Physical Therapy Assistant Schools and Colleges in the U.S.

Jan 02, 2019

Physical therapy assistants must complete a two-year education program and an associate degree is awarded to graduates. Programs prepare them to become licensed federally and in their state of practice.

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.

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