Traditional Physical Therapist Assistant Application | NorthWest Arkansas Community College

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Traditional PTA Application

NWACC requires you to take two semesters of prerequisite coursework, apply and be accepted into the PTA traditional program and take three semesters of technical and clinical physical therapy courses. View the information below to learn about the traditional PTA application process. 

Important Information:

  • View the all the admissions information listed below before applying. 
  • You will need to apply to be an NWACC student before completing the traditional PTA application.

  • You must complete all required prerequisite courses by the end of the spring semester in which you are applying.

  • Application period is open November 1 - March 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 traditional 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 Spring semester in the year that the student is applying to the PTA 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

Application period opens Nov 1 - March 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 Traditional PTA program. Apply now to NWACC.

  2. Download and complete the PTA application documents. You will then upload them when you complete the application.

  3. Apply to the Traditional PTA program. Your application and all required materials must be received by 3 p.m. on the final day of the application period. 

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

Grades for Pre-requisites (GPA)

292 total possible points:

100 points are possible for PHTA 2105 Clinical Kinesiology in PT

72 points are possible for the combined points for pre-requisite courses:

  • 32 from BIOL 2214 A&P I
  • 32 from BIOL 2224 A&P II
  • 8 from AHSC 1001 Medical Terminology

72 points possible from science pre-requisite courses excluding PHTA 2105

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.

Starting with the 2015 applications, a 10 point penalty will be assessed to the overall point total if Clinical Kinesiology has been taken 3 or more times.

60 points possible from other general education pre-requisite courses which include: English Composition I and II, College Algebra or Survey of Technical Math, Psychology, and Introduction to Computer Information or Electronic Health Records.

  • A student has work experience or another form of meeting prerequisite criteria other than a single course with an earned grade, those credit hours are not utilized in the calculation.
  • Grades less than a "C" are not considered as having met the prerequisite requirement.
  • If a student has repeated a class, the highest earned grade is used for the calculation
  • If a student submits a course substitution and it is approved for the PTA degree plan, the grade from that course will be used in the calculation.


60 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.

Students are ranked based on the following selection criteria:

  • 100/292 = 34.2% - PHTA 2105 Clinical Kinesiology in PT (no course substitutions for this course)
  • 72/292  = 24.7% - A&P I, A&P II, Medical Terminology
  • 60/292  = 20.5% - ENGL Comp I & II, General Psychology, Intro to Computers, College Algebra or Survey of Technical Math
  • 60/292  =   20.5% - Interview/Observation

*Receiving a score below 50 deem

We will notify applicants to the Physical Therapist Assistant program by email or phone one to two weeks after the end of the spring 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  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 Nov 1 - March 1

  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 Traditional PTA program. Apply now to NWACC.

  2. Download and complete the PTA application documents. You will then upload them when you complete the application.

Application Opens Nov. 1 

Your application and all required materials must be received by 3 p.m. on the final day of the application period.


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.