• Physical Therapist Assistant Admission Details


  • Thank you for your interest in Mt. Hood Community College’s Physical Therapist Assistant program!

    Physical therapist assistants (PTAs) work under the supervision of a physical therapist. Their duties include implementing intervention techniques (i.e. exercise, patient instruction, gait training, application of physical agents and manual techniques) according to the plan of care established by the physical therapist, monitoring a patient’s response and reporting to the therapist as appropriate, and documenting the care provided.

    PTAs must complete a 2-year education program, usually offered at a community college. The course of study includes general education courses, technical courses on physical therapy interventions and clinical rotations, working with licensed physical therapists and physical therapist assistants. Graduates receive an associate’s degree in applied science, and are then eligible to sit for a national licensing exam. Successful program and licensure completion makes an individual eligible to apply for licensure in any state.

    A PTA can work in any setting where a PT practices, such as in acute hospitals, out-patient clinics, skilled nursing facilities, home health agencies, school settings, or acute rehabilitation facilities.

    Important Note: Some external links may be inaccessible. People requiring accommodations due to a disability should contact the Accessible Education Services at 503-491-6923 or aes@mhcc.edu.


    Program Overview

    • This is a restricted entry program, meaning a candidate needs to apply and be selected to join the program.
    • 24 students start the program each fall after a previous spring selection process.
    • The program runs two (2) years for a total of 7 terms beginning in the fall.
    • Core class schedule is Monday - Friday, 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. THIS IS A FULL-TIME DAY PROGRAM.
    • 22-24 students graduate after completing the program.
    • Students earn an Associate of Applied Science (AAS) degree in Physical Therapist Assistant after completion of required coursework and are then eligible to sit for the national licensing exam.
    • Licensure pass rates: 85-100% on the first attempt (exceeds national average).

    Students who seek to earn a Master’s or Doctoral Degree in Physical Therapy should contact the transfer university to confirm specific admission/major/degree requirements. This is NOT a stepping stone to PT school, and PTA core curriculum courses are generally not transferable to four year institutions.

    Admissions into the Program

    The information below is based on the application requirements for Fall term 2020 admission.

    Applicant and Point Selection Process

    PHASE 1: Evaluation of Completed Applications

    The maximum points that may be awarded for Phase 1 is 45. After the application deadline has passed, the admissions evaluator and the academic faculty will review the applications. Applicants who have submitted their completed application by the deadline will be awarded points based on the criteria below. Up to 64 applicants will then be invited to interview (Phase 2) for selection into the program.

    Academic Performance – Up to 20 points will be awarded for academic performance of the Anatomy and Physiology (A&P) prerequisite coursework.

    Physical Therapy Exposure – Up to 20 points will be awarded for PT exposure.

    Prior Year Alternate - Up to 5 points will be awarded to alternates from last year. Applicants must have submitted a complete application, interviewed and been previously selected as an alternate.

    Requirements to Apply

    To be eligible to apply, applicants must meet the requirements described below by the application deadline of April 3, 2020 by 5 p.m.

    Work Experience/Observation

    • Completion of at least 4 hours of work experience or observation. Experience must have occurred within the past 5 years. Please note that strong candidates are those who have observed licensed physical therapists or physical therapist assistants working in a variety of settings such as an outpatient clinic, hospital, inpatient rehabilitation facility, post-acute rehabilitation facility (aka., skilled nursing or nursing home), home health agency, and pediatric clinic or school. Observing at least 4 hours but no more than 20 hours in any particular setting will count toward the admission requirement. Mt. Hood Community College does not provide name of sites to contact. It is the applicant’s responsibility to seek out appropriate sites.

    Academic Prerequisites

    • Coursework must be completed by the end of Winter term, March 2020.
    • Anatomy and Physiology (A&P) coursework, including labs, cannot be completed prior to Fall term 2010.
    • Math and Writing coursework does not expire.
    • Course equivalency is determined by the admissions evaluator.
    • Official transcripts, which verify completion of required coursework, must be submitted by the application deadline, no exceptions.
    • All courses must be taken for a letter grade to be considered for selection. Courses taken as pass/fail, satisfactory/unsatisfactory or audit do not fulfill the admission criteria for the PTA program.
    • Applicants should list the courses that best demonstrate academic success on the Admission Criteria Worksheet.
    Academic Requirements to Apply
    Course Requirements
    MTH065 Beginning Algebra II or higher
    • Must be completed with a grade of “C” or better
    • Coursework does not expire.
    WR121 English Composition
    • Must be completed with a grade of “C” or better
    • Coursework does not expire.
    BI121 & BI122 or completion of another equivalent anatomy & physiology series including labs
    • A&P series (including labs) cannot be completed prior to Fall term 2010.
    • Applicants must have a “C” or better in each course AND have cumulative GPA of a 3.0 or higher in their anatomy & physiology series to apply.
    • Do not submit an application if your A&P cumulative GPA is less than 3.0.

    Transcript Requirements:

    • Transcripts from every regionally accredited college attended, regardless of program relevancy, program length, or age, must be included for an application to be complete. Applications will not be considered without all official transcripts on file at MHCC. Transcripts must be official (unopened) and issued directly by the accredited institution from which the course(s) were taken. Official electronic transcripts (e-transcripts such as Parchment or EDI) submitted via secure electronic delivery service are acceptable and may be submitted to ar@mhcc.edu.
    • Do NOT include an MHCC transcript. They are already on file.
    • Coursework showing as transferred from one institution to another is not accepted. Original transcripts must accompany all earned, attempted, or audited college credits.
    • Nationally accredited (for-profit institutions) transcripts are not required and will not fulfill program or degree requirements, but may be submitted.
    • If an up-to-date transcript is on file (showing most recently completed coursework with nothing in progress) applicants do not need to submit another copy. Courses may be in progress at the time of application submission but an updated transcript showing posted grades for the required coursework for Winter term 2020 and prior terms must be received by the application deadline.
    • Transcripts from foreign institutions must be evaluated before the application deadline by an outside credential service if courses are to be used for meeting admission/degree requirements. The evaluated transcript must be submitted by the application deadline for the program. For more information visit: www.mhcc.edu/internationaltranscript. Evaluation processing for foreign transcripts is time consuming, and our process could take up to six weeks. It is best to start this process early.

    PHASE 2: Group Style Interview

    Points earned during Phase 1 do not carry forward to the interview. All applicants start at zero points during the interview phase. Applicants selected for an interview will participate in a small group style interview with other candidates, to be conducted by program representatives. Applicants should prepare for this interview as if it is a professional job interview. Applicants will be asked to respond to questions in writing and verbally.

    Applicants are officially admitted into the program based on points earned during the interview phase. Up to 16 qualified candidates will be offered an alternate position in the program. Alternates are offered a position in the program if any of the accepted applicants decline a position in the program.

    PTA Program Costs

    PTA Program Frequently Asked Questions