In an effort to simplify the application process for prospective Physical Therapy Assistant students, the American Physical Therapy Association launched its newest centralized application service, the Physical Therapist Assistant Centralized Application Service (PTACAS) in June of 2020.
The 2021-2022 PTACAS Application will be open from September 15, 2021 – August 31, 2022.
[Include 'Apply Now' Button here – link to https://ptacas.liaisoncas.com]
PTACAS Participating Programs
PTACAS is open to all PTA education programs holding accredited and candidate for accreditation status with the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE). To view a list of programs currently participating in PTACAS, please visit the PTACAS Participating Programs page [link to new PTACAS Participating Programs page].
Application Fees and Fee Waiver Program
PTACAS charges an application processing fee of $25 for each program applied to. The application fee for each program is paid at the time of submission via debit or credit only, and must be paid through our online payment system. Payments cannot be accepted over the phone. Note: Some programs may have an additional supplemental application fee charged outside of our system. PTACAS has no control over these fees, and does not set, monitor, or collect any program-specific supplemental fees.
PTACAS Fee Waiver Program
Beginning at the start of each application cycle, a limited number of fee waivers are provided to qualified applicants on a first-come, first-served basis. Each fee waiver covers the initial application fee only. Approved applicants wishing to apply to additional programs are responsible for the remaining balance due for each additional program to which they apply. If an applicant has previously received a fee waiver during a prior application cycle, they may still apply for a new fee waiver during in the current cycle.
More information on PTACAS Fee Waivers, including the low income levels for each application cycle, can be found in the PTACAS Application Fees and Fee Waivers section of the PTACAS Applicant Help Center.
To qualify for a fee waiver, you must have either:
- Filed a Federal Income Tax Return Form 1040, 1040A, or 1040EZ in the most recent tax filing year which shows an adjusted gross income that falls below the Low Income Levels listed on the PTCAS Application Fees and Fee Waivers page, or
- Been listed as a dependent on a Federal Income Tax Return Form 1040, 1040A, or 1040EZ filed in the most recent tax filing year showing an adjusted gross income that falls below the Low Income Level listed on the PTCAS Application Fees and Fee Waivers
Note: If an applicant was claimed as a dependent by a parent or guardian on their most recent Federal Income Tax Return, PTCAS requires the applicant to use that individual's Federal Income Tax Return instead of their own.
Additionally, applicants must request a fee waiver before submitting their application. Requests received after an application has been submitted will not be honored.
Applicants approved for a fee waiver must submit their application within 14 days (including holidays and weekends). Extensions will not be granted. Failure to submit the application on time will void the fee waiver and the applicant will not be allowed to reapply for an additional waiver during the current application cycle.
There are many important dates for applicants to be aware of throughout the PTACAS application cycle each year. Expand the Important Dates for Applicants section below to see a list of the most important dates, or visit the CAS Annual Calendar page [link to CAS Annual Calendar Page] for all important dates.
PTACAS Important Dates for Applicants
Below are the most important dates applicants should be aware of in the current application cycle.
- September 15, 2021: PTACAS Application Opens
- December 15, 2021: Academic Update Opens
- February 15, 2022: Academic Update Closes
- May 4, 2022: Academic Update Period 2 Opens
- August 31, 2022: PTACAS Application and Academic Update Period 2 Both Close
Prepare to Apply
It is important to understand the PTACAS application process and required steps prior to starting your application. Applicants are encouraged to visit the Starting Your PTACAS Application and PTACAS Quick Start Guide and FAQ's in the PTACAS Applicant Help Center as well as to review the PTACAS Policies and PTACAS Applicant Responsibilities sections of this page prior to starting their application.
PTACAS has several policies and requirements applicants should be aware of prior to completing an application. The list below comprises the most important of these policies and requirements and is not meant to be all-encompassing. Applicants are encouraged to review the content in the PTACAS Applicant Help Center for an exhaustive list of all application requirements.
Applicants are required to create only one PTACAS account and use this single account to apply to all PTACAS-participating programs to which they are interested in applying. Applicants discovered to have multiple PTSCAS accounts will have duplicate accounts suspended.
