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Physical Therapy Assistant Programs in North Carolina

North Carolina has nine colleges that offer physical therapist assistant programs. Learn about the programs, tuition info, and program options for these schools to make an informed education decision.

Essential Information

North Carolina has numerous programs that are accredited through the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE). All programs discussed in this article are available at community colleges, and degrees are offered at the associate level. Most programs require students to complete 70-76 credit hours, and many integrate clinical experiences.


Caldwell Community College and Technical Institute

Caldwell Community College and Technical Institute is located in Hudson and offers a physical therapist assistant associate degree. The program focuses on areas involving human anatomy and physiology, disease and injury, and patient conditions. Courses in the program cover topics in neurological rehabilitation, therapeutic exercise, wellness and prevention, and healthcare resources. Students are required to complete four clinical requirements.

Central Piedmont Community College

Located in Charlotte, Central Piedmont Community College offers a physical therapist assistant associate degree program that features courses in rehabilitation, pathology, neuro-rehabilitation, therapeutic procedures, and therapeutic exercise. These courses teach students about physical therapy treatments, patient conditions, and human anatomy. Students are also required to participate in several PTA clinical experiences.

Craven Community College

Craven Community College is located in New Bern and awards a physical therapist assistant associate degree. The program is 72 credits in length and takes five semesters to complete. Courses include functional anatomy, therapeutic exercise, physical therapy procedures, geriatrics, and pediatrics. Three clinical education requirements are also part of the program.

Fayetteville Technical Community College

Based in Fayetteville, this technical college offers a 73-credit physical therapist assistant associate degree program. The program lasts five semesters and includes coursework in therapeutic exercise, physical therapy procedures, clinical education, and professional interactions.

Guilford Technical Community College

This Jamestown-based community college requires students to complete 72 credits to earn the Physical Therapist Assistant Associate in Applied Science. Course topics include therapeutic exercise, therapeutic procedures, and neurological rehabilitation. Students are required to complete four PTA clinical requirements. The program ensures that students understand how to assist with treatment plans, communicate in a professional setting, and respond to emergency situations.

Martin Community College

Martin Community College is located in Williamston and awards an Associate in Applied Science in Physical Therapy Assistant. The program teaches students how to use ultrasound equipment, electrical stimulation, treadmills, and whirlpools. Courses cover topics in physical therapy procedures, functional anatomy, therapeutic exercise, pathophysiology, and clinical education.

Nash Community College

Situated in Rocky Mount, Nash Community College offers a 73-credit physical therapy associate degree program. Coursework includes instruction in neurological resources, professional interactions, therapeutic exercises, therapeutic procedures, and professional interactions. Students are also required to participate in four PTA clinical education courses.

Southwestern Community College

Located in Sylva, Southwestern Community College offers a physical therapist assistant associate degree program that prepares students to work with physical therapists in restoring function to patients living with physical ailments. The program ensures that students have an understanding of physical therapy procedures, functional anatomy, therapeutic exercise, pediatrics, geriatrics, and PTA issues. The clinical education requirements are fulfilled at medical facilities.

Surry Community College

Surry Community College in Dobson admits 16 students into its physical therapist assistant program each year. The 76-credit program covers topics in physical therapy issues, physical therapy procedures, therapeutic exercise, functional anatomy, and geriatrics.

Career Requirements

Physical therapist assistants in North Carolina are required to earn an associate degree and obtain licensure by passing the National Physical Therapy Exam. The NC Board of Physical Therapy Examiners oversees the licensing process in the state. The programs profiled below all prepare students for licensure.

School Comparison: At a Glance

School Name School Type and Setting Physical Therapy Assistant Programs Offered Undergraduate Tuition and Fees (2015-2016)
Caldwell Community College and Technical Institute Two-year, public; midsize suburb Associate in Applied Science in Physical Therapist Assistant $2,444 in-state, $8,588 out-of-state*
Central Piedmont Community College Two-year, public; large city Associate in Applied Science in Physical Therapist Assistant $2,664 in-state, $8,808 out-of-state*
Craven Community College Two-year, public; small city Associate in Applied Science in Physical Therapist Assistant $1,927 in-state, $6,535 out-of-state*
Fayetteville Technical Community College Two-year, public; midsize city Associate in Applied Science in Physical Therapist Assistant $2,394 in-state, $8,538 out-of-state*
Guilford Technical Community College Two-year, public; midsize suburb Associate in Applied Science in Physical Therapist Assistant $2,064 in-district, $2,208 in-state, $7,056 out-of-state*
Martin Community College Two-year, public; fringe rural Associate in Applied Science in Physical Therapy Assistant $1,838 in-state, $6,446 out-of-state*
Nash Community College Two-year, public; fringe rural Associate of Applied Science in Physical Therapy Assistant $2,504 in-state, $8,648 out-of-state*
Southwestern Community College Two-year, public; distant town Associate in Applied Science in Physical Therapist Assistant $2,100 in-state, $7,476 out-of-state*
Surry Community College Two-year, public; distant rural Associate in Applied Science in Physical Therapist Assistant $2,476 in-state, $8,620 out-of-state*

Source: *NCES College Navigator.

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