Physical Therapist Assistant, A.S.

Program Code: 2PTA_AS

Program Description

This major helps prepare individuals to provide physical therapy services under the direction and supervision of a physical therapist in an ethical, safe, and effective manner. Students develop knowledge and skills in data collection and the appropriate use of equipment and exercise associated with various physical therapy treatment modalities. To accomplish these tasks, the major utilizes a combination of basic science and non-science course work coupled with courses specifically designed for the physical therapist assistant student. Students must progress through the program as prescribed by the suggested academic plan for their campus of admission. The program culminates with a full semester of clinical experience.

The size of each entering class is limited so that optimal clinical experiences and practical application situations can be maintained. Clinical affiliations are maintained over a wide geographical area, and students may be required to make special housing and transportation arrangements for the clinical phase. Prior to the beginning of the clinical experiences, PTA students are required to complete clinical requirements that may include, but are not limited to: health examination, immunizations, FBI fingerprint check, child abuse clearance, state background check and drug screening. Students will be responsible for completion and purchase of the necessary checks/clearances through a University approved vendor and providing results to the clinical sites.

In addition to a PTA certification/licensure, many state licensing boards and clinical facilities require a criminal background check, child abuse clearance, and a drug screening. Students with criminal records should contact the physical therapy licensing board in the state they plan to practice prior to applying for admission to the PTA Program to inquire about potential restrictions for licensure.

What is a Physical Therapist Assistant?

Physical Therapist Assistants (PTAs) work as part of a team providing physical therapy services under the direction and supervision of a licensed physical therapist. PTAs implement interventions outlined in the physical therapist’s plan of care, collect data related to interventions, and modify selected interventions to progress patients towards their individual goals. These goals are designed to reduce pain, restore function, improve mobility and prevent disability. An Associate in Science Degree in Physical Therapist Assistant requires 5-semesters of study, including three full-time clinical practicums. The PTA Program prepares graduates to take the national examination for certification/licensure as a PTA.

You Might Like This Program If...

You are interested in working with people of all ages who have health-related conditions that cause pain or limit their ability to move or perform functional activities in their daily lives. PTAs work under the direction and supervision of a licensed physical therapist to provide meaningful interventions, such as exercise, training for walking and other activities, manual therapy and interventions, and the use of physical agents and electrotherapy.

Entrance to Major

Incoming first-year students who meet the program and campus admission requirements are admitted directly into the major. For more information about the admission process for this major, please send a request to the campus undergraduate admissions office or to the program contact (listed in the Contact tab).
Change of Major and Change of Locations requests are submitted via LionPATH Update Academics and require Dean's review. Requests will be considered for entrance into the PTA Program based on academic performance and space available in the PTA Program.

Students who wish to change their major must have a cumulative collegiate grade-point average of 2.0 on a 4.0 scale as the minimum University requirement for change of major consideration. In general, change of major to the Physical Therapy Assistant program requires a substantially higher cumulative grade-point average. The number of qualified applicants typically exceeds the number of available program spaces; therefore, satisfaction of the minimum requirements does not guarantee approval for entrance to major.

Additional Information

In addition to a PTA certification/licensure, many state licensing boards and clinical facilities require a criminal background check, child abuse clearance, and a drug screening. PTA students are required to complete clinical requirements that may include FBI fingerprint check, child abuse clearance, state background check and drug screening prior to the beginning of the clinical practicum. Students will be responsible for completion and purchase of the necessary checks/clearances through a University approved vendor and providing results to the clinical sites. Students with criminal records should contact the physical therapy licensing board in the state they plan to practice prior to applying for admission to the PTA Program to inquire about potential restrictions for licensure.

Retention Requirements

The PTA curriculum is designed to move the student from a fundamental understanding of basic concepts to complex critical thinking and application in clinical settings. Academic progression is designed to support educational success, licensure, and transition to practice.

This policy delineates the academic standards required of students admitted to the Physical Therapist Assistant (PTA) Program.

A course attempted in one PTA program applies to all campus locations. Academic Renewal does not negate previously attempted PTA courses. In a situation where the student withdraws from the University (Policy 56-30), courses will be counted as one of the two attempts for the PTA program.

