• Physical Therapist Assistant Admission Details


  • The information below is based on the application requirements for Fall term 2022 admission. It is provided as an example to guide potential applicants on the admission process and application requirements which may be subject to change as program criteria can change for each new application year.

    The Physical Therapist Assistant (PTA) program is using PTACAS (Physical Therapist Assistant Centralized Application Service) to receive applications. Applicants should thoroughly review the program application requirements and start the application process early to ensure all required items are received by PTACAS by the application deadline of April 22, 2022, 9 p.m. All PTA applications are to be submitted online to PTACAS rather than to MHCC, including an MHCC transcript if you have taken courses at MHCC.

    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, reporting to the therapist as appropriate, and documenting the care provided.

    Physical therapist assistants must complete a two 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.

    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 seven (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.

    How to Apply

    Admissions Requirements

    The information below is based on the application requirements for Fall term 2022 admission. To be eligible to apply, applicants must show they meet the requirements described below by the application deadline date of April 22, 2022, 9 p.m.

    The Physical Therapist Assistant (PTA) program is using PTACAS (Physical Therapist Assistant Centralized Application Service) to receive applications. Applicants should thoroughly review the program application requirements and start the application process early to ensure all required items are received by PTACAS by the application deadline. Below are your steps for applying:

    1. Admission to MHCC

    Apply for General Admission to MHCC if you are new to MHCC or not have attended in the last four (4) terms. Select AGS in Health Professions as your major. Please note it could take 1-2 business days to receive your MHCC ID number.

    2. MHCC-PTA Application Fee ($35)

    Pay the $35 MHCC-PTA non-refundable application fee located at https://mhcc.edu/PTAApplication. You will need to upload your payment receipt to submit with your PTACAS application.

    3. PTACAS Application ($25)

    Create a PTACAS account and submit all application materials for your PTACAS application. You may access the PTACAS application at https://mhcc.edu/PTAApplication. The fee to apply to PTACAS is $25. The PTACAS application has four quadrants for entering your information. You are encouraged to build your application ASAP as it will take some time to complete all quadrants in time to meet the application deadline.

    Important Note: There are many questions in the quadrants that are PTACAS specific. Your responses to these questions will not be used by MHCC for admission processing and evaluation. All applicants will be evaluated strictly based on application information found on the MHCC PTA web pages.

    The four quadrants where you will enter information in PTACAS are listed below:

    • Personal Information: Includes biographic and contact information, citizenship, gender, race and ethnicity, background information, etc. Some questions are optional. PTA Program Diversity and Inclusion: The program seeks to build a diverse community of learners and invites applicants across the spectrum of diversity to apply and enter the program.
    • Academic History: Includes standardized tests, high school and college information. You will need to enter your course information (term, year, course number, title, credits and grades, etc.) from each college/university for meeting the academic prerequisite coursework. It is recommended that you have an unofficial copy of your transcripts readily available. When selecting your courses for the academic prerequisite coursework, choose the A&P series that has the best grades for your A&P GPA calculation. MHCC does not require you to enter standardized tests for the PTACAS application.
    • Supporting Information: If applicable to you, enter your licensures and certifications here. MHCC does not require you to enter Observation Hours, Experiences and Achievements. Skip these sections.
    • Program Materials: Includes MHCC prerequisite courses (see Academic Prerequisite Coursework below) and specific program questions. This is where you will identify your courses to match our required prerequisite coursework.

    Please note that PTACAS is the only way to apply to this program. No mailed or printed documents will be accepted by the MHCC Admissions, Registration and Records office or PTA faculty/MHCC staff. Application notifications will be sent via the email account you designate in PTACAS.

    4. Academic Prerequisite Coursework

    Complete all prerequisite courses by the application deadline. All courses must be taken for a letter grade. Courses taken as pass/fail, satisfactory/unsatisfactory or audit do not fulfill the admission criteria for the PTA program.

    Academic Requirements to Apply
    Course Requirements
    MTH065 Beginning Algebra II or higher
    • Must be completed with a grade of “C” or higher
    • Coursework does not expire.
    WR121 English Composition
    • Must be completed with a grade of “C” or higher
    • Coursework does not expire.
    BI121 & BI122 or BI231, BI232 & BI233 or completion of another equivalent anatomy & physiology series including labs
    • A&P series (including labs) must be completed between Fall term 2012 and Winter term 2022 (March 2022).
    • Applicants must have a “C” or higher 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.

    5. College Transcript Requirements

    All transcripts, including MHCC transcripts, need to be submitted to PTACAS, NOT to MHCC.

    Send your official transcripts from every regionally accredited college/university attended, regardless of program relevancy, program length, or age, to PTACAS. Applications will not be considered without all official transcripts submitted to PTACAS. DO NOT send your transcripts to MHCC. Transcripts must be official (unopened) and issued directly by the institution from which the course(s) were taken. Coursework showing as transferred from one institution to another is not accepted. Information for ordering your transcripts via secure electronic delivery service or US mail delivery will be provided in your PTACAS application. Transcripts must be received by PTACAS no later than April 22, 2022, 9 p.m. This includes your MHCC transcript.

    If you’re finishing prerequisites in Winter term, wait until grades are posted before requesting transcripts. Otherwise, complete this step as soon as possible. Follow the instructions in the PTACAS application.

    • Regionally Accredited Institutions: Required.
    • Non-Regionally Accredited Institutions: Not required.
    • Foreign/Non-US Based Educational Transcript: Required only if using for admission requirements and must be evaluated by an outside credential service before the application deadline. The evaluated transcript must be submitted by the application deadline to PTACAS. For more information specific to MHCC, visit: www.mhcc.edu/internationaltranscript. Evaluation processing for foreign transcripts is time consuming, and our process can take up to six weeks. It is best to start this process early. A foreign bachelor's degree does not fulfill the prerequisite requirements.
    • MHCC transcript: Your MHCC transcript must be sent to PTACAS if you took classes at MHCC.

    Applicant and Point Selection Process

    PHASE 1: Evaluation of Completed Applications

    The maximum points that may be awarded for Phase 1 is 25. After the application deadline has passed, the admissions evaluator 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 a group style 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. Pluses and minuses are not considered.
    • Prior Year Alternate - Five (5) points will be awarded to applicants who were on last year’s alternate list.

    PHASE 2: Group Style Interview

    Points earned during Phase 1 do not carry forward. All applicants start at zero points during the interview phase. Applicants selected for Phase 2 will participate in a small group style interview with other candidates. Applicants should prepare for this interview as if it is a professional job interview. Applicants will be asked to respond to questions verbally and in writing.

    Points earned during Phase 2 determine which applicants are admitted to the program. Qualified candidates that were not selected may be placed on an alternate list and offered a position in the program if an accepted applicant declines his/her position in the program.

    Tiebreaker for Phase 1 & Phase 2: In the event that two or more applicants have the same score for Phase 1 or Phase 2, the Admissions office will use tiebreakers in the following order: the date the application is complete and MHCC district residency.

    PTA Program Costs

    PTA Program Frequently Asked Questions