Physical Therapy Assistant Schools

There has never been a better time to pursue a career as a physical therapist assistant. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the physical therapist assistant profession is expected to grow by 26% from 2018-2028 and physical therapist aides face higher than average starting salaries.

An important facet of your career as a physical therapist aide is your choice of degree program. According to the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE), there are over 300 accredited physical therapist assistant programs in the US.

To help with your decision, we have compiled this list of the best physical therapist assistant programs in the US. All schools included on this list are accredited by the CAPTE and will sufficiently prepare you for a career as a physical therapist assistant.

You might also be interested in viewing our list of best schools for other occupations.

Share This Page

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on whatsapp
Share on email

Physical Therapy Assistant Schools Near You

Physical Therapy Assistant Schools by State

Alabama AlaskaArizona Arkansas California
ColoradoConnecticutDelaware Florida Georgia
HawaiiIdahoIllinoisIndianaIowa
KansasKentuckyLouisianaMaineMaryland
MassachusettsMichiganMinnesotaMississippiMissouri
MontanaNebraskaNevadaNew HampshireNew Jersey
New MexicoNew YorkNorth CarolinaNorth DakotaOhio
OklahomaOregonPennsylvaniaRhode IslandSouth Carolina
South DakotaTennesseeTexasUtahVermont
VirginiaWashingtonWest VirginiaWisconsinWyoming

Our Top Physical Therapy Assistant School Picks

We selected the schools below based on the programs that they offer, accreditation, student population, graduation rate and reputation.

View our Ranking Methodology to learn more about how we rank schools.

Best Physical Therapy Assistant Schools

46. State College of Florida-Manatee-Sarasota

Graduation Rate

38%

Student Population

10229

Daytona State College offers a 74 credit hours PTA program that costs approximately $7,500 per semester for in-state residents and $29,000 for out-of-state residents.

The DSC program requires applicants to submit 3 letters of recommendation and has at least a C-average in the following 4 prerequisite courses: Anatomy/Physiology, College Composition, Intro to Physical Therapy, and College Algebra.

  • 5840 26th St W, Bradenton, Florida 34207
  • www.scf.edu

45. Ohlone College

Graduation Rate

44%

Student Population

8835

Daytona State College offers a 74 credit hours PTA program that costs approximately $7,500 per semester for in-state residents and $29,000 for out-of-state residents.

The DSC program requires applicants to submit 3 letters of recommendation and has at least a C-average in the following 4 prerequisite courses: Anatomy/Physiology, College Composition, Intro to Physical Therapy, and College Algebra.

  • 43600 Mission Blvd, Fremont, California 94539-0390
  • www.ohlone.edu

44. Metropolitan Community College-Kansas City

Graduation Rate

24%

Student Population

16351

Daytona State College offers a 74 credit hours PTA program that costs approximately $7,500 per semester for in-state residents and $29,000 for out-of-state residents.

The DSC program requires applicants to submit 3 letters of recommendation and has at least a C-average in the following 4 prerequisite courses: Anatomy/Physiology, College Composition, Intro to Physical Therapy, and College Algebra.

  • 3200 Broadway, Kansas City, Missouri 64111-2429
  • www.mcckc.edu

43. Kirkwood Community College

Graduation Rate

29%

Student Population

13906

Daytona State College offers a 74 credit hours PTA program that costs approximately $7,500 per semester for in-state residents and $29,000 for out-of-state residents.

The DSC program requires applicants to submit 3 letters of recommendation and has at least a C-average in the following 4 prerequisite courses: Anatomy/Physiology, College Composition, Intro to Physical Therapy, and College Algebra.

  • 6301 Kirkwood Blvd SW, Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52406-2068
  • www.kirkwood.edu

42. Idaho State University

Graduation Rate

33%

Student Population

12363

Daytona State College offers a 74 credit hours PTA program that costs approximately $7,500 per semester for in-state residents and $29,000 for out-of-state residents.

The DSC program requires applicants to submit 3 letters of recommendation and has at least a C-average in the following 4 prerequisite courses: Anatomy/Physiology, College Composition, Intro to Physical Therapy, and College Algebra.

  • 921 S 8th Ave, Pocatello, Idaho 83209
  • www.isu.edu/

41. Nassau Community College

Graduation Rate

24%

Student Population

17406

Daytona State College offers a 74 credit hours PTA program that costs approximately $7,500 per semester for in-state residents and $29,000 for out-of-state residents.

