which ones you are interested in attending. Once you have done so, you can then look up the admissions requirements and follow the directions as stated on the website. There are a few key factors you should find out about as you prepare to apply to different programs.
Do you apply directly to the program, or just to the general school?
This will depend on where you go. For some schools, you will have to apply to the college or university first. In this case, your qualifications will be judged against all others applying to the institution for that school year. In these cases, you can sometimes state your intention to apply to the PTA school once you are accepted. In other cases, you first need to complete all general education requirements (in this case deemed prerequisites) before you can apply to the PTA school. It will typically take you a year to complete these Gen. Ed. Requirements. You will most likely take a lot of classes not specific to your major, such as English and History. However, your school may also recommend or require certain other courses that will be more pertinent to your future career, such as anatomy and physiology. Your admission to the physical therapist assistant program may depend on your GPA during this first year, any the admissions board may pay special attention to your performance in these relevant classes. Some schools also have other requirements, such as generally good health and compliance with state laws, in order for you to be accepted into the program. Other institutions allow you to apply directly to the PTA school, which might offer the benefit of allowing you to take some career-specific classes before you have completed all the general education courses.
Does the program have a waitlist?
This may help you make your decision about whether to apply at all. Some programs have a limited number of spots, in which case you might be put on a waitlist and deferred admission until the next year. If you have your heart set on a specific school, you might be willing to wait. Otherwise, it might be wiser to apply to schools with open availability.
What are you required to submit for your application?
Don’t fall into the trap of assuming that you’ll only have to fill out a brief online or paper application for admission. Making this assumption can mean that you wait until the last minute to submit your application, and then, being overwhelmed with the amount actually required of you, you miss the deadline. All institutions will require that you have completed high school or have passed a GED exam. You will most likely be asked to submit an official high school transcript with all grades, including spring semester senior year. If you have already been attending the university before applying to the PTA program, you will likely be asked to send in a transcript with your completed college courses up to that point, including qualifying grades in any specific prerequisite classes. You might also be asked to submit standardized test scores, such as from the ACT or SAT. Many colleges ask that you have achieved a minimum score in all categories in order to be admitted to the institution/program. Of course, you will also have to fill out an application that asks a series of questions regarding contact information, school performance, and personal history. You may also be asked to submit recommendations (teacher or professional) or write an essay.