PTA Admission Policies

Physical Therapist Assistant program applicants will be considered for admission into the program if they achieve the minimum scores on the required sections of the ACCUPLACER test of the College Board administered at the university, as defined in the following chart.

Reading 232
Writing 234
Arithmetic 212
statistics Algebra 206

The applicant may take each of the Accuplacer tests required for admission to a program up to three times initially, with at least 48 hours between attempts.  If the applicant does not achieve a passing score on the required tests after three attempts, the applicant must wait three months before retaking the failed test(s).   After the three month waiting period, the applicant may take the failed Accuplacer test(s) up to three more times.  If the applicant does not achieve a passing score after these three attempts, the applicant must wait one calendar year before retaking all of the Accuplacer tests required for admission to the program.  The applicant will be allowed to take each of the Accuplacer tests up to three times after the one calendar year waiting period.  If the applicant does not achieve a passing score on each of the required test(s) after these three attempts, the applicant will not be able to take the Accuplacer tests again for admission to a program at the university.

  • In addition to meeting the minimum scores on the Accuplacer tests, each applicant must complete a minimum of twenty (20) hours of documented paid or volunteer work experience or observation in a physical therapy facility with a licensed PT or PTA.
  • Additionally, each applicant must complete a questionnaire immediately prior to an interview with the Program Director or designee. The interviewer will use a Candidate Interview form for the interview and will award points for the applicant’s responses in the interview according to a departmental rubric.
  • The interviewer will also award points according to the departmental rubric for the applicant’s scores on the Accuplacer examination, other examinations, or a grade point average earned for a degree or diploma.  Points will also be awarded for the level of prior education and experience in the medical or human service field.  The interviewer will combine these points with the points awarded for the questionnaire and interview into a total score according to the departmental rubric.  Based on the total score, the applicant will be ranked among the other applicants who are applying for admission to the program with the current cohort.
  • The 45 applicants who have met the minimum admission policies for an associate degree program, and who have the highest number of points awarded for the questionnaire, interview and examination scores or grade point average, will be accepted for admission to the current cohort.  Should an opening occur, the applicant who has the next highest number of combined points may be accepted for admission.  If there are more than 45 individuals qualified for admission in a given cohort, those who are not admitted to the current cohort will be considered for admission into a subsequent cohort in the following calendar year.

Applicants with Criminal Convictions

Criminal background checks are required by most facilities providing clinical experiences. Students are responsible for the fees incurred. Facilities may require criminal background checks of students in addition to the ones already completed during the program. The student has one background check done during the admissions process, and one done later in the program prior to clinical experiences. The student is responsible for notifying the ACCE if there is any newly reported criminal action(s) since the original admissions check.

Applicants to the PTA program are required to complete a background check form and pay the background check fee at least one business day prior to the start of classes. Individuals with a criminal history may be considered for admission. Stanbridge University will consider the nature and the severity of the acts or crime; time that has elapsed since the commission of the act or crime; the extent to which the applicant has complied with any terms or conditions of the probation imposed; and any other relevant evidence of rehabilitation. Permission, however, to take the two examinations required for licensure – the National Physical Therapy Examination for Physical Therapist Assistants (NPTE for PTAs) and the California Law Examination (CLE) – after graduating from an accredited PTA program is determined by the Physical Therapy Board of California (PTBC) and involves the mandatory disclosure of any and all criminal offenses as part of the application process.

The following is an excerpt from the PTBC website and is provided for clarification:

ANY AND ALL CONVICTIONS OF CRIMINAL OFFENSES MUST BE DISCLOSED including a citation, misdemeanor and/or felony, etc. Convictions following a plea of nolo contendere MUST be disclosed. If your plea or verdict has been dismissed pursuant to Section 1203.4 of the California Penal Code and Section 2661 of the Business and Professions Code, you are required to disclose the conviction(s) on your application.

Serious traffic convictions such as reckless driving, driving under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs, hit, and run, evading a police officer, failure to appear, driving while the license is suspended or revoked MUST be reported. This list is not all-inclusive. If in doubt as to if a conviction should be disclosed, it is better to disclose the conviction on the application.

Failure to submit proper documents of conviction(s) and/or disciplinary action(s) may delay processing of your application. Applicants with prior conviction(s) (citation, infraction, misdemeanor and/or felonies, etc.), must submit the following documents:

  • A descriptive written explanation, written by the applicant, of the circumstances surrounding the conviction or disciplinary action.
  • Certified copies of the arresting agency report. (If the arresting agency has purged documents, provide a letter from the arresting agency with explanation.)
  • Certified copies of the court documents to include the final disposition and order. (If the court has purged documents, provide a letter from the court with explanation.)
  • Copies of letters from substance related programs verifying successful completion or evidence of current participation of a personal recovery program (such as Alcoholics/Narcotics Anonymous) and other recovery support and relapse prevention groups.
  • Documentation of substance assessment discharge records, intake/exit interviews and summaries of counselor’s notes, or similar types of evaluations from the program you attended.
  • Compliance letters from probation officers.
  • Documentation of successful completion of any other court ordered programs.

In deciding whether you qualify for a license, the PTBC will consider the nature and the severity of the act or crime; time that has elapsed since the commission of the act/crime; the extent to which the applicant has complied with any terms or conditions of the probation imposed; and any other relevant evidence of rehabilitation.

The Physical Therapy Board of California’s primary responsibility is consumer protection. To that end, the Physical Therapy Board of California has the authority to deny a license due to a conviction of a crime or offense substantially related to the qualifications, functions, or duties of a licensee. Per Section 1399.21 of the California Code of Regulations, the Physical Therapy Board of California will determine if the applicant has met the rehabilitation criteria for denial and reinstatement of licensure.

For more information regarding this and other certification questions, please contact the PTBC:

Physical Therapy Board of California
2005 Evergreen Street, Suite 1350
Sacramento, CA 95815
Telephone: (916) 561-8200
Fax: (916) 263-2560

http://www.ptbc.ca.gov/