The DSC program requires applicants to submit 3 letters of recommendation and has at least a C-average in the following 4 prerequisite courses: Anatomy/Physiology, College Composition, Intro to Physical Therapy, and College Algebra.

  • One Education Dr, Garden City, New York 11530-6793
  • www.ncc.edu/

40. University of Alaska Anchorage

Graduation Rate

30%

Student Population

14644

Daytona State College offers a 74 credit hours PTA program that costs approximately $7,500 per semester for in-state residents and $29,000 for out-of-state residents.

The DSC program requires applicants to submit 3 letters of recommendation and has at least a C-average in the following 4 prerequisite courses: Anatomy/Physiology, College Composition, Intro to Physical Therapy, and College Algebra.

  • 3211 Providence Drive, Anchorage, Alaska 99508
  • www.uaa.alaska.edu

39. Cuyahoga Community College District

Graduation Rate

19%

Student Population

23440

Daytona State College offers a 74 credit hours PTA program that costs approximately $7,500 per semester for in-state residents and $29,000 for out-of-state residents.

The DSC program requires applicants to submit 3 letters of recommendation and has at least a C-average in the following 4 prerequisite courses: Anatomy/Physiology, College Composition, Intro to Physical Therapy, and College Algebra.

  • 700 Carnegie Ave, Cleveland, Ohio 44115-2878
  • www.tri-c.edu

38. Sacramento City College

Graduation Rate

21%

Student Population

21379

Daytona State College offers a 74 credit hours PTA program that costs approximately $7,500 per semester for in-state residents and $29,000 for out-of-state residents.

The DSC program requires applicants to submit 3 letters of recommendation and has at least a C-average in the following 4 prerequisite courses: Anatomy/Physiology, College Composition, Intro to Physical Therapy, and College Algebra.

  • 3835 Freeport Blvd, Sacramento, California 95822-1386
  • www.scc.losrios.edu/

37. Montgomery College

Graduation Rate

22%

Student Population

21720

Daytona State College offers a 74 credit hours PTA program that costs approximately $7,500 per semester for in-state residents and $29,000 for out-of-state residents.

The DSC program requires applicants to submit 3 letters of recommendation and has at least a C-average in the following 4 prerequisite courses: Anatomy/Physiology, College Composition, Intro to Physical Therapy, and College Algebra.

  • 51 Mannakee Street, Rockville, Maryland 20850
  • www.montgomerycollege.edu

36. CUNY Kingsborough Community College

Graduation Rate

32%

Student Population

15051

Daytona State College offers a 74 credit hours PTA program that costs approximately $7,500 per semester for in-state residents and $29,000 for out-of-state residents.

The DSC program requires applicants to submit 3 letters of recommendation and has at least a C-average in the following 4 prerequisite courses: Anatomy/Physiology, College Composition, Intro to Physical Therapy, and College Algebra.

  • 2001 Oriental Blvd, Brooklyn, New York 11235
  • www.kbcc.cuny.edu

35. Tidewater Community College

Graduation Rate

23%

Student Population

20941

Daytona State College offers a 74 credit hours PTA program that costs approximately $7,500 per semester for in-state residents and $29,000 for out-of-state residents.

The DSC program requires applicants to submit 3 letters of recommendation and has at least a C-average in the following 4 prerequisite courses: Anatomy/Physiology, College Composition, Intro to Physical Therapy, and College Algebra.

  • 121 College Place, Norfolk, Virginia 23510
  • www.tcc.edu

34. Vincennes University

Graduation Rate

28%

Student Population

17481

Daytona State College offers a 74 credit hours PTA program that costs approximately $7,500 per semester for in-state residents and $29,000 for out-of-state residents.

The DSC program requires applicants to submit 3 letters of recommendation and has at least a C-average in the following 4 prerequisite courses: Anatomy/Physiology, College Composition, Intro to Physical Therapy, and College Algebra.

  • 1002 N First St, Vincennes, Indiana 47591
  • https://www.vinu.edu

33. Northeast Wisconsin Technical College

Graduation Rate

43%

Student Population

11505

Daytona State College offers a 74 credit hours PTA program that costs approximately $7,500 per semester for in-state residents and $29,000 for out-of-state residents.