Academic Requirements

  1. Successful completion of required PTA courses as defined as a "C" or better.
  2. Successful completion of BIOL 161, BIOL 162, BIOL 163, and BIOL 164 as defined as "C" or better.
  3. A student who fails to achieve a "C" or higher in the same required Biology or PTA course for a second time will be dismissed from the PTA major. Academic advising relative to other majors/options will be provided.
  4. A student who fails to achieve a "C" or higher in two different required Biology or PTA courses will be dismissed from the PTA major. Academic advising relative to other majors/options will be provided.
  5. A student failing to achieve a grade of "C" or better in any required PT or Biology course will be required to repeat the course. A PTA student may repeat only one course, one time. A late drop (LD) or withdraw (W) in any required PTA or Biology course will be considered failing to achieve a "C" grade.
  6. If a failing grade ("D," "F," "LD." or W") in a PT course was the result of a violation of the Standards of Ethical Conduct for the Physical Therapist Assistant or Pennsylvania State University Policy and Rules, or the student has a "D" or "F" at the time they drop the course, they may be denied the opportunity to retake the course.
  7. A student who earns a "D," "F," "LD," or "W" in any two required PTA or Biology courses or in the same required core course for a second time will be disenrolled from the PTA major and advised relative to other majors/options.
  8. Special provisions will not be made by the University in scheduling PTA or Biology courses for the purpose of re-taking a course. Students re-taking a course may lose up to one year since certain courses are offered only once per academic year. During the interim, the student may withdraw from the University or remain actively enrolled.
  9. When reinitiating PTA coursework, the student will re-enter under the current curricular requirements.
  10. The student is responsible for demonstrating current competency in previously completed courses. The measure of competence will be determined by the Program Coordinator and faculty teaching the content area.
  11. A student who wishes to return to the University after a leave of absence or re-enroll after withdrawing from the University will follow the Re-enrollment/Re-entry policy of the University. See University Policy: Policy 58-00.

Degree Requirements

For the Associate in Science degree in Physical Therapist Assistant, a minimum of 70 credits is required:

Requirement Credits
General Education 21
Requirements for the Major 61

9-12 of the 21 credits for General Education are included in the Requirements for the Major. This includes: 3-6 credits of GWS courses; 3 credits of GN courses; 3-6 credits of GS courses.

Requirements for the Major

To graduate, a student enrolled in the major must earn a grade of C or better in each course designated by the major as a C-required course, as specified by Senate Policy 82-44.

Prescribed Courses
PSYCH 100Introductory Psychology Keystone/General Education Course3
Prescribed Courses: Require a grade of C or better
BIOL 161Human Anatomy and Physiology I - Lecture Keystone/General Education Course3
BIOL 162Human Anatomy and Physiology I - Laboratory Keystone/General Education Course1
BIOL 163Human Anatomy and Physiology II - Lecture Keystone/General Education Course3
BIOL 164Human Anatomy and Physiology II - Laboratory Keystone/General Education Course1
ENGL 15Rhetoric and Composition Keystone/General Education Course3
PT 120Human Musculature and Functional Anatomy2
PT 150Physical Therapist Assistant Procedures I2
PT 160Therapeutic Exercise I3
PT 250Physical Therapist Assistant--Procedures II3
PT 260Therapeutic Exercise--II3
PT 285Clinical Reasoning for the PTA2
PT 290Professional Issues in Clinical Practice2
PT 384Applied Kinesiology3
PT 395EPhysical Therapist Assistant--Practicum I 13
PT 395GPhysical Therapist Assistant--Practicum III 14
Additional Courses
Select 3 credits from the following:3
Interpersonal Communication Keystone/General Education Course
Effective Writing: Technical Writing Keystone/General Education Course
Introduction to Human Development and Family Studies Keystone/General Education Course
Infant and Child Development Keystone/General Education Course
Introduction to Developmental Psychology Keystone/General Education Course
Introduction to Abnormal Psychology
Additional Courses: Require a grade of C or better
PT 100Physical Therapist Assistant--Introduction3
or PT 100S Physical Therapist Assistant-Introduction
Select 5 credits from the following:5
Pathophysiology
Pathophysiology
Pathophysiology I
and Pathophysiology II
Pathophysiology I
and Pathophysiology II
Select 5 credits from the following:5
Rehabilitation
Rehabilitation
Rehabilitation-1
and Rehabilitation-2
Rehabilitation-1
and Rehabilitation-2W
Select 4 credits from the following:4
Physical Therapist Assistant--Practicum II
Physical Therapist Assistant--Practicum II Part 1
and Physical Therapist Assistant--Practicum II Part 2
1

