Admission Requirements


The program’s next application window is May 1 – May 31, 2025.

The online application is available during the application window via this link.
See below for Instructions for Online Application in Etrieve.
Review the application checklist here.

Students who are applying to the Physical Therapist Assistant Program must complete the following requirements before application:

    1. Apply and be admitted to Polk State College.  Students must apply to be admitted to the college before applying to the PTA Program.
      • Transcripts and admission documentation must be processed by the Registrar’s Office before applying to the program. Please note: This process will take 6-8 weeks. Follow the admission steps to Polk State here.
    2. GPA Requirement: Students must have a cumulative GPA of 2.5 or above on a 4.0 scale at the time of application and admission to the program.
    3. Required prerequisite courses: The following courses must be completed with a grade of “C” or better within the last 5 years of applying to the program.

Provisional acceptance: if the prerequisite courses are not completed with “C” or better, the student will not be accepted.

  1. Observation hours: Students must complete and submit verification of at least 10 hours of observation in any type of physical therapy setting (OR submit verification of employment hours in the field). Use the Observation Hours Form found via this link.
    • Review the Observation Hours Requirements and Expectations Here.
  2. Program Information meeting: Students must attend one Program Informational Meeting before application. Information sessions will resume in Fall 2024.
  1. + Instructions for Online Application in Etrieve

      1. Before you can apply you must have activated your Polk State College student email ( Go to The default password is your Polk student ID.
      2. Using Chrome or some browser other than Internet Explorer, use the application link above for Etrieve. This link will take you to the login page for Etrieve, which is Polk State’s electronic document system.
      3. On the Etrieve login page, your user name is the first part of your Polk student email. For example, a Polk email of would have a user name of marysmith22.
      4. Unless you recently established an Etrieve account and remember your password, click on the “forgot password” link and enter your email address. An email will be sent to this address providing you an initial password. Check your junk email if you don’t receive the message and add to your safe sender list if necessary.
      5. Once you have received the initial password, go back to the Etrieve login and sign in with the user name as noted in Step 3 and the provided password. Once logged into Etrieve, change your password.
      6. In the Etrieve system, click on “Forms” and look for the PTA application.
      7. Complete all parts of the application, attach any required documentation requested, and submit the form. Do not submit any other documents.
      8. Do not contact the Registrar’s Office or the PTA Department to see if your application was received. You can go back into the Etrieve system at any time and under History, you can see that you submitted the application. It will say “pending” until it is processed.  When the application is processed, the pending will change to Approved. Please note that this “approved” is simply a notation that your application has been processed.  It is neither a note of completeness and acceptance of your application nor a note of acceptance for admission.
  2. + Selection Admissions Process

    The PTA program uses a  merit-based point system in the selection process using the following metrics:

      1. Overall GPA (2.5-3.0 = 1 point, 3.0-3.5 = 3 points, 3.5-4.0 = 5 points)
      2. Additional points are provided for the following criteria:
        • Military service (2 points)
        • An Associate in Science degree or higher degree (1 point per degree)
        • Additional observation hours (1 point per additional 10 hours, for up to three points maximum; these hours cannot all be completed at the same facility or a student’s place of employment)
        • Clinical work experience (e.g., CNA or other nursing experience, rehabilitation technician, athletic trainer, or any other healthcare field per program discretion)
      3. Completion of BSC 2086C Anatomy and Physiology I and II with a grade of “C” or above prior to application, or currently enrolled in this course at time of application (3 points if passed with “B” or better on first attempt, 2 points if passed with “C” or better on first attempt, 1 point if passed with “C” or better on subsequent attempt)
      4. Completion of General Education courses prior to application with a grade of “C” or better at time of application. (3 points if passed with “B” or better on first attempt, 2 points if passed with “C” or better on first attempt, 1 point if passed with “C” or better on subsequent attempt)
      5. Completion of HSC 1531 Medical Terminology with a grade of “C” or better at the time of application. (3 points if passed with “B” or better on first attempt, 2 points if passed with “C” or better on first attempt, 1 point if passed with “C” or better on subsequent attempt).
      6. Residence in Polk County (1 point)
      7. Submission of Essay (minimum 150 words, maximum 300 words) on why you want to be a Physical Therapist Assistant (1 point)

    Note: Provisional acceptance is provided if the prerequisite courses are not completed at the time of application. If the courses are not completed with a “C” or better prior to start of the program, the student is not accepted. If a student is dismissed from another PTA program or other health-related program involving patient care at Polk State or other institutions, please contact the program director for additional steps in the application process.

    The PTA Selection Committee utilizes a point system as a guide in the selection of qualified students for the Physical Therapist Assistant Program. Questions about this system can be addressed to the Program Director.

  3. + Additional Program Requirements

    Admission requirements that are completed after admission to the program include:

    • Physical examination and essential functions
    • Required Immunizations
    • Current CPR certification
    • Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) background checks
    • Drug screening
    • Signed affidavit attesting to the non-committance of specific criminal act

    The Program Director will provide information regarding the specific steps for completion of these additional admission requirements with the acceptance letter.