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Admissions Information and Resources

Information Sessions

The current information sessions will be online via Zoom and will begin promptly at 4:00 p.m. A reservation is required to access the Zoom online session.  Send an email to Professor Anniet Glenn at anniet.glenn@montgomerycollege.edu to reserve your seat in the online Physical Therapist Assistant Program Information Session. 

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. 

 Information Sessions Schedule
Fall 2022

Time: 4 p.m.
Location: Via Zoom 

Monday, September 26
Monday, October 24
Monday, November 28

 

 
Spring 2023

Time: 4 p.m.
Location: Via Zoom

Monday, January 23
Monday, February 27
Monday, March 27
Monday, April 24

 

 
 Summer 2023

Time: 4 p.m.
Location: Via Zoom

Monday, May 22
Monday, June 26

 

 

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 to cover both internships.
  • Annual health physical examinations, immunizations, Hepatitis-B vaccinations, and criminal background check (costs vary based upon student insurance plans). These are required July of the second academic year of the program.
  • 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 $800.  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 $48,000 to $52,000 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. 

The current information sessions will be online via Zoom and will begin promptly at 4:00 p.m. A reservation is required to access the Zoom online session.  Send an email to Professor Anniet Glenn at anniet.glenn@montgomerycollege.edu  to reserve your seat in the online See Information Sessions for more information. 

The Physical Therapist Assistant Program at Montgomery College is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE), 3030 Potomac Ave., Suite 100, Alexandria, Virginia 22305-3085; telephone: 703-706-3245; email: accreditation@apta.org; website: CAPTEnew window

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 November 2020 and the program is fully accredited until June 30, 2031.

For more information about the Physical Therapist Assistant Program contact:

Anniet M. Glenn, MS, PTA
Physical Therapist Assistant Program Coordinator
240-567-5524
anniet.glenn@montgomerycollege.edunew window

 

Completion and Success Rates/Program Outcomes

Admissions
Entry year / Graduation year 2015 / 2017 2016 / 2018 2017 / 2019 2018 / 2020 2019 / 2021 2020 / 2022 2021 / 2023
# applied 87  78  75 69 43 52 41
# ineligible 20 26 25 36 7 11 12
 
Retention
Entry year / Graduation year 2015 / 2017 2016 / 2018 2017 / 2019 2018 / 2020 2019 / 2021 2020 / 2022 2021 / 2023
MC Cohort # as of Oct. 1 23 17 20 22 20 18 11
# at end of 1st semester 16 11 15 19 15 14  
First semester retention rate 70% 65% 75% 86% 75% 77%  
# at start of 2nd year 16 11 15 16 13 11  
 
Graduation
 Graduation year  2017  2018 2019 2020  2021 2022  2023
Adjusted Cohort* as of May 1 16 14 17 20 19    
# of grads at expected time 15 11 13 15 13    
Graduation rate @ 100% 94% 71% 76% 75% 68%    
2 year average
For years
86%
(2016-2017)
82%
(2017-2018)
74%
(2018-2019)
75%
(2019-2020)
72%
(2020-2021)
   
Ultimate # of grads 15 11 17 18      
Graduation rate @ 150% + 94% 79% 100% 90%      
2 year average
For years
86%
(2016-2017)
85%
(2017-2018)
92%
(2018-2019)
95%
(2019-2020)
     
 
* Cohort size and graduation rates adjusted to allow for only those students with academic issues influencing retention and graduation
NPTE Pass rate
Graduation year  2017 2018 2019 2020 2021  2022  2023
# takers 15 11 17 14      
# pass on first attempt 15 9 15 13      
First attempt pass rate 100% 81% 88% 93%      
# pass on all attempts 15 11 15 14      
Ultimate pass rate 100% 100% 88% 100%      
2 year average
For years
100%
(2016-2017)
90%
(2017-2018)
84%
(2018-2019)
94%
(2019-2020)
     
 
Employment Rate
Graduation year 2017 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022 2023
# employed within 6 mo of pass 14 9 15 14      
Employment rate 93% 100% 100% 100%      
2 year average
For years
96%
(2016-2017)
96%
(2017-2018)
100%
(2018-2019)
100%
(2019-2020)
     
 

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 Examinationnew window (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 $48,000 - $55,000 per year.
Demand for physical therapist assistants will continue to be high according to the Bureau of Labor Statisticsnew window. 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), 3030 Potomac Ave., Suite 100,  Alexandria, Virginia 22305-3085; telephone: 703-706-3245; email: accreditation@apta.orgnew window; website: CAPTE new window

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 November 2020 and the program is fully accredited until June 30, 2031.

