Admissions Information and Resources

Information Sessions

We strongly encourage all prospective students to attend an information session before applying to the program. These sessions provide prospective students with an opportunity to talk with the PTA faculty about academic qualifications for admission, prerequisites for the program, application deadline dates, the PTA curriculum, clinical rotations, details on financial aid, professional careers, and more. No reservations are required to attend information sessions. 

 Information Sessions Schedule

TP/SS Campus
Tuesday, April 30, 4:00 p.m.
Tuesday, May 28, 4:00 p.m.
Tuesday, June 25, 4:00 p.m
Health Sciences Center (HC), Room 229

Germantown Campus
 Summer - None

Rockville Campus
Summer - None

Special Admissions Information

Admission to Montgomery College (MC) is open to all; however, the physical therapist assistant program is a selective application-based program limited to 24 students each year. Visit the Health Sciences Admissions page for complete details, including special admissions requirements and the health sciences application.

Additional Expenses and Financial Information

Due to the nature of the program, expenses can run quite high. Special considerations of expenses are detailed in Planning for PTA school (PDF) and include:

  • Tuition (see current tuition rates).  There is a Statewide and Health Workforce Shortage Form, which allows in-county tuition to all Maryland residents if you are enrolled in one of the designated programs.  All students are encouraged to apply for financial aid
  • Text books and lab materials (estimate $300- $500 per semester).
  • Uniforms and transportation for clinical internships (estimate $500 - $700 per semester in the third and fourth semesters.
  • Internship tracking and assessment is $100
  • Annual health physical examinations, immunizations, Hepatitis-B vaccinations, and criminal background check (costs vary based upon student insurance plans). These are required after the start of the program in July.
  • APTA student membership ($75 per year).
  • CPR certification or renewal (costs vary based on provider).
  • Drug and alcohol screening and criminal background checks.  The Health Sciences programs uses a secure third party to complete these.  Students are required to complete these prior to the start of any clinical internship.  Costs will vary from year to year but estimate $50 per year for each screening or check requested.
  • Cost of NPTE and Initial State Licensure is estimated at $700.  This is a practice requirement after graduation.  

Frequently Asked Questions

Physical therapist assistants (PTAs) help physical therapists to provide treatment that improves patient mobility, relieves pain, and prevents or lessens physical disabilities of patients following illness or injury. PTAs provide limited physical therapy under the direction and supervision of a licensed physical therapist.
The associate of applied science degree program provides students with an opportunity to qualify to take the National Physical Therapy Licensing Examination (NPTE). The degree program can be completed as a full-time student in two years. Many students choose to complete general education requirements on a part-time basis prior to admission.
After earning the PTA license, the graduate is qualified to seek a job in a variety of settings including hospitals, private practices, rehabilitation facilities, extended care facilities, pediatric centers, home care, sports medicine clinics, orthopedic clinics, and schools. With further education, the PTA can earn a bachelor’s degree and qualify for any number of fields including graduate education in physical therapy.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor continues to forecast a strong future for all health careers. Physical therapy employment is expected to grow due to the high demand for all rehabilitation services due in part to the growing elderly and disabled population. Physical therapist assistants will be seen by employers as a cost-effective way to extend services and meet this projected demand. PTA starting salaries currently range from $45,000 to $55,000 per year.
Motivation to succeed coupled with the ability to apply knowledge to patient care situations are the hallmarks of successful students in this program. Broad and detailed knowledge of anatomy and kinesiology, thorough working knowledge of the principles of exercise and therapeutic techniques, and mastery of safe and effective patient care procedures involved in the handling of sick and injured patients are all necessary accomplishments for the competent PTA. Good health, emotional stability, physical strength, interpersonal and communication skills are essential.
Admission to Montgomery College is open to all; however, to ensure admission of all qualified applicants interested in the Physical Therapist Assistant Program, a selective admission procedure has been established. Please review the program current requirements at Health Sciences Admissions for information on the admission procedure. The application deadline is March 1. English, biology, math assessment, and the TEAS tests are required prior to applying to the program. 

Students who are offered admission to the PTA program must submit the following records by the end of Summer Session I:  physical examination by a physician, including a tuberculosis (Mantoux) test and immunization record/titers, hepatitis-B vaccine record, criminal background checks, and drug/alcohol screening, and influenza shot record. Record of CPR certification is required at the start of program.

Information sessions review admissions and selection procedures, field participant questions on both PT and PTA careers, and tour the classrooms and laboratory (only at the Takoma Park/Silver Spring campus location) facilities. 

