Hybrid Physical Therapist Assistant Application | NorthWest Arkansas Community College

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Hybrid PTA Application

NWACC's hybrid PTA program allows you to take all your coursework online and requires you to come to the NWACC campus approximately every three to four weeks (depending on the semester) for a three-day intensive lab. The lab session will occur from Friday - Sunday, 8 a.m. - 4 p.m. 

The hybrid PTA program is designed to meet the needs of those who do not live in Northwest Arkansas but wish to pursue a high quality PTA education with a flexible schedule while remaining living, completing clinical internships, and working outside of Bentonville. Those who reside further from NWACC will receive points towards the hybrid application process.
View the information below to learn about the hybrid PTA application process. 

Important Information:

  • PLEASE NOTE: Due to internal system updates, the 2023 Hybrid PTA application is a paper application. It cannot be submitted online but rather in person, mail or email (nvirden@nwacc.edu or sbeckmann1@nwacc.edu). Please print and fill out the application and submit it by following the instructions on the application.

  • View all of the admissions information listed below before applying to the hybrid PTA program. 

  • You will need to apply to be an NWACC student before completing the hybrid PTA application.
  • You must complete all required pre-requisite courses by the end of the fall semester in which you are applying.

  • Application period is open June 1 - November 1. All application materials must be received on the designated deadline date and time. If the deadline falls on a weekend or holiday, then it will be the following business day.

Program Admission Process

Please read all of the information below before applying to NWACC's hybrid PTA program. 

The program administrator and faculty, in cooperation with appropriate institutional personnel, establish admissions procedures which are non-discriminatory, contribute to the quality of the program, and allow a selection of students with the potential to successfully complete the program. 

There is an established admissions committee which includes the program administrator and an advisory selection committee.

Before applying to the Physical Therapist Assistant (PTA) Program, please review the following admission requirements and recommendations.

  1. You must have the ability to communicate safely, accurately, and effectively in both written and spoken English. If English is your second language, you must take and receive a score of 110 or higher on the Accuplacer ESL listening test.  You are also encouraged to enroll in English as a Second Language (ESL)  to enhance your success.
  2. Submission of an application does not guarantee acceptance.
  3. For students attaining their prerequisite courses at another college, we will offer an online section of Clinical Kinesiology. Please note other Kinesiology courses will not transfer because this is a specific PTA Program Clinical Kinesiology course.
  4. General Education prerequisite courses MUST be completed by the end of the Fall semester in the year that the student is applying to the PTA Program Hybrid Program.  Please refer to your degree plan for prerequisite information.
  5. As part of the application process, students are required to attend three different physical therapy clinics for three hours each for a total of nine hours of observation.
  6. Applicants must have a physician complete the Physician Certification of the PTA Essential Functions and Physical Demands.
  7. If admitted, students will complete a drug screen, background check and CPR certification

The selection of students into the PTA Program is based on a point system. Students with the highest total points are selected for admission.


This program is designed for students who wish to seek a degree as a Physical Therapist Assistant but remain living, completing clinical internships, and practicing in the areas they currently reside.  Points are awarded as follows:

100 miles or greater = 30 points
75-99 miles = 25 points
55-74 miles = 15 points
35-54 miles = 10 points
34 miles or less = 0 points

Grades for Prerequisites (GPA)

40 points are possible for the combined points for Science courses:

  • 32 from BIOL 2214 A&P I
  • 8 from AHSC 1001 Medical Terminology
  • 36 from ENGL Comp I, General Psychology, Intro to Computers or Electronic Health Records

Points will be awarded based on the following formula for science courses: Multiply the # of credit hours for the course by the student earned grade with an A = 4; B = 3, C = 2; then multiply that number by 2.

For example, if a student earns a B in BIOL 2214 A & P I, the points earned would be calculated in the following way:  4 credit hours x 3 (B in course) = 12  x 2 = 24; the student would have earned 24 points of the possible 32.


30 total possible points*:

All applicants will be interviewed by the PTA Selection Committee and must complete 9 hours of observation and complete the required observation form (with signatures).  The points possible and then percentile toward total rank for admission approved by Advisory Board.

Total Points

136 total possible points:

Students are ranked based on the following selection criteria:

  • 40/136  = 29.4% - A&P I and Intro to Medical Terminology
  • 36/136 = 26.5% - ENGL Comp I, General Psychology, Intro to Computers or Electronic Health Records
  • 30/136 = 22.05% - Interview/Observation
  • 30/136 = 22.05% - Distance from NWACC Main Campus

We will notify applicants to the Physical Therapist Assistant program by email or phone one to two weeks after the end of the fall semester.

Upon acceptance to the program, you will receive a detailed email on all required steps that must be completed before the mandatory orientation day.

If you have questions or concerns about the background check, we encourage you to make an appointment to discuss these concerns with the PTA director. 

Non-Native Speakers of English, seeking admission into Health Professions programs are required to complete an ESL Listening Test.  Students can receive more information and/or schedule to take this test through the NWACC testing center, 479-619-4354 or visit www.nwacc.edu/web/ldc_testingcenter/.  The ESL
listening test is designed to assess a student’s ability to understand Standard American English.  A score of 92 or higher on the COMPASS ESL listening test (taken within the last three (3) years) OR a score of 120 or higher on the Accuplacer ESL listening test is REQUIRED for NNSs students seeking entrance
into Health Professions Programs at NWACC.  The minimum score or higher indicates the ability to understand linguistically complex discussions, including academic lectures and factual reports.  NNSs students seeking career paths in Health Professions scoring below the minimum will need to retest and successfully pass by July 1st.


Application Period Opens June 1 - Nov. 1

How to apply:

1) Apply for admission to NWACC. If you are not currently enrolled at NWACC, you need to apply for admission to the college before applying to the hybrid PTA program. Apply to NWACC.

2) Apply to the hybrid PTA program. Your application and all required materials must be received in the division office by 3:00 p.m. on the final day of the application period.

Hybrid PTA Application

PLEASE NOTE: Due to internal system updates, the 2023 Hybrid PTA application is a paper application. It cannot be submitted online but rather in person, mail or email (nvirden@nwacc.edu or sbeckmann1@nwacc.edu). Please print and fill out the application and submit it by following the instructions on the application.  

Note: Students who will be attending clinical rotations while enrolled in a professional program at the Center for Health Professions will be required to have a drug screen performed, either prior to admission, or prior to attending clinical rotations. Students who test positive for drugs (including medical marijuana) will be denied access to the clinical rotations and will consequently be either denied acceptance into the professional program or dismissed from the professional program.