Physical Therapist Assistant Associate's Degree

View courses for our Physical Therapist Assistant Associate's degree. Download the course catalog for more information.

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Course listings are subject to change. Please see our course catalog and/or addendum for most current listings.


Associate's Degree Course List

The Physical Therapist Assistant Associate's degree program is campus based and is not available fully online.

Major and Core Courses

Lower Division

  • Medical Terminology
  • Physical Therapist Assistant Fundamentals
  • Introduction to Evidence-Based Practice and Therapeutic Interventions
  • Principles of Musculoskeletal Physical Therapy - Lower Quarter
  • Principles of Musculoskeletal Physical Therapy - Upper Quarter
  • Principles of Neuromuscular Physical Therapy
  • Physical Therapy Practice Across the Lifespan
  • Physical Therapy Practice for Special Populations
  • Physical Therapist Assistant Clinical I
  • Physical Therapist Assistant Clinical II
  • Physical Therapist Assistant Capstone

This is a basic medical vocabulary-building course. An emphasis will be placed on the most common medical terms based on prefixes and suffixes, Latin and Greek origins, and anatomic roots denoting body structures. All body systems will be covered with a focus on word parts, terms built from word parts, abbreviations, and basic disease and surgical terms. Students will be expected to focus on spelling and pronunciation.

Prerequisite:None

Course ID: HSC 1531
Credits: 4


This course will teach the fundamentals of data collection within the physical therapist assistant's scope of practice along with an introduction to the profession and the role as a member of the healthcare team. It places focus on the professional organizations, overview of legal and ethical issues relating to the Physical Therapist Assistant, importance of interpersonal communication skills relating to the profession. There will be a special emphasis on minimizing risk through appropriate and safe patient handling, transfers and gait training.

Prerequisite:None

Corequisites:Medical Terminology, Human Anatomy and Physiology I

Course ID: PHT 1000
Credits: 6


This course is an introduction to the underlying principles and clinical application of evidence-based practice and basic therapeutic interventions.  It places focus on developing the student's ability to obtain peer-reviewed research, performing basic appraisal of the evidence, and learning thermal, mechanical, and electrotherapeutic interventions used to address pain, inflammation, edema, soft tissue healing, and muscle re-education.  There is a hands-on lab component to this course.  This course will prepare students to incorporate evidence-based practice and the proper integration of these basic interventions into physical therapy practice.

Prerequisites:Physical Therapist Assistant Fundamentals, Medical Terminology, Human Anatomy and Physiology I

Course ID: PHT1100
Credits: 4


This course will teach students about the presentation of lower quarter musculoskeletal disorders with a focus on therapeutic exercises in this region. Structure and function of the lower quarter musculoskeletal system will be covered. There will be a focus on selecting and implementing appropriate evidence-based therapeutic exercises as they relate to musculoskeletal physical therapy practice for the lower quarter.

Prerequisites:Physical Therapist Assistant Fundamentals, Medical Terminology, Human Anatomy and Physiology I

Course ID: PHT1200
Credits: 5


This course will teach students about the impact of upper quarter musculoskeletal disorders on patients seeking physical therapy. Structure and function of the upper quarter musculoskeletal system will be covered. There will be a focus on selecting and implementing appropriate evidence-based therapeutic exercises as they relate to musculoskeletal physical therapy practice for the upper quarter.

Prerequisites:Physical Therapist Assistant Fundamentals, Medical Terminology, Human Anatomy and Physiology I

Course ID: PHT1300
Credits: 5


This course is the study of common neuromuscular disorders including stroke, spinal cord injury, traumatic brain injury and Parkinson's disease. Students will study the structure and function of the human nervous system and common nervous system pathology and will learn to implement physical therapy treatment programs for this patient population. This course will prepare students to care for patients with neuromuscular disorders.

Prerequisites:Principles of Musculoskeletal Physical Therapy - Lower Quarter, Principles of Musculoskeletal Physical Therapy - Upper Quarter

Course ID: PHT2000
Credits: 4


This course is the study of normal human development across the life span. Students will study common pediatric and geriatric conditions requiring physical therapy intervention. Topics will include study of changes in major systems related to aging, common pediatric developmental pathologies and societal implications associated with these populations. . This course will prepare students to implement physical therapy programs for children and aging adults in various practice settings.