Information sessions are held at the Takoma Park/Silver Spring campus and one session is held each semester at the Rockville and Germantown campus. Information sessions are held monthly (except in July and December) on the last Tuesday of the month, 4:00 - 5:00 p.m. See Information Sessions for more information. 

No reservation is required to attend an information session. 

The Physical Therapist Assistant Program at Montgomery College is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE), 1111 North Fairfax Street, Alexandria, Virginia 22314; telephone: 703-706-3245; email: accreditation@apta.org; website: http://www.capteonline.org.

The program was initially accredited in 1996 and continues to be designated as a statewide program by the Maryland Higher Education Commission (MHEC). The last accreditation site visit occurred in September 2010 and the program was granted accreditation through December 31, 2020.

For more information about the Physical Therapist Assistant Program contact:

Nancy Greenawald, DPT, EdS, MBA
Physical Therapist Assistant Program Coordinator
240-567-5523 
nancy.greenawald@montgomerycollege.edu  

Completion and Success Rates/Program Outcomes

Admissions
  2014 2015 2 Year Average 2016 2 Year Average 2017 2 Year Average 2018
Applications for 24 seats 89 87 88 78 82 75   69
# Ineligible Applicants 26 20 23 26 23 25   36
Retention
  2014 2015 2 Year Average 2016 2 Year Average 2017 2 Year Average 2018 2 Year Average
Cohort size (MC as of 10/1) 23 23   17   22   24  
 # at end of 1st semester 13  16   11   16   21  
1st semester retention rate  56%  70%  63%  65% 68% 73% 69% 88% 80%
Graduation - Spring
  2016 2017 2 Year Average 2018 2 Year Average 2019 2 Year Average
# at start of 2nd year 14 16   11   16  
Graduates 14 15   10   14  
Graduation rate 61% 65% 63% 59% 62% 64% 62%
Adjusted cohort size* 18 16   14   19  
Adjusted graduation rate* 78% 94% 86% 71% 82% 74% 72%

* Cohort size and graduation rates adjusted to allow for only those students with academic issues influencing retention and graduation

NPTE Pass Rate
  2016 2017 2 Year Average 2018 2 Year Average 2019
# takers 13 15   10    
# pass 13 15   9    
Pass rate 100% 100% 100% 90% 95%  
Employment Rate
  2016 2017 2 Year Average 2018 2 Year Average 2019
# employed within 6 months of pass 13 14   9    
Employment rate 100% 93% 96% 100% 96%  

Profession Description and Technical Standards 

Physical therapy is a field of rehabilitation in which therapists evaluate, assess, treat and instruct in the prevention of disability, pain, or movement dysfunction resulting from injury, disease, or disability.

A physical therapist assistant (PTAs) practices limited physical therapy under the supervision of a physical therapist.  Job settings include hospitals, private practice settings, rehabilitation facilities, extended care facilities, pediatric centers, home care, and specialty clinics (sports medicine, orthopedic, etc.).  PTAs have opportunities to practice as part of a team of health care providers and their scope of practice allows for interactions with patients as well as sophisticated equipment.

A broad and detailed knowledge of anatomy, a thorough working knowledge of principles of exercise and therapeutic techniques, and a mastery of patient care procedures involved in the handling of the sick and injured are all necessary accomplishments for the competent PTA.  Good health, emotional stability, free of drug and alcohol dependency, accuracy, confidentiality and the ability to get along with people are essential.  Since PTAs frequently work with seriously ill or injured people, they should be able to demonstrate empathy, honesty, and compassion.

PTAs are prepared in Associate Degree programs.  An Associate of Applied Science Degree program can be completed as a full-time student in two years over 5 semesters or can be taken on a part-time basis for as long as it takes to complete the general education requirements.  As long as they meet all eligibility requirements, graduates from the CAPTE-accredited PTA program at Montgomery College are eligible to take the National Physical Therapy Licensing Examination (NPTE) which is required to practice in Maryland.  Other United States jurisdictions have similar requirements. 

As part of the educational process, students learn and develop skills in the academic setting.  Most of the PHTH classes have both lecture and laboratory components.  In addition, most courses have supplemental course pages in Blackboard. Clinical education is an essential component of the PTA curriculum which allows the student to enhance their skills by practicing under the direction and supervision of a physical therapist.