High School and Colleges Attended
Applicants are required to enter on their application all high schools and postsecondary colleges or universities attended, regardless of whether courses completed at the institution were used to obtain a degree, are required for admission to their selected PTA education programs, or were transferred to another institution. This includes any international institutions, nondegree programs, community colleges, and dual-enrollment programs during high school in which college credit was earned. Each institution should be entered only once regardless of gaps in attendance or number of degrees earned.
If the PTA program(s) to which an applicant is applying require official postsecondary transcripts, applicants must arrange for PTACAS to receive an official transcript from every postsecondary college or university attended in the United States, as well as from each English-speaking institutions in Canada. Applications will not be considered complete or be processed for programs that require official transcripts until all official transcripts are received. Electronic transcripts are preferred, though hard copy transcripts sent directly by the registrar to PTCAS are accepted. NOTE: Not all PTA education programs participating in PTACAS require official transcripts, as some accept applicant-uploaded unofficial copies, or do not collect transcripts at all.
If the PTA program(s) to which an applicant is applying require entry of all coursework, every attempt of postsecondary courses taken at U.S. or English-speaking Canadian institutions must be entered on their PTACAS application, regardless of whether the course was required for a degree or will be used to meet the prerequisite requirements of a PTA education program to which they are applying. All attempts of all courses must be entered including those that were attempted but not completed, failed, repeated, withdrawn, or taken on a pass/fair or credit/no credit basis. NOTE: Not all PTA education programs participating in PTACAS require entry of all coursework, as some require only prerequisite courses to be entered while others do not require any coursework to be entered.
Grade Point Averages (GPAs)
If an applicant is applying to one or more PTACAS-participating programs that requires entry of all coursework, PTACAS will calculate a standardized set of GPAs to help those programs evaluate applicants using uniform criteria. PTACAS GPAs may differ from those calculated on applicant transcripts due to the grade standardization process. PTA education programs are not obligated to the PTACAS provided GPAs and may calculate their own GPAs for use in the application review process. PTACAS GPAs include:
- Courses from postsecondary colleges and universities in the United States, as well as English-speaking Canadian institutions
- All attempts of courses completed for a grade, regardless of whether they were repeated for a better grade or not.
- Study-abroad courses if they are reported on a U.S. transcript with a grade.
- Failed courses.
- Courses with a grade of 'Withdrawn Failing' or 'WF' (calculated as an 'F').
PTACAS GPAs do not include:
- International (foreign) coursework.
- Advanced Placement (AP) coursework.
- College Level Exam Placement (CLEP) coursework.
- Audited courses.
- Deferred courses.
- Courses where credit was earned by completion of an institutional or departmental exam.
- International Baccalaureate (IB) coursework.
- Incomplete courses.
- Courses taken on a 'Pass/Fail' or 'Credit/No Credit' basis.
- Withdrawn courses.
PTACAS deadlines are all posted in Eastern Time. The application for each program will close at 11:59pm ET on the stated deadline date without variation or exception for alternate time zones. Applicants are advised to apply early as processing occurs in chronological order of when applications become complete and enter the queue for processing. Processing takes, on average, up to two weeks to complete. Applicants will receive notification once their application has been processed.
A program may deny your application if your transcripts or other materials arrive late. If you submit your application prior to a program's deadline, PTACAS will process and release your application to the program even if your materials arrive after the deadline. PTACAS is not responsible for any materials lost in the mail, or for delays caused by the U.S. Postal Service, third-party shipping companies, or institutional registrar offices. Express or certified mail does not guarantee expedited processing, nor does sending documents via these methods guarantee receipt by PTACAS. PTACAS does not accept documents in person in our offices under any circumstances.
Application Fee Payment
All PTACAS application fees must be paid online via credit or debit card at the time of application submission. PTCAS does not accept cash, check, or money order for application fee payment.
PTACAS does not share final admissions statuses or decisions with applicants at any time. Each individual PTA education program to which an applicant applies will share any admission status updates with the applicant directly.
PTACAS Applicant Responsibilities
Applicants to physical therapist assistant education programs through PTACAS are expected to abide by certain rules and requirements as a part of the application process. These expectations are laid out in each of the sections below.
