Health Sciences Essential FAQ’s
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 or enroll in a health sciences program. Curriculum sheets also identify the courses necessary to complete a health sciences program. 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?
Due to limited seats available, the following programs utilize a competitive admissions process and require students to complete a special application (separate from the PCC application): Cardiovascular Sonography, CT/MRI, Dental Assisting, Emergency Medical Science, Medical Dosimetry, Medical Sonography, Nuclear Medicine Technology (campus degree option), Nursing, Occupational Therapy Assistant, Polysomnography (degree option), Radiation Therapy, Radiography, and Respiratory Therapy. Students interested in any of these programs must meet the respective application criteria and minimum prerequisites necessary to apply and submit a health sciences application by the program’s application deadline.
Admission to Advanced Medical Coding, Emergency Medical Science (bridge option), Health Information Technology, Mammography, Medical Assisting, Nuclear Medicine Technology (online degree and diploma options), Positron Emission Tomography, and Polysomnography (bridge and certificate options) is not competitive. Students may enroll in one of these programs once enrollment requirements are met.
Refer to the curriculum sheets for the requirements needed to apply for or enroll in a health sciences program. Requirements vary among programs.
What is TEAS and how is it used for admission to a health sciences program?
The Test of Essential Academic Skills (TEAS), developed by Assessment Technologies Institute (ATI), determines a student’s preparedness for entering a health sciences profession. All students applying for admission to the Nursing, Radiography, Respiratory Therapy, Medical Sonography, Cardiovascular Sonography, and Occupational Therapy Assistant Programs are required to take the TEAS. No minimum total score is required to apply. However, applicants will be awarded points toward admission based on the total score earned. For applicants who have taken TEAS more than once, the highest total score earned will be used for the point calculation.
For more information about how points are calculated, refer to the program’s curriculum sheet. The TEAS Testing Guide will provide you with more information about the test and how to prepare and register for it.
May I apply to more than one health sciences program?
You may apply for a maximum of two competitive-based health sciences 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 competitive-based 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.
Applications will be accepted by 5 p.m. on the next business day if the deadline to apply for a program falls on a weekend, holiday, or when the campus is closed.
Does applying to a competitive-based 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 submitted 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 email@example.com 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.
Am I required to attend an information session to apply to a competitive-based health sciences program?
You are required to attend an information session if you are applying to Cardiovascular Sonography, Dental Assisting, Emergency Medical Science, Medical Sonography, Nuclear Medicine Technology (campus degree option), Nursing, Occupational Therapy Assistant, Polysomnography (degree option), Radiography, and/or Respiratory Therapy. Information sessions are specific to the program; therefore, you must attend an information session for each program to which you apply.
During the information session, you will meet with respective program faculty and gain valuable insight about the health career, program expectations, course schedules, clinical sites and requirements, costs, final admissions steps, etc.
You will be invited to register for the information session(s) upon receipt of your health sciences application(s).
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 the 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 curriculum sheets describe the method used to accept applicants to each competitive-based health sciences 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 your “program” GPA. The curriculum sheets identify if a minimum program GPA is required to apply to a health sciences program (and the courses included in the program GPA calculation). The best grade earned is used to calculate the 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 Dental Assisting diploma and associate degrees in Cardiovascular Sonography, Emergency Medical Science, 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. Students awarded a grade of pass, PC19, or equivalent in a course will receive the same amount of quality points as if a C was earned. If more points are desired, evidence of the actual grade earned must be submitted with the transcript, or the course must be repeated for a higher grade.
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.
Students awarded a grade of pass, PC19, or equivalent in a course will be calculated into GPA as if a C was earned.
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 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 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. Will I receive points for being a Pitt County Schools Health Sciences Academy Graduate?
Yes. If all other required criteria are met, you may qualify to be a Pitt County Schools Health Sciences Academy Graduate.
Do I have to complete the recommended courses to receive points for 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 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 competitive-based 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 to the Nursing, Radiography, Respiratory Therapy, Medical Sonography, Cardiovascular Sonography, and Occupational Therapy Assistant Programs, a tie is broken using the total score on TEAS. Should the total score on TEAS be the same, applicants will be ranked according to program GPA. Should GPA be the same, applicants will be ranked according to points earned for anatomy and physiology first, followed by cumulative GPA.
For those applying to Dental Assisting, Emergency Medical Science, Nuclear Medicine (campus program only), and Polysomnography, a tie is broken using program GPA. Should the 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 the 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 the imaging-related physics course.
Do I need a criminal background check to apply to or enroll in a health sciences program?
You do not need a criminal background check to apply to or enroll in 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?
Basic Life Support (BLS) Certification issued by the American Heart Association is a requirement to apply for or enroll in most health sciences programs. Refer to the curriculum sheets to confirm this requirement.
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.
Please note that some organizations promote that their CPR courses follow American Heart Association guidelines, but the certification awarded upon completing the course is not issued by the American Heart Association. Be sure any CPR course you complete awards a BLS Certification issued by the American Heart Association. BLS Certification issued by any other organization is not accepted.
Is Nurse Aide required to apply to or enroll in 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, 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 for 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 to 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 competitive-based health sciences programs and will not be accepted by the health sciences admissions specialists.
Does PCC have “waiting lists” for their competitive-based 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 regarding acceptance into a competitive-based health sciences program varies depending upon the program to which you apply. A health sciences admissions specialist will inform you when to expect notification when completing your health sciences application. Most fall start programs will mail out notification letters in late April.
How will I be notified of my admission status?
You will be notified by email of your admission status into a competitive-based health sciences program. For extenuating circumstances, you may be notified of your acceptance via phone message. You should check your myPittcc email account and voicemail for updates on a regular basis. Please make sure your voicemail is set up.
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 the continued processing of your health sciences application, which could jeopardize your admission to a program.
Once I receive notification I am accepted into a competitive-based health sciences program, what are my next steps?
The 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 review the content of 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 competitive-based 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 available alternative career opportunities.
I have completed all the application criteria, minimum prerequisites, and general education course requirements for my competitive-based 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 PCC’s non-credit, short-term health care offerings such as Nurse Aide, Pharmacy Technician, 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 opportunities 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. Students will not be approved to take extra classes that are not a part of the health sciences program of study for financial aid purposes.
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 the 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.
Are immunizations (vaccines) required before I can complete clinical practice? Can I be exempted from required immunizations (vaccines)?
Yes. A record of appropriate immunizations is required to be submitted with the medical form. A record of immunizations, including, but not limited to, an annual Influenza vaccine and the COVID-19 vaccine, must be included with the medical form. A medical or religious exemption for vaccines must be approved by the clinical site(s). PCC does not grant vaccine exemptions in lieu of the clinical site(s) and does not guarantee vaccine exemptions will be approved by the clinical site(s).
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.
Students may not receive any form of compensation in exchange for work they perform incidental to their clinical coursework or experiences. Students are not to complete clinical coursework while working as an employee at a clinical facility.
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 by examination boards, state licensing boards, and employing agencies after graduation. Pending the outcome, a graduate may be disqualified from examination eligibility, state licensure, and/or employment.
Does completion of a health sciences program qualify me to get a job in other states?
Health sciences programs at PCC that prepare students for professional licensure are designed to prepare a student to apply for applicable licensure in North Carolina. In order to ensure whether the health sciences program meets the requirements for professional licensure outside North Carolina, PCC recommends contacting the program director before enrolling in the program.
Not all health sciences professions require professional licensure or are state regulated.