Physical Therapist Assistant

Associate of Applied Science Degree (A.A.S.)
PTA student

About this program

From accidents to sports injuries, physical therapy gets patients back on track, doing the things they love. At Penn College, you’ll explore theories and concepts and put techniques to the test in modern labs outfitted with equipment just like you can expect to find in the field. Then, apply your skills in the real world with three clinical experiences, which can be completed in 65+ diverse sites across Pennsylvania and beyond. Through immersive hands-on experience and with insight from faculty who bring experience across diverse specialties, you’ll learn how to thrive in this growing field. 

Acceptance in this major is based upon additional requirements beyond College admission.

Cohort size may vary based on clinical site availability and alignment with accreditation requirements. Students who are not selected into their desired program may be eligible for selection into another NHS program depending on seat availability. For additional information, please contact the appropriate program director.

Next steps...

You're on your way to becoming a tomorrow maker.

COVID-19 Vaccination Information

On November 4, 2021, an emergency regulation was issued by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) requiring the COVID-19 vaccination for healthcare workers. Individuals considering applying to this program should be aware that the COVID-19 vaccination will be required to participate in clinical experiences for Spring 2022 and beyond. For the most up-to-date information about our clinical partners’ vaccination requirements, please contact the program office.

Get Involved

Be in the know.

Follow the PTA program on Facebook to stay up-to-date on what our students and alumni are doing.

PTA Facebook page

32%

Growth in Demand for Physical Therapist Assistant is Expected through 2030

65+

Diverse Clinical Sites

Two-Year Program

Careers

  • Acute care
  • Outpatient orthopedic setting
  • Inpatient skills nursing facility
  • Rehabilitation center

License/Certification Disclosure Information →

Courses

At Penn College, we believe your educational experience should go beyond specialized skills. Real-world ready means taking a broader approach that builds communication skills, inspires collaboration, and encourages exploration of arts, history, and science.

​​Specialization requires in-depth knowledge and high-level proficiency. Students learn and apply major-specific concepts, skills, and methods.

  • Medical Terminology Survey (MTR100)
  • Introduction to Physical Therapy (PTA100)
  • Clinical Kinesiology (PTA121)
  • PT Procedures I (PTA130)
  • Pathology for the PTA (PTA210)
  • Level 1 Clinical Experience (PTA215)
  • Therapeutic Exercise (PTA220)
  • Clinical Neurology (PTA230)
  • Physical Agents (PTA226)
  • PT Procedures II (PTA250)
  • Rehabilitation (PTA260)
  • Orthopedics and Sports in PT (PTA265)
  • Ethics and Law for the PTA (PTA240)
  • PTA Professional Seminar (PTA245)
  • Level 2A Clinical Experience (PTA270)
  • Level 2B Clinical Experience (PTA275)

​Perspectives are points of view, offering a variety of ways of understanding, interacting, and influencing the world. Students identify, explain, and utilize the approaches used by academics and professionals to study, analyze, or understand problems, and offer solutions.

  • Human Anatomy and Physiology I (BIO115)
  • General Psychology (PSY111)
  • Human Anatomy and Physiology II (BIO125)

​​Foundations are the practical, intellectual, and social skills: communication, collaboration, critical and ethical thinking, quantitative thinking, and technological literacy that are crucial to every student at every stage of education and at every stage of life.

  • English Composition I (ENL111)
  • Interpersonal Communication (SPC201)
  • Information, Technology, and Society (CSC124)
Physical Therapy Lab
Facilities

Physical Therapy Lab

Expansive lab space inspires collaboration and partner work while optimizing the hands-on learning experience.

Physical Therapy Lab
Facilities

Physical Therapy Lab

Expansive lab space inspires collaboration and partner work while optimizing the hands-on learning experience.

Physical Therapy Lab
Facilities

Physical Therapy Lab

Expansive lab space inspires collaboration and partner work while optimizing the hands-on learning experience.

Student Experience

"Upon completing the program, I felt 100% prepared to step out into the workforce. The program provided a road map to success with everything from the hands-on learning in lab to the clinical education opportunities. Not to mention the teachers and staff were extremely knowledgeable and always available."

Angela Cipolla, Physical Therapist Assistant

Phoenix Rehabilitation and Health Services

Stretching for Injury Prevention
Virtual Workshop

Stretching for Injury Prevention

In this workshop you’ll get pro tips from Victoria Hurwitz, director of the Physical Therapist Assistant program at Penn College and Jordan Williams, the Wildcat men’s lacrosse head coach. When you’re active, injuries can easily occur. But they can be prevented. We’ll show you how.

Plus, you’ll get a chance to check out the impressive PTA lab space at Penn College. Meet faculty and student athletes. And learn a little bit about the two-year Physical Therapist Assistant program.

Watch Recording

Tour Schedule

Seeing is believing.

