Health Sciences Essential Q&As

The following questions and answers contain essential information you need to know about health sciences admissions. 

What is a curriculum sheet?

Curriculum sheets identify the requirements necessary to apply for and successfully complete a health sciences program (i.e., application period/deadline, application criteria, prerequisite and course requirements). A curriculum sheet is available for each health sciences program.

If you are a current high school student interested in dually enrolling at PCC, you should refer to the curriculum sheets specifically designed for Career and College Promise (CCP) students.

Who is eligible to apply for a health sciences program?

Refer to the curriculum sheets for application criteria and minimum prerequisites needed to apply. Application criteria and minimum prerequisites vary among programs.

Can I apply to more than one health sciences program?

You may apply for a maximum of two programs at one time. However, you will be required to rank your choices in order of preference. If you are accepted into your preferred choice, you will not be considered for your subsequent choice.

What is the deadline to apply for a health sciences program?

Refer to the curriculum sheets for application dates. Application dates vary among programs. Health sciences programs not filled to capacity after the application period may extend their application deadline.

Does applying to a health sciences program require a separate application form from the PCC application for admission?

Yes. You must complete a health sciences application in addition to the PCC application for admission. A health sciences application may not be completed until you have completed a PCC application and the application criteria and minimum prerequisites for your program(s) of interest are met.

Health sciences applications are not available online. You should contact health sciences admissions at 252-493-7473 or hltscadm@email.pittcc.edu when you are ready to apply.

Currently enrolled high school students interested in dually enrolling at PCC should contact 252-493-7411 for assistance with the PCC application process.

How competitive is admission to a health sciences program?

Not all programs utilize a competitive admission process. For those that do, competitiveness depends on the number of applicants and the quality of the application pool. Most of the competitive programs have about 2-3 applicants for every seat available in the program. Competitiveness varies from year to year with each applicant pool.

How many applicants are accepted into health sciences programs each year?

The number of applicants accepted into health sciences programs varies among programs and is subject to change based on accreditation standards and availability of program resources, including but not limited to, clinical placements, campus space, faculty, and funding.

How are applicants selected for admission to a health sciences program?

The Health Sciences Admissions Step-by-Step Guide describes the method used to accept applicants to each program. The process varies among programs.

How does GPA impact admission to a health sciences program?

The GPA calculated for health sciences admissions is referred to as “program” GPA. The curriculum sheets identify the minimum program GPA required to apply to each health sciences program (refer to the curriculum sheets for the courses included in the program GPA calculation). The best grade earned is used to calculate program GPA. Program GPA may be rounded if within 1/100th of meeting the minimum requirement. For example:  A program GPA of 2.45 may be rounded to 2.5.

Grades of D, F, W, or OW are not considered when calculating program GPA.

How are quality points calculated?

Quality points are used to select applicants for admission to the Echocardiography diploma and associates degrees in Cardiovascular Sonography, Emergency Medical Science (EMS), Medical Sonography, Nuclear Medicine (campus program only), Nursing, Occupational Therapy Assistant, Polysomnography, Radiography, and Respiratory Therapy.

To calculate quality points, multiply the number of credit hours for each general education and recommended course successfully completed with a C or better by the quality point value assigned to the grade earned (A=4, B=3, C=2). The best grade earned for general education and recommended courses is used to calculate total quality points.

Points will be deducted from the quality point total for each repeat attempt in anatomy and physiology that is within 10 years counting back from the date of enrollment in the program. OTA applicants applying for admission in spring 2020 are exempt from this point deduction.

Five points will be deducted for each repeat attempt in BIO 163, four points will be deducted for each repeat attempt in BIO 168, and four points will be deducted for each repeat attempt in BIO 169. Unofficial withdrawals (W), official withdrawals (OW), and/or incompletes (I) will count as an attempt.

Applicants may appeal W, OW, and/or I grades to the Health Sciences Dean. If the appeal is granted, the W, OW, and/or I will not count as an attempt. However, the W, OW, and/or I will still appear on your official transcript. To appeal a W, OW, and/or I, an appeals form may be obtained by contacting health sciences admissions at 252-493-7473 or hltscadm@email.pittcc.edu. Documentation/Evidence will be required to substantiate any appeal.

The following examples illustrate potential scenarios for calculating quality points for repeat attempts in Anatomy and Physiology. 

Example 1: BIO 163 is a 5 credit hour course. You earn a C on your first attempt in BIO 163 and a grade of A on your second attempt. Quality points based on the grade of A equals 20 points. You will receive a 5 point deduction for achieving the grade of A on your second attempt, resulting in 15 points being awarded for BIO 163.

Example 2: BIO 168 is a 4 credit hour course. You earn a W on your first attempt in BIO 168 and a grade of B on your second attempt. Quality points based on the grade of B equals 12 points. You will receive a 4 point deduction for achieving the grade of B on your second attempt, resulting in 8 points being awarded for BIO 168.