The DSC program requires applicants to submit 3 letters of recommendation and has at least a C-average in the following 4 prerequisite courses: Anatomy/Physiology, College Composition, Intro to Physical Therapy, and College Algebra.

  • 2740 W Mason St, Green Bay, Wisconsin 54307-9042
  • www.nwtc.edu

32. Arkansas Tech University

Graduation Rate

41%

Student Population

12101

Daytona State College offers a 74 credit hours PTA program that costs approximately $7,500 per semester for in-state residents and $29,000 for out-of-state residents.

The DSC program requires applicants to submit 3 letters of recommendation and has at least a C-average in the following 4 prerequisite courses: Anatomy/Physiology, College Composition, Intro to Physical Therapy, and College Algebra.

  • Administration Bldg 200; 1509 N Boulder Ave, Russellville, Arkansas 72801-2222
  • www.atu.edu

31. Sinclair Community College

Graduation Rate

27%

Student Population

18576

Daytona State College offers a 74 credit hours PTA program that costs approximately $7,500 per semester for in-state residents and $29,000 for out-of-state residents.

The DSC program requires applicants to submit 3 letters of recommendation and has at least a C-average in the following 4 prerequisite courses: Anatomy/Physiology, College Composition, Intro to Physical Therapy, and College Algebra.

  • 444 W. Third St., Dayton, Ohio 45402-1460
  • www.sinclair.edu

30. Daytona State College

Graduation Rate

37%

Student Population

13737

Daytona State College offers a 74 credit hours PTA program that costs approximately $7,500 per semester for in-state residents and $29,000 for out-of-state residents.

The DSC program requires applicants to submit 3 letters of recommendation and has at least a C-average in the following 4 prerequisite courses: Anatomy/Physiology, College Composition, Intro to Physical Therapy, and College Algebra.

  • 1200 W. International Speedway Blvd., Daytona Beach, Florida 32114
  • www.DaytonaState.edu

29. CUNY LaGuardia Community College

Graduation Rate

27%

Student Population

19300

The PTA program at CUNY LaGuardia is a 68-credit hour program that can be completed in as little as 2 years. Students can participate in the program either full-time or part-time. Students will perform clinical rotations under the supervision of a board-approved physical therapist and students must complete 4 prerequisite courses with at least a 2.5 GPA.

Applicants must provide proof of US citizenship or permanent residency and pass a criminal background screening and drug test upon acceptance into the program.

  • 31-10 Thomson Ave, Long Island City, New York 11101
  • www.lagcc.cuny.edu

28. Southern Illinois University-Carbondale

Graduation Rate

41%

Student Population

12817

SIUC offers a 64 credit associate’s degree in physical therapy assistant that includes 1 semester of clinical practicum. Students must maintain at least a 2.75 GPA to continue in the program and must finish 8-weeks of 40-hour week clinical rotations in their last semester before graduating.

Applicants must provide proof of at least 30 hours of clinical observation and pass a background check upon acceptance. Applicants may also be required to take a placement exam before being admitted.

  • Lincoln Drive, Carbondale, Illinois 62901-4512
  • www.siu.edu

27. San Diego Mesa College

Graduation Rate

24%

Student Population

22284

The PTA program at San Diego Mesa College requires 46 credit hours of study over 4 semesters. A grade of C or higher is required to stay in the program and applications for the following fall semester are admitted on a rolling basis.

Students must complete one course in biology, a course in anatomy/physiology, and a course in intermediate algebra to be considered for the program.

  • 7250 Mesa College Dr, San Diego, California 92111-4998
  • www.sdmesa.edu/

26. College of DuPage

Graduation Rate

22%

Student Population

24900

The College of DuPage offers a 58-credit hour associate’s degree that can be completed in as little as 2 years. In addition to the technical course, students must complete at least 20 hours in core requirements, including math, humanities, English, or History. 8 of those credit hours must be clinical practicum taken in the second year of instruction.

Students must maintain a C average to continue in and graduate from the program.

  • 425 Fawell Blvd., Glen Ellyn, Illinois 60137-6599
  • www.cod.edu

25. Cerritos College

Graduation Rate

26%

Student Population

21745

The PTA program at Cerritos College involves 44 hours of course study spread over 2 semesters. Students must complete at least one prerequisite course in each English, math, and anatomy/physiology to be eligible for the program and those accepted must maintain at least a 2.0 GPA to remain in the program.

