• Physical Therapist Assistant Program

    Physical therapist assistants work under the supervision of physical therapists and assist patients/clients recovering from injury or illness.

  • Candidacy & TEAS Update

    Effective immediately the TEAS Exam will NOT be a requirement to apply for the Candidacy Program ONLY for the Spring 2020 semester.

    In addition, the Candidacy deadline has been extended to the last day of Spring 2020 class June 4th 2020.

    Important information regarding the ATI TEAS Exam Requirements


    The Physical Therapist Assistant program at LaGuardia Community College is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE), 1111 North Fairfax Street, Alexandria, Virginia 22314;
    telephone: 703-706-3245
    email: accreditation@apta.org
    website: capteonline.org.

    If needing to contact the program/institution directly, please call 718-482-5943 or email cchan@lagcc.cuny.edu.

    Graduates of the program are eligible for certification and must take the National Certification Exam to practice in New York State. The PTA program consists of pre-clinical and Technical phases. Students must be an Undeclared Health- PTA major to apply for candidacy into the clinical phase. Acceptance to the clinical phase is limited to twice per year and is competitive. PTA students are responsible for familiarizing themselves with the PTA Admissions Handbook and obtaining further information by attending a PTA Orientation Session.


  • The City University of New York - LaGuardia Community College
    Student Achievement Data 2017, 2018


    Graduation Rate for students graduating in 2017, 2018 Cohort 1 - 89.85%
    Cohort 2 - 91.4%
    Licensure Examination Pass Rate - ultimate Pass rate for students graduating in 2017, 2018* 95.52% (for both cohorts)
    Employment Rate for students in 2017, 2018 100% (for both cohorts)

    *Reported by the Federation of State Boards of Physical Therapy: data current as of April 1, 2020

  • Students interested in applying to LaGuardia Community College should contact the Admissions Office. New students selecting PTA as their major are considered to be in the pre-clinical phase.

    Progression to the technical phase of the program is competitive and is by acceptance into candidacy. Students must apply for candidacy and be accepted in order to enter the technical phase. Successful candidates are scheduled to begin the technical phase in Session II of the following semester (six months after notification of acceptance into the technical phase) Candidates will forfeit their seat in the program if they are unable to begin as scheduled.

    Pre-Clinical Phase

    The pre-clinical phase of the PTA program consists of all required general education and elective courses, including Key Courses. Pre-clinical students are considered candidates for the technical phase.

    Students must first complete, or be in the process of completing, the four key courses with a minimum GPA of 2.50 in the semester they are applying for candidacy. In addition to the GPA requirement, a pre-program entrance exam called the TEAS (Test of Academic Skills) administered by Assessment Technologies Inc. (ATI) is included in the determination of a student’s acceptance into the technical phase of the Physical Therapist Assistant Program.

    Eligible students are then ranked according to a scoring system of grades in Key Courses and any pre-clinical courses taken up to the end of the candidacy semester. Learn more about the scoring system and additional candidacy requirements in the PTA Admission Handbook.

    All Pre-Clinical courses must be completed prior to the start of the first Clinical course.


    Physical Therapist Assistant Program Proof of Residency Requirement


    Beginning the fall 2016 semester all students applying for candidacy in the LaGuardia Community College Physical Therapist Assistant Program must provide documentation in one of the following categories, in addition to meeting the program's candidacy requirements:

    • U. S. Citizenship
    • Permanent Residency
    • International Student with F1 Status
    • Deferred Action Status by the U. S. Government Granted Asylum, Refugee Status, Temporary Protected Status, Withholding of Removal

    Students who are interested in pursuing a health career and are unable to provide documentation in one of the categories listed above are urged to contact the Office of International Student Services located in Room M166 or call (718) 482-5143 to schedule an appointment. In addition, the City University of New York provides free counseling and assistance to all CUNY students through the CUNY Citizenship and Immigration Project. Further information can be located at the following CUNY website: http://web.cuny.edu/about/citizenship.html.

    In support of the LaGuardia’s mission to educate and graduate its students to become critical thinkers and socially responsible citizens, the College has undertaken a team approach toward advising, designed to support you in your major from orientation through graduation.

    Your Advising Team is made up of faculty, professional and peer advisors. They will guide you at every step during your college career. They are ready to help you:

    • Explore your major
    • Select introductory and advanced courses
    • Connect you with campus support services
    • Prepare an educational and career plan

    Visit the Advising page to learn more about when to get advised and how to prepare for an advising appointment, and check out the Advising Calendar for information sessions, events and more.


