Top Schools for Physical Therapist Assistants

Learn about physical therapist assistant programs at three top colleges and universities. Also, find a list of other schools that provide training for physical therapy assistants.

School Information

Physical therapist assistant (PTA) programs typically lead to an associate degree and include courses in anatomy, kinesiology and rehabilitation procedures. Aspiring PTAs can find programs at St. Catherine University, the University of Indianapolis and Louisiana College, each of which has been cited by U.S. News & World Report or the Washington Monthly for the quality of its academic programs. Graduates of physical therapist assistant programs are positioned to take the National Physical Therapy Exam and acquire state licensure, if necessary.

1. St. Catherine University in Minneapolis, MN

School Highlight: Partnership between physical therapist assistant program and Doctor of Physical Therapy program affords interaction and learning opportunities

In 2015, U.S. News & World Report ranked St. Catherine University 13th among regional schools in the Midwest. A private Catholic school, St. Catherine's has campuses in St. Paul and Minneapolis. At its Minneapolis campus, the university offers an Associate of Applied Science in Physical Therapy Assisting. This unique program allows students to learn alongside doctoral students of the university's physical therapy program.

2. University of Indianapolis in Indianapolis, IN

School Highlight: The University of Indianapolis' physical therapy assisting classes are offered in the evening

The University of Indianapolis ranked 26th among regional Midwestern colleges in 2015, according to U.S. News & World Report. The school's physical therapist assistant program has a selective admissions process and awards an Associate in Science. Accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE), the program takes two years to complete and offers its technical courses in the evenings and general education courses during the day.

3. Louisiana College in Pineville, LA

School Highlight: 90% of students at Louisiana College receive financial aid.

Louisiana College is a private, Baptist college that was ranked 69th among baccalaureate schools by Washington Monthly in 2011. The school offers a physical therapist assistant program that culminates in an Associate of Applied Science. Requirements include one year of general education classes followed by one year of technical study. During the final three semesters of study, students also participate in experiential practicums.

Top Physical Therapist Assistant Schools in the U.S.

School Name Distinction Location
California University of Pennsylvania Admittance to the technical portion of the PTA program is contingent upon academic performance in the first semester California, PA
College of Southern Nevada School offers an honors program Las Vegas, NV
Idaho State University Free annual healthcare conference for students Pocatello, ID
Mercyhurst North East Physical therapy training lab includes mechanical lift, hydrotherapy tanks and balance boards North East, PA
Missouri Western State University 90% employment of its students six months after graduation is one of the goals of the program St. Joseph, MO
University of Saint Francis - Fort Wayne Students use human patient simulator for practical learning Fort Wayne, IN
Washburn University Physical Therapy Club Topeka, KS

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