Physical Therapist Assistant

Associate Degree

About the Program

The Physical Therapist Assistant is a skilled technical health-care worker who carries out patient treatment programs under the supervision of a physical therapist. The assistant works to relieve pain and/or increase function in patients via therapeutic application of heat, cold, light, water, electricity, sound, massage, exercise, gait, and functional activity.

Clinical experience is provided in a variety of settings including hospitals, rehabilitation agencies, schools, private offices, and long-term care facilities.

The Physical Therapist Assistant curriculum is configured sequentially to allow the student to complete the general education courses (Phase I) in a flexible format. During Phase I, the student can complete not only the academic requirements needed for the associate degree, but can also complete the observation requirements and all necessary documentation required prior interviewing for the technical portion (Phase II) of the degree. Movement into the second phase is dependent on successful completion of the pre-PTA certificate and additional specific admissions requirements found below.

The Physical Therapist Assistant program at Midlands Technical College is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE).  Please view our program statistics.

Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education
1111 North Fairfax Street
Alexandra, VA 22314-1488
(703) 706-3245

Learning experiences for students in the Physical Therapist Assistant Degree Program are provided in classrooms and laboratories on the Airport Campus in Lexington Hall. Student preclinical experience in the physical therapy skills labs allows students to attain competence prior to their required clinical experiences (externships/internships) which are arranged through affiliations with local physical therapist practices and other healthcare facilities.





Special Requirements

(Hint) For information on the Pre-Physical Therapist Assistant Certificate, which must be completed first, click here.  

Specific Interview Eligibility Criteria for to the Physical Therapist Assistant (Phase II) program include:

  • Submission of the required application materials by the due dates published on the program website;
  • Completion of 20 hours of observation and submission of evaluation forms and student observation paper and
  • Completion of Phase I courses with adherence to the Health Sciences “Course Repeat Policy,” “Course Acceptance Timeframe Policy” and earning a cumulative GPA of 2.75 or higher.

Specific Admission Requirements to the Physical Therapist Assistant (Phase II) program include:

  • Successful interviews by the Physical Therapist Assistant Program Admissions Committee, followed by
  • First-aid and CPR certification; and
  • Acceptable criminal background check and drug screening results.

Essential Functions

Essential function
(examples are not all inclusive)
Critical Thinking Critical thinking ability sufficient for clinical judgement. Identify cause/effect relationships in clinical situations. Synthesize data; draw sound conclusions.
Interpersonal Skills Interpersonal abilities sufficient to interact with individuals, families and groups from a variety of social emotional culture, and intellectual backgrounds.
Communication Ability Communication abilities sufficient for interaction with others in verbal and written form. Speak, write, read, and comprehend English. Sufficient voice volume to summon assistance.
Physical Endurance Remain continuously on task for several hours while standing, sitting. moving, lifting, and/or bending. Manually resuscitate patients in emergency situations.
Mobility Physical abilities sufficient to move from room to room and maneuver in small spaces. Position oneself in environment so as to render care to clients, without obstructing the positioning of necessary equipment to other health care workers vital to the care of the client. Administer cardiopulmonary procedures.
Motor Skills Gross and fine motor abilities sufficient to provide safe and effective physical therapy care. Manual and finger dexterity to set and adjust dials on treatment units and debridement, hand/eye coordination, full range of motion, ability to lift 50 lbs., stand, walk, bend and sit. Be able to turn, position, transfer and gait train clients.
Hearing Ability Auditory ability sufficient to monitor and assess health needs. Ability to hear alarms, emergency signals, auscultatory sounds, and cries for help.
Visual Ability Visual ability sufficient for physical assessment such as palpation, functions of physical therapy care. (Corrected 20/40). Distinguish color. Read manometers, labels, syringes, and others.
Tactile Ability Tactile ability sufficient for physical assessment such as palpation, functions of physical examination and/or those related to therapeutic interventions.
Olfactory Ability Olfactory senses sufficient to distinguish smells which are contributory to assessing a client’s health status, continence, wound assessment and safety.
Professional Attitude and Behavior Ability to present professional appearance and implement measures to maintain own physical/mental health and emotional stability. Work under stressful conditions. Be exposed to communicable diseases and contaminated body fluids/ React calmly in emergency situations. Show concern for self and others. Demonstrate flexibility.

Adapted from the Red Alert: The Americans with Disabilities Act - Implications for Nursing Education (March '93)

Non-Merit Applicants

Phase II Applications due between January 9-March 3, 2017

Merit Admissions

A merit interview opportunity is available for highly qualified applicants. Click here for the merit admission information.

Applications for the merit interview opportunity involve two steps:

  • Step 1.  Submit a Phase II Application Form to the PTA Program between October 1-December 16, 2016.
  • Step 2.  Submit the Merit Interview Application form to Admissions by January 13, 2017. 


All Physical Therapist Assistant courses must be completed with a “C” or higher in order to progress in the curriculum. No more than two courses may be repeated and no course may be repeated more than once. The repeat policy is applied to coursework taken both at MTC and at other colleges. All curriculum courses must be completed with a “C” or higher.


Students who withdraw from Phase II or who are unable to continue due to grades must reapply for readmission. Readmission is not guaranteed and is on a space-available basis. Students may re-enter the program only once and must repeat all courses in Phase II.


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