Example 3: BIO 169 is a 4 credit hour course. You earn a grade of F on your first attempt in BIO 169, a grade of W on your second attempt, and a grade of B on your third attempt. Quality points based on the grade of B equals 12 points. You will receive an 8 point deduction for achieving the grade of B on your third attempt, resulting in 4 points being awarded for BIO 169.

Will the letter grades used to calculate my quality points be based on a 10 point grading scale?

Quality points will be based on the letter grade assigned by the institution awarding the credit. Quality points for high school courses will be based on the letter grade assigned by the high school awarding the credit and using unweighted GPA/quality points. If the letter grade corresponding to the numerical grade or percentage is not noted on the transcript, the institution or high school will be contacted to determine the corresponding letter grade. Letter grades will not be assigned based on the PCC grading policy.

If I received a waiver for ACA 111 or have been awarded AP or CLEP credit for a course, how many quality points will I earn and can I qualify for Bulldog Advantage or being a Pitt County Schools Health Sciences Academy Graduate?

Students who receive a waiver for ACA 111 or are awarded AP or CLEP credit for a course will receive the maximum quality points possible for the respective course. You may also qualify for the Bulldog Advantage or being a Pitt County Schools Health Sciences Academy Graduate if you meet all other required criteria.

I completed the chemistry prerequisite for the Nursing Program in high school. Can I receive points for Bulldog Advantage or being a Pitt County Schools Health Sciences Academy Graduate?

Yes. If all other required criteria are met, you may qualify for Bulldog Advantage or being a Pitt County Schools Health Sciences Academy Graduate.

Do I have to complete the recommended courses to receive points for Bulldog Advantage or being a Pitt County Schools Health Sciences Academy Graduate?

You do not have to complete recommended courses (or achieve a minimum grade if you have completed them) to receive points for Bulldog Advantage or being a Pitt County Schools Health Sciences Academy Graduate.

I have completed a course that might substitute for a required course for my program(s) of interest. Are substitutions allowed and if so, how will my program GPA and quality point calculations be affected?

Course substitutions are permitted for certain general education and recommended courses. You should contact your advisor if you have questions about a potential substitution. A grade of C or better is required in any course used as a substitution.

The grade earned in a substituted course will only be used to calculate program GPA and quality points when you do not have credit for the required course.

I completed Health Science I and II in high school. Can I earn PCC credit for these courses?

The Office of Admissions and Records may award you credit for MED 121-Medical Terminology I and MED 122-Medical Terminology II if you successfully completed Health Science I with a B or better and passed the post assessment exam with a grade of 93 or better.

The Office of Admissions and Records may award you credit for MED 180-CPR Certification and HSC 110-Orientation to Health Careers if you successfully completed Health Science II with a B or better and passed the post assessment exam with a grade of 93 or better.

Do I have to complete all of the general education and recommended courses required for a health sciences program to apply?

You must complete the required minimum prerequisites to apply to your program(s) of interest. Any remaining general education and recommended courses are not required to apply. However, completing additional general education and recommended courses beyond the minimum prerequisites does make you more competitive for admission.

How does PCC break a tie between students who earn the same amount of admission points?

For those applying for programs that use quality points to rank applicants, a tie is broken using program GPA. Should program GPA be the same, applicants will be ranked according to points earned for anatomy and physiology first, followed by cumulative GPA.

In the event of a tie in admissions points for those applying for radiation therapy and medical dosimetry, applicants will be ranked according to application date.

In the event of a tie in GPA for those applying for CT/MRI, applicants will be ranked according to the grade earned in imaging-related physics course.

Do I need a criminal background check to apply to a health sciences program?

You do not need a criminal background check to apply to a health sciences program. However, clinical facilities may require criminal background checks, drug screenings, credit checks, professional license checks, and/or proof of US citizenship prior to or during participation in the clinical portion of a program. Any expenses associated with these requirements are the responsibility of the student. Pending the outcome, clinical facilities may deny a student the opportunity to complete the clinical portion of a program. A student who is unable to complete the clinical portion of a program will not be able to graduate.

Is CPR certification required to apply to a health sciences program?

CPR certification is a requirement to apply for most health sciences programs. Refer to the curriculum sheets to confirm this requirement. If required, instructions for submitting documentation will be included in the acceptance letter.

For programs requiring MED 180-CPR Certification, articulated credit may be awarded by the program director if you hold a BLS Certification issued by the American Heart Association that is active at the time of enrollment in the program.

What CPR certifications are acceptable?

BLS Certification from the American Heart Association is the only CPR certification accepted.

Is Nurse Aide required to apply to a health sciences program?

Successful completion of a Nurse Aide I class is not required to apply but is required to enroll in the Medical Sonography, Cardiovascular Sonography, Echocardiography, and Nuclear Medicine programs. The Nurse Aide I class must include a minimum of 32 clinical hours.