Think Penn College might be a good fit for you? Make plans to visit and discover what hands-on learning is all about. Academic Tours allow you to explore labs and get to the core of your future program. If you’re looking for a deeper dive into your academic area of interest, opt for a Self-Scheduled Personal Tour. Comprehensive COVID-19 safety protocols are in place.

Jan 28

Open House

Friday, January 288:30 AM - 2:30 PM Eastern Time (U.S.)

Feb 5

Open House

Saturday, February 58:30 AM - 2:30 PM Eastern Time (U.S.)

Feb 25

Open House

Friday, February 258:30 AM - 2:30 PM Eastern Time (U.S.)

Mar 19

Open House

Saturday, March 198:30 AM - 2:30 PM Eastern Time (U.S.)

Apr 3

Open House

Sunday, April 38:30 AM - 2:30 PM Eastern Time (U.S.)

Apr 22

Open House

Friday, April 228:30 AM - 2:30 PM Eastern Time (U.S.)

More tour dates are on the way.

But let's customize a tour for you now. Call, chat, or email for options.

Need a different date?

Let's customize a tour for you now. Call, chat, or email for options.

Contact

Admissions Office

If you can't attend any of these dates Contact Admissions at 570.320.2400

Upcoming Events

Explore Penn College

Industry Partners

Work with experts to become an expert

Penn College's strong partnerships impact every step of your journey – from your first day in the classroom and labs, to career placement (oftentimes before graduation) and beyond.

UPMC Susquehanna
Geisinger
Phoenix Rehab
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Student Life

Stay active in and out of the classroom

Physical Therapist Assistant Club

Physical Therapist Assistant Club

The PTA Club provides opportunities for professional and personal development through interaction with and service to the community.

Student Organizations at Penn College

Student Organizations at Penn College

Your college experience is about more than the classroom. Join one of 65+ clubs and organizations, or create your own.

News
07.28.2021

Students craft videos for Camp Victory

Students in Pennsylvania College of Technology’s physical therapist assistant major put their skills to use by providing video ...

07.02.2021

‘Tomorrow,’ the world!

Penn College’s “My Tomorrow” program (June 21-24 and June 28-July 1) opened middle-schoolers’ minds to a ...

06.19.2021

A wide-open window on a bright-looking future

More than a half-dozen Pre-College Programs attracted a knowledge-hungry host of teenagers to Penn College’s campuses in recent ...

Gain global experience
Study Abroad

Gain global experience

See the world via Williamsport. Take your education abroad and get hands-on experience learning about your industry on a global scale.

Learn More

Clinical Experience

Your knowledge in practice

Explore what’s to come through three clinical experiences. During this two-year program, students participate in one part-time clinical along with two back-to-back, full-time clinical experiences with one of our many partners.

Dual Degree

Take two

Applied Health Studies

Applied Health Studies

Students who have earned an associate’s degree from Penn College in physical therapist assistant are eligible to pursue a bachelor’s degree in applied health studies. Students may work with their adviser to declare this major as dual degree, taking both physical therapist assistant courses and applied health courses simultaneously. Proof of the appropriate credential will be required to be eligible for graduation in the applied health studies major.

Learn more

Student Experience

The community as their classroom

Global PT Day-of-Service

Global PT Day-of-Service

Students in Pennsylvania College of Technology’s Physical Therapist Assistant Club harvested a plentiful crop to benefit The Cupboard at Penn College, an on-campus food pantry that assists students and their families.

Read more

Accreditation

The Physical Therapist Assistant program at Pennsylvania College of Technology is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE), 3030 Potomac Ave., Suite 100, Alexandria, Virginia 22305-3085; telephone: 703-706-3245; email: accreditation@apta.org; website: http://www.capteonline.org . If needing to contact the program/institution directly, please call 570-320-4439 or email pta@pct.edu.

Verify Status

More Information

The Physical Therapist Assistant program at Pennsylvania College of Technology is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE), 3030 Potomac Ave., Suite 100, Alexandria, Virginia 22305; telephone: 703-706-3245; email: accreditation@apta.org; website: http://www.capteonline.org. If needing to contact the program/institution directly, please call 570-320-4439 or email pta@pct.edu.

Anyone desiring entrance into this major must first gain admission to Penn College. Acceptance into this selective admission major is based upon additional requirements beyond College admission. Details are available on the Selective Admission Criteria and Process webpage.

Students will be required to purchase personal malpractice insurance prior to their first clinical experience. Students are responsible for the cost of all clearances and immunizations as will be noted on the website and consistent with other health science degrees. All students are responsible for cost of travel and housing during clinical experiences. Some clinical sites require additional requirements to participate in clinical education; students will be responsible for meeting any additional requirements, including costs incurred. Students will be required to purchase a student membership to the APTA by the second spring semester of the program

Students enrolled in the Physical Therapist Assistant major must maintain a 'C' or better in all of their major coursework. This major uses an A, B, C and F grading scale in all PTA courses.

