NOTE: Non-degree students seeking admission as a degree candidate to the Penn State Mont Alto Physical Therapist Assistant associate degree program must complete at least 9 credits of Penn State course work with a minimum 2.0 average.
Overview and Requirements
Students who are currently attending Penn State and are now seeking degree status in the Physical Therapist Assistant program must have completed a minimum of 9 credit hours and earned a cumulative Penn State grade-point average of 2.0 on a 4.0 scale as the minimum requirement for admission consideration. In general, admission to the Physical Therapist Assistant program oftentimes requires a substantially higher cumulative grade-point average. The number of qualified applicants typically exceeds the number of available program spaces; therefore, satisfaction of the minimum requirements does not guarantee admission.
The program is competitive and new applicants to the program are reviewed annually in January. Therefore, students should submit an application to the Undergraduate Admissions Office (for provisional to degree and non-degree to degree students) by November 30 of the year PRIOR to when they wish to enter the Physical Therapist Assistant program. Applications received after November 30 will be reviewed on a space-available basis.
In addition to a cumulative grade-point average, it is recommended that all provisional to degree and non-degree to degree applicants should have demonstrated successful completion of at least one (1) laboratory based biological science and one (1) social science related course prior to the January review. This means you must have completed the following courses (with a recommended grade of ‘C’ or better) prior to the January review:
Biological and Life Sciences (choose at least one)
- BIOL 129 Mammalian Anatomy (4 cr) OR
- BIOL 141 Physiology (3 cr) and BIOL 142 Physiology L
- BIOL 161 and 162 Human Anatomy and Physiology Lecture and Lab
Social and Behavioral Sciences
- PSYCH 100 General Psychology (3 cr)
Every student must successfully complete BIOL 161, BIOL 162, BIOL 163 and BIOL 164 through Penn State University or transfer courses that are deemed direct equivalents to Penn State. In either case, all Biology coursework must have been completed within 5 years of entering the PTA program. If the courses were completed more than 5 years prior to starting the PTA program, the student will have to retake the course(s). Students seeking transfer credit for courses completed at other institutions should refer to the Admissions Office at Penn State and refer to web materials regarding transfer credits.
There may be instances when a student believes their previous coursework or life experiences demonstrate knowledge of human anatomy and physiology to a level that is equivalent to or above the level of the coursework required by the PTA program. The student should present evidence of such courses or experiences to the Program Coordinator, who will decide the appropriate course of action. Actions could include, but are not limited to, requiring the student to complete Penn State Biology courses (Biology 161, 162, 163 and 164), granting the student the opportunity to earn credit by examination, or furthering the appeal for a course substitution through the Course Substitution Request System.
You should work with your current academic adviser to choose appropriate courses. Also, considering the Overview / Courses webpage for Physical Therapist Assistant program at Mont Alto may help you choose courses that will count toward the Physical Therapist Assistant program.
How to Apply
Penn State requires all students who are going from provisional to degree status to complete a special form (click here) and return it to the Office of Admissions at Mont Alto for processing.
Students who are going from non-degree to degree status should submit their application online. Once you have completed the online application, you should submit official high school transcripts (unless previously sent to the Undergraduate Admissions Office) or proof of equivalency to the undergraduate admissions office. Standardized test scores are not required of applicants from this category.