Answers to Common Questions for Health Science & Nursing Students

Here are the answers to a few of the common questions students ask us before they embark on their journeys into the rewarding field of health care.

Q. When will I be able to apply for the program?

You can apply to get started on your general education classes at any time, but applications for admission to the clinical parts of the programs are open in May and September, since each program begins either in the fall semester or the spring semester.

Before you can apply to the clinical part of any Health Science or Nursing program, you have to be "program-ready".

Not all programs accept students at the same times, so check with your advisor to see when your program accepts new students.

You can also check the dates online in our Health Science and Nursing Resources section.

Q. How do I get Program-ready?

To be "program-ready" means you've taken all of your general education courses – like English, math and biology – and earned the required GPA.

The specific requirements vary from program to program, based on which general education courses are most beneficial for professionals in that field. Program ready course requirements are listed on each program's Web page, as well as in the college's yearly course catalog.

Some programs also require successful completion of a specific test, such as the WorkKeys test for students entering respiratory care.

Q. Should I apply Merit or Program-ready?

With the exception of Associate Degree Nursing, which is Merit-only, there are two paths to the clinical stages of PTC's associate degree and diploma programs: Merit and Program-ready.

Program-ready means you have met all of the requirements to enter the program, but your application is based on your original date of application to Piedmont Tech. Students who have been enrolled the longest are given first priority.

The Merit application is based on a point system that measures your level as a student. Points are given for HOBET scores, SAT or ACT scores, prior degrees and certifications, general education grades and overall GPA.

If you think you have the points, it is recommended that you apply through Merit. Applying to the program through Merit or program-ready is a personal choice. It is more competitive, but a strong student won’t have to wait as long to get into their desired program.

Certificate programs are Program-ready only.

Q. What have some of the scores for past students who got into my program been? Is there a minimum score I need on the Merit application to get in?

Data for all students who have been accepted into the health science and nursing programs is posted on the Health Science and Nursing Resource page on the PTC website.

There is no minimum score for entry with the Merit application. Each program has a set number of spots for Merit applicants. If there are 10 spots available, the top 10 applicants will be accepted.

Q. When should I take the HOBET?

When you take the HOBET is up to you. Each student knows how strong they are in math and English and when they’re ready.

For nursing students, a minimum score of 65 percent in the mathematics and reading sections of the test are required to be eligible for clinical entry. HOBET is not currently required for any health science program, but a good score can boost your Merit application.

For more information on the specific requirements for the programs, check out the Health Science and Nursing Resources page at  or talk to your advisor.