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Physical Therapist Assistant ProgramPhysical Therapist Assistant Program

Physical Therapist Assistant Program

Pennsylvania Workforce Development cites a career as a physical therapist assistant as a high-priority occupation. High-priority occupations are job categories that are in demand by employers, have higher skill needs, and provide family-sustaining wages. The Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry predicts the need for physical therapist assistants (PTA) and physical therapy aides to increase 41% through 2022.

The PTA program at California University of Pennsylvania is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE), 1111 North Fairfax Street, Alexandria, VA 22314; telephone: 703-706-3245; e-mail:; website:

This two-year program leads to an Associate of Applied Science degree in physical therapist assistant. 

What is a PTA?

A physical therapist assistant works in partnership with physical therapists to provide rehabilitation services for individuals who are unable to function due to neuromuscular disease or neuromuscular injury, or who want to improve function via prevention.

Physical therapists and physical therapist assistants provide services to individuals to improve their level of functioning and improve quality of life. 

Program Outcomes

For the classes of 2014-2015, 94% of students admitted to the Technical Phase of the PTA program at Cal U graduated from the program. Graduation rates for the classes of 2012, 2013, 2014, and 2015 were 84.6%, 100%, 100%, and 88.8% respectively. Graduates are required to pass a licensing examination in order to practice as a Physical Therapist Assistant.  The licensing examination (National Physical Therapy Examination or NPTE for PTAs) passing rates for the classes of 2012, 2013, 2014, and 2015 were 91.7%, 72%, 85.2%, and 91.3% respectively, for an average 2-year (2014-2015) passing rate of 88.25%. Employment rates of those responding to graduate surveys for the classes of 2012, 2013, and 2014 were 100%, 100%, and 91.3%, respectively, for an average 2-year (Class 2013-2014) employment rate of  95.6%. Data is still being collected for the class of 2015. 

Learn more about admissions requirements for the PTA program.

Learn more about internships and career opportunities.

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A physical therapy assistant students works on a patient.