    Advisor Button

    1. In order to apply for PTA candidacy (progression to the technical phase of the PTA Program), you must be a PTA Major.

    2. To apply for candidacy, students must register for “Intent to PTA” PTA000.4499 in the first three weeks of a 12 week term.

    3. All four of the Key Courses must be completed by the end of that same term that you have registered for “Intent to PTA”.

    4. If you are completing a Key Course in the same term that you have registered for “Intent to PTA” and decide to withdraw from the Key Course, you must also withdraw from “Intent to PTA” prior to the official withdrawal date.

    5. Students must take the TEAS exam and submit scores to the PTA Program office in E 300. The TEAS score must be within 18 months of the end date of candidacy. PTA candidacy does not limit the number of attempts for this exam.

    6. If you received a grade of C-, D, F or WU for any of the Key Courses and have repeated the course, all grades for the Key Course will be used in evaluating your candidacy.  If you received a grade of C- or below on any of your pre-clinical courses, the course can be repeated with the permission of the Health Sciences Chairperson.

    7. Results of the candidacy evaluation will not be available until all grades for the 12-week session have been submitted and the Registrar’s Office has completed the calculations. You will then be notified by the PTA Program with information as to when and where you may obtain the results.

    8. If you are not accepted into the technical phase, you may repeat the registration for “Intent to PTA” one more time unless your GPA for the Key Courses is below 2.5 in which case you are no longer eligible to reapply. A student has two attempts for PTA candidacy.

    9. Be certain that you are taking the correct courses and see a faculty advisor in E 300 prior to registering. PTA faculty office hours are posted in E 300 each session.

    10. TEAS result must be submitted to the PTA Program Director prior to the end of the semester applying to candidacy

    Spring 2020 CR/NC Policy – How it applies to Health Sciences Candidacy Programs

    According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics the number of physical therapist assistants in the US is expected to grow 41% from 2012- 2022, providing increased opportunities for employment as a physical therapist assistant.

    Students who graduate from the Physical Therapist Assistant (PTA) Program must pass the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) in order to be eligible for New York State Certification. Passing the NPTE is required in order to be eligible for license or certification in all 50 states. Federal law limits the issuance of professional licenses, registrations and limited permits to United States citizens or qualified aliens. Students with criminal records are examined on a case by case basis in regards to New York State licensure. 


    Explore career possibilities on Career Connect.  

    Current Students
    Log in to My LaGuardia to review your Degree Audit to find out what classes to take. Have questions about using Degree Audit? Visit LaGuardia's Degree Audit page for tutorials and how-to guides.

    Prospective Students
    Review the curriculum.

    Please note: Students will be held to the program and degree requirements of the year that they enter the College, unless the student changes their major in a different academic year. In that case, the student will be held to the current year requirements as listed in the catalog. Learn more.

    For information about this program’s retention and graduation rate visit the Office of Institutional Research and Assessment website page.

    How long does it take to finish the PTA Program?
    The minimum time required to complete the entire program is two years and three months (5 semesters). Once pre-requisite courses (Pre-Clinical Phase) are complete, the Technical & Clinical phases can be completed in 18 months.


    How can I change my major to PTA?
    The change of major form is in the Registrar website: http://www.laguardia.edu/registrar/.

    Go toward the bottom of the page under Forms, subheading Student Forms and you should be able to download the form. Once it is completed, you can email it as an attachment to the department’s email address at HealthSci@lagcc.cuny.edu.


    What are the requirements to apply for the PTA program?
    To apply for the PTA Program Candidacy, students must:

    • Be an Undeclared Health Pre-Health/PTA major at LaGuardia,
    • Submit a candidacy application by the deadline.
    • Complete all four key courses (ENG101, SSY101, SCB203, and MAT120 or 115)
    • Submit the ATI-TEAS Exam scores by the deadline.

    What happens if I apply for candidacy and I don’t get accepted?
    A student has two attempts for PTA candidacy. After an unsuccessful second attempt, we recommend meeting with an advisor to explore alternative academic planning.


    What is the minimum score I have to get to pass my ATI-TEAS Exam and when can I take it?
    All applicants are required to take the ATI-TEAS Exam as a requirement for candidacy. A proficient composite score of 55% or higher is the minimum required. The TEAS score must be within 18 months of the end date of candidacy. There is no limit on the number of attempts for this exam in order to achieve the minimum score required.


    Do I have to retake the TEAS Exam if I score a passing, but low score? Would that increase my chances to get accepted?
    You don’t necessarily have to retake your TEAS as long as you have a passing overall score of 55%. The TEAS Exam scores are not ranked.