Students who have previously completed courses in the medical sciences or have experience working in the field of physical therapy are given special consideration for the program.

  • 11110 Alondra Blvd, Norwalk, California 90650-6298
  • www.cerritos.edu

24. California Baptist University

Graduation Rate

55%

Student Population

10486

CBU’s PTA program requires 78 credit hours of in-class instruction. The average in-state tuition cost is around $15,000 per semester and the average out of state tuition is around $25,000 per semester. Applications for the fall semester are accepted by April 1st and applicants must provide proof of at least 60 hours of clinical observation.

Applicants will also be required to submit at least 2 letters of recommendation and a 500-word essay describing their academic experiences and goals.

  • 8432 Magnolia Ave, Riverside, California 92504-3297
  • www.calbaptist.edu

23. El Paso Community College

Graduation Rate

21%

Student Population

28819

EPCC offers a full-time physical therapist assistant associate’s degree that requires 55 credit hours of study to graduate. Students must maintain at least a C average to continue in the program and must pass a background check upon acceptance. The average in-state tuition is around $15,000 per semester.

Applicants will be required to take the Texas Success Initiative (TSI) course placement exam and pass a criminal background check and drug screening upon acceptance into the program.

  • 9050 Viscount Blvd, El Paso, Texas 79925
  • www.epcc.edu

22. ECPI University

Graduation Rate

49%

Student Population

12947

The PTA program at Indian River State College requires 65 credit hours and can be completed in as little as two years. Applications for the fall semester are accepted in the previous January and all applicants must submit to a criminal background check, physical screening, drug test, and provide proof of accident/liability coverage.

Students must maintain at least a 2.75 GPA to remain in the program.

  • 5555 Greenwich Rd, Virginia Beach, Virginia 23462
  • www.ecpi.edu

21. Central New Mexico Community College

Graduation Rate

27%

Student Population

23553

CNMCC’s PTA program is a 6-term program consisting of 63 credit hours that is designed to be completed in 2 and a half years of study. The program can only be undertaken full time as students are expected to attend courses full-time.

Applicants must have at least a 3.0 high school GPA and must pass the ATI TEAS entrance exam.

  • 525 Buena Vista SE, Albuquerque, New Mexico 87106
  • www.cnm.edu

20. Indian River State College

Graduation Rate

39%

Student Population

16686

The PTA program at Indian River State College requires 65 credit hours and can be completed in as little as two years. Applications for the fall semester are accepted in the previous January and all applicants must submit to a criminal background check, physical screening, drug test, and provide proof of accident/liability coverage.

Students must maintain at least a 2.75 GPA to remain in the program.

  • 3209 Virginia Ave, Fort Pierce, Florida 34981-5596
  • www.irsc.edu

19. Arkansas State University-Main Campus

Graduation Rate

48%

Student Population

13709

The PTA program at Arkansas State University. To be admitted to the program, students must first complete a bevy of 25 hours of general education courses and then complete 38 hours of professional courses to graduate.

The deadline for applications to the fall semester is in the previous March. Students will be required to complete 3 separate rotations and must submit to a background check upon conditional acceptance.

  • 2105 E. Aggie Road, Jonesboro, Arkansas 72401
  • www.astate.edu/

18. South Texas College

Graduation Rate

22%

Student Population

31949

South Texas College offers a 63 credit hours total PTA program spread over 5 semesters. The first 4 semesters consist largely of in-class instruction while the last spring semester is devoted solely to clinical rotations. In addition to their clinical rotations, students will also be required to complete a professional capstone to be eligible for graduation from the program.

Applicants must have at least a 3.0 cumulative GPA and must complete the HESI A2 admissions exam.

  • 3201 W Pecan, McAllen, Texas 78502-9701
  • https://www.southtexascollege.edu

17. Suffolk County Community College

Graduation Rate

27%

Student Population

26078

This 4 semester PTA program consists of 64 credit hours of study that are split between core requirements and technical courses. Applications are for the fall semester only and the deadline is January 15.

Applicants must have at least a 3.0 high school GPA, score at least a 21 on the ACT, and provide proof of at least 30 hours of clinical observation and provide proof of immunization records.

  • 533 College Rd, Selden, New York 11784-2899
  • www3.sunysuffolk.edu

16. Seminole State College of Florida

Graduation Rate

41%

Student Population

18104

The PTA program at Seminole State College of Florida is a 5-semester program consists of 50 credit hours which students must complete with at least a C average to graduate.