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 Associationnew window. 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, CPR007 Basic Cardiac Life Support for Healthcare Provider, 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. Students can expect to travel up to 1 hour from campus for these activities.

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 to cover both internships.
Annual health physical examinations, immunizations, Hepatitis-B vaccinations, and criminal background check (costs vary based upon student insurance plans). These are required July of the second academic year of the program. 
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 $800.  This is a practice requirement after graduation.  

Technical Standards: The student must possess sufficient physical and emotional functional abilities with or without reasonable accommodations. Following a health history and comprehensive physical examination, a licensed medical provider will determine if this student demonstrates these abilities. If the licensed medical provider determines that the student is unable to meet the technical standards, they will provide an explanation and suggested accommodation(s); this may result in a Disability Support Services referral. If an accommodation is recommended, the student will be referred to Montgomery College’s Disability Support Services for a consultation. 

Technical Standards
1.       Vision: Corrected or uncorrected 
a.       Able to demonstrate sufficient peripheral vision to function while interacting with patients.
b.       Able to distinguish multiple color variations in hues, tone, or brightness.  
c.        Sufficient acuity to read instruments with small print (sphygmomanometers, goniometers, gauges) 

Additionally, Radiologic Technology students must be able to evaluate images distinguishing between black, white, and shades of gray.  
2.         Hearing: With or without hearing aid(s) 
a.        Able to hear and respond to patients, staff, and others.  
b.        Able to hear audible signals on equipment in the clinical environment and understand muffled communication without visualization               of the communicator’s mouth / lips within 20 feet. 
3.        Olfactory: Able to detect odors sufficient to assess and maintain patient comfort  and  safety.  
4.        Tactile:  
a.         Able to utilize the sense of touch to provide patient care, palpate anatomical landmarks, position patients, conduct assessments, and               administer treatments.  
b.         Able to manipulate files, switches, dials, touch screens and keyboards. 
5.          Strength and Motor Skills:  
a.         Able to perform patient care activities with moderate physical effort.  
b.         Able to lift, push, or pull up to 35 lbs.  
c.          Able to handle patients including lifts, rolls, transfers, etc. with the use of mandatory Safe Patient Lifting Equipment.
d.         Able to perform CPR and respond to emergency situations. 
e.         Able to assist with and or lift, move, position, and manipulate the patient who is unconscious with or without assistive devices.  
6.          Fine Motor Skills:  
a.         Able to manipulate instruments, supplies, and equipment with precision, dexterity, with good hand-eye coordination.  
b.         Able to perform patient care, utilize equipment and documentation systems in the clinical environment.  

Additionally, Surgical Technology students must be able to load a fine (10-0) suture in to needles and needle holders. 

7.          Physical Endurance:  
a.         Able to walk, stand, or sit for prolonged periods; to walk, stand, bend, lift, reach  without  assistive devices.  
8.          Communication:  
a.         Able to speak, read, comprehend, convey information, type and write effectively  using English language.  
b.         Able to demonstrate appropriate interpersonal skills during patient, staff, and  faculty interactions.  
9.          Emotional Stability:  
a.         Able to manage patients with physical and/or emotional trauma.  
b.         Able to function effectively under stressful or emergent situations, adapt to  changing conditions, and remain productive and capable               throughout.  
10.       Cognitive Ability:  
a.         Utilize critical thinking skills to implement, modify or evaluate patient care.
b.         Ability to collect, analyze and integrate information and knowledge to make clinical judgements.  
c.          Ability to compile and evaluate data on patients’ responses to treatment and progress.  

Additionally, Surgical Technology students must possess short-and long-term memory sufficient to perform tasks such as but not limited to mentally tracking surgical supplies and performing anticipation skills intraoperatively. 

In the professional courses that are required int he 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 matter.