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    Admission Requirements

    The following admission requirements must be met before applying to the PTA program:

    1. High School Diploma or its equivalent.
    2. Completion of one year of high school Biology (NYS regents or equivalent) or college level Biology. This could include BIO 121 (preferred) or transfer equivalent. Note: BIO 171 and 172 (Anatomy and Physiology I and II) can be used for admission requirements; they can also satisfy requirements for graduation if taken within 7 years of matriculation.  
    3. Completion of a second science. This could include another biology as described in the previous requirement, or one year of high school Chemistry or Physics (NYS regents or equivalent), or college level Chemistry or Physics. This could include CHE 151 (preferred; a lab component is not required), general chemistry or equivalent; or PHY 100, 103 or equivalent.
    4. A grade of 77 or C+ or higher in required courses used to meet the admission requirements.
    5. Successful completion of OCC placement tests and demonstrated competency, placing into credit-bearing college level math within 2 years of the semester you are applying for, ENG 103 and RDG 153 levels.
    6. Completion of 20 clinical observation hours or service learning work in a physical therapy setting (must be met prior to applying to the PTA program). You may obtain the “Physical Therapist Assistant Program Clinical Observation Form” and instructions on the OCC PTA program website, to be filled out by the physical therapist you are observing, which serves as verification of this requirement.
      Clinical Observation Instructions >
      Clinical Observation Form >
    7. Must be able to perform all of the “ Essential Skills” as outlined in this catalog.
    8. Students will be required to earn CPR certification for Basic Life Support (BLS) Provider from the American Heart Association by the end of the first semester of the PTA program.

    Note: You should possess good communication skills, and be in excellent health to meet job demands. 

    A competitive process is used for admission to the PTA program, with points assigned to specific criteria. See the Competitive Admission Ranking System for Fall 2017 document.  Admission will be offered to qualified students in ranked order from highest to lowest, beginning at the review deadlines until all spaces are full. Curriculum changes must be initiated by the student at Student Central.

    Ranking points will be awarded for:

    • College Anatomy & Physiology I
      A = 10 points, B = 5 points
    • College Anatomy & Physiology II
      A = 10 points, B = 5 points
    • Performance in Non-AP Biology (Regents HS or college)
      A = 6 points, B = 3 points
    • Performance in Chemistry (Regents HS or college)
      A = 6 points, B = 3 points
    • Performance in Physics (Regents HS or college)
      A = 6 points, B = 3 points
    • Performance in ENG 103, or its equivalent
      A = 2 points, B = 1 points
    • Performance in ENG 104, or its equivalent
      A = 2 points, B = 1 points
    • Performance in PSY 103, or its equivalent
      A = 2 points, B = 1 points
    • Performance in PSY 218, or its equivalent
      A = 2 points, B = 1 points
    • Made wait list last year but did not get accepted.
      5 points
    • 20 observation hours in a physical therapy setting with completion of Observation Form (found on OCC’s PTA website). This is a ranking qualification for students entering the fall 2017 class.
      5 points

    Application deadlines for prerequisites complete with supporting documentation for fall admission is March 1.  All applicants are dependent on maintenance of required GPA between the time of admission into the program and the start of the program in the fall.

    The Program

    The PTA program consists of 21 credits of general education courses and 43 credits of PTA courses which include class, lab and clinical experiences. The New York State regulations require you to have an annual health assessment and to have a health form on file at the College and clinical site prior to beginning any clinical experience. Additional immunizations, such as an annual flu shot, may be required for clinical experiences. 
    Scheduled clinical assignments cannot accommodate work schedules for those students wishing to hold part-time jobs. PTA courses must be taken in sequence as presented in the curriculum. They are held during weekdays only. Due to the intensity of the program, students are strongly encouraged not to work more than 20 hours per week. For students with child care responsibilities, back-up child care is strongly encouraged, as strict attendance policies affect grades.