Applicants must have a 2.5 minimum GPA and complete at least 20 hours of clinical observation or volunteer work in the physical therapy field. Applicants must also score at least a 50% on the TEAS test.

  • 100 Weldon Blvd, Sanford, Florida 32773-6199
  • www.easternflorida.edu

15. Eastern Florida State College

Graduation Rate

47%

Student Population

15820

The PTA program at EFSC consists of 74 total credit hours and is designed to be completed in as little as 2 years of full-time study. Students must also complete at least 3 six-week clinical practicums within their last year of study.

The TPA program requires a special application for admission separate from the regular college one and the application deadline for the fall semester is May 15th.

  • 1519 Clearlake Rd, Cocoa, Florida 32922
  • www.easternflorida.edu

14. Salt Lake Community College

Graduation Rate

28%

Student Population

29156

The PTA program at SLCC includes 74 credit hours of study designed to be completed over 2 years of full-time study. The program is focused on providing general knowledge as well as specialized therapy techniques.

The average cost for in-state students is around $3,000 a semester. Applicants are required to fill out a separate application for the PTA program, provide SAT or ACT scores, and provide proof of completing prerequisite math and English courses.

  • 4600 S Redwood Rd, Salt Lake City, Utah 84123
  • www.slcc.edu

13. Santa Fe College

Graduation Rate

57%

Student Population

14324

The PTA program at Santa Fe College requires 74-credit hours of study spread over 4 semesters. The first half of the program is largely focused on in-class instruction while the last half heavily focuses on clinical rotations. The program is only offered full time and the deadline for applying to the fall semester is in the preceding April.

Applicants must have at least a 2.5 cumulative GPA and pass prerequisite courses in anatomy/physiology, college algebra, college composition, and biomedical ethics.

  • 3000 Northwest 83rd Street, Gainesville, Florida 32606-6210
  • www.sfcollege.edu

12. Florida State College at Jacksonville

Graduation Rate

38%

Student Population

23413

The FSC-Jacksonville PTA program combines both general core requirements and specialized courses in technical physical therapy exercises. The program totals 74-credit hours over 5 semesters of study.

Applications for the spring semester must be submitted by Sept. 15 while applications for the fall semester must be submitted by Feb. 15. The average tuition cost per semester is around $8,000.

  • 501 W State St, Jacksonville, Florida 32202
  • www.fscj.edu

11. St Petersburg College

Graduation Rate

32%

Student Population

29183

The A.S. Degree in physical therapist assistant training requires 74 credit hours of study over a 2 year period. General requirements are covered in the first 2 semesters while the last 3 focus solely on technical methods and practice.

Applicants must have a high school diploma or GED, provide proof of standardized test scores (ACT or SAT) and submit to a criminal background check upon admission.

  • 6021 142ndAve N, Clearwater, Florida 33760-2822
  • www.spcollege.edu

10. Tarrant County College District

Graduation Rate

19%

Student Population

51100

The PTA program at Tarrant County College consists of 66-credit hours spread over 2 years (4 semesters) of study. Applicants must have a cumulative 2.5 GPA to be eligible for the program and must provide proof of at least 40 hours of clinical observations or volunteer work in the PT field.

Students must also pass the TSI before being accepted and will have to pass a criminal background check and drug screening upon acceptance into the program.

  • 1500 Houston St, Fort Worth, Texas 76102-6524
  • www.tccd.edu

9. San Jacinto Community College

Graduation Rate

32%

Student Population

32137

The PTA program at SJCC consists of a total of 66 credit hours which includes 3 separate periods of clinical rotations. The program focuses heavily on kinesiology and musculoskeletal disorders/injuries. Applicants must have at least a 2.5 cumulative GPA and provide at least 2 letters of recommendation to be eligible for the program.

Applicants will also be required to provide immunization records, proof of liability insurance, and pass a criminal background check upon application.

  • 8060 Spencer Hwy, Pasadena, Texas 77505
  • www.sanjac.edu/

8. Houston Community College

Graduation Rate

20%

Student Population

57200

HCCS’s PTA program consists of a total of 66 credit hours that can be completed in as little as 4 semesters. Students can attend the program either full-time or part-time and all students must complete a final capstone project to graduate.