Prerequisites:Principles of Neuromuscular Physical Therapy, Introduction to Evidence-Based Practice and Therapeutic Interventions

Course ID: PHT2600
Credits: 4


This clinical course is the study of physical therapy in special populations including patients with cardiovascular, pulmonary, and pelvic health conditions. Students will also study physical therapy treatment of wounds and amputations. Topics will include the effects of disease on organ systems and function and on the family and society. This course will prepare students to implement physical therapy programs for these patient populations.

Prerequisites:Principles of Neuromuscular Physical Therapy, Introduction to Evidence-Based Practice and Therapeutic Interventions

Course ID: PHT2650
Credits: 4


This course is designed to allow for application of fundamental material learned in the classroom in the physical therapy health care environment. Additionally, this course will include an emphasis on coursework that focuses on topics such as documentation, data collections, theory, clinical judgment and utilization of the medical record. Students will experience Physical Therapist Assistant interventions, prioritizing responsibilities in a changing environment, applying ethical and professional behaviors as well as interaction within the PT/Physical Therapist Assistant team. Upon completion of this course the student should have a full understanding of the role of the Physical Therapist Assistant and PT/Physical Therapist Assistant team in the clinical environment.

Prerequisites:Physical Therapist Assistant Fundamentals, Introduction to Evidence-Based Practice and Therapeutic Interventions, Principles of Musculoskeletal Physical Therapy – Lower Quarter, Principles of Musculoskeletal Physical Therapy – Upper Quarter, Principles of Neuromuscular Physical Therapy

Course ID: PHT2500
Credits: 8


In this clinical course, the student will learn and apply advanced strategies in developing a therapeutic alliance with clients/patients. Students will determine how to utilize health information technology, making decisions about appropriate use within the clinical environment. Students will be prepared for moral reasoning, resolving conflict and effective decision making while practicing under the supervision of a physical therapist. Upon completion of this course, the student will be prepared for entry level practice as a Physical Therapist Assistant.

Prerequisites:All Major and Core Courses

Corequisites: Physical Therapist Assistant Capstone

Course ID: PHT2700
Credits: 13


This course is a synthesis of material from all courses. Students will complete a portfolio demonstrating proficiency in transferable skills. Additionally students will prepare for the national Physical Therapist Assistant licensure exam.

Prerequisites:All Major and Core Courses

Corequisites:Physical Therapist Assistant Clinical II

Course ID: PHT2800
Credits: 2

General Education Courses

Lower Division

Communication (*Required Course; Select 1 Additional Course)

  • English Composition

The course objective is to learn the core skills of English composition and how to apply those skills to become effective writer and engaged reader; gain proficiency with all of the steps in the writing process while creating original compositions in the narrative, the informative, and the argumentative modes; and learn how to read in an active, inquisitive manner and analyze the rhetorical situation of a text or the student’s own compositions.

Prerequisite:None

Course ID: ENC 1101*
Credits: 4

Humanities (Select 1 Course)

Math/Natural Sciences (*Required Courses; Select 1 Additional Math Course)

  • Human Anatomy and Physiology I
  • Human Anatomy & Physiology II

In this course students will begin their study of the structure and function of the human body. They will examine topics including basic chemistry and cell biology, tissues, and the integumentary, skeletal, muscular, nervous, sensory, and endocrine systems of the body, and will learn medical terminology. Students will complete laboratory exercises coordinated with course content and including microscopic observation, experimentation, study of anatomical models, and dissection activities.

Pre or Co-requisite:Structure and Function of the Human Body

Course ID: BSC 2346*
Credits: 5


In this course, students will continue their study of human anatomy and physiology begun in Human Anatomy and Physiology I. They will examine the circulatory, lymphatic and immune, respiratory, urinary, digestive, and reproductive systems, as well as fluid and electrolyte balance, acid-base balance, and nutrition and metabolism. Students will complete laboratory exercises coordinated with course content and including microscopic observation, experimentation, study of anatomical models, and dissection activities.

Prerequisite:Human Anatomy and Physiology I

Course ID: BSC 2347*
Credits: 5

Social Sciences (*Required Course; Select 1 Additional Course)

  • General Psychology

This course will provide students with a general understanding of basic methodologies, concepts, theories, and practices in contemporary psychology. Areas of investigation may include the goals and research methodologies of psychology, the science of the brain, theories of human development and intelligence, concepts of motivation and emotions, the science of sensation and perceptions, and the current practices pertaining to psychological disorders, therapies, and treatments.

Prerequisite:None

Course ID: PSY 1012*
Credits: 4

Total Associate's Degree Credits

General Education Credits: 34

Major and Core Credits: 59

Total Associate's Degree Credits: 93

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