Students who earn an "F" in any major course within the first technical semester will be placed back into the pre-major status and will have the opportunity to be selected back into the program in December.  Students who earn an "F" in any 200-level major course will not be permitted to progress through the PTA curriculum until the deficiencies have been remediated and the student has earned a "C" grade or better.  A student may continue to take non-PTA courses in the PTA curriculum. 

Child abuse clearance and criminal background checks are required by agencies involved in clinical education experiences.  Agencies can bar students from their sites if a criminal record exists or a positive drug test is noted.  By virtue of contract for Penn College students to be at clinical sites, drug testing is required for admission and students will be subject to random drug testing while in the Physical Therapy Assistant Program.  The Pennsylvania State Board of Education and Licensure and APTA advise that a drug-related conviction and/or conviction of a felonious act may result in denial and/or revocation of a license to practice physical therapy.  Inability to gain clinical education experiences results in inability to meet program objectives and outcomes, and will have a negative impact on a student's ability to progress through the curriculum.  For additional clarification, students should speak with their program director.

Penn College complies with the federal Drug-Free Schools and Communities Act Amendments of 1989. Pursuant to this Act, all forms of marijuana, including medical marijuana, are classified as prohibited controlled substances. Additionally, alcohol, illegal drugs, and legal drugs obtained without a prescription or which may impair a student’s ability to perform his/her educational responsibilities are strictly prohibited. Students are subject to drug screening at various phases of the program. Please note that a positive drug screening for marijuana will be deemed a positive test and will result in a student being dismissed from the program, even if the student has been lawfully certified to use medical marijuana and/or possesses a valid medical marijuana identification card issued in accordance with applicable state law.

Students requesting admission to the Physical Therapy Assistant program must provide course syllabi from related technical coursework to be reviewed by the Program Director for determination of acceptance.  Transfer credit and advanced placement is evaluated by the Registrar's office. If students are transferring physical therapy specific courses, they must present a full course description and syllabi with course objectives to the Physical Therapy Assistant director, who will evaluate for equivalency to core-specific courses.  Students wishing to transfer into the technical phase of the program will be assessed based on the same standards of those coming out of high school.  Students must have achieved a minimum of a C in all prerequisite courses. 

International health credentials/licensure, science courses, and most math courses will not be accepted to satisfy requirements of this major.  Please see additional information for international students applying to Health Science majors.

View general transfer information

Alternative Credit refers to academic credits earned through means other than traditional college course completion, including: credit by exam, articulation, proof of competency gained in high school, work/life experience, and advanced placement.

Visit the Alternative Credit Options page for requirements and procedures and for information on credit through Advanced Placement.

Students will be required to purchase a PTA tool kit, available at the College Store. Included in the program tool kit; Adult size blood pressure cuff, stethoscope, reflex hammer, bandage scissors, goniometers (small, medium and large), tape measure. Students will also be required to purchase designated Penn College polo shirts and a name tag for use on clinical experiences.

A laptop computer is required for this program. Refer to full list of estimated expenses under Tools, Uniforms and Supplies

Some items are available for purchase through The College Store.

The physical therapist assistant program at Pennsylvania College of Technology has determined that its curriculum meets the state educational requirements for licensure or certification in all states, the District of Colombia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands secondary to its accreditation by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education, based on the following: CAPTE accreditation of a physical therapist or physical therapist assistant program satisfies state educational requirements in all states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Thus, students graduating from CAPTE-accredited physical therapist and physical therapist assistant education programs are eligible to take the National Physical Therapy Examination and apply for licensure in all states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. For more information regarding state qualifications and licensure requirements, refer to the Federation of State Boards of Physical Therapy website at fsbpt.org.

  • Ms. Ellen Detweiler, PT, Director of Clinical Services, UPMC Susquehanna Home Care
  • Ms. Kimberly L Dixon, MPT, Physical Therapist, UPMC Williamsport
  • Ms. Boneita A Dodge, MPT, Physical Therapist, UPMC River Ave
  • Ms. Denise Lorson, PT, Supervisor, UPMC Pediatric Rehabilitation
  • Mr. Matthew R Martin, MSPT, OCS, Manager of Rehabilitation Services, UPMC Susquehanna
  • Dr. Donald Shipe, PT, DPT, Facility Director/Physical Therapist, Phoenix Physical Therapy
  • Mr. Richard Smith, PTA, Physical Therapist Assistant, Sun Orthopedic Physical Therapy
  • Ms. Sheryl E Snyder-Everitt, PTA, Physical Therapist Assistant, UPMC Susquehanna
  • Ms. Jodi Stiner, MPT, GCS, Physical Therapist, Evangelical Community Hospital
  • Ms. Amanda Stopper, PTA, '18, Physical Therapist Assistant, UPMC Williamsport
  • Dr. Joseph F Wood, PT, DPT, Director of Therapy Operations, UPMC Susquehanna
  • Dr. Nancy E Wood, PT, DPT, Director of Clinic Operations, Phoenix Physical Therapy
  • Dr. Barry M Wrench, PT, DPT, Facility Director, Phoenix Physical Therapy