While some PTAs may choose to continue their education to become physical therapy (PT) students, it is important for the PTA student to understand that the technical courses offered in the PTA program may not necessarily transfer for credit into bachelors degree programs or into post-graduate PT programs.  In addition, PT programs are taught at the post-baccalaureate level (masters and doctorate degree programs) and in only a few colleges and universities.  Please refer to the American Physical Therapy Association web page for more information (www.apta.org and select "Prospective Students").

A full-time entry-level position in skilled nursing facilities and some out-patient settings for a licensed PTA with no prior work experience in the Washington Metro area has been estimated at approximately $45,000 - $55,000 per year.
Demand for physical therapist assistants will continue to be high according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. People requiring physical therapy services will continue and possibly grow, due in part, to the growing elderly population and baby-boom generation.

The Physical Therapist Assistant Program at Montgomery College is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE), 1111 North Fairfax Street, Alexandria, Virginia 22314; telephone: 703-706-3245; email:accreditation@apta.org; website:http://www.capteonline.org

The program was initially accredited in 1996 and continues to be designated as a statewide program by the Maryland Higher Education Commission (MHEC).  The last accreditation site visit occurred in September 2010 and the program was granted accreditation until December 31, 2020.

Students are required to have Healthcare Provider or First Responder training and certification. While other companies offer this training, our clinical partners prefer the American Heart Association. These courses are provided in many community locations, such as hospitals and ambulance stations. The courses are also offered through the College's Workforce Development and Continuing Education Department. Students must keep a copy of their CPR certification on file with the PTA Program and must maintain certification throughout the duration of the PTA Program. MC credit course, HLTH 220 Emergency Medical Responder, meets the CPR requirement.

By the end of the first year in the program (early July) students must receive a complete physical examination by a physician.  Results of this examination are maintained in a secure database and are required for participation in clinical internships.  Physical examination includes complete blood work, urinalysis, tuberculosis (Mantoux) test or X-Ray, current immunizations (or titers), and influenza shot record.  The Hepatitis-B vaccine is strongly recommended to all students pursuing careers in health care.  Students are kept informed about any change in requirements or procedures. 

Criminal background checks and drug/alcohol screening are mandatory for all health science students, and the results could affect clinical placement.  These are due by the end of the first year in the program (early July).  Students must be prepared to repeat any of these tests upon request of the clinical facility.  For example, a facility may perform random drug screening and a student could be selected to participate.

Students are financially responsible for their own health care. This includes illness or accidents which occur during school hours or while on clinical affiliations. It is advisable to get health coverage if you are not covered by any plan.
Students are covered by liability – also known as malpractice - insurance through Montgomery College at no cost during clinical hours associated with the PTA program. Additional liability insurance is available commercially, should this be desired.
Students are responsible for providing their own transportation to and from school, field trips, and clinical affiliation sites.

Due to the nature of the program, expenses can run quite high. Special considerations of expenses include:


Planning for PTA school (PDF). 
Tuition (Refer to the credit tuition and fee schedule).  There is a Statewide and Health Workforce Shortage Form, which allows in-county tuition to all Maryland residents if you are enrolled in one of the designated programs.  All students are encouraged to apply for financial aid.  

Text books and lab materials (estimate $300- $500 per semester).
Uniforms and transportation for clinical internships (estimate $500 - $700 per semester in the third and fourth semesters.
Internship tracking and assessment is $100
Annual health physical examinations, immunizations, Hepatitis-B vaccinations, and criminal background check (costs vary based upon student insurance plans). These are required after the start of the program in July.
APTA student membership ($75 per year).
CPR certification or renewal (costs vary based on provider).

Drug and alcohol screening and criminal background checks.  The Health Sciences programs uses a secure third party to complete these.  Students are required to complete these prior to the start of any clinical internship.  Costs will vary from year to year but estimate $50 per year for each screening or check requested.
Cost of NPTE and Initial State Licensure is estimated at $700.  This is a practice requirement after graduation.  

In the professional courses that are required in the Physical Therapist Assistant Program, as well as in the career, the student will need to have the physical ability to:

  1. lift and move patients, equipment, and accessories;
  2. manipulate treatment equipment and measuring instruments using fine motor skills
  3. hear audible cues and warnings from patients and equipment;
  4. utilize sense of touch in order to provide patient care, palpate anatomical landmarks, position patients, and administer treatments;
  5. utilize sense of vision in order to read instrument dials and computer printouts as well as to distinguish color gradients associated with touch and pressure;
  6. teach patients through use of voice, demonstration, and handouts; and
  7. utilize interpersonal skills to handle patients with physical and/or emotional trauma and to interact with other people in the classroom, lab, or clinical setting in a professional manner.

