Our PTA Program consists of a year of general education and prerequisite courses and a year in the vocational portion of the Program. Since the spaces in the second year of the Program are limited, admission to the College and the completion of prerequisite courses does not guarantee admission to the second year of the Program. The following information outlines the procedures to follow up to the point of admission into the second year of the program.

1. The first step in entering our Physical Therapist Assistant Program is filling out an application to Volunteer State Community College. You should submit an application to the Office of Admissions with the required $20.00 non-refundable application fee. If you have previously attended any colleges, please have an official transcript for each college attended submitted to the Office of Records. In addition, if you have additional copies of your transcripts, bring them the first time you see a PTA advisor.

2. Another form should be completed and submitted to the Division of Health Sciences indicating your intent to enter the Physical Therapist Assistant Program. This Pre Health Sciences Interest Form helps us keep you notified of information about the Program. You may access this form online by going to: http://www.volstate.edu/HealthSciences/ and then clicking on “Forms and Resources.” This form IS NOT the application to enter the second year of the PTA Program.

3. If you have not previously attended college, the Office of Counseling and Testing will schedule you for testing in the areas of reading, writing, mathematics and algebra. You may be required to take some course work in these areas. An advisor will help you identify which courses are required. Those who have completed some college work may also be required to complete some of the testing depending on course work already completed.

4. Students who are required to test and who have not attended school for several years or who feel insecure in one or more of the areas of reading, writing, or mathematics are   encouraged to contact a counselor in our New Skills program (ext. 3675) prior to testing.  Several PTA students have reported that the New Skills program contributed to their   success.

5. Students must have completed (with a “C” or better), or be currently enrolled in, all of the pre-requisite classes in order to be eligible to apply to the second year of the Program. A list of the pre-requisite classes can be found under “Freshman Year – Fall Semester” and    “Freshman Year – Spring Semester” on page 4 of this document. Students who are enrolled in prerequisite course work in the spring semester may make application to begin in May of that year. To earn an interview for admision to the program it is recommended that the student have a "B" or above in all math and science courses. (If you have a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or  university or an associate’s degree from a TN Board of Regents College, contact the PTA Program.   You may be required to complete fewer prerequisite courses.)

6. Prerequisite courses do not have to be completed in the order listed in the Semester-by-Semester Sequence. Some prerequisites may be completed at off campus sites, on weekends, or through College-at-Home. Transfer credit from regionally accredited colleges and universities is accepted at the discretion of the Office of Records. Prospective students are advised that transfer credit for PTA 110, Physical Science of the PTA, is granted only   upon approval of the Program Director. Prospective students are advised to complete   this course at Volunteer State. Students who have completed two semesters of college level physics may, with the approval of the PTA Program Director, request substitution for PTA 110

7. During the Spring Semester, any individual who has the potential of meeting admission’ s requirements and who wants to be considered for admission to the second year of the Program must submit a completed screening application. That application is due in the Health Sciences offices by March 21 of the year in which the applicant intends to start the second year of the Program. The application becomes available on the first working day on or after January 2nd.

8. Once a completed application has been submitted, the student may be scheduled for an interview in early May to assist the Selection Committee in determining their suitability for the Program and the profession. The decision for interview candidates is determined on a yearly basis by the faculty and is based on factors that may affect the class size.  The interview team will assess the applicant’s knowledge of the professions, ability to function in an interview situation, communication skills, and rationale for wanting to enter the PTA Program. The interview and academic record will have approximately equal weight in the admission’s decision.  Final approval for admission rests with the faculty of the PTA Program.

9. It is required that students complete a minimum of 16 hours of observation in a variety of settings including outpatient, skilled nursing facilities, and hospitals. Experiences may also be sought in the school system, home health, or inpatient rehab. Observation hours must be documented on the Confirmation of Volunteer Hours form which can be found at: http://www.volstate.edu/PTA/Checklist.php.


Lifting 50 pounds with frequent lifting and carrying of objects weighing up to 25 pounds is a minimum requirement for working in the PT department.  Walking, standing, bending, stooping and sitting for prolonged periods are also required.  Full use of gross and fine motor skills of the upper and lower extremities ia a requirement for safety performing the job duties of a PTA. 

The above skills are considered to be the minimum physical reqirements needed in order to safeguard a patient while under the care of a PT or PTA.

11. If accepted into the second year of the Program the student must submit the following items, which are required for clinical participation, on the first day of class (which is the day after Memorial Day):

  • Proof of freedom from tuberculosis
  • Proof of immunity to rubella
  • Proof of Hepatitis B immunization (at least the first shot in the series)

      Students are required to take a drug test, at their own expense, prior to the Fall and Spring clinical affiliations.

      Additional medical requirements may be required at some clinical sites.

12. Students who are admitted to the PTA Program are required to complete a minimum of 15 weeks of full time clinical education. Students must commute at their expense up to 100 miles (each way) from their home or the college, whichever is further.  Students seeking enrollment in this program must provide evidence of a passing score on a background check and a urine drug screen prior to official acceptance/enrollment into the program. Either the failure to provide the required results by the due date or the receipt of anything other than a passing score will make a student ineligible for enrollment in this program. The background check and urine drug screens are performed at the student’s expense. Specific details regarding the background check and urine drug screen are given to students after conditional acceptance into the program is granted. The cost for background check verification will be approximately $75.00. and the urine drug screen will be approximately $45.00. Please contact program faculty for further information. 

 The PTA Program is located in Building 100 of the VSCC East Campus on GAP Rd.