All students must also complete at least 12 hours of elective credits from gen ed classes and 6 credits in the physical sciences.

  • 3100 Main Street, Houston, Texas 77002
  • www.hccs.edu

7. Broward College

Graduation Rate

31%

Student Population

40784

Broward College offers a 60 hour PTA A.S degree program spread over 5 semesters of study. Applications for the fall semester are accepted on a rolling basis between the dates of October 1st and January 15th and courses only commence in the fall.

Students are encouraged to pick electives so they can later specialize in a specific area of physical therapy (e.g. sports therapy, geriatric therapy, etc.).

  • 111 East Las Olas Blvd, Fort Lauderdale, Florida 33301
  • www.broward.edu

6. Keiser University-Ft Lauderdale

Graduation Rate

65%

Student Population

19510

The PTA program at KU-Ft. Lauderdale consists of 74 credit hours, 36 of which are general core requirements and 48 of which are technical and clinical practice courses. The average tuition cost per semester is approximate $9,000 a semester which comes out to a grand total of around $28k for the entire program.

All applicants must have at least a 3.0 cumulative GPA and provide proof of immunization records liability insurance, and CPR certification.

  • 1500 NW 49th St., Fort Lauderdale, Florida 33309
  • www.keiseruniversity.edu

5. Lone Star College System

Graduation Rate

18%

Student Population

73499

The PTA program at Lone Star College is among one of the top PTA programs in Texas and consists of 64-credit hours taken over 106 consecutive weeks (~2 years). Students must maintain at least a 2,0 GPA to continue the program and applicants must provide proof of at least 40 hours of clinical observations under a licensed physical therapist.

Students must also complete prerequisite courses in biology, English, psychology, and philosophy (ethics).

  • 5000 Research Forest Drive, The Woodlands, Texas 77381-4399
  • www.lonestar.edu

4. Northern Virginia Community College

Graduation Rate

26%

Student Population

50929

The PTA program at Northern Virginia Community College consists of 72 credit hours spread out over 5 semesters of study. The program is only offered full-time, however, scheduling is flexible and courses are offered during nights and weekends. By the last semester, students will be working roughly 40-hour weeks in a professional setting.

Applicants must provide at least 2 letters of recommendation and provide standardized test scores to be eligible for acceptance.

  • 4001 Wakefield Chapel Rd, Annandale, Virginia 22003-3796
  • www.nvcc.edu

3. Ivy Tech Community College

Graduation Rate

21%

Student Population

72006

The PTA program at Ivy Tech Community College consists of 69.5 credit hours over a 5-semester period. Ivy Tech has over 130 active affiliate agreements with physical therapist office’s around Indiana and they place you with a board-certified PT for your clinical rotations.

Students must maintain at least a 3.0 GPA to continue in the program and must pass the TEAS exam.

  • 50 W. Fall Creek Parkway N. Drive, Indianapolis, Indiana 46208-5752
  • www.ivytech.edu

2. Miami Dade College

Graduation Rate

35%

Student Population

54973

The PTA program offered at Miami Dade College consists of 74 credit hours over a 2 year period. Full-time students can complete the course in as little as 4 semesters while part-time students can complete it in 5.

All courses are supplemented with state of the art computer technology and their faculty has over 25 years of experience teaching and practicing in various positions in the physical therapy field.

  • 300 NE 2nd Avenue, Miami, Florida 33132-2204
  • www.mdc.edu/main/

1. Brigham Young University-Idaho

Graduation Rate

57%

Student Population

42341

The BYU-Idaho PTA program consists of 55 credit hours of study spread over 4 semesters. Courses focus on the technical aspects of physical therapy but are also focused on providing treatment that is in line with the mission of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.

Applicants must have at least a high school diploma, provide 2 letters of recommendation, and write a mission statement explaining how their career in PTA will help them exemplify the values taught by the Mormon church.

  • 525 S Center, Rexburg, Idaho 83460-1690
  • www.byui.edu
Source: National Center for Education Statistics

Online Physical Therapy Assistant Schools

All accredited physical therapy assistant programs require at least some amount on in-person clinical hours to graduate. As such, there are no 100% online physical therapy assistant programs. Some programs may allow you to take individual courses online but will require a number of in-person hours to graduate.

There are some programs where you can take the majority of courses online but even these require in-person clinical hours either at a physical education institution or in the office of a licensed physical therapist.