The Dictionary of Occupational Titles is a US Department of Labor publication that classifies all types of jobs by their demands and requirements.  Below is the listing for the Physical Therapist Assistant reprinted from http://www.occupationalinfo.org (accessed June18, 2007). This information is provided to all students accepted into the PTA Program at Montgomery College and is intended to help the student prepare for physical, mental, and social aspects of this career.  For additional information, students may also access descriptions of the field from the American Physical Therapy Association website. Students are encouraged to access the Montgomery College Disability Support Services if documentation and recommendations of accommodations are needed.

CODE: 076.224-010 TITLE: PHYSICAL THERAPIST ASSISTANT

Administers physical therapy treatments to patients, working under direction of and as assistant to the PHYSICAL THERAPIST.

Administers active and passive manual therapeutic exercises, therapeutic massage, and heat, light, sound, water, and electrical modality treatments, such as ultrasound, electrical stimulation, ultraviolet, infrared, and hot and cold packs.

Administers traction to relieve neck and back pain, using intermittent and static traction equipment.  Instructs, motivates, and assists patients to learn and improve functional activities, such as pre­ambulation, transfer, ambulation, and daily-living activities.

Observes patients during treatments and compiles and evaluates data on patients' responses to treatments and progress and reports orally or in writing to PHYSICAL THERAPIST.

Fits patients for, adjusts, and trains patients in use and care of orthopedic braces, prostheses, and supportive devices, such as crutches, canes, walkers, and wheelchairs.

Confers with members of physical therapy staff and other health team members, individually and in conference, to exchange, discuss, and evaluate patient information for planning, modifying, and coordinating treatment programs.

Gives orientation to new PHYSICAL THERAPIST ASSISTANTS and directs and gives instructions to PHYSICAL THERAPY AIDES.

Performs clerical duties, such as taking inventory, ordering supplies, answering telephone, taking messages, and filling out forms.

May measure patient's range-of-joint motion, length and girth of body parts, and vital signs to determine effects of specific treatments or to assist PHYSICAL THERAPIST to compile data for patient evaluations.

May monitor treatments administered by PHYSICAL THERAPY AIDES.

In summary, the US Department of Labor classifies the Physical Therapist Assistant as

STRENGTH: M GED: R4 M3 L4 SVP: 6

The above line is a quick reference code utilized by the US Department of Labor (DOL) to quickly identify characteristics of a job.  The components of this code are described below as they relate to the physical therapist assistant.

Strength: M        This code describes the job as one which requires the ability to perform "Medium work" as defined by the US DOL.

M-Medium Work - Exerting 20 to 50 pounds of force occasionally, and/or 10 to 25 pounds of force frequently, and/or greater than negligible up to 10 pounds of force constantly to move objects.  Physical Demand requirements are in excess of those for Light Work.

GED: R4 M3 L4    This code describes the general educational development required of the profession.  In the case of the physical therapist assistant, a reasoning level of "4", a math level of "3", and a language skill level of "4" are required.  The DOL definitions of these terms appear below.

04 LEVEL REASONING DEVELOPMENT: Apply principles of rational systems to solve practical problems and deal with a variety of concrete variables in situations where only limited standardization exists.  Interpret a variety of instructions furnished in written, oral, diagrammatic, or schedule form.

03 MATHEMATICAL DEVELOPMENT: Compute discount, interest, profit and loss; commission, markup, and selling price; ratio and proportion; and percentage. Calculate surfaces, volumes, weights, and measures.  Algebra: Calculate variables and formulas; monomials and polynomials; ratio and proportion variables; and square roots and radicals.  Geometry: Calculate plane and solid figures; circumference, area, and volume.  Understand kinds of angles and properties of pairs of angles.

04 LANGUAGE DEVELOPMENT: Reading: Read novels, poems, newspapers, periodicals, journals, manuals, dictionaries, thesauruses, and encyclopedias.  Writing: Prepare business letters, expositions, summaries, and reports, using prescribed format and conforming to all rules of punctuation, grammar, diction, and style.  Speaking: Participate in panel discussions, dramatizations, and debates.  Speak extemporaneously on a variety of subjects.

SVP: 6       This code indicates that up to 2 years of specific vocational preparation are required for this field.

 

Common searches:
Jump to Navigation
©