Physical Therapist Assistant

Physical Therapist Assistant Admission Requirements

The Physical Therapist Assistant program at Hawkeye is considered a 1+1 model. Students must complete separate admissions processes for Phase I and Phase II.

Basic Skill Competencies Requirements

Option 1

Score at least the following scores on any combination of the below assessment options:

ACT sub scores COMPASS scores ASSET scores ACCUPLACER scores
19 - Reading
19 - English
19 - Math
82 - Reading
65 - Writing
42 - Algebra
38 - Reading
40 - Writing
40 - Elementary Algebra
90 - Reading
98 - Sentence Skills
103 - Arithmetic OR
97 - Elementary Algebra

Applicants can take the ACT assessment or the COMPASS assessment at Hawkeye. Pre-registration is required.

Option 2

Complete all of the following college success courses with a "C" grade or higher at Hawkeye Community College or comparable courses at another accredited college:

  • ENG061 College Preparatory Writing II
  • RDG040 College Preparatory Reading III
  • MAT063 Elementary Algebra

Option 3

Any combination of the above fulfilling the basic skills requirements of algebra, reading, and writing.

Phase I Admissions Process

  1. Apply for admission to Hawkeye.

  2. Completed applicant files (we have your application, transcripts, and test scores) will be processed as follows:
    1. Applicants not meeting the program's basic skill competencies requirements will be sent an admissions inactivation letter.

    2. Applicants meeting the program's basic skill competencies requirements will be considered Physical Therapist Assistant Wait students and will be able to take Phase I courses.

      Being a "Wait" student does not guarantee Phase II acceptance.

Phase II Program Entrance Requirements

Before applying to Phase II of the program, applicants must complete the following requirements.

  1. One semester of high school physics with a grade “C” or better is required. A full year of high school physics is suggested.

    If you currently attend an Iowa high school that does not offer physics or you cannot work it into your schedule, discuss the possibility of taking physics through the Iowa Communications Network with your high school guidance counselor.


    If you have graduated from high school and have not fulfilled this requirement you can take a remedial course at the high school or college level. Hawkeye offers PHY100 as a physics preparatory course which meets the PTA program requirements. Contact a program advisor for more information.

  2. We recommend applicants complete one year of the following high school courses, or one semester of a college-level comparable course, with a "C" grade or higher, however, these courses are not required for admission.

    • Math (algebra or geometry)
    • Biology
    • English
  3. Proof of completion of a total of 24 observation hours with a licensed physical therapist or physical therapist assistant at three different clinical sites (eight hours per site).

    Observations must include at least two different types of facilities (example: outpatient, hospital inpatient, home health, rehab center, or long-term care).

    Arranging observations is the responsibility of the student. You will need to call the facility ahead of time to arrange an observation. Don't forget to ask about any requirements you must meet in order to observe and the dress code.

    Document the observations on the Pre-Admission Observation Hours form [pdf]. Return the form with your Phase II application.

  4. Attend a PTA MORE session if you are currently attending classes at Hawkeye Community College or an interview with a Physical Therapist Assistant faculty member if transferring in all of Phase I coursework. Contact a program advisor to schedule an interview.

  5. At least 18 credits of Phase I coursework must be completed with the required cumulative GPA and individual course grades prior to applying for Phase II of the program.

    All Phase I coursework must be completed by the end of the spring term that precedes Phase II.

    If an applicant is a graduate from another accredited university with a bachelor’s degree in either exercise science or athletic training, the applicant is eligible for entry into Phase II courses without taking the general educational requirements. The applicant would also be eligible for graduation after successful completion of Phase II coursework.

Phase II Admissions Process

  1. To be considered for Phase II acceptance, applicants must have completed all of the following:

    1. Phase I Admissions Process
    2. Phase II program entrance requirements
    3. Phase II PTA Program Application Packet [pdf].

  2. Phase II applicants will continue with Phase II of the program as openings are assigned. Students will be notified of their acceptance or non-acceptance via their Hawkeye email.

  3. We accept approximately 20 students into Phase II each fall semester. Applicants will be admitted based on a personal interview with a Physical Therapist Assistant faculty member and their preparatory coursework GPA.

  4. If necessary, alternates will be contacted based on the same criteria as the initially accepted applicant. 

Hawkeye's Equal Opportunity Statement

Program Contacts

Department Secretary

Linda Butler
Grundy Hall 135
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Program Advisor

Carole Ostendorf
Health Education and Services Center 208C
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Gene Leutzinger
Grundy Hall 173
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