Courses that include clinical education experiences may require the student to travel long distances or obtain housing near the assigned clinic. Housing and transportation arrangements are the responsibility of the student.

General Education

Connecting career and curiosity, the General Education curriculum provides the opportunity for students to acquire transferable skills necessary to be successful in the future and to thrive while living in interconnected contexts. General Education aids students in developing intellectual curiosity, a strengthened ability to think, and a deeper sense of aesthetic appreciation. These are requirements for all associate degree students and are often partially incorporated into the requirements of a program. For additional information, see the General Education Requirements section of the Bulletin and consult your academic adviser.

The keystone symbol Keystone/General Education Course appears next to the title of any course that is designated as a General Education course. Program requirements may also satisfy General Education requirements and vary for each program.

Foundations (grade of C or better is required.)

  • Quantification (GQ): 3 credits
  • Writing and Speaking (GWS): 3 credits

Knowledge Domains

  • Arts (GA): 3 credits
  • Humanities (GH): 3 credits
  • Social and Behavioral Sciences (GS): 3 credits
  • Natural Sciences (GN): 3 credits

Note: Up to six credits of Inter-domain courses may be used for any Knowledge Domain requirement, but when a course is used to satisfy more than one requirement, the credits from the course can be counted only once.

Foundations or Knowledge Domains

  • Any General Education course: 3 credits

University Degree Requirements

Cultures Requirement   

3 credits of United States (US) or International (IL) cultures coursework are required and may satisfy other requirements

Writing Across the Curriculum

3 credits required from the college of graduation and likely prescribed as part of major requirements.

Total Minimum Credits

A minimum of 60 degree credits must be earned for a associates degree. The requirements for some programs may exceed 60 credits. Students should consult with their college or department adviser for information on specific credit requirements.

Quality of Work

Candidates must complete the degree requirements for their major and earn at least a 2.00 grade-point average for all courses completed within their degree program.

Limitations on Source and Time for Credit Acquisition

Credit used toward degree programs may need to be earned from a particular source or within time constraints (see Senate Policy 83-80). For more information, check the Suggested Academic Plan for your intended program.

