Physical therapist assistants (PTAs) provide physical therapy services under the direction and supervision of a physical therapist. PTAs help people of all ages and help people who have movement difficulties due to injury or disease get back to doing the things in their lives that they want and need to do. Unlike a physical therapist, the PTA cannot evaluate a patient, but can provide vital and ongoing assessment and treatment interventions toward specific short- and long-term goals.
Care provided by a PTA may include therapies designed to improve mobility, strength or function; to relieve pain; to prevent or limit disability; and to promote overall wellness and fitness.
Generally, PTAs are employed wherever physical therapists work. Hospitals, rehabilitation centers, nursing homes, home and public health agencies, schools, private physical therapy practices, and the armed forces are major employers.
The Associate of Applied Science (AAS) in Physical Therapist Assistant prepares students to become entry-level physical therapist assistants (PTAs). PTAs work in hospitals, rehabilitation centers, nursing homes, home and public health agencies, schools, private clinics and in the armed forces. They help people of all ages who have movement difficulties due to injury or disease get back to doing the things in their lives that they want and need to do.
The AAS in Physical Therapist Assistant is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE).
Licensure and/or Certification
Graduates of the AAS in Physical Therapist Assistant are eligible to sit for the National Physical Therapy Exam administered by the Federation of State Boards of Physical Therapy.
Please go to UAA's Authorization by State website for information about licensure or certification in a state other than Alaska.
- Complete the Admission Requirements for Associate Degrees.
- Complete, or be in progress of completing, the following courses with a minimum grade of B:
- BIOL A111 and BIOL A111L
- BIOL A112 and BIOL A112L
- Complete, or be in progress of completing, the following courses with a minimum grade of C:
- Submit a physical therapist assistant application according to instructions and deadlines on the program website.
- Provide documentation of current Basic Life Support for Health Care Providers certification.
Students will initially be admitted to a pre-major status. Admission to the pre-major status does not guarantee subsequent admission to the major. As a pre-major, students work with an academic advisor to assist them in completing pre-major requirements and preparing them to apply to the full major.
- Once admitted, students must provide evidence of:
- Current immunizations as required by the department.
- National-level criminal background check.
- Students must provide proof of health insurance prior to clinical placement.
- Complete the General University Requirements for Associate of Applied Science Degrees.
- Complete the General Education Requirements for Associate of Applied Science Degrees.
- Complete the following major requirements with a minimum grade of C in all PTA courses:
|Human Anatomy and Physiology I|
and Human Anatomy and Physiology I Lab
|Human Anatomy and Physiology II|
and Human Anatomy and Physiology II Lab
|MA A101||Medical Terminology||3|
|MA A104||Essentials of Human Disease||3|
|PSY A111||Introduction to Psychology||3|
|or PSY A150||Lifespan Development|
|PTA A102||Physical Therapy in Health Care||3|
|PTA A105||Tests and Measures||3|
|PTA A110||Kinesiology and Biomechanics||3|
|PTA A120||Rehabilitation I||3|
|PTA A130||Physical Therapy Interventions I||4|
|PTA A195||Clinical Practicum I||1|
|PTA A210||Therapeutic Exercise||4|
|PTA A220||Rehabilitation II||3|
|PTA A230||Physical Therapy Interventions II||4|
|PTA A250||Neurological Interventions Across the Lifespan||3|
|PTA A292||Physical Therapist Assistant Seminar||2|
|PTA A295A||Clinical Practicum II||5|
|PTA A295B||Clinical Practicum III||5|
A minimum of 72 credits is required for the degree.
Program Student Learning Outcomes
At the completion of the AAS in Physical Therapist Assistant, students are able to:
- Exhibit professional behavior in their role as responsible physical therapist assistants, adhering to appropriate ethical, legal and regulatory standards.
- Engage in evidence-based practice, responding to the dynamics of a changing healthcare system.
- Integrate the principles of the physical, biological and behavioral sciences with the clinical practice of physical therapy.
- Communicate effectively and sensitively with patients, families and other members of the health care team.