Individuals can receive physical therapy assistant education and training through associate's degree programs, a range of which are offered in PA. Such programs include general education classes, traditional instruction in classroom setting, and lab work. In addition to academic coursework, students in a PTA program have an opportunity to gain professional experience in a clinical setting.
Butler County Community College
Located in the city of Butler, Butler County Community College offers a Physical Therapist Assistant Associate in Applied Science program that requires students to complete a minimum of 70 credits. Students take courses in patient practitioner interaction, procedures, physical wellness and therapeutic exercise, to name a few. In order to develop practical experience in the field, students take three clinical education courses.
California University of Pennsylvania
Built in the city of California, this university has a physical therapist assistant associate's degree program that requires 66 credits and can be completed in five semesters. Students take courses in physical therapy procedures, therapeutic modalities and kinesiology, among others. Two internships are also part of the curriculum.
Community College of Allegheny County
The Community College of Allegheny College in Pittsburgh features a physical therapist assistant Associate of Science program. The program is 67-69 credits long and consists of 450 hours of classroom learning, as well as 784 hours of clinical experience. The curriculum includes coursework in physical therapy principles and procedures, human growth and development, injury treatment and prevention, clinical observation and professional exploration.
Harcum College in Bryn Mawr offers students the opportunity to pursue a physical therapist associate's degree. Courses teach students how to work full range of motion with patients. They also learn about electrical stimulation and how to care for injuries. Clinical experiences take place in sports rehabilitation centers, hospitals, nursing homes and other types of medical facilities.
Lehigh Carbon Community College
Lehigh Carbon Community College is located in Schnecksville and offers a physical therapist assistant associate's degree that students can earn by completing 64.5 credits. Students take courses in rehabilitation, therapeutic exercise, physical therapy procedures and kinesiology. The clinical experience requires that students complete two seven-week practicums. Each practicum requires 40 hours of work per week.
Mount Aloysius College
Mount Aloysius College is situated in Cresson and has a physical therapist assistant associate's degree program. The curriculum includes coursework in physical rehabilitation terminology, kinesiology, therapeutic exercise and physical therapy neurology. Students take part in three clinical education courses; the first requires that students complete 130 hours, while the second and third courses require 250 hours each.
Penn State University - Dubois
The physical therapist assistant associate's degree program at Penn State's campus in Dubois is two years in length and includes a summer semester. Students learn how to implement treatment programs and communicate with both patients and the physical therapist. Students also learn about exhibiting professional behavior. In addition to clinical requirements, students are also expected to spend time observing and volunteering in rehabilitation facilities.
Penn State University - Hazelton
The Hazelton campus of Penn State offers a physical therapist assistant associate's degree program that can be completed in five semesters. Students take courses in anatomy, physiology, kinesiology, therapeutic exercise, rehabilitation and advanced first aid. Students also learn how to lift and transfer patients and participate in ambulance training. The final semester consists of practicum requirements.
Penn State University - Mont Alto
Students enrolled in Penn State's physical therapist assistant associate's degree program offered in Mont Alto are required to complete four semesters of coursework and one semester of clinical experience. The program is 68 credits long, and courses include physical therapy procedures, therapeutic exercise, rehabilitation and pathophysiology. The practicum requirements include two six-week clinical experiences.
Penn State University - Shenango
The Shenango campus of Penn State features a physical therapist assistant program that prepares students to work with physical therapists and implement treatment plans for patients living with disabilities or injuries. The program requires 68 credits, and after completing an introductory physical therapy assistant course, students take courses in kinesiology, therapeutic exercise, rehabilitation, physical therapy procedures and pathophysiology. A license preparation class and practicums are also part of the curriculum.
The state of Pennsylvania requires that physical therapists and physical therapy assistants obtain licensure to work in the field. After graduating with this degree, individuals can obtain licensure by taking the National Physical Therapy Exam for PTAs.
School Comparison: At a Glance
|School Name||School Type and Setting||Physical Therapist Assistant Programs Offered||Undergraduate Tuition & Fees (2018-2019)*|
|Butler County Community College||2-year, public; fringe rural||Associate in Applied Science in Physical Therapist Assistant|| $4,950 in-district,
|California University of Pennsylvania||4-year, public; small suburb||Associate in Applied Science in Physical Therapist Assistant|| $11,108 in-state,
|Community College of Allegheny County||2-year, public; large city||Associate of Science in Physical Therapist Assistant|| $4,315 in-district,
|Harcum College||2-year, private not-for-profit; large suburb||Associate's Degree in Physical Therapist Assistant||$24,200*|
|Lehigh Carbon Community College||2-year, public; large suburb||Associate in Applied Science in Physical Therapist Assistant|| $4,080 in-district,
|Mount Aloysius College||4-year, private not-for-profit; fringe town||Associate's Degree in Physical Therapist Assistant||$23,110*|
|Penn State University - Dubois||4-year, public; remote town||Associate in Science in Physical Therapist Assistant|| $13,702 in-state,
|Penn State University - Hazelton||4-year, public; small suburb||Associate in Science in Physical Therapist Assistant|| $14,468 in-state,
|Penn State University - Mont Alto||4-year, public; fringe town||Associate Degree in Physical Therapist Assistant|| $13,702 in-state,
|Penn State University - Shenango||4-year, public; large suburb||Associate Degree in Physical Therapist Assistant|| $13,342 in-state,
Source: *NCES College Navigator