Frequently asked questions about the Physical Therapy Assistant Program:

How long is the program? Can I complete it in less or more time?

Once students are admitted for enrollment the program takes two academic years to complete, including the summer session.

The program cannot be completed in less time. The program is designed so that the group of students who enter in the fall complete each class in sequence together over the two academic years.

If there are circumstances that require it, a student may request to take a one-time leave of absence from the program and return the following year.

What days and times are classes held? Do you offer a daytime program?

PTA academic classes are offered Monday through Thursday in the evenings. Most classes are 6:00 to 9:00 pm or 6:00 to 10:00 pm. Students have class three nights a week during most semesters. The clinical education courses take place during the day. There is a three-week full-time clinical assignment during the summer semester of the program. There are two six-week full-time clinical assignments during the second year of the program.

There is not a daytime program.

When can I apply to the program?

Students may apply to the program from the beginning of the fall semester up until April 15.

Please see Apply to PTA for more information.

What are my chances of getting into the program? How many students are accepted?

That depends on the number of eligible applicants. The class is randomly selected from eligible applicants. Each year 28-30 students are accepted for enrollment in the program.

For Fall 2019, we had 188 total applicants for 30 available spaces.

What GPA is needed in the prerequisite courses? How do I calculate my GPA?

A 3.0 GPA is required in the prerequisite courses. 

Your grade point average (GPA) is calculated by dividing the total amount of grade points earned by the total amount of units attempted. Your grade point average may range from 0.0 to a 4.0. GPA calculator

Please see Apply to PTA for more information.

How recently should I have completed my prerequisite courses?

Students must have completed the anatomy and physiology courses within 10 years. There is no recency requirement for the other prerequisite courses.

Please see Apply to PTA for more information.

May I have classes in progress when I apply?

Students may have the final semester of anatomy or physiology in-progress at the time of application. All other prerequisites must be complete prior to applying.

Please see Apply to PTA for more information.

Can I take prerequisite courses at another college?

Yes, as long as the courses are equivalent. The number of units and the specific catalog course description should be compared. Check your classes on the PDF DownloadPTA Course Equivalency List (PDF) to determine if courses taken at other colleges will count toward prerequisites.

If you have taken a course that is not on the equivalency list, and you believe it meets the prerequisite equivalent, you will need to complete a Course Substitution Petition. Please be sure to check with a counselor to discuss the course substitution and to confirm your educational plan.

Please see Apply to PTA for more information.

My college only offers anatomy (4 units) and physiology (4 units). Will that be acceptable as an equivalent to BIO 430 and 431?

Yes. A minimum of 8 semester units of anatomy and physiology is required, so this may be acceptable. Be aware that BIO 430 and 431 are “combined anatomy and physiology”. Students may choose to take ‘stand alone’ anatomy and physiology classes if they are deemed equivalent. Please review the PDF DownloadPTA Course Equivalency List (PDF) to check if your classes have already been determined to count toward prerequisites. Note: students should not take an ‘Anatomy’ course at one college and then take Bio 430 or 431 at SCC as they would be missing some content areas.

Please see Apply to PTA for more information.

My college offers a 5-unit combined anatomy and physiology course. Will that count as a prerequisite?

No. Students need a minimum of 8 semester units of anatomy and physiology.

Please see Apply to PTA for more information.

I have an AA/AS degree already. Do I still need to take general education courses and college graduation requirements?

All students need to complete the general education courses specifically required for the program. These classes are not prerequisites for enrollment but they must be completed at some time prior to graduation.

  • Psych 370 or FCS 324: Human Development: A Life Span – 3 units
  • Soc 300: Introductory Sociology OR Anth 310: Cultural Anthropology – 3 units
  • FCS 340 or Nutr 300: Nutrition OR Heed 300: Health Science – 3 units

Students with a prior AA/AS degree from a college other than Sacramento City College should work with a counselor to determine if there are any additional courses or competencies required to meet the SCC college graduation requirements.

I have an BA/BS degree already. Do I still need to take general education course and college graduation requirements?

All students need to complete the general education courses specifically required for the program. These classes are not prerequisites for enrollment but they must be completed at some time prior to graduation.

  • Psych 370 or FCS 324: Human Development: A Life Span – 3 units
  • Soc 300: Introductory Sociology OR Anth 310: Cultural Anthropology – 3 units
  • FCS 340 or Nutr 300: Nutrition OR Heed 300: Health Science – 3 units

Students with a prior BA/BS degree from an accredited college or university within the United States will not need any additional courses to meet the basic SCC college graduation requirements. Once students complete all program prerequisites, PTA courses, AH courses, and general education courses required by the program they will be eligible to graduate and earn the A.S. degree in Physical Therapist Assistant.

Are volunteer hours required for admission to the program?

No. Volunteer or observation hours are a great way to learn more about the profession, but are not required prior as a part of the admission process.

Where are clinical education sites for students enrolled in the program?

The program has contracts with over 400 clinical education sites in the Sacramento area and beyond. The facilities represent a wide variety of practice areas including acute care hospitals, skilled nursing and rehabilitation centers, private and specialty practices, and home health agencies.

Please see Clinical Education for more information.

I work as a PT aide. Can I use that experience as a clinical placement?

Employment as a PT aide is a great way to learn more about physical therapy processes and procedures and to gain work and communication skills. However, you cannot use your experience as an aide to fulfill the physical therapist assistant student clinical education requirements. We do not place students at facilities where they have previously worked.

Please see Clinical Education for more information.

Do you help students with finding employment after graduation?

We do not have a formal job placement service. However, many students find opportunities for employment as a result of their clinical affiliations. Also, the PTA program coordinator sends job announcements to recent graduates via an email distribution list.