    Are the TEAS Exam scores due at the same time as the candidacy application is due?
    The PTA Program does not require that you submit your scores together with your candidacy application. The TEAS Exam scores are due prior to or at the end of session I of the semester of candidacy application.


    I need more information on the volunteer hours requirement.
    Accepted students must complete a minimum of 50 hours of volunteer work in a facility where a physical therapist is supervising the student. A letter of completion from the facility on facility’s stationary and signed by supervisor is required before starting the first session in the Technical Phase.


    If accepted into the PTA Program, when do I start?
    Successful candidates are scheduled to begin the Technical phase in session II of the following semester. (6 , six months after notification of acceptance into the technical phase.) Candidates that are unable to begin the program as scheduled will forfeit their seat in the program.


    When will I know if I got accepted into the PTA Program?
    Students will be notified of the results during session II of the semester of candidacy application.


    Can I complete my PTA classes as a part time student? Do they offer evening classes?
    The Technical and Clinical Phases of the PTA Program is a full time, daytime program. No evening program is available at this time. Due to the intense workload during the Technical and Clinical Phases of study, employment is NOT recommended.


    When can I apply for candidacy for the PTA Program?
    Candidacy occurs twice a year during the first session of the school semester. Students can submit applications for candidacy during Fall I and Spring I. The candidacy deadlines are listed on the school calendar and it is the student’s responsibility to apply for candidacy on time.

    Students have to request a Candidacy Form by emailing the Health Sciences Department at HealthSci@lagcc.cuny.edu.

    The Candidacy Form then needs to be filled out and emailed to the Health Sciences Department before the Candidacy Deadline. Once the form is received by the Health Sciences Department the student will receive an acknowledgement email confirming receipt of the Candidacy form.


    What is the required GPA to get accepted into the PTA Program.
    Minimum GPA requirement to apply for candidacy is 2.50. However, please note that the program is highly competitive. The minimum GPA of successful candidates varies but is always well above 2.50. Candidacy follows a GPA ranking system. The PTA program admits up to 20 students in each cohort.


    Can I take the remaining pre-clinical courses while I am taking Technical Phase courses?
    Accepted students are given conditional acceptance letters pending the completion of their preclinical phase. All pre-clinical courses MUST be completed prior to the start of the first technical course.


    I took science a long time ago, can I use that course to fulfill my science requirement? Do science courses expire?
    SCB203 and SCB204 taken more than 7 years of the candidacy semester will not be accepted for PTA candidacy. Prospective applicants must retake science courses older than the required 7 years.


    What is the minimum course grade I can get to get accepted into the program?
    Students must have a minimum of 2.50 in all the key courses to be considered for the PTA program. Please note: students are not permitted to repeat any course with a grade of C or above. In addition, the original grade in any pre-clinical courses required for the PTA major, are averaged into the ranking along with the repeated grade. This includes transfer credit grades.


    What is the PTA Program’s policy on criminal records?
    CUNY does not require criminal background checks; however, individual health care facilities may require background checks and drug screening. Please note that students must complete a minimum of 640 hours of varied clinical rotations during the clinical phase. Students are required to have a current medical exam with blood work (within 3 months).


    Where can I get more information on the PTA Program to review at my own pace?
    All program requirements can be found in: https://lagcc-cuny-.digication.com/pta_program_candidate_orientation/Home.


    Can I start working right after I complete the PTA Program?
    PTA graduates cannot practice physical therapy in New York without a New York State license. At the completion of the program, students are eligible to sit for the National Physical Therapy Exam (NPTE) for physical therapist assistants. However, in New York State, with sponsorship and commitment by a clinic under conditional employment, a graduate may apply for a limited permit and begin working as a PTA immediately after graduation. A limited permit is good for six months of employment and may be renewed once for additional six months.


    I applied for admission into LaGuardia as a transfer student, when can I apply for candidacy.
    Admission into the PTA program is offered to LaGuardia students only. You can apply for candidacy after your transfer credits (if any) are posted to your transcript at LaGuardia and/or you are officially admitted into the college as a matriculated student.


    Is there a waitlist? Does the waitlist roll over to the next semester or do I have to reapply?
    A waitlist is usually maintained but it does not roll over the next semester. Students that are not offered a seat must reapply for candidacy for up to two times in total.


    When will the candidacy results be announced?
    Students will be notified of the results during session II of the semester of candidacy application.


    If I am on the waitlist, how soon will I hear from the department if I am accepted?
    Students are asked to confirm their seat acceptance before the start of the next semester. If a seat opens and your waitlist number comes up, you will be contacted immediately.