Nurse Aide I classes with fewer than 32 clinical hours of training and Home Companion Aide courses do not meet the requirement. Successful completion of the Nurse Aide I exam is not required. Successful completion of the Nurse Aide I exam without completing a Nurse Aide I class (with 32 or more hours of clinical training) does not meet the requirement.

HSE 215-Health Care is not offered at PCC. However, if you have successfully completed this course at another community college, it will satisfy the Nurse Aide I requirement. Successful completion of Nursing Fundamentals in high school will also satisfy this requirement.

You should not wait until notification of acceptance to one of these programs to take the nurse aide class as this class takes many weeks to complete.

Will letters of recommendation help me be selected for admission to a health sciences program?

Applicants for the Radiation Therapy and Medical Dosimetry programs require two letters of recommendation. Letters of recommendation are not recognized by other health sciences programs and will not be accepted by the health sciences admissions specialists.

Does PCC have “waiting lists” for their health sciences programs?

No. Health sciences applications are accepted each year. Applicants not accepted will need to re-apply the following year.

When will I be notified of my application status?

Notification varies depending upon the program to which you apply. A health sciences admissions specialist will make you aware of when to expect notification when you complete your health sciences application. Most fall start programs will mail out notification letters in late June.

How will I be notified of my admission status?

You will be notified by mail of your admission status. For extenuating circumstances, you may be notified of your acceptance via your myPittcc email account and phone message.

Health sciences admissions specialists will only use the contact information on file in the Office of Admissions & Records for corresponding with applicants. Failure to provide accurate and updated contact information to the Office of Admission and Records may prevent continued processing of your health sciences application which could jeopardize your admission to a program.

You should check your myPittcc email account for updates on a regular basis.

Once I receive notification I am accepted into a health sciences program, what are my next steps?

Next steps will be included with your acceptance packet. Some of the next steps will have deadlines prior to your enrollment in the program. Therefore, it is important you open your acceptance packet immediately and respond accordingly. Failure to meet the required deadlines will forfeit your seat in the program.

What do I do if I’m not accepted into my health sciences program(s) of interest?

Contact your faculty advisor for an appointment to re-evaluate your career goals and educational plan. They can advise you on your options for becoming more competitive next year as well as assist you in exploring alternative career opportunities that are available.

I have completed all the application criteria, minimum prerequisites, and general education course requirements for my health sciences program(s) of interest and it will be a semester or more before I know if I am accepted. Is there something I can do short term that will benefit me in a health sciences program while I wait for notification?

You may explore some of the health care offerings through PCC’s Continuing Education Division such as Nurse Aide or Phlebotomy. Successful completion of one of these offerings can be a great learning experience for anyone interested in a health career and may potentially lead to part-time employment opportunity that could be maintained once accepted into a health sciences program.

Will I be a full-time student once I enroll in a health sciences program?

Students who have completed all of the general education requirements prior to enrolling in a health sciences program will likely not be considered full-time students (based on credit hours) every semester once enrolled in a health sciences program.

What kind of class schedule can I expect once I enroll in a health sciences program?

Once students enroll in a health sciences program, they can generally expect to be in class, lab, and clinical practice four to five full days per week. Students may be assigned days, evenings, nights, weekdays, or weekend clinical rotations depending on assignment. Due to the nature of the program, Polysomnography students complete most clinical practice experiences at night.

Is a physical examination required before I can complete clinical practice?

Yes. All students admitted to a health sciences program are required to have a physical examination and submit a completed medical form. A record of appropriate immunizations is also required to be submitted with the medical form.

Do I provide my own transportation to clinical practice experiences?

Most health sciences programs utilize a variety of clinical sites for clinical practice experiences and students must prepare to commute to the clinical sites as assigned. Some clinical sites are located outside Pitt County.

PCC does not coordinate transportation to the clinical sites or provide funding or reimbursement for transportation costs.

Can I work while I’m enrolled in a health sciences program?

It is challenging for most students to work while enrolled in a health sciences program. For this reason, students are discouraged from working full-time. Students who work while enrolled in a health sciences program must be able to balance work and study. Students’ work hours must be scheduled to accommodate class, lab, and clinical practice hours. Class, lab, and clinical practice hours are not scheduled to accommodate students’ work hours.

Students may not work any shift immediately preceding a clinical practice experience. Any student who violates this policy will be asked to leave the clinical facility and given an absence for the clinical day. Sleep impairment on the part of the student is a detriment to patient safety.

How soon will I find a job once I complete a health sciences program?

Employment is often found within six months following graduation from most health sciences programs. PCC does not guarantee job availability upon graduation from any health sciences program. Students should not expect to always find employment in the local area.

Will a criminal history impact my ability to get a job in healthcare?

Criminal background checks, drug screenings, credit checks, professional license checks, and/or proof of US citizenship may be required after graduation by examination boards, state licensing boards, and employing agencies. Pending the outcome, a graduate may be disqualified from examination eligibility, state licensure, and/or employment.