Program Learning Objectives

  • Adhere to legal practice standards, including all federal, state, and institutional regulations related to patient/client care and fiscal management.
  • Report to appropriate authorities suspected cases of abuse of vulnerable populations.
  • Report to appropriate authorities suspected cases of fraud and abuse related to the utilization of and payment for physical therapy and other health care services.
  • Perform duties in a manner consistent with the Guide for Conduct of the Physical Therapist Assistant (APTA) and Standards of Ethical Conduct (APTA) to meet the expectations of patients, members of the physical therapy profession, and other providers as necessary.
  • Perform duties in a manner consistent with the APTA's Values-Based Behaviors for the Physical Therapist Assistant
  • Implement, in response to an ethical situation, a plan of action that demonstrates sound moral reasoning congruent with core professional ethics and values.
  • Communicate effectively with all stakeholders, including patients/clients, family members, caregivers, practitioners, interprofessional team members, consumers, payers, and policymakers.
  • Identify, respect, and act with consideration for patients'/clients' differences, values, preferences, and expressed needs in all work-related activities.
  • Apply current knowledge, theory, and clinical judgment while considering the patient/client perspective and the environment, based on the plan of care established by the physical therapist.
  • Identify basic concepts in professional literature including, but not limited to, validity, reliability and level of statistical significance.
  • Identify and integrate appropriate evidence based resources to support clinical decision-making for progression of the patient within the plan of care established by the physical therapist.
  • Effectively educate others using teaching methods that are commensurate with the needs of the patient, caregiver or healthcare personnel.
  • Participate in professional and community organizations that provide opportunities for volunteerism, advocacy and leadership.
  • Identify career development and lifelong learning opportunities, including the role of the physical therapist assistant in the clinical education of physical therapist assistant students.
  • Interview patients/clients, caregivers, and family to obtain current information related to prior and current level of function and general health status (e.g., fatigue, fever, malaise, unexplained weight change).
  • Use the International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (ICF) to describe a patient's/client's impairments, activity and participation limitations.
  • Communicate an understanding of the plan of care developed by the physical therapist to achieve short and long term goals and intended outcomes.
  • Review health records (e.g., lab values, diagnostic tests, specialty reports, narrative, consults, and physical therapy documentation) prior to carrying out the PT plan of care.
  • Monitor and adjust interventions in the plan of care in response to patient/client status and clinical indications.
  • Report any changes in patient/client status or progress to the supervising physical therapist.
  • Determine when an intervention should not be performed due to clinical indications or when the direction to perform the intervention is beyond that which is appropriate for the physical therapist assistant.
  • Contribute to the discontinuation of episode of care planning and follow-up processes as directed by the supervising physical therapist.
  • Airway Clearance Techniques: breathing exercises, coughing techniques and secretion mobilization.
  • Application of Devices and Equipment:
    • assistive/adaptive devices
    • prosthetic and orthotic devices
  • Biophysical agents:
    • biofeedback
    • electrotherapeutic agents
    • compression therapies
    • cryotherapy
    • hydrotherapy
    • superficial and deep thermal agents
    • traction
    • light therapies
  • Functional Training in Self-Care and in Domestic, Education, Work, Community, Social, and Civic Life
  • Manual Therapy Techniques:
    • passive range of motion
    • therapeutic massage
  • Motor Function Training (balance, gait, etc.)
  • Patient/Client Education
  • Therapeutic Exercise
  • Wound Management:
    • isolation techniques
    • sterile technique
    • application and removal of dressing or agents
    • identification of precautions for dressing removal
  • Aerobic Capacity and Endurance:
    • measurement of standard vital signs
    • recognize and monitor responses to positional changes and activities (e.g., orthostatic hypotension, response to exercise)
  • Anthropometrical Characteristics: measurements of height, weight, length and girth
  • Mental Functions: detect changes in a patient's state of arousal, mentation and cognition
  • Assistive Technology:
    • identify the individual's and caregiver's ability to care for the device
    • recognize changes in skin condition while using devices and equipment
    • recognize safety factors while using devices and equipment
  • Gait, Locomotion, and Balance: determine the safety, status, and progression of patients while engaged in gait, locomotion, balance, wheelchair management and mobility
  • Integumentary Integrity:
    • detect absent or altered sensation
    • normal and abnormal integumentary changes
    • activities, positioning, and postures that aggravate or relieve pain or altered sensations, or that can produce associated skin trauma
    • recognize viable versus nonviable tissue
  • Joint Integrity and Mobility: detect normal and abnormal joint movement
  • Muscle Performance:
    • measure muscle strength by manual muscle testing
    • observe the presence or absence of muscle mass
    • recognize normal and abnormal muscle length
    • recognize changes in muscle tone
  • Neuromotor Development:
    • gross motor milestones
    • fine motor milestones
    • righting and equilibrium reactions
  • Pain:
    • administer standardized questionnaires, graphs, behavioral scales, or visual analog scales for pain
    • recognize activities, positioning, and postures that aggravate or relieve pain or altered sensations
  • Posture: determine normal and abnormal alignment of trunk and extremities at rest and during activities
  • Range of Motion:
    • measure functional range of motion
    • measure range of motion using an appropriate measurement device
  • Self-Care and Civic, Community, Domestic, Education, Social and Work Life:
    • inspect the physical environment and measure physical spaces
    • recognize safety and barriers in the home, community and work environments
    • recognize level of functional status
    • administer standardized questionnaires to patients and others
  • Ventilation, Respiration and Circulation:
    • detect signs and symptoms of respiratory distress, and activities that aggravate or relieve edema, pain, dyspnea, or other symptoms
    • describe thoracoabdominal movements and breathing patterns with activity, and cough and sputum characteristics
  • Complete accurate documentation that follows guidelines and specific documentation formats required by state practice acts, the practice setting, and other regulatory agencies.
  • Respond effectively to patient/client and environmental emergencies that commonly occur in the clinical setting.
  • Contribute to efforts to increase patient and healthcare provider safety.
  • Participate in the provision of patient-centered interprofessional collaborative care.
  • Participate in performance improvement activities (quality assurance).
  • Describe aspects of organizational planning and operation of the physical therapy service.
  • Describe accurate and timely information for billing and payment purposes.

