A physical therapy assistant helps physical therapists improve patients' levels of mobility using proven techniques, exercise, and equipment. Students typically complete an associate's degree and earn licensure in order to enter this career field.
10 Schools with Physical Therapy Assistant Programs
These are ten schools featuring associate's degrees in physical therapy assisting as of 2016, with 2015-2016 tuition rates.
|College/University||Location||Institution Type||Tuition (2015-2016)*|
|Miami Dade College||Miami, FL||4-year, Public||$2,834 for in-state/$9,661 for out-of-state|
|LaGuardia Community College||Long Island, NY||2-year, public||$5,218 for in-state/$8,098 for out-of-state|
|College of Southern Nevada||Las Vegas, NV||4-year, Public||$2,805 for in-state/$9,450 for out-of-state|
|University of Cincinnati - Main Campus||Cincinnati, OH||4-year, Public||$11,000 for in-state/$26,334 for out-of-state|
|St. Petersburg College||Clearwater, FL||4-year, Public||$3,352 for in-state/$11,607 for out-of-state|
|Florida State College at Jacksonville||Jacksonville, FL||4-year, Public||$2,830 for in-state/$9,944 for out-of-state|
|South Texas College||McAllen, TX||4-year, Public||$3,486 for in-district/$3,770 for in-state/$4,440 for out-of-state|
|Southern Illinois University - Carbondale||Carbondale, IL||4-year, Public||$13,137 for in-state/$26,390 for out-of-state|
|Touro College||New York, NY||4-year, Private not-for-profit||$16,700|
|Indian River State College||Fort Pierce, FL||4-year, Public||$2,764 for in-state/$10,201 for out-of-state|
Sources: *National Center for Education Statistics
School Selection Criteria
Admission to a physical therapy assistant (PTA) program may require a pre-entry test to evaluate skills in science, math, English, and reading. Upon acceptance into a program, requirements to participate in clinical education may include a drug and alcohol screening, proficiency in CPR and first aid, a current health insurance policy, and a physical examination with a tuberculosis test and up-to-date vaccinations.
Colleges and schools offering a PTA associate degree program require students to complete general education courses, as well as courses in therapeutic and rehabilitation procedures. Practical experience requirements, including a specific number of clinical hours and study, lab work, and on-the-job training at affiliated institutions, are also part of degree programs.
Further considerations when seeking a school in this field include:
- Look for schools with pre-entry orientations to better understand program requirements and preview facilities.
- When choosing a school for a physical therapy assistant program, an individual should review the curriculum offered, including coursework and clinical training.
- Check into the school's credentials and accreditation.
- Search for programs that prepare graduates for PTA licensure in their state.
There are many excellent schools in the United States available to train students in becoming physical therapy assistants. Graduates of these two-year degrees must earn NPTE licensure in order to work, as well as state licensure depending on where they live.