Professionalism and Core Values
Applicants are expected to act professionally in all of their dealings with PTACAS staff and their physical therapist assistant education programs. Applicants must properly follow all instructions and meet all deadlines. Responsibility, respect, good judgement, and cooperation are qualities valued by the physical therapy profession; applicants are expected to demonstrate these qualities beginning with the application process.
In addition to acting professionally, APTA has identified seven core values that define the critical elements of professionalism in physical therapy. These core values are listed below in alphabetical order with no preference or ranking given to them. The seven values identified were of sufficient breadth and depth to incorporate the many values and attributes that are part of physical therapist professionalism.
- Professional Duty
- Social Responsibility
Applicants are encouraged to read more about each of the seven core values by visiting the APTA webpage devoted to the core values. Doing so will help applicants to understand the definition and sample indicators for each core value, including a description of what the physical therapist assistant would be doing in practice, education, and/or research if these core values were present.
Additional Applicant Expectations
In addition to the expectation that applicants act with professionalism throughout the application process, applicants are also expected to meet the additional expectations listed below:
- Act with honesty and integrity throughout the admissions process.
- Communicate professionally and promptly with PTACAS and PTA education programs when requested.
- Be responsible and accountable for your actions.
- Research the admission prerequisites and requirements for each selected program prior to applying.
- Abide by all deadlines posted by PTACAS and selected programs.
- Create only one PTACAS application.
- Enter accurate and comprehensive data into the PTACAS application.
- Arrange for PTACAS to receive all required official transcripts promptly upon account creation.
- Arrange for all additional or supplemental materials to be provided to PTACAS or the program, as required.
- Download and save a copy of your PTACAS application for each program upon submission.
- Frequently check the receipt status for of all materials sent to PTACAS by logging in to your application and notify PTACAS promptly of any missing items.
- Frequently check for notification from PTACAS in the email account used to create your PTACAS account, as well as directly in your PTCAS application.
- Promptly enter any changes to your name, contact information, residency information, or visa status into your PTCAS application.
PTACAS Certification and Authorization Statement
Prior to submitting the PTCAS application, individuals will be required to indicate their understanding and acceptance of the terms described below:
- I certify, as required in the application, that I have read and understand all application instructions, including the provisions which note that I am responsible for monitoring and ensuring the progress of my application.
- I certify that I have read and will abide by all program-specific instructions for my designated physical therapist assistant programs.
- I certify that all the information and statements I have provided in this application are current, correct, and complete to the best of my knowledge.
- I certify that the information on my application represent my own work.
- I understand that withholding information requested on the PTACAS application, or giving false information, may be grounds for denial of admission to a program participating in PTACAS or may be grounds for expulsion from the institution after I have been admitted.
- I acknowledge that a program that makes an offer of acceptance to me will also know the number of offers I have received and accepted at other programs in PTACAS. While the admissions cycle is open, my designated programs will not know the total number of programs I selected on the application or other (non-acceptance) admission decisions made by other programs in PTACAS.
- I acknowledge that if I start classes at a PTA program, my other designated programs in which my application is still under consideration will be able to view matriculation status, if reported to PTACAS.
- I acknowledge that in October after the end of the PTACAS admissions cycle, only my designated programs will be able to view to what other programs I applied via PTACAS and the final admission decision reported by each program.
- I agree, understand and consent to PTACAS and the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) releasing my de-identified application data that does not contain personally identifiable information, as set forth in the PTACAS privacy statement, and admission decisions submitted to PTACAS by my designated PTA education programs to third party health and education organizations for educational research purposes (including surveys). Such educational research is conducted for the purpose of improving PTA education and admissions.
- I acknowledge and agree that my sole remedy in the event of any proven errors or omissions related to the handling or processing of my application by PTACAS is to obtain a refund of my PTACAS application fee.
List of Quick Access Links
- Link to Existing Content: PTACAS Application
- Link to New Page: PTACAS Participating Programs
- Link to Existing Content: PTACAS Applicant Help Center and Application Instructions
- Link to Existing Content: PTACAS Customer Service
- Link to New Page: CAS Annual Calendar
- Link to Existing Content: APTA Financial Solutions Center