Academic Advising

The objectives of the university’s academic advising program are to help advisees identify and achieve their academic goals, to promote their intellectual discovery, and to encourage students to take advantage of both in-and out-of class educational opportunities in order that they become self-directed learners and decision makers.

Both advisers and advisees share responsibility for making the advising relationship succeed. By encouraging their advisees to become engaged in their education, to meet their educational goals, and to develop the habit of learning, advisers assume a significant educational role. The advisee's unit of enrollment will provide each advisee with a primary academic adviser, the information needed to plan the chosen program of study, and referrals to other specialized resources.

READ SENATE POLICY 32-00: ADVISING POLICY

Fayette

Stacy Sekely
Assistant Teaching Professor
2201 University Drive
Lemont Furnace, PA 15456
724-430-4105
sas85@psu.edu

Hazleton

Rosemarie Petrilla
Teaching Professor of Physical Therapy
7D Physical Education Building
Hazleton, PA 18202
570-450-3042
rxp21@psu.edu

Mont Alto

Renee Borromeo
Teaching Professor, Physical Therapy
University College, Professor in Charge
104H Sci-Tech
Mont Alto, PA 17237
717-749-6020
rlb18@psu.edu

Shenango

Gizelle Dean
Associate Teaching Professor
147 Shenango Avenue
204B Forker Lab
724-983-2867
gad12@psu.edu

Suggested Academic Plan

The suggested academic plan(s) listed on this page are the plan(s) that are in effect during the 2022-23 academic year. To access previous years' suggested academic plans, please visit the archive to view the appropriate Undergraduate Bulletin edition (Note: the archive only contains suggested academic plans beginning with the 2018-19 edition of the Undergraduate Bulletin).

Physical Therapist Assistant, A.S. at Fayette Campus

The course series listed below provides only one of the many possible ways to move through this curriculum. The University may make changes in policies, procedures, educational offerings, and requirements at any time. This plan should be used in conjunction with your degree audit (accessible in LionPATH as either an Academic Requirements or What If report). Please consult with a Penn State academic adviser on a regular basis to develop and refine an academic plan that is appropriate for you.

First Year
FallCreditsSpringCredits 
BIOL 161 (GN)*3BIOL 163 (GN)*3 
BIOL 162 (GN)*1BIOL 164 (GN)*1 
PT 100*3PSYCH 100 (GS)3 
PT 120*2PT 384*3 
ENGL 15 (GWS)3General Education Course (GH or GA)3 
Quantification (GQ) (MATH 37 suggested)3General Education Course (GH or GA); US/IL Recommended3 
PSU 81  
 16 16 
Second Year
FallCreditsSpringCreditsSummerCredits
PT 150*2PT 201 (suggested elective course but not required)1PT 395F*4
PT 160*3PT 260*3PT 395G*4
PT 250*3PT 272*2 
PT 271*3PT 282W*3 
PT 281*2PT 285*2 
PT 290*2CAS 203, ENGL 202C, HDFS 129, HDFS 229, PSYCH 212, or PSYCH 2703 
 PT 395E*3 
 15 17 8
Total Credits 72
*

Course requires a grade of C or better for the major

Course requires a grade of C or better for General Education

#

Course is an Entrance to Major requirement

Course satisfies General Education and degree requirement

University Requirements and General Education Notes:

US and IL are abbreviations used to designate courses that satisfy University Requirements (United States and International Cultures).

W, M, X, and Y are the suffixes at the end of a course number used to designate courses that satisfy University Writing Across the Curriculum requirement.