    How do letters of recommendation come into play during acceptance?
    The PTA Program does not take into consideration letters of recommendation in regards to candidacy applications.


    Should I take TEAS now if I plan to apply for candidacy next semester?
    The TEAS score must be within 18 months of the end date of candidacy. There is no limit on the number of attempts for this exam in order to achieve the minimum score required.


    Does Financial Aid pay for TEAS?
    Unfortunately, the TEAS Exam fee is not covered by Financial Aid.


    If I fail a course, am I able to retake it?
    Please note: students are permitted to retake any course they failed. It is not permitted to repeat any course with a grade of C or above. In addition, the original grade in any pre-clinical courses required for the PTA major, are averaged into the ranking along with the repeated grade. This includes transfer credit grades.


    If I do not get accepted into the Technical phase, what are my options?
    A student has two attempts for PTA candidacy. After an unsuccessful second attempt, we recommend meeting with an advisor to explore alternative academic planning.


    If several students have the same key course GPA as me, how do they get selected from the waitlist?
    In the event two or more students have the identical GPA, It is highly unusual that there are several students with the same key course GPA since all pre-clinical required courses taken prior to candidacy will be included in the ranking. In this unlikely scenario, the PTA program will utilize the TEAS score to determine ranking.


    How and which term should I apply for Candidacy?
    Candidacy occurs twice a year during the first session of the school semester. Students can submit applications for candidacy during Fall I and Spring I. The candidacy deadlines are listed on the school calendar and it is the student’s responsibility to apply for candidacy on time. Please email the HealthSci@lagcc.cuny.edu to request a candidacy form and to request further instructions on where to submit your application for candidacy.


    What are the pre-clinical courses for the PTA program? Which courses are students specifically ranked on?
    The PTA Program requires the minimum of four key courses to apply. The key courses are weighted higher for ranking. However, any required courses taken prior to candidacy will also be included for the ranking.


    What if a grade of C- is received in a pre-clinical class for each of the programs?
    Students must have a minimum of 2.50 in all the key courses to be considered for the PTA program. Please note: students are not permitted to repeat any course with a grade of C or above. In addition, the original grade in any pre-clinical courses required for the PTA major, are averaged into the ranking along with the repeated grade. This includes transfer credit grades.


    Which classes need to be completed or in the process of being complete when applying for candidacy? Which class can be taken during the shorter sessions when a student has already applied for candidacy?
    For the PTA Programs, Complete at minimum, all four key courses (ENG101, SSY101, SCB203, and MAT120 or 115) to apply for candidacy. Students may select any of the remaining pre-clinical required courses in the session II following candidacy. However, it is recommended that accepted students finish their SCB204 in the session I prior to starting the Technical phase.


    Can students apply for more than one candidacy program at a time?
    The PTA Programs only allowed one candidacy at the time and it must match the intended major


    What happens if you don't get accepted two times into a candidacy program?
    After an unsuccessful second attempt, we recommend meeting with an advisor to explore alternative academic planning.


    Which semester would students is taking the day and which semester would students be taking night clinical classes for PTA?
    PTA does not have night program.


    Is SCB 204 required to be taken before entering Technical phase of PTA? Do you need to receive a grade of C or better?
    The PTA Program requires that you finish SCB204 and all preclinical coursework with a C or better grade before the start of the Technical and Clinical Phases of the program.


    Is there a volunteer requirement for PTA before entering Technical phase of program? How many hours?
    Accepted students must complete a minimum of 50 hours of volunteer work in a facility where a physical therapist is supervising the student. A letter of completion from the facility on facility’s stationary and signed by supervisor is required before starting the first session in the Technical Phase.


    How many students apply for each program and are accepted each semester/year?
    While the PTA Programs varied their number of applicants each semester, applicant pools are usually around 50. Up to 20 students may be accepted into PTA Program.


    When will students find out if they have been accepted into clinical phase of each program?
    Students will be notified of the results during session II of the semester of candidacy application.

    An electronic portfolio (ePortfolio) is a personal website given to every registered LaGuardia student. An ePortfolio not only helps you set educational and career goals, it is also a tool for reflective learning that can help you learn about yourself. LaGuardia is widely recognized for its innovative, comprehensive ePortfolio program; visit the ePortfolio site to learn more.


    Learn more about the PTA Program on our students’ e Portfolios:


    Andrea Villalobos
    Emily Long
    Karolina Podkalicki
    Kerry Goff
    Willie Tran