Physical Therapy Assistant Programs & Courses

The “basic” option for education as a physical therapist assistant is to complete an accredited associate’s degree program. Most associate’s programs take about 2 years (4 semesters) to complete and these programs are offered at vocational schools, technical colleges, community colleges, and traditional 4-year institutions.

Students in a physical therapy assistant program take a range of courses on therapeutic exercises, anatomy/physiology, musculoskeletal conditions, biochemistry healthcare law/ethics, and healthcare management. They may also take courses on statistics and medical research methods.

Some specific course might include:

  • Anatomy & Physiology
  • Human Growth and Development
  • Kinesiology Fundamentals
  • Data Collection and Intervention Techniques
  • Rehabilitation Exercises
  • Therapy Modalities and Practice
  • Healthcare and Hospital Management
  • Medical Ethics

All accredited physical therapy programs also include a clinical component in which students gain direct experience working with patients under the supervision of a certified physical therapist. Most associate’s degree programs supplement the technical curriculum with more general core requirements such as psychology, English, foreign language, and mathematics.

Some physical therapy assistant programs may allow you to take certain courses online, but completing in-person clinical hours is a necessity. As such, there are no fully online physical therapist assistant programs.

There are also 4-year physical therapy aide bachelor’s programs, but these programs are rarer. A bachelor’s-level education is not necessary to secure an entry-level job in the profession, though it may be required for more specialized positions or jobs in research institutions.

Many students in bachelor’s level programs are currently practicing physical therapy assistants who go back to school for career advancement. Bachelor’s-level programs cover much of the same ground as associate’s-level programs, but to a greater depth and precision.

Some courses one might find in a bachelor’s level program are:

  • Advanced Medical Statistics
  • Microbiology
  • Exercise Physiology
  • Injury Care and Rehabilitation
  • Advanced Kinesiology
  • Biomechanics & Physics

The average bachelor’s degree takes around 4 years (8 semesters) of study to complete. Like associate’s programs, bachelor’s programs often have core requirements like English, Math, Sociology, and Psychology.

The admission requirements for both associate’s and bachelor’s level programs are similar to that of a traditional 4-year university. Applicants must have at least a high school diploma or GED, must send in standardized test scores and may have to send in letters of recommendation from teachers or employers.

Cost & Tuition

The average in-state cost for a physical therapy assistant associate’s program is approximately $125-150$ per credit hour, which comes out to about $20,000 for a two-year program. For out-of-state residents, the average cost of a physical therapy assistant program is around $225-$275 per credit hour which comes out to around $40,000 for a two-year program.

The average annual in-state tuition for a bachelor’s level program is around $40,000, while the average out-of-state tuition for a bachelor’s-level program as a physical therapy assistant can reach up to $80,000.

Programs that are accredited by the CAPTE are eligible for federal funding so students who qualify can get government-backed loans for their education. Alternatively, there are several PTA scholarships nationwide that offer anywhere from $500-$10,000 in scholarship money.

Length

The average associate’s level program as a physical therapy assistant usually takes 2-years of full-time study to complete. During this time, students will participate in in-class instruction as well as gain experience doing clinical hours. Several associate’s programs have a minimum requires hours of clinical practice to graduate and often include professional internships as part of their curriculum.

The average bachelor’s program takes around 4-years of full-time study to complete. Students who enter a bachelor’s-level program with an already completed associate’s degree can finish their bachelor’s in about 2 years.

Many programs allow part-time course scheduling, so these times can vary depending on your course load per semester.

Physical Therapy Assistant Career Outlook & Salary

Hourly Wage

$23

Annual Wage

$58,040

Growth Trend

26%

According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual salary for physical therapist assistants was $58,040 ($23.12/hour). The top 10% of physical therapist assistants made over $79,810 while the bottom 10% earned less than $33,780. The highest paying industry for physical therapist assistants was nursing care facilities ($66,440) with home healthcare services and physical therapist offices at second and third at $62,340 and $56,760, respectively.

Most physical therapist assistants work full time and often work nights and weekends. Depending on where you work, your schedule may be on a by-client basis so many physical therapist assistants offer extended hours to meet clients’ schedules.

The physical therapist assistant field is also expected to grow by 26% in the next 10 years which is must faster than the national average. These figures indicate that new physical therapy assistants face good job prospects and above-average starting salaries

Sources: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, CareerOneStop