GWS, GQ, GN, GA, GH, and GS are abbreviations used to identify General Education program courses. General Education includes Foundations (GWS and GQ) and Knowledge Domains (GN, GA, GH, and GS). Foundations courses (GWS and GQ) require a grade of ‘C’ or better.

Academic Advising Notes:

A student's career/graduate school plans should be considered in developing an individual academic plan.  Be sure to consult an adviser in this department when scheduling courses.

Physical Therapist Assistant, A.S. at Hazleton Campus

The course series listed below provides only one of the many possible ways to move through this curriculum. The University may make changes in policies, procedures, educational offerings, and requirements at any time. This plan should be used in conjunction with your degree audit (accessible in LionPATH as either an Academic Requirements or What If report). Please consult with a Penn State academic adviser on a regular basis to develop and refine an academic plan that is appropriate for you.

First Year
FallCreditsSpringCredits 
BIOL 161*†3BIOL 163*3 
BIOL 162*†1BIOL 164*1 
ENGL 15 or 30H3General Education Course (GA or GA IL/US) 3 
PSYCH 1003PT 120*2 
PT 100*43General Education Course (GH or GH IL/US)3 
General Education Course (GQ)3  
 16 12 
Second Year
FallCreditsSpringCreditsSummerCredits
PT 150*2PT 250*3PT 395F*34
PT 160*3PT 260*3PT 395G*34
PT 270*5PT 280*25 
PT 290*2PT 285*2 
PT 384*3ENGL 202C, PSYCH 212, CAS 203, PSYCH 270, or HDFS 2293 
PT 395E*3  
 18 16 8
Total Credits 70
*

Course requires a grade of C or better for the major

Course requires a grade of C or better for General Education

#

Course is an Entrance to Major requirement

Course satisfies General Education and degree requirement

1

This course satisfies the University United States/International Cultures requirement.

2

This course satisfies the University Writing Across the Curriculum requirement. The clinical practicum component of this course is a three week full-time experience in a physical therapy practice setting.

3

This is a six week clinical practicum that is a full-time experience in a physical therapy practice setting. 

4

PT 100 will be offered in the spring.

University Requirements and General Education Notes:

US and IL are abbreviations used to designate courses that satisfy University Requirements (United States and International Cultures).

W, M, X, and Y are the suffixes at the end of a course number used to designate courses that satisfy University Writing Across the Curriculum requirement.

GWS, GQ, GN, GA, GH, and GS are abbreviations used to identify General Education program courses. General Education includes Foundations (GWS and GQ) and Knowledge Domains (GN, GA, GH, and GS). Foundations courses (GWS and GQ) require a grade of ‘C’ or better.

Program Notes:

Students are required to take a total of 3 credits in ARTS and 3 credits in HUM during the first 2 semesters.

KINES 13 is optional, student must be certified in Professional Rescuer, CPR, and First Aid.

Students are allowed to attend graduation ceremonies, but officially do not receive diploma until August, upon successful completion of their summer practicums.

A student's career/graduate school plans should be considered in developing an individual academic plan.  Be sure to consult an adviser in this department when scheduling courses. 

Physical Therapist Assistant, A.S. at Mont Alto Campus

The course series listed below provides only one of the many possible ways to move through this curriculum. The University may make changes in policies, procedures, educational offerings, and requirements at any time. This plan should be used in conjunction with your degree audit (accessible in LionPATH as either an Academic Requirements or What If report). Please consult with a Penn State academic adviser on a regular basis to develop and refine an academic plan that is appropriate for you.

First Year
FallCreditsSpringCredits 
PT 100S*13PT 120*2 
BIOL 161 (GN)*†3PT 384*3 
BIOL 162 (GN)*†1BIOL 163 (GN)*3 
ENGL 15 or 30H (GWS)3BIOL 164 (GN)*1 
PSYCH 100 (GS)3General Education Course (GQ)3 
General Education Course (GH or GA); US/IL recommended3General Education Course (GH or GA); US/IL recommended3 
 16 15 
Second Year
FallCreditsSpringCreditsSummerCredits
PT 150*2PT 250*3PT 395F*54
PT 160*3PT 260*3PT 395G*64
PT 271W*23PT 272*2 
PT 281*2PT 282*3 
PT 290*2PT 285*2 
PT 395E*33ENGL 202C, PSYCH 212, CAS 203, HDFS 129, HDFS 229, or PSYCH 27043 
 15 16 8
Total Credits 70
*

Course requires a grade of C or better for the major

Course requires a grade of C or better for General Education

#

Course is an Entrance to Major requirement

Course satisfies General Education and degree requirement

1

PT 100 - Students are required to complete eight observation hours at two different clinical facilities in preparation for this course.

2

PT 271W - This course satisfies the University Writing Across the Curriculum requirement.

3

PT 395E - This is a three-week clinical practicum in that is a full-time experience in a physical therapy practice setting.

4

ENGL 202C, PSYCH 212, HDFS 129, HDFS 229, PSYCH 270 - Students will select ONE of the following: ENGL 202C - Technical Writing (requires 4th semester standing), Psychology 212 Introduction to Developmental Psychology, HDFS 129 Introduction to Human Development and Family Studies, HDFS 229 - Infant and Child Development, or PSYCH 270 - Introduction to Abnormal Psychology. Not all of these courses are offered each semester at the Mont Alto campus.

5

PT 395F - This is a six-week clinical practicum that is a full-time experience in a physical therapy practice setting.

6

PT 395G - This is a six-week clinical practicum that is a full-time experience in a physical therapy practice setting.

7

Either GA or GH must satisfy US/IL requirements.

University Requirements and General Education Notes:

US and IL are abbreviations used to designate courses that satisfy University Requirements (United States and International Cultures).

W, M, X, and Y are the suffixes at the end of a course number used to designate courses that satisfy University Writing Across the Curriculum requirement.

GWS, GQ, GN, GA, GH, and GS are abbreviations used to identify General Education program courses. General Education includes Foundations (GWS and GQ) and Knowledge Domains (GN, GA, GH, and GS). Foundations courses (GWS and GQ) require a grade of ‘C’ or better.

Advising Notes:

All students are required to be currently certified in CPR for participation in PT 395E, PT 395F, and PT 395G. Students may attain the certification through KINES 13, which can be taken any semester.

Physical Therapist Assistant, A.S. at Shenango Campus

The course series listed below provides only one of the many possible ways to move through this curriculum. The University may make changes in policies, procedures, educational offerings, and requirements at any time. This plan should be used in conjunction with your degree audit (accessible in LionPATH as either an Academic Requirements or What If report). Please consult with a Penn State academic adviser on a regular basis to develop and refine an academic plan that is appropriate for you.

First Year
FallCreditsSpringCredits
Art (GA)3BIOL 163*3
BIOL 161*3BIOL 164*1
BIOL 162*1Humanities (GH)3
ENGL 15 (GWS)*†‡3PT 120*2
PSYCH 100 (GS)3PT 384*3
PT 100*3Quantification (GQ)*‡3
 16 15
Second Year
FallCreditsSpringCredits
PT 150*2PT 260*3
PT 160*3PT 272*2
PT 250*3PT 280*5
PT 271W*3PT 285*2
PT 290*2PT 395E*3
ENGL 202C, CAS 203, PSYCH 212, PSYCH 270, HDFS 129, or HDFS 229 (GS)3 
 16 15
Third Year
FallCredits 
PT 297*1 
PT 395F*4 
PT 395G*4 
 9 
Total Credits 71
*

Course requires a grade of C or better for the major

Course requires a grade of C or better for General Education

#

Course is an Entrance to Major requirement

Course satisfies General Education and degree requirement

University Requirements and General Education Notes:

US and IL are abbreviations used to designate courses that satisfy University Requirements (United States and International Cultures).

W, M, X, and Y are the suffixes at the end of a course number used to designate courses that satisfy University Writing Across the Curriculum requirement.

GWS, GQ, GN, GA, GH, and GS are abbreviations used to identify General Education program courses. General Education includes Foundations (GWS and GQ) and Knowledge Domains (GN, GA, GH, and GS). Foundations courses (GWS and GQ) require a grade of ‘C’ or better.

Program Notes:

Students must complete a 3-credit course in "United States Cultures (US)" or a 3-credit course in "International Cultures (IL)."

Healthcare Providers CPR is required for clinical rotations.

Career Paths

The Physical Therapist Assistant program prepares its graduates for positions in many traditional and non-traditional career settings and for opportunities to further their educations in a variety of fields.

Careers

Physical Therapist Assistants provide services to patients of all ages and health conditions many settings, including outpatient clinics, hospitals, inpatient rehabilitation facilities, extended care or sub-acute facilities, home, education or research centers, schools, occupational environments, fitness centers and sports training facilities. All states in the US require PTAs to have graduated from a CAPTE-accredited program and have obtained state licensure. Students seeking licensure as a PTA must apply to the licensing authority of the jurisdiction (state) in which the graduate is seeking licensure and then register for the National Physical Therapy Examination for PTAs administered by the Federation of State Boards of Physical Therapy.

MORE INFORMATION ABOUT PT/PTA CAREERS

BUREAU OF LABOR STATISTICS OCCUPATIONAL OUTLOOK HANDBOOK IN HEALTHCARE

Opportunities for Graduate Studies

Many students choose to continue their education at Penn State after completing their AS degree in PTA by completing and complete bachelor’s degrees in a variety of disciplines, including: Rehabilitation and Human Services; Letters, Arts and Sciences; Human Development and Family Studies; Health Policy Administration; Psychology; or other related field of study. Advisers assist interested students in completing bachelor’s degrees and meeting prerequisite qualifications to apply for doctoral degrees in physical therapy (DPT) or other field of graduate study.

Professional Resources

Accreditation

The Associate of Science degree in Physical Therapist Assistant at Penn State is accredited by the:

Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE)
American Physical Therapy Association
3030 Potomac Ave.,
Suite 100
Alexandria, VA 22305-3085
Telephone: 800-999-2782
Email: accreditation@apta.org
Website: https://www.capteonline.org

Graduation from a physical therapist assistant education program accredited by CAPTE is necessary for eligibility to sit for the licensure examination, which is required in all states.

Accreditation by Campus

Penn State Fayette

The Physical Therapist Assistant Program at Penn State Fayette, The Eberly Campus is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE), 3030 Potomac Ave., Suite 100, Alexandria, VA 22305-3085, 703-706-3245, accreditation@apta.org.

Penn State Hazleton

The Physical Therapist Assistant Program at Penn State Hazleton is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE), 3030 Potomac Ave., Suite 100, Alexandria, VA 22305-3085, 703-706-3245, accreditation@apta.org.

Penn State Mont Alto

The Physical Therapist Assistant Program at the Penn State Mont Alto is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE), 3030 Potomac Ave., Suite 100, Alexandria, VA 22305-3085, 703-706-3245, accreditation@apta.org.

Penn State Shenango

The Physical Therapist Assistant Program at Penn State Shenango is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE), 3030 Potomac Ave., Suite 100, Alexandria, VA 22305-3085, 703-706-3245, accreditation@apta.org.

MORE INFORMATION ABOUT THE COMMISSION ON ACCREDITATION IN PHYSICAL THERAPY EDUCATION

Professional Licensure/Certification

Many U.S. states and territories require professional licensure/certification to be employed. If you plan to pursue employment in a licensed profession after completing this program, please visit the Professional Licensure/Certification Disclosures by State interactive map.

Contact

Fayette

2201 University Drive
Lemont Furnace, PA 15456
724-430-4105
sas85@psu.edu

http://fayette.psu.edu/pta

Hazleton

7 Physical Education Building
Hazleton, PA 18202
570-450-3047
rxp21@psu.edu

http://hazleton.psu.edu/associate-science-physical-therapist-assistant

Mont Alto

104H Sci-Tech
Mont Alto, PA 17237
717-749-6020
rlb18@psu.edu

https://montalto.psu.edu/academics/associate/physical-therapist-assistant-degree

Shenango

147 Shenango Avenue
204B Forker Lab
724-983-2867
gad12@psu.edu

http://shenango.psu.edu/pta